The Original Suffolk Country Tea Cloth: 1986


If you go into any good chinaware store, you are likely to find the iconic terracotta Original Suffolk Pottery, made by the Henry Watson family company, through six generations.  You are unlikely to find the whole range because the range is so extensive.  John was a great cook; he liked good quality kitchen equipment; he liked nice china but was never keen on having full sets of anything.  He felt there was so much lovely pottery, china, crockery, glassware etc out there, so why would you want to confine yourself to everything looking the same?  Because he did so much cooking, John liked to have a wide repetoire of herbs and spices to hand.  He had two sets of shelves for his spice and herb jars, holding up to 60 jars.  He particularly liked the Suffolk Terracotta range, with the little domed lids.  John believed that keeping herbs and spices in glass jars was wrong because the light diminished the quality of them thus the Terracotta range was ideal for his purposes.

When John and I went on holiday to Norfolk, in 1986, we had the opportunity to visit the Henry Watson pottery with their tiny (at that time) shop.  John was in pottery heaven; he bought four spice jars that he was unable to get locally and so was very chuffed.  And I found this tea towel! I love the fact that this tea towel is totally terracotta in colour with the amazing phrase “Ideal for Use at Home or on Safari”.    I can’t imagine using this on safari but I am prepared to give it a go, if someone would treat me!  Although John died 20 years ago today, I still have most of his terracotta herb and spice jars; he was certainly proved right, that they are excellent quality, as is the tea towel.

Click below to return to the Virtual Tea Towel Museum


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