Sometimes I feel I belong to an older era. A romantic, old fashioned one which I frequently re live through reading and watching costume dramas on TV. I simply love the clothing, the characters and the period.The details of how we used to live fascinate me and if there were such a thing as a ‘magic globe’ (like there is in my English text books I work from at school), I would definitely travel back in time. Tea time played and still plays an important role today especially amongst the British and the Asians. For many a daily cup of loose leaf is one of life’s greatest pleasures.
In Cyprus, tea is very much associated with being ill. For me growing up in London meant having afternoon tea every day after school, a real English custom. Since becoming an adult it has evolved into a ritual amongst friends and family but with a difference no ‘English breakfast or Darjeeling ’it’s herbal and infused and so very ‘green’.
I love many aspects of Winter and one of them is that it is associated with tea. And tea equates to socialising over a good ‘old cuppa’. Monday afternoons are quite often spent with a particular friend and it is always centred around tea: the type of tea, where we will drink it, (normally in the back end of her garden) and what cup we will enjoy it in. This is our time and it is precious. Week nights find me finishing off the day with hot herbal tea, snuggled in bed ready for wind down and movie watching. Dinner parties invariably end up with me serving tea in my ‘hand-me -down tea set’ from mum. My youngest son also enjoys tea time with mummy and it has become a morning and afternoon treat for him. Basically in one way or another my life revolves around tea and all the trimmings.
A hot favourite of mine is ‘Whittard of Chelsea’, especially their green teas. Green tea with mango and bergamot is my number one – picture 1, so is green tea with jasmine – picture 2. I also love mountain tea, a variety of local herbs mixed together, for example mint, lavender, chamomile and rose, another is clove and cinnamon infused tea (right, Lydia?) – picture 4. In general, all herbal teas are great.
Why I think I belong to a different era is how I drink my tea. A bone china tea cup when home alone is a must but my much loved ‘mini’ tea set always comes out when I have guests. I definitely have a thing with tea sets. Apart from my silver tea set, a family heirloom given to me from my Yiayia (grandmother) and a bone china Wedgewood she bought me as a wedding gift – picture 1, (rather modern for my liking) I have a part of one from my mum which comes out often and decorated just the way I love. Delicate, flowery and light – picture 2. Unfortunately, it is not as complete as I’d like it to be. Every Winter I plan on buying my dream tea set but somehow I never get round to it.
If you are a tea lover, you need to drink tea in the right cup and saucer. Finding the right tea set is just as important as discovering your favourite teas. The set you chose will become one of your prized possessions and one that can be passed down to generations to come.
In my opinion, tea always tastes better when sipping from a bone china floral- printed cup.
Here are a few that I’ve got my eye on and they all happen to be Royal Albert: