The ritual of Tea can be as refined or as casual as you like. While I greatly enjoy the full court-press, elegant occasions, my real favourite is a simple meal on the porch with a couple of baked goodies and a good cuppa.
With Mother’s Day around the corner, there is no better time to pull out Grandma Laughran’s tea set. She was my mother’s mother, and my only memories of her are through a couple of photographs taken of her and me as an infant, on her last visit to Canada before she passed away.
I asked my Mum for the set when I was in my teens, undoubtedly in the inimitable tactless manner of youth, something along the lines of “Can I have this when you die?“. My mother, a very diplomatic woman, despaired of me ever resembling tactful. Nonetheless, she made sure I had the tea set when I left home, well in advance of her demise. She knew (wise woman), that heirlooms passed from one generation to the next, are one of the most effective ways of keeping memories alive. It’s not so much “the stuff”, as the association with the person. I love that I have something of my grandmother’s, and can picture the face in that photograph whenever I use it.
The tea set is Royal Stafford, likely from the 1930s. Research as I might, I haven’t been able to find any history on it, but it has the aura of the Arts & Crafts movement.
The set comprises six square plates, cups with round saucers, one square cake plate, a cream jug and sugar bowl. I especially love the square plates.
The teapot has long since gone the way of all things delicate, so I’ve paired it here with a teapot which was a gift from my daughter-in-law, Annie.
I made the lemon curd myself but confess to purchasing the ginger scones from the local grocery store. The combination of ginger and lemon is delicious! My daughter Lauren (who is a chef at Petit Thuet in Toronto) and I were texting this morning, and she was inspired to make ginger beignets with lemon cream filling. Gotta try those!
All my daughters love the ritual of tea. The granddaughters have all received toy tea sets to play with their teddies and dollies. And in due course, daughters and granddaughters will receive sets from my collection, including Grandma Laughran’s.
It’s never too late to begin your own tradition. I’ve purchased napkins (and most recently, a porch swing) from Wayfair, but have discovered that they are also a fabulous source for modern tea sets. Some of my favourites are shown above. And they come complete with teapot!
What are you doing for Mother’s Day this year? Are you starting any new traditions of your own?
I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.