Saturday, July 31, 2021

An Expensive Teapot

I'm closing the month of July with a picture of the world's most valuable teapot that came through my Facebook feed yesterday.

The teapot is called 'The Egoist' and was designed by Mr. Nirmal Sethia to reflect the radiance of his late wife.  It is valued at $3 million.  The purest diamonds and rubies decorate the teapot, all carefully selected.  1,658 brilliant-cut diamonds and 386 round brilliant-cut rubies sparkle and shine, with a centerpiece of a fine Thai ruby framed in the shape of a sun.

Mr. Sethia is the founder of premium brand Newby Teas in London, and the owner of the largest collection of rare and valuable tea-related artefacts in the world.  Among his collection is a silver gilt monkey teapot that once belonged to Admiral Nelson, made in Germany circa 1600, and Theodore Roosevelt's tea caddy.   

In addition to the Egoist, Mr. Sethia designed the Cobra teapot and eight others.  He has 1,700 teapots in his collection.

He says his 'first love' was tea when he became a tea taster at the age of 14 in London.  He believes tea is not just a hot drink, but an art and culture that is connected with nature and the philosophy of life.  He was quoted as saying, 'Tea is like a beautiful woman, not only recognized for her appearance, but also valued for her character.  Similarly, tea is valued for its character."

Friday, July 30, 2021

Afternoon Tea at the Pink House

My girlfriend, Lori, and I have kept in touch throughout COVID and its quarantine, but we haven't seen each other since before the pandemic began.   Imagine my delight when I received an e-mail from her last week asking if I'd like to go to the Pink House for tea with her.  She made reservations for yesterday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.   The Pink House is located in New Baltimore, MI [about 22 miles from my house], and has the same owner as the Royal Treat tearoom in Roseville, MI which I've previously blogged about.  

Mother Nature dumped rain earlier in the day leaving weather conditions hot and humid, so no one was dining on the patio.

We were first seated in the entry room, but asked to be changed to the main dining room.  It was a full house and every table was occupied.

~ Lori ~

This is the table we moved to.  Much cozier.

~ Yummy Scottish Scones ~

We each ordered the Quiche Lorraine with Raspberry Tea.

It was a delightful afternoon as we got caught up with each other's news.  When I got home I resumed my work on a new Shutterfly album I'm making.

I saw some beautiful Blue Willow wedding cakes on Pinterest and just had to share them in today's post.  They're almost too pretty to eat.

And some Blue Willow cookies.  You can purchase the edible wafer paper with Blue Willow designs from Fancy Flours.

Only one more day left in July.  The summer is speeding by.  I'm savoring every single day!

Sunday, July 25, 2021

A Victorian Bride at The Whitney

Three weddings took place at The Whitney yesterday, which is not unusual, but one in particular stood out when I got a glimpse of the bride.   As soon as I saw her, I knew her gown was from the mid-1800's era and she was emulating Queen Victoria whose wedding to her beloved Prince Albert took place on Feb. 10, 1840.

I wanted to take the bride's picture but didn't want to be intrusive.  Imagine my delight when I saw pictures on Facebook this morning of the wedding posted by Jackie Wakeling Jacobs, the seamstress who made the gown, and owner of Past Reflections. 

I had a brief opportunity to speak to the bride as I passed her in the hallway while she was waiting for the elevator.  I told her she looked beautiful and that she reminded me of wedding pictures of Queen Victoria.  She smiled and said her gown was authentic to the Victorian era.  

Below is Queen Victoria's wedding picture in her white silk satin gown.  She is credited with starting the tradition of white bridal gowns.

Enjoy the pictures from yesterday's wedding at The Whitney courtesy of Past Reflections.

I smiled when I saw one of our teapots and cups and saucers sitting on a table [lower left corner], because Queen Victoria, who loved tea, probably would have sipped it while getting ready for her wedding ceremony too.

~ The Ceremony ~

~ The Reception ~

~ The Bride, Emele ~

The small, intimate reception was held in Mr. Whitney's library.  Guests were given a china teacup as a remembrance of the happy occasion.

I first met Jackie Wakeling Jacobs back in 2005 when I helped at Tea by Three tearoom. Cheryl Nix, the owner, invited Jackie on a couple occasions for a program on vintage clothing.

The photo below was a Halloween tea and the topic was Victorian mourning clothes.  Jackie is shown modeling a mourning outfit she made.  Victorians took mourning very seriously.

Cheryl Nix [center], Jackie [right] and me [left].

I wish I would have seen Jackie yesterday, but I was busy with my responsibilities, and she was probably busy helping Emele.

I hope you enjoyed this Victorian wedding vicariously.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

It's Here!

My new-to-me repro French Veilleuse-Théières [pronounced VAY-yerz - TAT-ee-yair] arrived in the mail and I'm very pleased with my purchase.  Veilleuse means night light or side light and Théières means teapot.


Next was the decision of where to display it.  My living room built-ins are maxed out but I managed to find a spot above the piano, next to the figurines.  I needed a good excuse to climb up there to dust anyway.  ;-)

And while I was by the piano, I decided to indulge myself by taking 30 minutes or so out of my day to play some hymns that are always an inspiration.  I bought the hymnal pictured below in 1970 and it's almost a relic now, replaced by large screens used in most churches to project words to today's contemporary music.  I like a lot of the contemporary songs, but they can never replace the hymns that have so much depth and substance.

