Note to myself: Perhaps you don’t need any more tea towels with tea cups on them! I probably won’t take any notice of that message to myself!
The problem is that if you visit a lot of very good tea rooms, enjoying their ambiance, delicious cakes and quality loose leaf tea, it is nice to have a tea towel to remember that visit by. Many tea rooms have their own tea towels; I know that, I’ve bought them and blogged about them like Horner Tea Gardens (Blog dated 22/7/15), The Orchard at Granchester (Blog dated 26/8/15), Norton House Tea Rooms (Blog dated 9/9/15), the Old Tea House in Dorchester (Blog dated 17/1/17), Willow Tea Rooms (Blog dated 18/7/16), The Causeway Tea Rooms (Blog dated 19/5/16), Quaintways Tea Rooms (Blog dated 25/10/15) and many, many more. But sadly, many don’t have their own tea towels and I am reduced to buying a more generic, tea-related tea towel; hence this one. Since many tea rooms I have blogged about have disappeared over time, it is nice to have a memory of them.
“There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life” (Lin Yutang). For me, good quality loose leaf tea, in a quiet tea room offers me that experience; no Radio 1 or 2; no Beyoncé on someone’s iPod; no mobile phones going off; it is a special experience. I love tea; I love being able to taste the difference between different estate teas; I love understanding, and appreciating, the difference between teas from different countries, different climates, different altitudes; I love the taste of natural bergemot or tea scented with jasmine because it has been grown near to it. I don’t like one tea bag, in a small tea pot and being charged a small fortune for it. Do you know you can buy a box of 80 tea bags, in a large supermarket for 24p? So any Tea Room that puts one tea bag in a tea pot, charging £1-95 (I haven’t found a pot of tea for much less than that), could make a profit of £155-76 on a box of tea bags. That’s some mark-up!! I don’t mind paying for quality but I do mind being ripped off and tea being treated as some kind of joke. That is why I am continually on the search for a good tea room, selling good tea.
The story of these tea towels? I bought the tea towel on the left, with tea cups and saucers, at Northern Tea Merchants in Chesterfield. They often sell a tea related tea towel. I liked the elegance of this one and certainly links with the beautiful Royal Doulton, fine bone china that they use to serve tea in. It is a very small tea room, with a huge range of loose leaf teas, that I love and return to many times. This tea towel brings back some happy memories, of sharing tea with friends, enjoying their company. The tea towel on the right is from a tea room in Highgate, recommended by Leanne. It definitely has the ‘mix and match’ china and this tea towel reflects that; that is why I like it and I associate it with memories of the day that I visited it.
There is a tea room in Nottingham that has the following quotation on the back of their menu: “Drink what makes you happy with friends that make you laugh”. That’s what tea and tea rooms is all about. And I know I will continue to buy tea towels with tea related themes because they will always evoke great memories!
PS: Sorry the tea towel on the left has faded over time but is still very functional as a tea towel; the one on the right has a delicate pink tinge form the red sweat shirt that should never have made its way into my washing machine.
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