Just My Cup of Tea

A common thread through my blog posts, it seems, is that I like a nice cup of tea.  It's true. 

Courtesy of Illustrated, April 25th 1953.

I wake in the morning and cannot fully function until I have made a pot of tea and have drunk lots of it.  I also like a cup of tea late morning, early afternoon, and as I'm sitting chilling out in the evening.  I tell myself there are much worse things to be keen on than a nice cup of tea...  A friend of mine, for example, has a very unhealthy attachment to Jaffa Cakes.  (That's all I'm willing to say about that.) 

Until recently I used to make my tea in a mug.  Tea bag in.  Quick dunk.  Splash of milk.  But two months in to this creative journey, and yet again, something is changing. 

I went on holiday to Devon this summer.  Camping with my Significant Other.  In the World's Biggest Tent.  With feather duvet, feather pillows, and more woolly blankets than you could waggle a stick at.  Warm, fluffy loveliness.  (We learned our lesson last year with the Shell Island Incident of 2008.  Two days of rainstorms in a leaking tent.  Nuff said.)  

Each morning in Devon we would stumble bleary-eyed from our humungous circus-esque tent.  (Yes.  It was a bit of a blot on the landscape.  But we bought a green one so that we could do our best to blend in with the bushes.)  And put the kettle on.

The campsite where we were staying baked fresh croissants each morning for the campers.  Fresh.  Croissants.  Each tea shop we went into provided beautiful cups and saucers.  Shops throughout Devon offered home baked produce.  Fresh farm produce.  Organic locally grown produce.  Beautiful cakes, pastries, pasties, biscuits, sausages, pies, loaves, and cream teas.

 Courtesy of vintagepretties.typepad.com

Cream teas.

With scones, strawberry jam, clotted cream, tiny sandwiches with the crusts cut off, cakes, and fancies.

I spent quite a lot of the holiday saying things like...  "Just the one."  "It would be rude not to."  "Oh, go on then." "Why not?"  "I will as I'm on holiday."  "In for a penny in for a pound."

Quite a few pounds actually as it happened.

We were a little bit spoilt when it came to the tea and biscuits portion of the holiday programme.

My Significant Other and I visited a range of antique  and vintage shops and markets.  We like to discover "lost" things that need a new home.  I found a beautifully hand-embroidered silk tea cosy made in Japan for the Western market in the 1930's.

 And an antique pine rolling pin.


And a very fine pair of knitted dungarees and a bobble hat for my old teddy, Harrison.

(Harrison has a bit of a nasty streak, grumpy-wise, so we keep him on
stair-guarding duty to give him a channel for his latent anger.)

(Although Harrison was very pleased with his snappy new outfilt,
he is ever the professional and doesn't like to let his grumpy guard down.)

We came home.  I offered to make a cup of tea.  And dunked the tea bag in my mug and my Significant Other's mug.  We looked at each other sadly.  "Good Gordon.  Has it come to this?"

If Devon could take the time to create such beautiful eating fayre, surely one of us could be bothered to make tea in the pot and bake a cake.

I decided I wanted to have a go.  And see if I could get creative with my tea-making.

Out came my teapot, my new old tea cosy and my new antique rolling pin.

The metamorphosis was under way.  

And is now complete.

My tea pot.

I would like to announce that I now make my tea in the pot.  In.  The.  Pot.

I also bake shortcake to have with my tea.

I use napkins and sometimes, if I'm feeling really over the top, I throw in a doily.

Yes, you heard me.  Napkins and a doily.

I love butterflies.

I bake little cupcakes to eat with tea.  Orange flavoured cupcakes.  With orange sugar syrup.  Made with the juice squeezed with my own bare hands from real oranges.  If you don't believe me, take a wee look at this and this

Courtesy of labohememagique.blogspot.com

The biggest change has been that I enjoy doing this.  Really enjoy it.

It's a kitchen miracle!

I have gone from being a woman who would roll marine/SAS-style past her kitchen door to avoid entering.  To a woman who feels she is nurturing her friends and family, and herself, if she can offer them a home-baked cake or biscuit and a hot pot of tea when they visit.  With napkins and maybe a doily.

I used to chuck a rice cracker on a plate.  Begrudgingly.

No more.  

On my journey into creativity, I have become more like my nana.  Who believed that a nice cup of tea cured all ills.  Especially if you put a nip of whisky in it.

And I have to say, I think my nana was absolutely right.  Having tea involves taking time to share something warming, restorative and refreshing.  Eating a homemade cake or biscuit takes me back to being a child when I baked with my mum, aunt and nana.  And home-baked biscuits and cakes taste really great.  Sitting down with a nice cup of tea and a biscuit gives time to take a rest and breathe.  To have a think.  Have a daydream. 

Courtesy of tumblr.com

So, taking time to have a cup of tea and a home-baked biscuit has become Just My Cup of Tea.  Who knew? 



  1. Work that doily! I'm such a tea enthusiast... blacks, greens, herbals and I'll always try anything new (and also known to sneak in the nip as well ;) Truly one of the things I miss dreadfully about living in England, where it's "done right." I think I got it from my Nana too! Great post.

  2. I am totally working that doily! And loving it! It's great to hear from another tea enthusiast, Pillownaut. I love different teas too. English teas, Earl Grey, Green tea, Fruit teas. A wee nip works wonders on a cold day! Thanks Nana. When did you live in England? Would love to know more!

  3. My goodness! What a beautiful, inspiring, heart-warming blog and post! I'm in love!! I totally never get time to read blogs anymore, but I really want to make the effort to read this one. I love the idea of your journey!! It's so wonderful and I can't wait to follow it. Do you live in Melbourne?

  4. Thank you, Sandra, for your kind words. I'm so glad you like my blog and the ethos behind it. I don't live in Melbourne, I'm all the way over the ocean in the UK. It's lovely to meet you.

  5. So a book for Xmas about the Japanese Tea Ceremony could be fatal?

  6. Such a wonderful post! I enjoy tea very much! There certainly is something very special about taking the time to have a cuppa and savouring the moment...having a think and a daydream! Having a cuppa is always a good pick-me-up for me. I will have to make the effort and make a pot of tea more often instead of using tea bags. Coincidently I was looking at this website today, and dreaming of going there:
    I do hope to go next year sometime.

  7. Kim, I'd never go out again.

    C, Thanks for the website recommendation. I'm going to pop on over right now and take a look. (I know I'm going to love it!)

  8. Hello!
    I have just enjoyed exploring your blog. I love your challenge and your approach, and I'm sure I'll continue enjoying as a regular source of inspiration!

  9. You know, I only drink tea when I'm sick. But after reading this post, you have inspired me to drink it more often!!

  10. Hi Jen, I'm really glad to hear you've enjoyed taking a look around my blog, and that you love my approach and challenge. You're really welcome here anytime, anyday! Sending smiles. :)

    Helene, I really recommend you having a pot of good old tea whenever you feel like you need a pick-me-up, and alcohol isn't an option...! Works for me...!

  11. Truly lovely post!! I too love a nice cup of tea and a sweet treat! Your blog is wonderful and I WILL be back. Love, love, love the cupcake photos!

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

  12. Hello again! Well I clikced a link from a previous(ly read) blog and found this treasure. Tea is my not so guilty pleasure as well, so this was a festival for me. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your journey! You are an inspiration!!


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