St. Patrick's Day Tea~ Brown Bread and Belleek

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Please join me for tea as we celebrate this special day.

 Barry's tea will be served in vintage Belleek tea cups (featured on my blog two weeks ago).

This pretty tablecloth was an early St. Patrick's Day gift from my mom. I really like the sweet details and the lace-like cut outs. Thanks Mom!

I love how there are lavender flowers among the shamrocks. It's not over the top St. Patrick's Day. I plan to use this tablecloth for spring and summer teas as well.

Help yourself to sugar from a Belleek Neptune sugar bowl.

Fourth mark (first green mark) circa 1946-1955

 Please enjoy some gold covered chocolates in a basket of Belleek along with tiny erysimum flowers from my garden.

My last pieces of Belleek to share...both were gifts from my uncles. The harp is the national symbol of Ireland and this vase is special to me because it holds soil from my first trip to Ireland. (I know, very sentimental.) I hope a trip to Ireland is in my near future.

And finally no Irish morning tea would be complete without brown bread. When I visit my family in Ireland, I literally wake up to the smell of delicious brown bread or sweet tea bread (somewhat similar to American-like soda bread but sweeter). My aunt has made this bread since she was a child and doesn't use any measurements. Between no standard measurements, different brands in Ireland and the fact my aunt is a far superior baker than me, let's just say my brown bread has been a disappointment. I've tried to watch her make the bread and copy the recipe, but it never comes close to comparing to hers. 

Through Ruth's Antiques and Teacups I saw a recipe for clotted cream which led me to Jean's slow cooker Irish soda bread recipe on Delightful Repast. Yes, you read correctly...a slow cooker brown bread recipe! I had to try it!

It was hearty and delicious. Thanks Jean! Since each slow cooker's temperature is a bit different, next time I will check the bread at the three hour mark. (There was some hardening at the bottom and edges.) I also hope to make the clotted cream as well.

May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of St. Patrick's Day behold you.
~Irish Blessing


  1. Not Irish, but do have some Irish in me, way, way down the line as they say!!

  2. What a lovely Irish post! I love Belleek! I just realized I forgot to get out my Belleek cream and sugar for my post! Ah well....Love the tablecloth! That is gorgeous! Glad the soda bread turned out...I was thinking of trying it out too! Thanks so much for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!

  3. What a lovely post, Nora! I LOVE your tablecloth and the gifts from your uncles are priceless! The white teapot is lovely and the teacups, delicate looking. Thank you for sharing and joining me for tea. Happy St Patrick's Day!


  4. Lovely vintage Belleek and lovely St. Patrick's Day post. Happy Tea Day!

  5. Oh, for a slice of that delicious brown bread! My Mom had many Belleek pieces which I admired greatly. The harp is especially pretty.

  6. Beautiful table cloth, I love your tea cup!
    Have a Happy St.Patrick's Day!

  7. Happy St. Paddy's Day, Nora.Your new tablecloth is beautiful--I'm loving the combination of shamrocks and purple flowers!

  8. Thanks for your nice comment on my tea post. I have a number of table toppers with cutouts like your shamrock one, and you're right it's perfect for spring as well. The Belleek is china is nice to have, I resisted bringing any back other than the door ornament I shared. You brought back soil, and I smuggled into my suitcase some black rocks (shale I think) to add to my fairy gardens!
    Happy St. Patrick's Day.

  9. How beautiful your table is for St. Patrick's Day! The different pieces of Belleck are so lovely! Your cups and saucers are egg shell thin. The table runner is gorgeous with the embrodery of and touch of pink! I'm iIrish also from both sides of my family! The name of your blog is so darling and I love the story of the making of the brown bread from Ireland. Have a great celebration!


  10. Ooh I love all your tea items and your gorgeous Belleek pieces. When my late beloved hubby and I visited Ireland, we so enjoyed the brown bread, too. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  11. Love the blessing at the end of the post. Perfect! Thank you for sharing all your goodies. Blessings, Martha

  12. Happy St. Patrick's Day. Beautiful treasures. The tablecloth from your Mom is very unique and oh, so pretty. I follow Jean also; so happy you tried her recipe.

  13. Such a pretty tablecloth. And I do love your Belleek pieces.

  14. Hi Nora,
    I love your Belleek cups, such a delicate fine porcelain! And your table is beautifully dressed with that charmful tablecloth. I also shared some Belleek pieces in honour of St. Patrick today.
    Hugs from Portugal

  15. Well a very Happy St. Patrick's Day to you. I love the sweet little table cloth. Perhaps the little purple flowers are Irish Heather? I found a beautiful close-up picture of heather Erica cinerea 'Purple Beauty' here. - scroll about 1/3 the way down to picture #14. Purple is my favorite color, so it is lovely to see paired with shamrocks! I just saw on Cooks Country where they were cooking baked ziti in a slow cooker, and put aluminum foil sleeves around the edge to keep it from browning. Perhapd that will help your bread (?). Thank you sharing! :) ~Heather Elizabeth

  16. Hi Nora, Happy St. Patrick's Day! Your tablecloth is beautiful--aren't mom's the best? :) You have so much pretty belleek! I hope you get to go back to Ireland soon :)

  17. Violets and shamrocks do look lovely together! What wonderful linens you have and treasured keepsakes! I am so glad you shared your Belleck cups and saucers and teapot. I enjoyed seeing everything!

  18. Your Belleek is so pretty, so delicate...looks lovely with the charming linens!

  19. Thanks for posting this recipe!! It’s an excellent bread I’ve been making since 1973 – when I found Myrtle Allen’s recipe in Beard On Bread. Beard’s version doesn’t have any white flour and more salt(too much salt really). I sometimes use honey instead of molasses if that’s what I have on hand.
    I’m glad more people will be able to try this recipe!

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