Monday, November 28, 2011

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Rosina Christmas Rose Teacups, Bath England Christmas Market, Store Coupon

Welcome to another Tuesday Cuppa Tea blog party that I am joining at Antiques And Teacups blog, as well as other blog parties at the bottom of the post. This is the first Christmas and holiday blog of the year with lots of lovely special parties next week.

This sweet Christmas themed cup and saucer is in a design called Christmas Rose by Rosina, England that was made in the 1950s. The Christmas Rose is actually a Hellebore which was said to have bloomed through the snow when Christ was born.

Rosina is a favorite maker of mine that is a was a pretty recent manufacturer, only becoming a name on it's own in 1941 from a split at Warrilow & Sons which split into Rosina and Queen's. Rosina ceased to exist independently in 1983.  To see more of the Christmas Rose teacup at Time Was Antiques, click on the photos.

At this time of year, right after the American Thanksgiving, I always think about the annual Christmas Market in Bath, England that we attended a number of years ago, combining a holiday visit to family with our annual English buying trip.

 Bath is a favorite city, and we have spent quite a bit of time there during our annual month in England. But the Christmas market was special! All around in front of the Pump Room by the Baths themselves and the other squares like the Abbey Yard and Bath Abbey that you probably remember from Jane Austen and other English writers, the streets are filled with stalls selling all sorts of hand made goods and goodies. There are street musicians...buskers...choirs, hot chestnut and jacket potato sellers, Punch and Judy showsm acrobats and all manner of entertainment.

 At night the market enters another dimension with the magic of thousands of fairy lights. Did I mention that many of the vendors are in costume? You see grunge, Regency, Victorian and anything else. The smells of the potatoes, gingerbread, wassail, and hot chestnuts is absolutely intoxicating! We spent several night of the week we were there in Bath wandering around, nibbling, buying and generally soaking up the fabulous atmosphere.

 These photos are from the Bath Christmas market site, as our visit predates my ownership of a digital camera. I keep saying I'll get a digitizer for regular photos, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

The Bath Christmas market is open everyday starting, this year from Nov. 25th until Dec. 11th. I would love to go visit it again. Maybe you can???!!!
 2 websites you can visit:
Bath Christmas Market
Bath Christmas Market Magic

Have a wonderful day visiting the blog parties listed below, and the countdown to the holidays has truly begun! 

Here is a coupon for FREE shipping at Time Was Antiques:

FREE Shipping any order over $30.00 for 3 days only. Nov. 28-30. Code CYBER or #029 at 

Ruth ~
Tuesday Cuppa Tea
Teacup Tuesday
Teacup Tuesday
Wanda Lee~ 
Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday
Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday
Wanda Lee~ 
Tea For Two and Wednesday Tea For Me and Thee
Tea Party Tuesday
Lady Katherine~ 
Teatime Tuesday
Teatime Tuesday

Victoria - A Return to Loveliness

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, Miss Read Books And English Harvest Festival

A very happy Thanksgiving to you all! This is a Thanksgiving angel on my mantle.

Signifying the abundance of the harvest season. In England, although they don't celebrate Thanksgiving as such, their is the Harvest Home or Harvest Festival with links to a pagan past. The adopting of the old agrarian festival into mainstream church life began in 1843 when a Rev. Robert Harkins celebrated Harvest Festival at his Anglican church in Morwenstow, Cornwall. The festival has gotten attached to Michaelmas Day, around Sept. 28-Oct. 4th in the church calendar.

One of my favorite chroniclers of mostly vanished English village life is Miss Read, who has a series of books...I think I have collected them all..about several school teachers in Cotswold villages from the Victorian era to the World Wars. In the 20th century many rural schools were supported or maintained by the church and participated in church festivals.

The Harvest Festival was an important part of the Cotswold villages still so close to the seasons and agricultural roots of the area. The children had the job of decorating the church with produce from their farms and gardens and took great pride in doing so. Harvest loaves are baked as well.

From Over The Gate by Miss Read published in 1964:

For most of us in Fairacre our Harvest Festival is a well-loved and well-supported institution.  It is, after all, a public thanksgiving for the fulfilment of a year's hard work in the fields and gardens, and a brief breathing space before tackling the next year's labours.

Mr. Roberts, the local farmer, gives a mammoth Harvest Home supper in his biggest barn, at this season, but naturally it is the farm workers and their friends who attend this jollification. The service at St. Patrick's caters for the whole village....

The children...decorate the prews and other alloted portions of the church and we guard our privilege jealously. On Saturday the ladies of the village come with armfuls of flowers and greenery to do their share, but they always find that the children have done their part first.

Usually we tie little bunches of corn (Yanks, that's wheat to you!) to the pew heads, and arrange marrows, shiny apples, onions, giant potatoes and any other contributuion which will not whither or fade, along the ledges and window sills which we know by ancient custom are 'ours'.


So from my house to yours, my decorated front door to yours, Happy Thanksgiving and may a heart of thankfulness and peace for our many blessings fill your day.



Monday, November 21, 2011

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Aesthetic Transfer Teacup, Knife Rests

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea that I am joining with host Antiques And Teacups.  I am also joining some other tea related blog parties at the bottom of the post.

Today I wanted to share brown transferware again because it is Thanksgiving week. I found that I had this Aesthetic Movement child's transferware cup and saucer with a motif of birds as well as a child with their dog.

The Aesthetic Movement is the name applied to designs with a natural world dynamic, often with framed vignettes and natural subjects. It is usually called English Arts and Crafts in England, And Aesthetic movement in America. This particular cup and saucer was made by Charles Allerton, England between 1859-1870s when the style changed and the designs went out of fashion. I love the child and dog!

As I was leafing through Victoria magazines of old, I came upon an article about knife rests which I thought appropriate for a Thanksgiving week.

Victorians were famous for embellishing everything. The dining table was a great source of their creativity as well as a source of wonder for us now because of the many specialized table items they invented. Not all Victorian gadgets have survived with a following to today, but knife rests have.

Designed as a practical solution to keep tablecloths clean when they were hand laudered, knife rests held your knife or a carving set up off the cloth as the dishes were changed for the many courses or removes of a formal dinner. But they weren't boring! Knife rests have been made out of almost every material imaginable from solid gold to wood, and everything in between. The range from the simple to the incredible. I have added a few from our current stock at Time Was Antiques.

One of the fun things is that they have made a comeback at dinner tables over the last 20 years. We used to sell them only to collectors, but we have been selling them to people who want to use them at their dinner table for a novel table setting. We have even sent several sets on their way to restaurants in New York and Los Angeles, to be used at sommelier tables, which we think is quite fun.  So don't forget that small items can make a design statement at your Thanksgiving dinner, or at any meal from breakfast to dinner to tea! Good things do come in small packages!

For more info on any other the items at Time Was Antiques, just click on the photos.

Enjoy the other blog parties below and many others and don't forget to have a cup of tea with a friend. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. We are truly a blessed people!

Teacup Tuesday
Teacup Tuesday
Wanda Lee~ 
Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday
Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday
Wanda Lee~ 
Tea For Two and Wednesday Tea For Me and Thee
Tea Party Tuesday
Lady Katherine~ 
Teatime Tuesday
Teatime Tuesday
Tuesday Cuppa Tea
Victoria - A Return to Loveliness

Saturday, November 19, 2011

English Tea Sayings, The Queen's Tea From Darville's Of Windsor

Good morning! And a bright frosty Saturday morning it is! 

I just found at the back of my bookshelf a book I bought in England on a buying trip at a National Trust shop called Mothballs And Elbow Grease: origins and meanings of household sayings.

I found a few that are tea related to share:

Afternoon Tea

The Victorian love of taking 'afternoon tea' led to the common description of such sectors of society where it was favored as 'afternoonified', meaning smart. For many a Scottish schoolboy, however, the prospect of 'afternoon tea' was not a pleasant one, as it was a euphemism for detention.

Break The Teapot

In the Victorian era, moderation was admired if not always maintained. If someone changed their habits and eschewed abstinence for alcohol, he was said to have 'broken the teapot'.
Born With A Silver Spoon In One's Mouth

The spoon alluded to is an Apostle's Spoon, a traditional christening present from a godparent. The expression suggests, however, that a child born into a wealthy family would have no need to wait for such a gift for his first taste of luxury. A complete set of Apostle's Spoons was, nonetheless, a generous gift. There are 12, each with a different apostle at the top of the handle, sometimes even an additional Master Spoon and Lady Spoon would be included.

