Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Vintage Tea Party" by Carolyn Caldicott

Last week I received a review copy of a soon-to-be-released book I'd been itching to get my hands on, "Vintage Tea Party" by Carolyn Caldicott, who with Chris Caldicott once ran a café in London's Covent Garden. This book is even more lovely than I'd hoped it would be, picturing flea market stalls of chintz teawares, close-ups of freshly-made tea sandwiches and sweets, and thatched-roof cottages in the English countryside. And while the book is full of terrific eye candy for tea lovers, it's also quite an inspiring read. Giving advice on "Where To Find the Vintage Look," Caldicott says a collector of vintage teawares first should always check with family, who may have unused pieces they're willing to share. "Once you have exhausted the possibilities at home," she says, "it is time to hit the local charity shops, the final destination of many a spring clean, offering an endlessly changing supply of bric-a-brac, linen and cutlery."

A brief history of tea is a nice addition (and would make this book a great gift for those new to tea), but as always I learned something new myself. While I'd read about Anna, Duchess of Bedford and her legendary "sinking feeling" which led to the beginning of afternoon tea, Caldicott surprised me by tossing in a tidbit I've never read before. "Fortified by her tasty repast she soon decided to share the experience with her lady friends by sending out invitations for 'Tea and a walk in the fields.'" So the Duchess and friends were walkers! Nice to know!

Following a few pages on the basics of selecting and preparing a good cup of tea, the book offers recipes for jam, finger sandwiches, cakes, cookies, bite-sized sweets, and all manner of treats you'd love to make or eat. I especially like the recipes for High Tea, which the author notes is "a much more generous meal" and "traditionally served at the end of the working day." Welsh Rarebit and Crumpets are two of the recipes featured here, with other chapters spotlighting Tea in the Drawing Room, Tea in the Garden, Fireside Tea and Nursery Tea. With terrific photography by Chris Caldicott, this book is a must for those of us who favor all things vintage—and all things tea!

21 comments:

Frivolitea said...

Sounds like a good book, Angela!

Rosemary said...

there's always room for one more book!

Linda J. said...

I will put this one on my wish list!

Martha said...

Oh, I am so ordering it -- it looks like my kind of book! And we stayed in Covent Garden -- alas, no tea ware there now. Sigh --

Steph said...

Sounds like one to add to the list!

Mom Walds Place said...

I am going to our library's website right now, and recommend that they order this book. Thanks you!

Denise :) said...

Oh this will definitely be another one to add to the collection!! :)

Antiques And Teacups said...

Wonderful! I think vintage tea is the only thing I do! LOL!
Ruth

Heirlooms by Ashton House said...

Looks like a must-have book for us tea devotees! Thanks for sharing!

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

OOHH sounds awesome! I collect and absolutely adore my tea books, this is a must have!

Thanks for the heads up on it!!!

Are you allowed to give us a sneak peek too?

Jenny said...

I'll be watching for this book!

Lavender Cottage said...

Thanks Angela. I've picked up a couple of books you've recommended, including yours.
Judith

Beth Rang said...

Thank you for giving us a preview of this book. It sounds smashing.

Kiffer said...

Well let's see just purchased Martha's Magazine. I can see this book in the near future.
I love this blog!!!!! So many neat tea related items.
Thank You so much for doing all of the research. Thanks for sharing.

yearbythesea said...

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and information about this book - definitely adding it to my wish list! One can never have too many tea books. :-) Heidi T.

Carol said...

It sounds delicious! I especially like the front covers simplistic beauty, especially the trim surrounding the photo.

Thanks for the great review.
Love, Carol B.

Marilyn said...

I would love this one, as I love vintage for tea. Sounds good.

Ginger said...

sounds like a great book.

The Tea Enthusiast's Scrapbook said...

Hi Angela,

Thanks for confirming this book is a winner! I pre-ordered it on Amazon for $10.06 two weeks ago. It's due to ship around March 15th.

I can't wait to receive it.

Blessings, Darlene

Anonymous said...

Hello Angela, this book sounds like one I need to order - thank you for your wonderful review. Love the comment by the Duchess, 'Tea and a walk in the fields.' Reminds me of "Pride and Prejudice." Joanie

parTea lady said...

This looks like another tea book I'll want to add to my collection. It is such a reasonable price on Amazon too. Thanks for the review.