Saturday, November 26, 2016

An Elegant Autumn Tea

This autumn has been a very busy time for me, hence no blog posts for almost six weeks. I am always amazed how much I do miss blogging, when I don't get around to do it, I almost become a little cranky. So I am happy that this Thanksgiving my husband and I have taken four days off, which gives me the chance to finally write a new post, again.

Hardly anything is more calming and enjoyable for me than having a cozy tea together with my husband at our house and recently on a Sunday afternoon I felt that is just what I needed. I was in the mood for a little elegant autumn themed tea time. So I baked some fresh pumpkin-date scones and set the tea table really pretty with my best china, fine cutlery and other beautiful things that are dear and meaningful to me. Today I would like to share some photos with you of this special occasion.

This is my little tea table set up in front of our fireplace. I think it looks really inviting with the candles lit and the warm California autumn sun shining on it and illuminating the scene.

Just in case you wonder: Originally there were two tea place settings, one for my husband and one for me, but they didn't photograph well. So for the photo shooting we took one away, but put it back later after the photos were taken and when we enjoyed our tea together.

The recipe for the gluten-free pumpkin-date scones came from the September/October issue of the Tea Time magazine, one of my favorite tea publications. I am always looking forward to the next issue.

When I was searching for a tea to serve with the scones, I found this pretty tea caddy in our pantry and thought it would bring some lovely autumn colors to the otherwise set in neutral tones tea table. This tea caddy was a gift from my husband to me, that he brought back from one of his many business travels to Japan and it contained a lovely green tea. 

The base color of the tea caddy fit very nicely with the white pumpkins that I put out as decoration as well.

But I decided that a green tea was not the right choice to serve with the pumpkin and date flavors of the scone, so I opted for an organic Rooibos Chai that I had on hand from Numi Organic Tea. I prefer to drink it plain, but it is great with milk as well. 

The scones were ultra delicious with great flavors fitting for the season, but for some reason they didn't rise much. I wonder if I forgot an ingredient from the recipe? I will try to make them again and see if they turn out differently. By chance I found my scone cutters that I bought on one of our travels to the UK after I baked the scones for this tea. I will use them the next time, which could also help with the shape of the scones. 

The scones were so good they could be eaten plain, but to make our tea even a little more special I indulged us with clotted cream. Usually I serve the clotted cream in a bowl that I place on the table together with a bowl of jam or lemon curd. This time I didn't need any of the other two classic condiments that scones are usually served with. So I thought about a nice, stylish way to present the clotted cream on the table. 

Then suddenly I had an idea. How about using my recently acquired antique crystal salt cellars, the maker is Hawkes for you who are interested, as a vessel for the clotted cream and present them on the tea plate itself? I think it looks great and brings a very elegant touch to the table. You can never go wrong with some bling! 

The china that I am using is Rosenthal 'Maria Weiss', which I brought with me from Germany when we moved to the US. After so many years I am still in love with it, but I have to admit that I haven't used it much. I hope to change that in the future. What are pretty things for, if you don't use and enjoy them?

There is a practical reason though that doesn't help to get this china out more frequently: I insist to wash it by hand. As many of you know the dish washing detergent for the dish washer is quite destructive to the glaze of china and this porcelain set is way too precious to me to be exposed to that harsh treatment.

Rosenthal 'Maria Weiss' creamer and sugar bowl.

Another very dear to me item on this tea table are the Victorian knifes. They are also from England, we bought them in an antique shop over there. And no, they were not a steal, but they are so beautiful that I just had to have them. When I look at them I always think of Victorian ladies, elegantly dressed in lacy, white clothes.

Details on the blade of the knife. It feels very touching to me that someone put the love and detailed work and great craftsmanship into these (butter-)knives to make them as pretty as they are. Nowadays it is very rare that efforts like this are made to simply create something beautiful that generations to come can enjoy.

You can clearly see the stamps on the sterling silver blade of the knife, that tell you exactly when the knife was made and where. I somewhere have a book about silver hallmarks, but it might still be in one of our moving boxes. Uppps...

Showing you these photos and writing the text almost feels like I am having tea with you, my dear readers, it just brings me a little closer to you and I hope my post invokes mutual feelings in you as well. I truly wish it would be possible to share tea with you in reality, but at least we can do it over the internet and who knows maybe we meet one day in person and I can invite you for tea for real!

I hope that everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a wonderful, peace- and joyful Holiday surrounded by friends and family. Maybe you find some time this weekend to slow down and enjoy some tea time yourself. Elegant or simple, it doesn't matter, it is always such a lovely treat to brighten up the day.

Thanks for stopping by! Your visits and comments are making blogging always worthwhile and so much fun for me.

Warm regards,


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