Archive for the ‘The Practical and The Beautiful’ Category

My summer tea cup planter runneth over


It is the longest day. It is raining. I love the rain.

My cup runneth over is a phrase that conjures a meaning of having more than enough for one’s needs.

As the noise of the rain taps the windows, I have a view – my summer tea cup runneth over . This is quite literally, as it is a giant planter that was bought as a lovely gift. This is quite figuratively too, as with a little persuasion, my dearest is braving said rain for a picture of my beautiful giant summer tea cup. I have everything I need. I hope you adore it as much as I do – and that your cup runneth over.

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I have always loved the term “storm in a tea cup” – its utterance implies to those listening that what appears to one party to be a massive problem may from another perspective be just a small fleeting item of no real consequence. I do advise use of such a splendid phrase only at those moments of greatest need. I am sure you can imagine my delight when I discovered this wonderful tea set, complete with boat at the bottom of the cup , revealed when you have drained your tea – a quite delightful creation to illustrate this wonderful saying.

you will want this beautiful storm in a tea cup – from the gifted penguin

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……why yes, a terribly useful hook for all those things that need a place to be hung. Loved the quirky practical use of half a tea pot!

terribly practical tea pot spout hooks – Not on the high street

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Tea with Mary Kate is a huge Neal’s Yard fan. I make no apology for my brazon support for this quintessentially British Institution. And what is better still, this ethical independent family-owned British company has recently celebrated over 30 years since it sought to bring the expertise of the apothecary and a holistic approach to health and beauty to local people and their communities. Long may it continue to do so. But what has this organic beauty company got to do with tea I hear you ask, in all reasonableness frankly – well, my dears, they have created organic blends of tea with extraordinary healthful powers…….

Neal’s Yard Detox Tea

With carefully selected organic dandelion, burdock, plantain, nettle and cleavers, this organic blend will help to cleanse and purify, just what we need I hear you cry!

the extraordinary healthful power of Neals yard organic detox tea

While you could be wondering if we are to have a summer in the splendid British Isles, ever optimistic, Tea with Mary Kate was quite taken with this lovely organic summer Tea blend to help cool and soothe, with carefully selected organic eyebright, nettle, elderflower and peppermint. My dears, quite honestly, I am hoping the weather will mean I will need it!

The Extraordinary power though is that Neal’s Yard has gone beyond the health benefits of drinking tea to the Beauty of Tea

The beauty of Tea – Image from Fig + Sage

Indulge me, I know you will be converts already to the health benefits of tea. Indeed, while no other reason is required for the wonderful experience of drinking tea than it is a comforting, calming pleasure, alongside that unavoidable fact that there is a fantastic diversity of flavours to tantalise the taste buds –  I think there is another  addition to the health benefits of drinking tea. As well as inner health, what about the outer benefits?

Beautiful skin tea is a rather lovely blend from Neal’s Yard Remedies. Drink your way to beautiful skin indeed!

Neal’s Yard are pioneers in natural therapies. When most were focused on the chemical & synthetic, their vision was and still is to bring the apothecary back to life – I love the fact that Neal’s Yard wanted to connect with the knowledge of the past – & it is really resonating now more than ever.

Do also have a look at the Fig + Sage really interesting guest article on the beauty of tea by Bija body founder Melissa Picoli.

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Jubilee Tea Caddy by Emma Bridgewater

Oh my dears, if you have ever wondered what to buy all those leaf tea obsessed friends of yours, look no further than a quite splendid tea caddy celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. From the delightfully British Emma Bridgewater, Tea with Mary Kate will be adding this one to the collection to keep thoses leaves in tip top condition.

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When it comes to my tea ware, I do like to pride myself on a penchant for all things vintage – after all, when a girl needs a bit of authentic retro pampering,  a vintage tea cup is just the ticket from which to sip your glorious leaf tea – but my dears, can I trust you to keep a secret? Well, here is the thing now, I confess that my eye has been turned by the brand new Maxwell Williams Cashmere Aviary collection.

I think it is the quite lovely combination of songbirds and flowers that is tempting with the mixture of white, blue and pink – fear not thought I have not gone completely mad – it is bone china. Tea with Mary Kate is curious – are you new or old china?


Maxwell Williams Cashmere Aviary Collection - Not vintage but bone china

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Can you tell your orthodox from broken Pekoe? Are “first flush” and “single estate” familiar terms? 

If not, then with the huge interest in tea, and a few moments to spare, the opportunity on 28th June for a spot of tea tasting at Fortnum and Masons sounds just the ticket.

On a separate venture, Tea with Mary Kate was lucky enough to experience a spot of tea tasting with the generous time and tea knowledge of James Pogson, of Northern Tea Merchants.

Tea tasting with James was a hugely enjoyable experience, from learning how to assess the quality of tea to timing the brewing….and quite the best bit – the art of  slurping tea! Quite a marvellous enterprise, this allows you to learn how to really properly taste tea – there is even  a whole language around describing the leaves, the liquor colour, and all importantly, the taste.

Yorkshire Tea have also created a splendid video on How to master the art of slurping tea – really quite splendid stuff  – Tea with Mary Kate was enchanted!

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