One of the treasures I found on the New York Public Library's website this week was this old postcard of the Willow Tea House in Shanghai. The "Willow Tea House" seems to be its nickname, though, as the "Huxinting Teahouse" is how I find it listed on travel sites today. I was intrigued to learn that it was built in the middle of a pond and is accessed by a zigzag bridge that was believed to keep evil spirits away. (Here's a website with lots of other images of the tea house, along with quotes from those who visited.)
And of course what fascinated me most was learning that this pagoda-style tea house is said by some to have inspired the Blue Willow pattern, a saucer of which I've shown here. I may be the very last one in Tea Land to know this, but I had no idea an actual tea house was said to be the inspiration for the Blue Willow pattern!