For the Scots, Hogmanay, or New Year, is a much bigger celebration than Christmas and is marked by much feasting, often over several days. I thought it would be fun to pay homage to this tradition with a Scottish themed tea.
Daughter Kirsten, son Adam and Papa (Mr Entertablement) had set off early that morning with three little granddaughters for a day on the bunny-hill ski slopes. It’s the right ratio of adult-to-child at this stage in the beginner ski experience, and I knew we’d have very weary adults at the end of a few hours, complete with aching backs and arms from hauling small bodies around. A hot meal and the liberal application of a fortifying beverage seemed in order.
Tea doesn’t have to be a fussy meal with dainty sandwiches. Its enjoyment in the average British household is much more prosaic, despite the oft-told tale of the Duchess of Bedford and her late afternoon fainting spells. “High tea” denotes that it includes a fairly hearty protein, not that it’s “haute” or particularly elegant.
It invariably contains a sweet course, and many consider scones, crumpets or some kind of tea bun to be essential.
We had Broccoli Soup with Mustard Seeds with Cheese Scones to start. I thought the little girls might baulk at the soup, but they spooned it back with relish.
For savouries, we enjoyed Deconstructed Scotch Eggs and Spinach, Fennel, Leek and Pine Nut Pinwheels. Those went down very quickly.
A Scottish Tart, some chocolates, biscuits and shortbread (purchased) filled in any chinks.
This was all washed down with copious quantities of Scottish Breakfast Tea and a wee dram for the imbibing adults. The little girls get such a kick out of drinking tea from a proper cup and saucer after carefully adding their milk and sugar and stirring it around with a demitasse spoon.
Everyone replete, they rose from the table and contemplated hot baths and an early night. At least the grown-ups did; the little ones were happy to play downstairs in the Playhouse Under the Stairs for a while before struggling back into still-damp outerwear and being hustled off home. It was a very fun day.
For those interested in sources, the red and white transferware is Tower Pink by Spode and is a combination of modern (the plates, cups & saucers, teapot, creamer & sugar) and vintage (the soup cups & saucers and the leaf plate containing the shortbread) pieces.
The white china is Country Heritage by Villeroy & Boch (the dinner plates on the stand), Mikasa Antique White (the soup tureen) and Hartley Greens Creamware (the butter dish and leaf plate holding the biscuits and orange-tipped chocolate balls). The white curly-rimmed cake stand is a HomeGoods find.
The decanter is Manhattan by Stuart. The Scotch label is an antique. The Glencairn cut-crystal Scotch glasses are from the Whiskey Shop on Piccadilly in London, England (one of Glenn’s favourite stops on our trips; they are most generous with their samples).
The napkins are from Pottery Barn a few years ago and I believe the napkin rings are by Michael Arum. I picked them up years ago at Chintz & Co. in Victoria, BC. The paisley throw serving as a tablecloth is from (now defunct) Country Dining Room Antiques in Great Barrington, Mass, and was acquired about 20 years ago. Yikes!
I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.
I’m always looking for excuses to have tea and love your dreamy tablescapes!
Thanks Michelle! Tea is the best meal, I think. Such a treat.
A beautiful and inviting Spode dishes and Scottish tea. I love your tablecloth, it goes so well with your Spode.
Tea is wonderful to do and to share with friends. I have a monthly Rosary prayers with a group of friends and I always think ahead to set my table and yours have inspired me to start the January gatherings with my Red transferware tea set, teacups and saucers, teapots and dessert plates.
That cake looks awesome !
Thanks, Fabby! I hope your January gathering goes well and your red transferware enjoys its outing! I love red transferware during the winter months. It’s cozy without being too Christmassy. Thanks for visiting.
A beautiful Tablescapes. That Scottish tart looks delicious . I must make one.
Thank you so much for, Thelm. The Scottish tart is very good, and freezes well. If you use the 9” tart pan, make sure it’s fairly deep about 2”). A 10” works if it’s a regular, shallower one. Good luck!
Would like to sign up for your blog.
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Thanks so much for your interest.
Amazon has Gibson Elite Winter Cottage that reminds me of your beautiful Spode table here. Gibson is also red & white winter scenes, 16 pieces (plate, salad, bowl & mug) service for 4, $72. Nice deal.
Can’t beat the beauty of Spode though. So so perfect as winter table settings!!!
Would love your recipe for spinach pinwheels.
I found it!!!
This tea table is one of those cozy settings that makes a person feel welcome, virtually anyway, to sit down & enjoy.
Update: Gibson Elite Winter Cottage now $57 for 4 place settings at Amazon if anyone wishes to snap up a deal.