For the Featured Antique I have selected for you the most wonderful pair of delicate 'Rococo' George III Sugar Nips. What a beautiful item to grace your afternoon tea table and a graceful way in which to serve your tea guests with sugar cubes.
For more information on this stunning pair of Sugar Nips and other items of quality related to the taking of tea, then please visit our Web Site www.TeaAntiques.com
This month’s ‘Tea Trail’ takes us to the Capital City, London. Here there are many items of note for the tea antique collector. Today I would like to recommend one in particular, the Bramah Tea & Coffee Museum, The Clove Building, Maguire St, SE1 2NQ. It is situated in the dockland area on the South East side of Tower Bridge. In fact you will find it conveniently sign posted from Tower Bridge and is not too far to walk from there.
To those interested in the history of tea, tea drinking this museum is a must, situated in the area which was used for more than 300 years for the unloading of teas and coffees from the tea clippers. There are teapots on display spanning the centuries, including more modern ‘novelty’ teapots! The museum offers the social history and etiquette in the taking of tea. The museum is well laid out and offers a wealth of facts and information.
Within the museum there is a shop selling a range of tea related souvenirs, a small selection of antique and collectable tea related items and a very good selection of loose leaf teas, what more could a "teaaholic" want!
Finally, there is a tea shop in the museum selling teas, coffee, cakes etc. A lovely way to round off your visit.
My recommendation for the place to take tea in London is not so much a tea shop, but a classic departmental store! I am talking of ‘Fortnum and Masons’, the famous store situated by the Ritz hotel in Piccadilly. Not only a very stylish place to shop, but situated on the fourth floor is the wonderful St James Restaurant, where from mid-afternoon you can really enjoy a relaxed but fairly formal full afternoon tea. When in London this is usually a must for me. I recommend their Champagne tea, which starts you off with a glass of house Champagne, which you can sip whilst listening to a pianist playing on a grand piano. Tea is served by waitresses or waiters in traditional black and white dress, they march up and down with large trays of tea and tiered cake stands loaded with delicate finger sandwiches, scones, cream and jam and selection of tiny pastries. Here it so easy to unwind from the hectic London life, a real must!
Did you know that our teas use to be taxed by the British State? Back in the C18th, from about 1711 there was a tax on tea, which by 1810 had raised a staggering 17 million pounds!! Although the duty on tea was temporarily repealed in the early C20th , it was not until 1964 that the tax excise on tea was finally lifted!
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