My piano playing revealed it's time [past time actually] to schedule a piano tuning!

In closing, here's a bit of 'this and that'.

I subscribe to Jan Whitaker's Restaurant-ing Through History blog.  She recently wrote a post about humorous names/lingo for simple restaurant orders that were used in the 1800's and early 1900's.  She said eggs received the most slang phrases because there were so many ways to prepare them.  An example for scrambled eggs on toast was 'wreck on a raft'.  

It was fun to see there were phrases for tea too.  The waiter referred to a cup of hot tea as, 'a cup of China', and a cup of tea without milk was 'Hong Kong on crutches'.  An order for a glass of ice water was 'An Artic'.  These phrases must have been created for amusement and to keep jobs from becoming boring.

*  *  *

I follow The Teacup Attic on Facebook, and this morning a photo of a giant floating teapot fountain in China was posted.

I was so intrigued I did a Google search and found there's more than one floating teapot fountain in the world.  One exists in Temple City, California too.  

When we were at Sweet Shalom last Friday, Teresa, who loves all things tea, mentioned she was coming to Michigan soon to pick up a statue called Tea Girl from Warmbier Farms near Bay City. She was making a day of it with stops at a couple of tearooms along the way.  I had never heard of this garden statue before, so had to search for it, and found a couple of pictures.  It's reasonably priced at $74 and is one of Teresa's birthday presents.  Happy Birthday, Teresa!

Have you made any new discoveries lately?

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Tea at Sweet Shalom

You may remember my post last month when I mentioned an ATAA [Afternoon Tea Across America] e-group meet-up that tea friend and fellow ATAA member, Teresa Weddelman, was coordinating at Sweet Shalom tearoom in Sylvania, Ohio.  She wanted a gathering before Sweet Shalom closes its doors for business at the end of the summer.

Friday, July 16th was the day.  Through a torrential rain storm to pick up my girlfriend, Sandy, [44 miles away], we made our way to Sylvania, Ohio [another 47 miles], and got there in time for our 11:00 a.m. reservations.

July's theme was Tea Tripping through Toledo.

Pictured below is Teresa with her granddaughter, Madeline, who was the perfect little lady at the tea party.  Notice her white wicker teapot purse sitting on the table.  Teresa is training her right because she has a fabulous tea-themed purse collection too!

Our ATAA gathering was small - just seven of us, but the tearoom was filled with other guests too. If you weren't able to make it, we missed you. I met an ATAA member I had never met before, Pat James-Hasser, who brought her 90-year-old mother.  Pat lives in Ohio and does tea party catering. She also has a large herb farm [PJ Herbs].

The tea began with light and flaky cream scones with butter and strawberry jam.  The tea we chose to begin our tea was Blueberry Green by Harney & Sons.  It tasted great and was very aromatic.  I'll be placing an order for some soon.

The photo below is Amy [in yellow outfit] and Kimberly. Both are elementary school teachers from southeastern Michigan who spend their summers going to tea outings.  Amy has been pictured on my blog before.   She's one of my blog followers.

I bought a hat when I visited Sweet Shalom last time [2019], and chose an outfit to wear on Friday that would coordinate with it, but ended up leaving it in the car with the inclement weather.  Next time!  ;-)

The scone course was followed by zesty 'Mud Hen' salad on Boston Lettuce.  Mud Hen is the name of Toledo's minor league baseball team.

The tiered server came out next.  Open faced cucumber tea sandwiches were on the top tier. Bottom tier contained spinach nibbles, open faced fresh tomato tea sandwiches, and a delicious slice of savory onion tart.  On the middle tier were orange/blueberry crumb muffins, and honey nut bars. Yummy!

The grand finale was Chocolate Mousse.  It was the perfect ending.

~ Amy and me ~

Because the tearoom is closing, everything in the gift shop [except tea] is 50% off.   Kimberly bought a lovely hat and I purchased one almost identical.  I love the wavy ruffles and the hat is so light and airy.

I also bought Sweet Shalom's second cookbook and an old issue of The Daily Tea.  I did a happy dance when I discovered the cookbook contains a recipe for orange pinwheel scones.  I'm so anxious to make them.  The Daily Tea is a digital subscription with a printed annual magazine that came to fruition after Pearl Dexter's TEA A Magazine ceased publication. 

~ Teresa and me ~

~ Sandy and me ~

Before we left to go our separate ways, Teresa gifted each of us with a box containing chocolates and six teas so we could do a chocolate and tea tasting at home, complete with instructions.  Thanks for your generosity and creativity, Teresa!

It was a fun day, and best wishes to Sara and Chris as they begin a new chapter in their lives when Sweet Shalom closes.

Yesterday was a busy day at The Whitney serving tea to 77 guests.  Sandy and her daughter and three friends came for tea so she had two tea outings back-to-back.  I intended to get some pictures, but was so busy I forgot.

When I got home from work, a book order from Hoffman media was sitting on the table.  

Hoffman Media has a great sale going on right now and these are my newest acquisitions. I already had the Tea and Scones book but this is a new expanded edition, so I ordered it.  I'm looking forward to relaxing with a cup of tea and these books today.

I may make my tea in this new-to-me Nikko teapot that a lady from church sent home with my hubby.  The pattern is Blue Peony.  Thanks, Lisa!