Everything Stops for Tea

Look at these beauties!  

When my daughters were little, I used to collect odds and ends of china. Some of it was given to me and some, like a pair of very beautiful ’thirties vegetable tureens, I had to save very hard for. Then life took a difficult turn and I had to part with some of my treasures and I lost heart in my collection. 

When Tom and I set up home, I was about to put what remained of my china safely in the back of a cupboard when Tom said, ‘why don’t we just use it?’

Use it?

Once I’d got over the shock, I realised what an utter joy it is to use beautiful things rather than look at them. Yes, sometimes they get broken, but at least they’ve had a life rather sitting unused where no one ever sees them.

It was for that reason, at the weekend, that MiL presented me with this incredibly pretty tea set that’s been stored in her loft for too long. There’s six of everything, except for a missing cup and, since I also have a bit of a tea fetish - especially when it’s accompanied by a slice of cake - they’re going to be well-used.

And as for everything stopping, well our car, The Biscuit Tin, is currently roaring like a Ferrari thanks to a broken exhaust so we’re off to Carmarthen at Crack of Doom tomorrow hoping that the very expensive and very rare (apparently) exhaust the garage has ordered actually does the job. Wish us luck!


Flowerpot said…
My husband loved good china and would always drink his tea out of a china cup! Glad the Biscuit Tin is going again Chris. Take care x
The Pocketeers said…
I used to collect Carlton Ware with a passion, but once it started to take over I sold it but still have a lovely Rouge Royale coffee set. Tea and coffee taste so much better out of beautiful cups and yours look lovely!
The Pocketeers said…
Sorry, should have signed that last posting! Cara Cooper
elizabethm said…
I subscribe totally to the idea of using beautiful things. Your cups are gorgeous.
Pondside said…
I hope that the car is purring again.
I love pretty china too and like to set the table with different bits and pieces.
I'm enjoying Turning the Tide and looking forward to the next one!
Fennie said…
My MIL used to say that if there was one thing that she couldn't abide it was thick china. (Actually there were lots of things she couldn't abide but that's another story). Do hope your exhaust is by now fixed and you haven't any longer got what a policeman who looked at my car once told me was not a broken exhaust but just a 'sporty motor.'
Cottage Garden said…
I agree Chris - such beautiful things should be used and enjoyed. I'm sure you will enjoy many a cuppa courtesy of your lovely set.

Hope all things mechanic have been sorted.

her at home said…
I too used to collect old china cups adn saucers and pretty plates, I sold a lot before we left England and now wish I hadn't so for my birthday I bought myself a single bone china breakfast cup with 1920's handpainted flowers on i. It brings me joy every morning and lifts my spirits when I'm low.
I love using my lovely old cups and saucers they seem so much more delicate than newer pieces and so pretty.
Frances said…
Chris, I am another one who prefers to sip tea from a cup that's lovely (although I do admit to sipping from a serviceable mug from time to time.)

The tea set in your photo is so pretty, I can just imagine what holding one of those cups, with tea inside, might feel like. Your Mother in Law is a generous lady.

Best Easter wishes to you and Tom. xo
Very covetable tea set there, Chris. And, yes, I agree tea goes down so very much better when accompanied by cake.

(I know what Fennie's MIL means by 'thick china'. I have a set stashed away especially for when we have builders in.)
Chris Stovell said…
Thanks, Sue.

I know what you mean about it taking over, Cara! I think using the china instead of looking at it means I'm enjoying it in a good way now (we hope!)

Thanks, Elizabeth.

Pondside, we're back in business - and thank you for your kind comment about Turning the Tide.

Yes, sporty motor now more... just as well, sporty Biscuit Tin doesn't quite fit. Hmmm, are you going to tell us more about your MiL, Fennie?

Jeanne, thank you.

HaH, I hope that 1920s cup is working its magic for you. Goodness knows you need a bit of a lift after recent events. Hope life is on the up now.

Debs, they are a joy, aren't they?

Frances, it was very kind of MiL to put them in my direction. They're a very fine eggshell china but not too hot to hold so lovely to drink from.

LBD, how lovely to see you. It's about time we caught up - have had quite a run of it but will email you as soon as I draw breath (which, after a horrendous sinus infection, I thought I would never
do again!!)
galant said…
Friends sometimes tease (no pun intended) for using tea cups and saucers, but we love to use pretty things and I do believe tea especially tastes better from porcelain than it does from lumpen pottery! Keep using your pretty china and getting pleasure from it. Why keep such things hidden away. Unless they are priceless pieces, originally made as 'cabinet' pieces, then these things were made to be used.
Margaret P

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