This is my first official blog as a newly appointed Love Cat so I wanted to share something about one of my great loves- tea. I start each day with a cup of black tea and I have different cups for different times of the day. I know what you're thinking and you would be right. I'm obsessive!
I grew up in the era ( or maybe it was just my particular household) where the only drinks we had were tea or coffee or water. Soft/soda drinks, cordials and alcohol were special occasion drinks such as Christmas and birthdays. So I began drinking tea quite early in my life and literally cannot start the day without my cuppa. And it has to be hot. Piping, burn-the-lips-on-the-first-sip hot!
I inherited my grandmother's tea set and it is one of my most treasured possessions. She brought it out with her from England in 1914 when she came to live with a doctor's family in Sydney as a governess. She was waiting for my grandfather to join her after he finished serving in the war. ( This sounds like the plot of a historical, doesn't it?) My grandmother died when I was six and I wasn't given the tea set until my fortieth birthday, but in all those years I never saw anyone use it. It was in the special items cupboard at my parents' house and considered too fancy to be used.
Guess what I did as soon as I got it in my hot little hands? Yes. I had a tea party! Yay. I adored using those cups for the first time.
I have other tea sets I've found at flea markets ( see above photo) that I use much more often than my grandmother's one. I would hate anything to happen to any one of those lovely cups and saucers and cake plates as it would feel like I was losing a part of my grandmother's legacy. But it doesn't stop me using it on select occasions. I now have my own special items cabinet- a French one that I adore.
Do you have a special treasure at your house? Do you use it or just look at it?
I have a signed copy of my most recent release Unwrapping His Convenient Fiancee as well as a copy of my last release, His Mistress For A Week, which incidentally has a heroine with an obsession about a tea cup!
I'm a kitchen gadgets type of gal. Don't even know what some are for, but just can't resist 'inventing' a use for them. One of my favourites is a Victorian bean shredder, which, amazingly, still works. I found this on one of my 'sorties' with mum just before she died, so it has sentimental value too. Unfortunately, it got lost in one of our many moves. After our last move, I discovered a package stuffed in a rather ugly vase I'd earmarked for the charity shop. Yay. My bean shredder. It now sits proudly on a shelf in my kitchen. Quirky, historical and a reminder of my lovely mumReplyDelete
That's a great story, Pam- a perfect ending too! It's lovely finding stuff you've lost.Delete
I can safely say I have never used a bean shredder but it sounds like a handy tool to have.
I do love teas sets and I have a few myself that were my Mums sadly I don't use them they are away in a cupboard and I also have a few assorted cup saucer and plate sets that are all different I started collecting them before I got married and I even have one that was bought out to commemorate the birth of Princess Margaret the Queen's sister that was my husbands grandmothers it has budgies on it very special and I have used my sets a few times although not for a long time :)
You're not alone in keeping the nice things out of harm's way!
Thanks for sharing. 😊
I don't have a tea set, but I have my great grandmother's beaded purse that she brought with her as a 16 year old in 1888 when she and her 17 year old sister immigrated from Austria to the USA. It is 8x6 inches, completely beaded with Egyptian motifs, and has an ornate silver bar clasp across the top. It is in a shadow box on my bedroom wall, along with an amber bead necklace and earrings that she wore in a photo taken on her wedding day. I can't imagine immigrating without parents now, let alone way back then. Those items remind me to be brave.ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness, that's another amazing story. People were so brave in the past. Thanks for sharing.Delete
Melanie, you make me yearn to get a tea set. Yours are beautiful, and I love the affection attached to your grandmother's set. I do have a china cup and saucer from my great grandmother...it's not expensive, but it's lovely and I do use it occasionally.ReplyDelete
My other treasure is a beautiful pair of crystal champagne flutes that were a wedding present. Mr Douglas and I bring them out every anniversary. They make the bubbles taste that much more special. :-)
I just adore nice glasses, Michelle! That's a whole new blog. 😊🍸🍸I have special ones for different occasions too.Delete
I do not have special treasures in my house. When I got married, I specifically didn't want a "good china set" nor a "silverware set". I wanted everyday things to use every day.ReplyDelete
Shortly after marrying, my husband bought me a beautiful watch that had a fine dangling chain on it. I said it would get caught on my keyboard at work, so I asked him to take it back, as I wasn't going to wear it. He suggested keeping it for good and I said no, that I already had a good watch that I wear everyday (given to me by a former elderly neighbour), and why spend all that money on something only worn a few times a year, so he took it back. He has learned that I am very practical and only have things in my home that can be used. The only things that don't have a useful purpose would be the paintings on several walls. They, and fresh flowers (and books), give me joy.