From the archives of Time Was Antiques

I also wanted to share with you where you can find the tea Queen Elizabeth II is said to favor for her morning tea whilst in residence at Windsor Castle. There is a tea merchant in Windsor, England in the town below the castle called Darville's Of Windsor. Several of their brands bear the Royal Warrant, which means they supply the Royal family. We bought some of Darville's  English Breakfast and then were told it was Her Majesty's favorite of a morning. 

We haven't seen any here in the US, but one of the Brit foods and tea suppliers we buy from is The Darville's English Breakfast is listed on the website, so if you want to have the Queen's Breakfast is your chance! We quite liked it! 

Have a great Saturday...we are off to holiday bazaars and craft shows which is a fun way to ease into the season.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thursday Teacups, Stir Up Sunday, Plum Pudding

Welcome to Thursday Teacups and Tea Things with Antiques And Teacups, Vintage Thingie Thursday with Coloradolady and Teacup Thursday with Miss Spenser.

I am covering a few fun things today...all in one! The first, is my teacup selection which is a homey (if your a Yank) or homely (for the Brits) Johnson Brothers, England Friendly Village cup and saucer from the 1950s.

Friendly Village is one of the most popular of Johnson Brothers' patterns in the USA. It appeals to our collective memories of rural village scenes of the east coast or colonial days. I think it is perfect for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. I love that there are so many different scenes in the set including the schoolhouse, the old well, apple orchard, ice house and may others. The design is hand colored on brown transferware so it is perfect for many fall table options. I love it!

For more Friendly Village pieces including the cup and saucer at Time Was Antiques, click on the photos and go to the Johnson Brothers category.

In Victorian England, this weekend would be Stir Up Sunday...when the plum puddings and Christmas cakes would be made up to be drenched in spirits and then stored to age and marinate! In the lore of the puddings, varoius silver charms and a sixpence would be stirred in as well, to be used to tell fortunes on Christmas day when the cake was cut and eaten. 

 I even have a plum pudding teapot made by Price Kensington, England in the 1930-1940s.

Wishes were also made as each family member took their turn with the required stir of the pudding. The person stirring would close their eyes and wish, but don't tell!! Or the wish wouldn't come true! I loved these customs as a child, but especially loved licking the bowl!

 Here is a plum pudding recipe from the famous Victorian cook, Mrs. Beeton:


Mrs Beeton's Traditional Christmas Plum Pudding 1

Recipe 1 (Page 494) - 1923 Edition
Makes 2 Christmas puddings

Check recipe for shopping/store cupboard purposes and grease 2 basins.
8 oz moist sugar (use soft brown )
8 oz chopped suet or modern day equivalent
8 oz sultanas cleaned
8 oz raisins halved and stoned (see footnote*)
4 oz currants washed and dried
4 oz shredded mixed candied peel - Cut your own or use ready cut
4 oz of plain flour
4 oz breadcrumbs
2 oz almonds blanched and shredded
the grated rind of a 1 lemon
3 eggs
a salt spoonful of  nutmeg grated
half a teaspoon of salt
quarter pint of milk
1 small wineglassful of brandy (optional)

Mix all the dry ingredients together, stir in the well beaten eggs, milk and brandy (if used).
Turn the mixture into 2 well greased basins, and steam from 5 to 6 hours.
Time 5 to 6 hours.
Sufficient for 8 or 9 persons.
N.B. Please note that no raising agent is mentioned in this recipe, but the flour must be plain flour, as elsewhere self raising flour is mentioned by type when used.

I also found this Chocolate Plum Pudding recipe which is a bit different from

 Chocolate Plum Pudding Cake

Prep Time:
25 Min
Cook Time:
1 Hr 20 Min
Ready In:
1 Hr 45 Min

Original Recipe Yield 1 - 9 inch tube cake


  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place raisins in a small saucepan, and cover with boiling water. Soak for 5 minutes, then drain. Grease and flour a 9 inch tube pan.
  2. Sift together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in the eggs, then the applesauce. Beat in the flour mixture. Stir in raisins and walnuts. Spread batter evenly into prepared tube pan.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 80 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely; chill.

This is an 1805 caricature or political carton by J. S. Gillray showing William Pitt and Napoleon carving a plum pudding which represented the world. This was the era of the Napoleonic Wars and the Regency in England. Plum pudding was a well understood thing in every household!

Have a great Thursday visiting the other blog parties. And don't forget to make a wish! And don't tell!


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