Archive for the ‘The Practical and The Beautiful’ Category


Too cute red squirrel tea cosy

Too cute red squirrel tea cosy

I officially ADORE this tea cosy – from the unlikely but quite marvellous Jane Beck Welsh blankets. It is really too cute for Christmas – with a red squirrel who by all accounts ought to be all tucked up for winter – mind you, as it has been quite mild of late, you could be forgiven for keeping your squirrel up and about and occupied for the christmas festivities by deploying him to manage things on the tea front  – I do wish you a a very merry warm and cosy tea time.

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make your own tea - in this lovely Tisaniere from Sarah Raven

make your own tea – in this lovely Tisaniere from Sarah Raven

Most of the time I love to drink robust black tea but there are times my dears when a healing herbal infusion is just the thing. This is where the “make your own tea range” from Sarah Raven  comes into its own. I adore the lovely tisaniere or if you need just one cup the tea for one infuser will be just the ticket, although quite honestly I cannot image too many situations where one cup would suffice . Then, there are the rather cute tea bags for keeping your herbs in with its practical metal clip but ensuring the flavour gets out. The main reason I think the whole range is so utterly charming though is that you can grow your own herbs to infuse – splendid stuff.

make your own tea - with these lovely tea bags from Sarah Raven

make your own tea – with these lovely tea bags from Sarah Raven

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manly tea mug - Emma Bridgewater black hatch

A manly tea mug – Emma Bridgewater black hatch

Well, fellow tea drinkers, in a rather unusual move for me, I am going to be all enthusiastic about drinking tea from a half pint MUG – yes, almost heretic I know, however, this mug is a rather special one crated by none other than the queen of British pottery, Emma Bridgewater. It is bold in black & white & as you can fit a proper half a pint of tea in this mug, I have nicknamed it manly – perfect for the male of the species who isn’t that keen on drinking his tea from a china tea cup – and yes, I know I don’t know why either as it tastes so much better, but this is quite the next best thing I think. Bravo Emma for such a gorgeous design.

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Wouldn’t it be dreadful to live in a country where they didn’t have tea?

So said Noel Coward. Quite honestly, what self respecting tea drinker could possibly disagree. Indeed, I would go so far as to advocate the need to employ some sort of tea strategy to avoid at all costs that situation where you are unable to get a decent cuppa. Well, you wouldn’t wish to be caught short, craving for that all important and restorative cup of tea, especially when you are on holiday and meant to be having a splendid time.

Here are some thoughts on potential options:

1 Find a fabulous tea room PDQ (that’s pretty darn quick)

A local option is frankly an upside miracle in some situations, and plan B at best.  but what a rescue if you can locate such an establishment.

There is hope for this approach, as I have stumbled across some lovely places whilst on my travels.

2 Locate an amazing leaf tea supplier

I shudder to think of the scenario if, heaven forbid, you are in the inevitable position of having left or, she gasps in amazement, forgotten to pack your tea supplies from home. In this case, you’ll be hoping for strategic option 1, however, failing this, finding a seller of gorgeous leaf tea is then another possibility to remedy the omission.

3 Create you very own, home from home, portable travelling tea kit

As you may have guessed, this is my preferred approach, as at least you know you have something to fall back on! What I would advise, strongly is to create, or find your own kit. In my kit is an unbreakable tea pot, flasks with hot water and cold milk, and the all important leaf and ahem, tea bags (one never knows the constraints of the situation that may dictate the tea making…needs must and frankly this is preferable to no tea at all), flasks, and lovely cups. What I would just love to have in my possession though is a gorgeous vintage tea making picnic hamper. No hot water flasks requited here as the means to heat water is part of the set up. Quite frankly, freshly boiled water is so much better for tea making.

Beautiful and Practical Tea Picnic Hamper – From Huey Ying Hsu pinterest

If abroad from old Blighty, there are other key tea factors at play

I do confess that even the self created tea kit does have its limitations however……..The water will be different  for sure. I remember using filtered water when I lived in the US, and still tea just never quite was the same. I could not achieve that perfectly remembered brew until I returned home. Then, there is the additional complication if you take anything in your tea. As I am one of those, it is access to fresh milk that taxes me, and in hotter climes, my experience is that this is virtually an impossibility. Without wishing to sound like I am never going to leave the security of my home for fear of the lack of a decent cup of tea, one country that delighted the tea sense was Japan. I would return in a heartbeat.

It goes without argument then that when you are a tea girl who is a long way from home, clearly, one would wish to avoid being caught short. I’d be thrilled to hear of any more idea for avoiding such a dire situation as lacking tea while travelling.

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Practical & beautiful Teapot Vase – Talking tables pastries and pearls

Just perfect for adding that finishing touch to any self respecting vintage afternoon tea party, I loved these paper teacup vases from Paper Parlour. Practical as well as beautiful, they have a clever plastic inner to ensure your flowers remain in perfect bloom and the teapot does not get soggy. I will be rushing to order as very fortunately have a surfeit of lovely flowers at the moment.

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Pylones is an innovative company that takes everyday objects and designs them into wonderful animations that are both practical and amusing.

My personal favourite that exemplifies this was the squid shaped whisk but frankly my dears, that was before I discovered their new range of kettles. Heavily disguised as teapots,I adore the description of these colourful creations for boiling water almost as much as the objects themselves. Quite honestly, Pylones kettle description is just too fabulous not to include, so I do so, word for excellent word:

Behind my cool exterior, I’m boiling with passion. I’m steaming with desire and bubbling with anticipation. When I start to boil I turn myself off, ready to serve you the perfect cuppa.

Pylones teapot shaped Kettle Byzance – Boiling with passion

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Su Blackwell is a very talented artist, sculpting her art from books. Being a tea obsessed kind of girl, I adore her Alice, a mad tea party, The detail of the cups, teapot, table and chairs is exquisite. I am sure you will love it too.

Alice, a mad paper tea party by Su Blackwell

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