Can you tell I'm a low maintenance type of person? I rarely wear makeup (and even then, it is only lip gloss), I don't wear jewelry (they itch), I have short hair (because I get headaches when it gets too long), I don't own many shoes (as I wear orthotics), I wear jeans most days (as it's hard to find pants long enough for me otherwise), my clothes are worn for years until they wear out, and I never go shopping just for something to do. We don't make much money, but, because I don't spend much money and always stock up on groceries on sale, we are still able to have a good life. It works for me/us....
Laney, you sound very practical indeed! But in the nicest possible way, of course. 😀Delete
Melanie, those tea sets are so beautiful. I always feel bad if I don't use my "good" things but I'm also wary of them being broken. It's a fine line there, isn't it? I have my good silver and dinner set but we got out of the habit of entertaining formally when the kids were small and when it was more appreciated if I could just put everything in the dishwasher after an event. Appreciated by me, anyway, LOL!ReplyDelete
I do love a good cup of tea out of bone china though. It really does taste better that way.
I remember those dinner parties we all used to do way back. Life is too busy these days.Delete
I'm with you on the tea tastes nicer in a china cup!
I'm addicted to tea and adore beautiful china, Melanie, and have several sets myself although I dont often drink tea out of the china more because the cups are too small and I like a great big fat mug for my tea addiction :-)ReplyDelete
My favourite thing in the world to do - apart from read - is to poke around in antique shops and I have two china cabinets similar to yours with bits and bobs of china I have bought along the way. I love the delicacy of the fine china of yesteryear.
My Mum had two gorgeous Shelley tea sets which are still with my dad but he's bringing them to me and my sister at Christmas so we can have a set each and remember her and how much she loved them. She also has a Royal Doulton china lady collection which we are going to divvy up to the granddaughters.
How lovely that you'll have something your mum loved. It is so special to have those treasures to remember her by.Delete
Melanie, I think drinking tea out of fine china makes it taste better. Ditto for eating off proper plates! That's why I love tea parties.ReplyDelete
We have a Wedgewood dinner set we received as a wedding gift that's just gorgeous and only gets used occasionally but I always enjoy doing so as it feels so special but also good to use it. I've a few bits and pieces from my family too that I treasure.
Welcome again to the Love Cats. It's wonderful having you here.
I am very glad to be here! 😃Delete
It is lovely drinking or eating off gorgeous plates, etc. I think I'll have to have a high tea party soon!
Hello Michelle, I not have a treasure in my house, but like to buy crystal glasses and coffee cups in fine china, but then do not use them because I am afraid to break them.ReplyDelete
It is hard not to worry about breaking them.Delete
I have a gorgeous glass bowl I bought in Italy ten years ago- I haven't used it once!
I have a special tea cup and saucer, welcome!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the welcome!Delete
I love beautiful china. Now that my children are grown we do use the china. Mostly for birthdays & Christmas. It was made to be used and enjoyed. It is fulfilling it's purpose.ReplyDelete
It's a great feeling to use nice things, isn't it, Mary?Delete
Thanks for sharing!
What a lovely post, Melanie. I too, love china and have collected some lovely things from antique markets. The irony of it is, though, is that I don't drink tea!ReplyDelete
That's funny, Kandy! One of life's ironies!Delete
I love tea as well. I need to start my day with a coffee, admittedly, but I love a soothing cup of tea in the afternoon. Your vintage tea set is just beautiful!ReplyDelete
I have a little collection of vintage tea cups which are sadly in storage back home in Melbourne, so I can't use them here. But my husband bought me a beautiful Royal Albert set for my 30th birthday and had it waiting for me when I arrived in Canada. He knows how much I love my tea ;)
You don't look old enough to have had a 30th!
Royal Albert stuff is gorgeous- I have a few pieces now. Your husband is a keeper. 😀
Those are beautiful tea sets, Melanie! We do have some fun teacups ourselves, but I think our favorites are the Japanese style ones without handles. And really, I'm kind of a klutz with our china, so my favorite treasures are my signed keepers :D (I also had a few pieces of jewelry--gifts from my parents, mostly--that were special, but alas, some of those were recently stolen.)ReplyDelete
I'm sorry to hear your lovely things were stolen, Fedora, that's awful.ReplyDelete
I quite like the Japanese cups too, I would love to do a tea ceremony one day. It's on my list! Thanks for posting.
I have chosen my winner. Laurie, if you would email me with your address I will get the books to you. My email is: firstname.lastname@example.orgReplyDelete
Thanks everyone for commenting!