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Enamel Tea Pot

Enamel Tea Pot – Ideal for Traveling

I was not planning on buying a new tea pot, it just sort of happened. I am unable even to profess the need for a new teapot – the word need is such a subjective word mind you…….

In any event, I do have a new year policy – one in, one out. So there’s a decision to be made for the clear out – although to be honest I think there is a need for a rule change – I will clear out and donate something to a worthy charity, it just may not be a like for like exchange…….I can see the way this will go…….

“surrounded by beautiful teapots with not a plate to eat on, she was none the less totally contented, the only issue was the struggle to eat a meal out of a teapot instead from a plate”……….mmm….I am sure it won’t some to this……….

At this point, you could be forgiven for asking what has this to do with the new year? Well, as well as the year, my tea pot is new and signals a few resolutions for the new year

– to be grateful that I am able to buy things that I consider beautiful and practical.

– to remember all the wonderful shared moments I have spent sharing (and not) a lovely cup of tea

– to relish change and things that herald the beginning of a new year

But I digress – this practical purchase is for a specific purpose and it is this – picnics in wonderful places while travelling the world where a tea girl cannot possibly be without the ability to maker a proper cuppa. After quite a dilemma with a lovely red tea pot, I have chosen classic white with a blue rim for my tea ware which I adore.

I confess I have brewed tea in some unlikely places much to my travelling companions frustration – then he takes his first sip and has to concede, reluctantly he’ll be the first to tell you, but none the less concede that a cup of tea is just what he needed, yes needed!

So, my dears, if you have plans, or no plans at all, make 2014 the year you reflect on all that you have already and think about your new year resolutions and strive to have a go of at least some of them – what are we waiting for? I know you will wish me luck with my travelling tea pot – which you can see I have already chipped – I anticipate more chips along the way!

Christmas Tea Time

Christmas tea time – with a lovely vintage china tea cup

More than ever I am convinced that there is contentment in the ordinary, that every moment can be made joyful, or rushed passed and missed, and that there is meaning in the small things, including spending a moment to create and enjoy a tea at Christmas time.

Christmas tea time ideas can be simple or elaborate, expensive or thrifty. The overriding point is that they are to give you space and time to breathe, to relax and to connect, either back with yourself or with others that during the year you have been just “too busy” to see.

My dears, you will know already I have a bias for vintage china tea cups. My perfect Christmas tea time is served in front of a roaring fire, teaspoons in saucers tinkle like bells, while aromatic candle light flickers. Bringing in foliage from the garden is a quick and lovely way to create instant drama and atmosphere – I love holly and ivy and branches of pine trees with dried oranges and cinnamon framed in big dramatic candle sticks.

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Christmas Tea Time with beautiful holly & ivy

Christmas Tea Time

I adore being able to have a little bit of everything, so my perfect Christmas tea time consists of bite size morsels which avoids me having to make any decisions or choices. Quite honestly, I spend whole days doing this at work, so it is hardly a surprise to want to avoid it at all costs for Christmas tea time. And do I need to say, it is all served on vintage white table linen edged with lace or crotchet. Tartan is another option but I am feeling this tea is a gentle affair.

My perfect choices for a christmas tea include:

Home made Christmas cake

Millionaires shortbread with salted caramel in perfect small squares

Miniature mince pies with home made mince meat with a rather large dollop of brandy butter

All served with Assam or a nice bold tea blend. It goes without saying that this is leaf tea, as the tea needs both depth and flavour that you can only get from brewing leaves to balance and complement the sweetness of the cake and pastry.

Even if you are not particularly religious, quite simply Christmas tea time can create magical moments, a time to laugh and to love. May your Christmas tea be a time that is nurturing and healing and one that gives you, and others, what you wish for sand need at Christmas.

Christmas Afternoon Tea with Reindeer Cup Cakes

Christmas Afternoon Tea with Reindeer Cup Cakes

Tea for Two

why send flowers when you can send biscuits?

Biscuiteer Tea for Two – Why send flowers when you can send biscuits?

“Why send flowers when you could send biscuits?” Why indeed?! 

This rather splendid question raised my expectations and I for one was not disappointed by the marvellous creativity of Biscuiteers – you could choose a tin of nativity biscuits – quite appropriate for time of year – or a tin of Christmas Tree biscuits – which they argue no Christmas tree would be complete without – and who am I to argue? …………Except there was no contest in my mind – Tea with Mary Kates immediate choice was a personalised tea for two – anyone for tea and an almost too amazing to eat biscuit?

 

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.

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

Always on the look out for lovely things to do with tea, I found this rather splendid afternoon tea tile from Marlborough  tiles. My dears, so lovely is it that to justify a purchase I am thinking of all kinds of walls that need to be tiled………………I hope you think it is lovely too.

Lovely afternoon tea tile from Marlborough tiles

afternoon tea tile 

Lahloo Tea's Oolong

Mindfulness – brewing tea as a way to finding peace in a frantic world

In all our lives, I think there are times when we will feel fine, content even – we are contributing to the world in a way that is meaningful to us. Then there are the other times when it’s decidedly out of kilter. Before your mind even leaps to the question “What has this to do with tea?”, I am going to ask you to pause, to breathe and hear me out.

When we feel out of sorts in a way that we are unable to solve and quite honestly would benefit from a little guiding help to rediscover our more centred and grounded self, this is where the discovery of Mindfulness – A practical guide to peace in a frantic world – comes into its own.

To practise, authors Prof Mark William’s and Danny Penman ask for an activity to be identified that “mindfulness” can be applied to. In other words, they seek a daily activity to which we can apply their “be in the now” philosophy. Frankly, my dears, it will come as no great surprise what the activity is that I identified – yes,making a cup of tea.

As I reach for the teapot, I am already observing my breathing, listening for the kettle to boil, then really hearing the hiss of the water on the tea, experiencing the distinctive aroma, the feel of the china in my hand, and anticipating that first warm sip. Already, experiencing this “now” has already slowed my breathing and reconnected me to the present.

MINDFULNESS focuses on promoting joy and peace rather than banishing unhappiness. It’s precisely focused to help ordinary people boost their happiness and confidence levels whilst also reducing anxiety, stress and irritability.

More tea anyone?