Tuesday, December 1, 2015

2015 Fantasy Tea Gifts

Oprah releases a list of her favorite things each Christmas season, and Neiman Marcus regularly releases its list of Christmastime luxury gifts, so I thought it might be fun to play "If I Were a Rich (Wo)Man" by compiling my own tea-themed list of suggested fantasy gifts for the year. Ready to see what they are? And just to be clear: I am *not* giving away any of these items, a few of which cost more than my monthly mortgage. This is sheer fantasy for those of us accustomed to spending just ten or twenty dollars on a teatime gift. So let's begin …

1. Fortnum and Mason's Wooden Tea Advent Calendar. This is the item that actually inspired my thinking about fantasy tea gifts, because who wouldn't love to count down the days to Christmas by trying 24 rare teas? If I ever get rich as Croesus (or Oprah), this is the sort of gift I'd love to send to all my tea friends! At 125 pounds sterling, that's about $188 dollars in US currency, plus international shipping. (So in other words, for the time being, I hope you all enjoy looking at the pretty picture.) If you'd like to see more photos of this delightful advent calendar — and trust me, the details are worth seeing — click here.

2. Benjarong Box of Treasures from the East India Company. Harrods calls this set of four china mugs and two caddies in a lacquered keepsake chest "the ultimate indulgence of afternoon tea," and I can see why. It's 1,250 pounds sterling, or about $1,882 dollars in the US. Click here to see more images of this lovely gift.

3. Hermès Balcon Du Guadalquivir Teapot. Did you know Hermès makes teapots? I did not. How about that? This one is $620 from Michael C. Fina. I've never shopped with Michael C. Fina, but I do remember the name from all those years of watching TV game shows. It seems that the china on game shows was always provided by Michael C. Fina. Click here if you want to see more than a computer screen grab of this classy teapot.

4. Vintage Tiffany Sterling Tea Set in the Chrysanthemum Pattern. If you're the kind of gift giver who believes in "Go Big or Go Home," this is a gift that will definitely get you invited to Christmas Tea at your friend's house next year. The six-piece set is $41,999 at Replacements.com, but act fast, because there was only one of these in stock last I checked. If you're on a tighter budget, perhaps the Demi Teapot (just $7,499) will do the trick. Click here to see these fine pieces from a company many of us already know and love.

5.  Creed Asian Green Tea Perfume from Neiman Marcus. When I read Stanley Marcus's book "Minding the Store" a few years ago, one story that impressed me was about the year a man stopped by Neiman Marcus for a Christmas gift for his wife and had a hard time finding just the right bit of extravagance. Stanley Marcus plucked a giant brandy snifter from a display, layered cashmere sweaters inside, topped it all with a white cashmeter sweater (to simulate whipped cream) and then a huge ruby ring (the cherry). The gift totaled some $25,000, and the man was thrilled. Our husbands would have it ever so much easier if they would simply buy us this $315 bottle of Creed's Asian Green Tea perfume, which sounds divine with its top notes of bergamot, mandarin, lemon, and lemon petitgrain essential oil, middle notes of  violet, heliotrope, rose, and cassis blended with green tea, and base notes of amber, sandalwood, and musk. Click here and click on the word "More" to read the charming history of this sixth-generation perfumer!

6. Wedgwood Hibiscus Teapot. I can't seem to stay away from the British stores with my cyber-stalking, I mean "shopping," for fantasy tea gifts, and when I came across this gorgeous teapot on the Selfridges and Company website, I was completely charmed. This teapot is $197, and I am crossing my fingers that they made too many and the overage will land at T.J. Maxx after Christmas! (Click here to learn more.)

7. Anthropologie's Unlikely Symmetry Teapot. Got a girlfriend who can't decide whether she likes red transferware or blue transferware best? Here you go. For $158, you can give her a teapot that solves the problem in a most whimsical fashion. (Click here to see more photos.)

8. Penhaligons's Earl Grey Tea Candle. I knew Saks Fifth Avenue was bound to have a lovely tea gift for my list, and I came across a brand I haven't seen in years, Penhaligon! Do any of you remember when they used to appear in Victoria magazine years ago? And I think there were even Penhaligon scented books! The British company is apparently alive and well, and you can learn more about this candle ($135) by clicking here.

9. Juliska Country Estate Delft Blue Teapot. A few years ago, I began seeing Juliska glassware and dishes every time I turned around, but I had forgotten the name until I found this lovely blue teapot ($175) on the Bergdorf Goodman website. If you're in New York this Christmas and looking for a little something extra for a tea friend, this should do the trick. Click here for more info.

10. Newby Silver-Plated Luxury Tea Caddies. Easily the loveliest tea caddies I've ever seen, and oh, if they weren't 195 pounds sterling each, I'd probably own a few. To check out the range for yourself, click here.

I hope you've enjoyed my list of 2015 Fantasy Tea Gifts. What was your favorite gift?


  1. Wow! You had some fun cyber-shopping and found some amazing things. We'll just have to wait and see what we can find at the stores that fit our budget now. :-). But it is fun to look!

  2. It's hard to narrow it down to just one of those fantasy gifts. I love all the teapots since each has blue in them, but I think I'd choose F & M's Wooden Tea Advent Calendar. How unique! Such fun to dream!

  3. How fun! I think I would choose the Wedgwood teapot. Hoping it shows up at TJMaxx too.

  4. Such fun! The wood advent calendar would be fun.

  5. Very interesting choices - I don't think any of those things - save the Advent calender - would suit my tastes. I do love Juliska - especially the daily white dishes - I have a friend who has a huge collection of it - I always drool and covet when I am invited there. I would have a set of 8 each if I were to win the lottery.


  6. The Advent calendar is perfect! I was wishing for it too, or a F&M hamper would do. Cheers!

  7. The Advent calendar is perfect! I was wishing for it too, or a F&M hamper would do. Cheers!

  8. Wow! If I were a rich (wo)man, I would buy all my tea friends the wooden advent calendar!

  9. Very good choices, I love the idea. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Thanks, Jan! I had a lot of fun searching these out … and dreaming! :)

  10. How lovely! I'm working on my own tea lover's gift guide for my tea blog as well. I adore all of the teawares you selected for this. Great taste :)


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