This week I finished a big editing project, so I celebrated with a little downtime, which meant reading something a bit more leisurely — my beloved back issues of Victoria magazine. My custom for years now has been to reach for issues originally published in the month at hand, and I best love — and cherish — those early ones. So this week I'm looking at the April 1993, 1994 and 1995 issues of Victoria. Can you think of a 20-year-old issue of *anything* that you still read? Other than these magazines, I can't, and I'm so pleased I've kept them all these years.
As I look through these old issues, it occurs to me, repeatedly, that Victoria is truly what turned me on to tea. As a good little southern girl, I grew up drinking only sweetened iced tea, so the very concept of drinking hot tea seemed a little odd to me. But I loved all the pretty teawares in Victoria, so the teacup and teapot–collecting bug hit — and, naturally, an interest in tea books. Looking back at tea-themed artwork in this April 1995 Victoria, I see that I missed a tea book, the one by Maryjo Koch.
In this April 1994 issue, there's a feature titled "Woodland Confections Good Enough to Charm," which is about baker Gail Peachin, who made confections out of bark, rosebuds, pinecones and other natural elements. I can't help wondering if this "cake" with teacups nearby inspired some of the nature-themed creations that are still in style today.
In the April 1993 issue, a feature on Harriet Beecher Stowe's cottage in Hartford, Connecticut, caught my eye with the teapot and pitchers shown here.
Also in the April 1995 issue was a feature on Dr. Stewart's Botanical Teas, which I remember enjoying many years ago and which I learned are still around today. Reading these old issues is rather like having a visit with a long-lost friend, a friend forever welcome in my home.