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,

Christina



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40 comments:

  1. Yummy. Thanks for sharing this calming post. I had a crazy, busy Thanksgiving--we hosted and several people slept over. So I'm just recovering from a week of cleaning, cooking, planning, and laundry. The past two days, I pretty much vegged out. Tea time is a great idea!

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    1. Beth, as lovely as it is to be the host of a Thanksgiving get together it can be quite exhausting. Hope you can treat yourself to a tea time. It does wonders for a speedy recovery!

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  2. From start to finish, Christina, the tea is very elegant. I admire you for backing the scones from scratch - I've developed a taste for scones myself but I'm afraid mine are store-bought. A belated happy Thanksgiving to you!

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    1. Kris, I am delighted to read that you are a fan of scones as well! Making them from scratch is really soooo... easy, as a matter of fact, I think they are one of the easiest things to bake. I wish, I could send you some over of mine to try!

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  3. Your post is mouthwatering Christina! Love the photos. You have put in a lot of effort to make it look beautiful for us. And did the scones taste well? Groetjes Hetty

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    1. Thanks, Hetty, I am glad that you like my photos! I had a lot of fun styling and photographing the tea table for this post, even though indoor photography still posts quite a challenge for me.

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  4. Hallo Christina, wie schön - Maria weiß! Ich wünsche dir eine schöne Adventszeit und falls wir uns nicht mehr lesen: Ein gesegnetes Weihnachtsfest! ♥

    Sigrun

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    1. Sigrun, yes, the 'Maria Weiss' china from Rosenthal is beautiful, isn't it? When I bought the china it was quite an investment, but I have never regretted that I got it. It has this timeless classic feel that you never get tired of.
      Wishing you a nice advents time as well, but I am sure that I will pop by your lovely blog before Christmas!

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  5. Dear Christina ~ What a lovely post, in words and in photos. Your tea definitely was elegant and a wonderful time spent with your dear husband.

    Love & hugs & happy holidays to you both ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Lorraine, thank you so much for your kind comment about my post! It made my day!

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  6. Se ve todo precioso, deseo que pasaran un feliz día de Accion de Gracias. Gracias por ese té tan maravilloso.

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  7. Your beautiful tea setting has inspired me to enjoy more tea time by the fireplace!

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  8. Your tea time is certainly one I could use for myself this hectic time of year. You set a lovely tea table! Thanks for joining the DI & DI Link Party, we enjoyed having you.

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  9. Such a beautiful tea and wonderful to read your writing and details! The photographs a re spectacular!

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  10. Christina, the photo of your styled tea cart is magazine worthy. The scones sound and look delicious! Would love to know how you make your clotted cream. You have beautiful things from you and your hubbies travels! So happy to have you share at SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  11. I don't know why, but I am not able to follow anyone lately. Every time I try to, it says error! Darn! I need to figure out what's going on.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  12. Christina, you have no idea how much I loved this post! Tea is a big part of my life, so having this teatime experience with you was wonderful! I posted last week about a little casual tea in the corner of my kitchen. I hope you will use your lovely china more often, even though it has to be washed by hand. I don't believe in saving anything for company or special occasions. Every day is a special occasion!

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    1. Jean, I am so glad that you enjoyed my post! I am totally on the same page with you: Every day can be a special occasion! And if it doesn't feel like one, we can make it special by having a little tea time ;-)!

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  13. Hello, Christina, what a lovely tea you have shared with us! Everything is just perfect with your pretty china, lovely knives, crystal salt cellar and wonderful tea caddy. The scones look delicious and I would never have guessed they weren't risen enough. I have a subscription to Tea Time - it is filled with such beautiful recipes and table settings. Thank you for inviting us to your special tea. Sending hugs xo Karen

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  14. Liebe Christina,
    ich muss zugeben, ich bin kein großer Teetrinker, aber das sieht so schön bei Dir aus und ist auch so wundervol arrangiert, da hätte sogar ich Spaß am Tee.

    Viele liebe Grüße
    Wolfgang

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    1. Wolfgang, a warm welcome to my blog! Thanks for your kind words about my post. I would be happy if I would have converted you to become a tea drinker ;-), but it would work with coffee or any other beverage as well. I think it is mostly about taking the time to set up a pretty table and having something nice to eat, than about the beverage itself. Even though true tea lover will contradict me here, probably.

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  15. Dear Christina:
    What a great post and Tea Time sure is full of great recipes. Your scones look like absolute perfection and I am so glad you shared them! Your teapot is very elegant and classic looking too!

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    1. Bernideen, yes, the recipes from the tea time magazine are usually quite good, although I have to say I had a few not so great ones in between.
      I do love the form of the tea pot of the 'Maria Weiss' china set, too. I think the proportions are completely balanced and in harmony. There is nothing about it that could be improved, just perfect!

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  16. I love this post, Christina! I'm a tea lover, but I've never heard about Tea Time magazine. I'll check it right now! Thanks!

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  17. Tatyana, thanks, I glad you enjoyed my post. Nice to know that there is another tea lover under my readers :-)!
    In my opinion the Tea Time magazine is a truly nice publication. I think you will really like it!

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  18. Such a beautifully set table and I love the sterling knife and china! Thank you for sharing your post with "let's Talk Vintage!" (I'm replying as Bella Rosa but this is supposed to come from my "Vintage and Co." blog. There was no option for me to use. :9

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  19. Jillian, thanks for your nice words about my post. The Victorian butter knife is really my favorite. It's beauty makes me smile every time I look at it. I hope to participate in your blog parties in the future, again.

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  20. What a lovely post! Love all the little touches and white pumpkins. I love scones and have tried to bake them many times but not very successfully - Visiting from Bernideen's party

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    1. Hi Christina, welcome to my blog and thanks for your kind comment, it warmed my heart! Sorry to read that baking scones has been challenging for you. Maybe the recipe wasn't all that great? I do find the scone recipes from the Tea Time magazine quite reliable in the way they turn out, so maybe you want to try one of those? If you don't want to buy the magazine, they do have a website and I believe there are posted some scone recipes for free.

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  21. Beautiful Christina!! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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  22. Was für eine wunderschöne Teezeit, liebe Christina!
    Würde mich gern dazusetzen - aber du bist einfach zu weit weg ;-)
    Ich wünsche dir einen gemütlichen Advent!
    Ganz viele liebe Adventgrüße
    sendet dir die Urte

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    1. Urte, I would love to have you over for tea! I am glad that you like my set up! I think tea time makes the Advents time really cozy and I try to have a cup of tea with something nice to nibble on every now and then on the weekdays as well. Of course, it's not as elaborate as the tea time that I featured in this post ;-)!

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  23. Christina, Love the dark shadows and light tea dishes in the last photo. Sylvia D.

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