Monday, February 23, 2015

The British Pantry

This past weekend it snowed all day Saturday, which messed up my plans--I was going to have some friends over for a special tea party. 
Oh well, we haven't gotten much of it this winter, so I guess we were due. 

Hopefully nothing will go wrong with my rescheduled date of next Saturday so I can still feature my party on the blog next week.  Luckily, I went to tea at a local tea room called the British Pantry right before Valentine's Day, so I'll just move up sharing that tea to today!

 The British Pantry (located in Aldie, Virginia--about 25 minutes from my house) not only serves afternoon tea, but it also sells all sorts of British imports.    You can't really tell how cute the place is from the outside, which just makes it all the more fun a place to visit for  tea.

Another fun feature of the store is the old London telephone booth out along the road--perfect advertisement! 

The tea room, which takes up roughly half of the building, was decorated for Valentine's Day.  They really did a wonderful job making this area into a quant tea room!


Each table had a different set of china:

We were seated at the last table with poppy dishes in front of the window. 
My chair faced the wall and this beautiful print:

We each chose a pot of tea from a nice sized collection of teas, many of which were Republic of Tea.  I got a Lady Grey,

and of course there was a pretty bone china creamer and sugar on the table.

The food was very good, and there was a lot of it!

For the savories:

spinach and bacon and cheese quiches, sausage rolls,

 and tea sandwiches including salmon salad, roast beef and mustard, cucumber, egg salad, and a delicious chicken salad  in a phyllo cup. 
For dessert, we had a Victorian sponge cake, cranberry cookie bars (a cake-like bar with orange zest and white chocolate and cranberries, topped with a cream cheese frosting), mint chocolate layered dessert (with a chocolate cookie bottom, peppermint frosting center and topped with a chocolate fudge), and strawberries.  These were all delicious, but the Victorian sponge cake was my favorite.

After finishing dessert, our scone course was brought out with more strawberries.  These were plain buttermilk scones and they were delicious with real clotted cream and strawberry preserves. 

After enjoying  tea, we headed back out to check out the shop with its pretty collections of china
 for sale,
including two cottage sets.

There was a bunch of British themed gifts, both tea related

 and apparel.
A backroom had a gorgeous purple table with thistles and violets,
including this lovely two tiered tray.

A couple of tea tables were also set and ready for tea:


Thanks for joining me!

I'm linking to this tea parties this week:

Bernideen's Friends Sharing Tea 
and Rose Chintz Cottage's Tea Time Tuesday 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Peach tea lip balm!

Okay, so lately I feel like I've been mentioning Celestial Seasonings tea a lot, but their advertising department has been doing terrific lately!

I was in the grocery store again (amazing how that happens every week!), and looking for a new nighttime herbal tea.  I was going to try something from a different brand, but I saw the free lip balm sticker, and immediately grabbed this box of Celestial Seasonings Peach Passion tea. When I got home, I opened the box and the bag surrounding the tea,

and there was the lip balm!
It smells and tastes peachy!  Just like the tins from last month, free stuff definitely encourages me to get Celestial Seasonings teas.  It has also gotten me to try some different ones--I haven't gotten their peach tea in a very long time--I forgot how good it is!  It has a very strong (and yummy) peach taste.  I checked their website, and there was no mention of the lip balm giveaway on their promotions page, so I'm not sure if any other teas will have lip balms included too.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Chinese New Year

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, I have a little tea vignette.

Today starts the year of the sheep (or goat, or ram). 

Here is a bit about people born in the year of the sheep:

"People born in a year of the [sheep] are generally believed to be gentle mild-mannered, shy, stable, sympathetic, amicable, and brimming with a strong sense of kindheartedness and justice.
They have very delicate thoughts, strong creativity, and perseverance, and acquire professional skills well. Although they look gentle on the surface, they are tough on the inside, always insisting on their own opinions in their minds. They have strong inner resilience and excellent defensive instincts.
Though they prefer to be in groups, they do not want to be the center of attention. They are reserved and quiet, most likely because they like spending much time in their thoughts. [Sheep] like to spend money on fashionable things that give them a first class appearance. Although [sheep] enjoy spending money on the finer things in life, they are not snobbish."

Taken from

You can also follow that link to look up where you fall in the zodiac and see how 2015 will shape up for you!

Somewhat related update:
I was at my local post office yesterday and needed some new stamps and, since I noticed they had lunar new year stamps, got a book of those.  They are gorgeous!

Monday, February 16, 2015

February Tea

I set the table today for a little purple tea to go with a lovely cake my sister ordered for me for my birthday from a local bakery, Cakes by Happy Eatery.

This is definitely the fanciest birthday cake I've ever had!  The cake had purple roses, violets, and pansies that match the china I set the table with to share tea and birthday cake.  Purple is perfect for a February birthday party :) 

As you can see, there were teacups on the side of the cake in the front, as well as teapots!

The teapot I served tea in (a lavender earl grey, one of my favorite teas) is by Grace's Teaware and was a birthday gift from my parents.  The teapot has large purple pansies and smaller white flowers. 

I have two tea trios on the table as well:

A violet chintz pattern by Grace's Teaware,

and Hammersley Victorian Violets.

In the center of the table I placed a Royal Albert figurine I've had for a long time.  I thought she would go well on the table since she has small violets on her skirt.

She is the February figure of the month, and was signed by Michael Doulton.

I also received some beautiful white and purple roses for Valentine's Day and choose a couple to place in a small purple glass vase for the table.  I don't think they are very visible in this picture, but the vase has birds etched into the glass.

I almost hated to cut into the cake it was so pretty, but I somehow overcame my I could eat a slice!

The cake was a vanilla sponge cake with a Bavarian cream filing with fresh sliced strawberries and buttercream frosting with the teacups and teapots around the side of the cake done in fondant.  It was delicious, especially that filling!

Thanks for stopping by!  This week I'm joining:

Bernideen's Friends Sharing Tea 
and Rose Chintz Cottage's Tea Time Tuesday 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Nothing beats chocolate on Valentine's Day--especially if it is in the form of chocolate tea!  I first saw this Bigelow tea on one of the tea parties this month (sorry, I don't remember which blog), and was really happy when I came across it in the grocery store today.  I'm not always a fan of chocolate teas, but this one was delicious! 

But on to the main event.

And the winner of the teacup drawing is...

Michele at The Nest at Finch Rest!  I'll be sending you an email Michele :).  Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway.