Sunday, August 21, 2016

Simply Beehouse Teapots

"The very sight of a teapot puts a smile on the face of most people. One cannot help but think of more serene and genteel times. From a whimsical child's teapot to an elegant English Teapot, to collectible teapots that adorn some homes, they are a subtle reminder of all that is good in this world."
                                                                    ~Barbara Roberts

This week I want to simply share about some teapots I use on a regular basis. While they are not vintage English teapots, they're durable, aesthetically pleasing and hold temperature well. They're called Beehouse Teapots and Zero Japan is the manufacturer. Zero Japan was established in 1992 and its products can be purchased on Amazon and the Beehouse Teapot website. Their organic shape appealed and still appeals to me.


My first teapot is the 12 oz banana one which I use almost daily. I just keep refilling the teapot with hot water. The carrot one is 22 oz and I use it when a friend comes over for a casual tea. Most of the teapots are named after food colors.


My mom has a 26 ounce teapot in white.


The fine mesh infuser is the feature I enjoy most about these teapots. You can order replacement infusers on the website. 


Since I like to drink my tea hot, I found a cozy that fits perfectly. 
This is how I like to start my Saturday mornings. Typically there are more magazines and books. :)



Not sure I've shared my new wooden tray with all of you. Great clearance item at Tuesday Morning.




So true!

All the best,
Nora

I'm bringing my teacup to these parties:







Monday, August 8, 2016

Iced Tea with Feathered Friends

Hello Tea Friends,
Hope your summer days are bringing you happiness and health. I'm trying to take advantage of the cooler mornings and early afternoons with tea time in the garden. Nothing is more relaxing than reading a good book with a glass of iced tea in the afternoon or a cup of tea in the morning.

Come join me for a simple tea in the garden. I was planning on making a peach crisp to go with my peach teacup but life got in the way. I do plan on making the crisp and will share the recipe with all of you soon.

Today's featured teacup is a demitasse one by Royal Crown Derby. There is something so sweet about a demitasse teacup.


I adore designs in the inner cup!

Embossed gold "bands" on the edge
Demitasse teacups pack a lot of pattern and design into a small area.



Circa 1921-1940

Realistically it was a tad too hot for tea so I made some Constant Comment by Bigelow iced tea and was happily surprised by the subtle orange taste. Two months ago I bought a Primula pitcher and have been quite pleased. The infuser is really fine so it's works well for loose tea.
The bird in the photo above was purchased at Michaels for 79 cents in the clearance section. My find of the week!




The previous owners of our house left many bird houses along the fence line. Some have survived. Here are a few of them:




Hiding among the "Fourth of July" tomatoes


One I purchased in Carmel by the Sea


I'm in the process of making a cork birdhouse.

I'm trying to add subtle bird displays throughout the garden. 


Thank you for joining me for iced tea today.
Take care,
Nora

I'll be joining these parties:







Sunday, July 24, 2016

Citrus Cream Tea with a Twist

Hello everyone,
Spending time with my friends and family over a cup of tea is something I always cherish. I'm sure you agree. Tea has a way of welcoming and extending conversations, and I love to chat! This summer I've been reevaluating and prioritizing things. I definitely need to dedicate more time with friends and put work priorities on the back burner for a bit. I decided tea time with friends was long over due.

With soaring summer temperatures and a broken air conditioner, afternoon tea isn't ideal, but I was determined to still host a tiny tea party. Last week I hosted two very early morning cream teas in the garden. What a wonderful way to start the day!

What is a cream tea?
According to Wikipedia:

A cream tea (also known as a Devonshire tea, Devoncream tea or Cornish cream tea) is a form of afternoontea light meal, consisting of tea taken with a combination of scones, clotted cream, and jam.


As you can see, there are no scones, clotted cream or jam. But since there were sweets and tea, it's my version of cream tea with a twist. This tea has a citrus theme to it and was perfect for a summer morning.


The citrus idea came about after purchasing this ceramic teapot at Home Goods. While I love the lemon design and the teapot's volume, it gets quite heavy when filled with hot water. Fortunately the ceramic pot maintains a hot temperature when covered with a cosy.


Instead of scones I served my go to favorite-banana bread and lemon drop cookies. I found the recipe for these cookies on pinterest (i-like-lemons.blogspot.com). Look for the June 29, 2008 post. (Sorry, for some reason the link wouldn't work.) It was my first time making them and I was pleased with the strong fresh lemon taste. The glaze was delicious!



While looking through my tea cupboard, I came across Lady Grey which my friend purchased for me at the Twinings store in London. (Notice the packaging is different than the US version.) I'm not a big fan of Earl Grey but wanted to try something new. Lady Grey is a variation of Earl Grey with the addition of orange and lemon flavorings to the bergamot. The orange and lemon seemed to soften the taste of bergamot. It ended up being a good choice! I think this would be a wonderful iced tea too.

Enjoy your summer days,
Nora

Please bring your teacup to these parties:

















Monday, June 27, 2016

The White Hart ~ A Coastal Victorian Tearoom

Happy Summer Tea Friends!  

One of my summer pleasures is visiting new tearooms while traveling. Saturday was my birthday and what better way to celebrate than going out to afternoon tea.

A favorite travel spot of mine is the Monterey Bay. Carmel by the Sea, Monterey and Pacific Grove are idyllic towns. Last year while walking in Pacific Grove I came across The White Hart. The beautiful Victorian immediately caught my attention.



I was thrilled to learn the home serves as a tearoom to the public two weekends a month and can be rented for private parties as well. 



I knew I wanted to celebrate my birthday there.

We made reservations for 11:30 (right when it opened). The White Hart does not have set seating times like many other tearooms. This makes for a relaxed experience in my opinion.

I was happily surprised to see the decorated table when we arrived. So sweet!


A birthday card on the table!



Noritake teacups
We enjoyed a white tea and the tearoom's black blend.


EB Foley plates


Well the highlight was the incredible edibles!



We started with apricot and cherry scones accompanied with homemade lemon curd (delicious) and clotted cream. 

This tearoom truly had the freshest and some of the most innovative sandwiches I've tasted at a tearoom. During our tea, the chef came out and introduced himeself. 


Scottish smoked wild salmon with ginger and wasabi aioli on a puff pastry ~ so fresh tasting!
The aioli was very light and did not overwhelm the salmon.


We've all had the traditional cucumber finger sandwiches. I liked how they added radishes to it along with the green onion tie on the top.


All of the desserts were divine. The size of the apple cinnamon spiced bundt cake was adorable. I've never seen bundt cake tins that small.

Yes, the food and tea was delcious, but what really stood out was the sincere warmth of the proprietors. They really made my birthday special and you could sense their love of the tearoom experience. I really felt like I was a guest in their home.

If you ever happen to be in Pacific Grove in California, afternoon tea at The White Hart will really elevate your travel experience.
I would love to return during Christmas time.


Have a wonderful week filled with good tea, books and conversation!
Nora

Please join me at the following tea parties:











Sunday, June 5, 2016

A Vintage Tale from Royal Albert



Hello Teacup Friends,
Welcome June and the start of iced tea season! 
While the temperatures are still somewhat mild, I will continue to start my weekend mornings with a cup of tea and a good book outside in my backyard.
There are so many good "tales" on my to-read list already. 
As an avid reader I hope to start incorporating book titles of my own selection and those of my book club here on my blog this summer. 


I certainly agree with this!

Speaking of tales, during this last year I have been admiring teacups with scenery patterns. I feel they are telling their own tale and the artwork is remarkable.

I was able to find just such a teacup and saucer on ebay a couple of months ago and it is our week's featured teacup.


Rosedale by Royal Albert


The scene features an open garden gate and a yellow cobblestone path.

This set appears to be hand painted and the raised painted flower buds really stand out to me. I've never seen that on a teacup before.


Some closeups of the fine artistry.

This is one of my oldest Royal Albert's.
Rosedale was produced from 1927-1935. The cup shape is Countess.

Interestingly Royal Albert introduced in the 1960's another Rosedale series which does not look anything like the original.

Courtesy of royalalbertpatterns.com

Enjoy the first full week of June,
Nora

Please join me at the following tea parties:












Sunday, May 22, 2016

Everything's Coming up Roses!

"Love planted a rose, and the world turned sweet."
~Katherine Lee Bates


Hello Tea Friends,
Last week we had a bit of a warm spell which my roses, flowers and budding vegetables gladly welcomed.
The yellow "Mellow Yellow" rose tree became so top heavy that I really had to cut it back as it was almost ready to fall over. So alas, no photos of those pretty roses- just miniature pink ones.


Since the sun is shining and not too hot, please join me in the backyard for a rose tea.


I have been so excited to share my first teacup trio!


While on a recent trip, I found this "Orleans Rose" trio. It's in wonderful condition with most of the gold trim intact.

I've been looking for (an affordable) trio for quite a while. The almost three dimensional paintings of the roses is quite lovely.

This is my first Royal Standard teaware in my collection. It was produced circa 1950's.

Have a slice of cherry cobbler from the cherries we picked yesterday at a local farm. This is one of my true and tried recipes. I featured it on my last year's Memorial Day post. You can find it here.

"Time brings roses."
~ Portuguese proverb

This post was inspired by last summer's visit to Portland's International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park.


Whether you are an avid rose gardener, photographer or someone who appreciates nature's beauty. this park will not disappoint.

Here are just some of the hundreds of roses:




If you are ever in Portland, Oregon, this garden is not to be missed. Here is more information about the park.

While in the gift shop (can't pass up one when on vacation), I saw three tea bags of rose tea tied together on the counter.

 Of course I bought the tea. After all, Portland is the "City of Roses."
I quite enjoyed it and would describe it as light black tea with a subtle floral taste and scent.
(This is my last tea bag and I'm saving it for a special occasion. Sorry, I didn't fill your cup.)


Have a sunshine filled week,
Nora

Let's continue the party at: