Monday, March 30, 2015

Marching Into Spring

March is brimming with tea highlights. After weeks of waiting, my teacup from South Africa finally arrived last week!

Earlier this month, we had another tea social at work to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and the long-awaited return of spring. A co-worker brought yummy teas from Davids Tea's Spring Collection. Not pictured are the green foods that my other co-workers brought: veggies, grapes, kiwis, jello, and even Peeps (tasted like watermelon)!

I purchased this teapot and matching mugs at a local thrift store for only $11 a few years ago. I found the mugs first and the teapot showed up at the same store a year later! The manufacturer is Sadler. I love how the colourful flowers embody the spring season.

During Earth Hour on Saturday, I enjoyed a mug of herbal tea by candlelight.

Recently, I was treasure hunting at Valley Antiques where there were some cute Easter vignettes.

How many teapots can you spot? I counted 4!

I usually leave the store empty-handed, but this time I got this vintage tea strainer for only $3.50! On the back, it says "Chrome Plated. Made in England."

The tea strainer's style is Art Deco, however, I suspect that it is a replica because of its bargain price.

I'm joining the following parties this week:
Tea Time Tuesday
Friends Sharing Tea
Tuesday Cuppa Tea

Friday, March 27, 2015

Teacup Exchange: Out of Africa

I've had the privilege of participating in the last 3 teacup exchanges hosted by Stephanie from The Enchanting Rose. It's always fun to meet other teacup lovers from around the world!

For this exchange, I sent a teacup across the border to Lynn who lives in Illinois. I may have gone a little tape happy with her package (who wouldn't with super cute tape?)!

Lynn does not have a blog so I am sharing photos of what I included in her package: a teacup, a teabag holder, rubber duck tea infuser, tea samples, a tea towel, note cards, and Canadian chocolates.

I gave Lynn this Royal Vale teacup which came from my own collection. After much consideration (it's always hard to part with one of my tea pretties!) I selected this teacup because of its cheery yellow flowers.

Lynn sent me this cute card and a lovely letter to express her heartfelt thanks for the package.

I was excited to find out that Nancy sent me a teacup all the way from South Africa! The estimated delivery time for international surface mail was 3 months...

...but it actually arrived on Monday! The philatelist in me is geeking out over the cool South African postage stamps!

Charlotte Brontë would have approved of the teacup's pretty (and careful) packaging!

Nancy sent me these adorable goodies in my favourite colour.

I love the teacup's simple but elegant fleur de lys design. 
Many thanks for the fun parcel, Nancy!

As a throwback to past exchanges, I'm also sharing what I received from last year's teacup swaps.

For my first teacup exchange in March 2014, I received this pretty rose-themed package from Sandra from Ravenhill Cottage who also resides in southern Ontario.

This vintage teacup decorated with beautiful roses came from Sandra's own collection and is called "Old Chelsea" by Johnson Bros. Thank you for the lovely gifts, Sandra!

In October 2014, I participated in my second teacup exchange and received this crafty package from Nicole, a fellow Canuck from Alberta.

I've always admired other bloggers' lustrewares so I was delighted to receive this gorgeous teacup by Castle China--my first "Made in Japan" teacup. Thank you for the wonderful package, Nicole!

Last, but certainly not the least, I am extremely grateful to Stephanie, organizer extraordinaire, for all the time and efforts she put into running such well-organized and fun teacup exchanges. You can learn more about the past teacup swaps here.

I look forward to the next exchange in the fall!

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Sappy Post

March is maple syrup season in Canada. This sweet springtime tradition is celebrated at Maple Syrup Festivals across the country.

The maple tree is tapped and the sap is collected using traditional buckets. After the sap is harvested, it undergoes a boiling process to produce maple syrup. You can learn more on how maple syrup is made here.

The hot pancake meal with pure maple syrup that we enjoyed at the 2010 Maple Syrup Festival at Bronte Creek.

Canada's famous maple syrup has also been used to create this unique blend of Maple Earl Grey Tea. I could smell the sweet maple scent as soon as I opened the tin!

 I brewed the Maple Earl Grey Tea using my Skye McGhie "Cream Lace" tea for one set (another thrift store find!).

The Maple Earl Grey Tea was a nicely balanced combination of maple and Earl Grey. No sugar was needed since pure maple syrup is a natural sweetener. Pure maple syrup is reportedly a healthy alternative to sugar and honey and you can read more about its nutritional benefits here

The maple cream cookies were the perfect accompaniment to the Maple Earl Grey tea.

I'm joining the following parties this week:
Tea Time Tuesday
Friends Sharing Tea
Tuesday Cuppa Tea

Monday, March 16, 2015

It's Not Easy Being Green

I acquired my one and only green teacup a few years ago at a church garage sale (one of my favourite places to hunt for teawares). The teacup did not have a matching saucer so it was offered to me for only 10 cents! Sold!

The teacup has a crocus shape and an angular handle.

I love the gold filigree on the outside and the purple violets inside of the cup.

 This Aynsley backstamp was established after 1960.

 Time to visit the other tea parties!

I'm joining the following parties this week:

Monday, March 9, 2015

Breakfast at Taylor's

Taylor's Tea Room was my first foray into the quaint, English-style tea rooms. Since my first visit in the mid 2000s, I've enjoyed countless brunches, lunches, afternoon teas, and dinners at Taylor's, but I failed to capture them on camera until recently.

Taylor's has been part of the Dundas community since 1993 and was named in memory of Annie and Edward Taylor (the original owners, I presume?).

The cozy table settings.

At my 2014 birthday brunch, I ordered Taylor's Rösti breakfast: "sunny side up egg with back bacon, tomato, sour cream served on a large potato Rösti" (menu description). 

The cute tea cosy.

I have a soft spot for teacups with pretty purple flowers.

Of course, no visit to Taylor's is complete without their delicious scones!

I'm joining the following parties this week:
 Tea Time Tuesday
Friends Sharing Tea
Tuesday Cuppa Tea

Monday, March 2, 2015

Cottage Life

This week's teacup was a housewarming gift from a work friend. The lovely teacup had belonged to her mother which makes me cherish it even more.

Isn't the cottage scene charming?

The Royal Vale backstamp is circa 1962-1964.

I adore Downton Abbey, but I would rather live in a cozy cottage!

Photo credit: Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Real Estate
If you're in the market for a tea house, the Vintage Garden Tea Room is for sale at a reduced price of $879,900. The original asking price for this "Victorian beauty" was almost $1 million dollars! You can take a virtual tour here.

Photo credit: Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Real Estate
I visited the Vintage Garden Tea Room once back in 2009. My friend and I both had tea leaf readings done and were happy to hear that we were going to make lots of money...I'm still waiting for that money to come my way!

I'm joining the following parties this week: