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.
I haven’t seen that set for a long time. Did you know that our Grandmother had red hair? I just ran across a picture of her with her sister Annie and our Aunt Pat as a teenager. I will get you a copy. The last time Grandma L visited, you were taken for a walk every evening by Mum and Grandma,in a gorgeous pram. Mum said they got to know each other again during those treasured walks and mended many fences. So even though you do not remember, you did a lot of good just by being you.
Awww, shucks… Thanks, Rose-Marie. That’s a lovely thing to say. And no, I didn’t know she had red hair. But I did hear Mum refer to her legendary temper from time to time. Hmmmm. Scottish and red haired. Most likely where we get the rather, er, fixed positions we take!
My maternal grandmother died when I was a baby too. Only one photo.
What an unusual tea set. Very unique. Tell us about the beautiful glass jar for the lemon curd.
You are so right about memories. I love making custom cemetery arrangements for people. Something they connect with a loved one. When they visit the graveside, they aren’t sad, but full of memories of things they shared.
Thanks for sharing your tea set memories.
Hi Myrna. The glass jar and the glass bowl are both Depression glass, and my intention was for them to be the Rosepoint pattern by Cambridge. But that glass jar looks like another pattern entirely. It’s a “marmalade jar”.
What kind of cemetery arrangements do you make? That sounds intriguing!
Thanks very much for visiting and commenting.
That tea set is so pretty. I like the unusual shape of the square plates. I was surprised that it was an old pattern. My first thoughts was that it was a contemporary pattern, maybe the brown checkerboard-like edging gives it a new feel. So nice that you are passing along your love of tea sets to your daughters and granddaughters.
I love Arts and Crafts china (and houses, lamps, and porches, for that matter). To me, they’re timeless. Here’s hoping that at least one of the women in the family inherits a real love for tableware. There is certainly enough to go around!
You chose a beautiful spot to display your grandmother’s tea set and it’s very pretty.
Our porch is the destination of choice on hot days, or any evening. We are often our there wrapped in blankets in the fall and spring.
Thanks so much for visiting.
Such pretty dishes – I can see how you would be “tactless” enough to ask for them. LOL I love how you set up the teacups with the goodies on that gorgeous trunk/table. Looks so inviting and I’d love to sit down to a “cuppa” with you and try those scones and the lemon curd!
The trunk is an old tea chest from my husband’s family. His father lined it with cedar, and it weighs a ton, so it’s good for the porch. We keep meaning to refinish it, but every year it goes away for the winter and comes out again in the spring, all rough and peeling. Oh well, can’t get to everything!