Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tea and Books Saturday #25 - "The Charms of Tea"

The Charms of Tea
By Victoria Magazine
1991, Hearst

Years ago, a girlfriend and I took a brief road trip to Warm Springs, Ga., home of FDR's Little White House and the marvelous shopping village there. We had browsed in many of the stores already, but I opened the door of one particular shop and instantly knew I was at home. Soft, lilting music was playing. The air was perfumed with potpourri, soaps and scented candles. The shop was well-stocked with laces and linens, angel figurines, and so many beautiful things with roses on them that I thought I was in retail heaven! The store has long since closed, but I've never forgotten one of the happy treasures picked up there that day, one of my very first tea books: The Charms of Tea: Reminiscences and Recipes from Victoria magazine.

Victoria has since published several other tea books, but I have to say this early one is the volume I treasure most. It features all those beautiful images from Victoria, and it's also filled with quotes and literary excerpts that make for quite enjoyable teatime reading. The "reminiscences" are just delightful, but the "recipes" are quite tempting as well. I hadn't looked at this book in a while, and suddenly the Currant Scones with Smoked Turkey (and apple jelly glaze) struck me as incredibly yummy sounding. Some of the other tempting recipes are for teas (Lemon-Mint, Orange-Spice, Ginger Pear Delight), savories (Herbed Cream Cheese Sandwiches, Salmon Mousse, Spinach Cheese Tartlets), breads (Sage, Pumpkin Nut, Milk and Honey), and there are also recipes for spreads, cakes and cookies.

I like the quote from the book's introduction which describes tea as "a comforting ritual, simultaneously soothing and stimulating, in which to withdraw momentarily from the busyness of our lives and pay gentle homage to the passage of time." This "gentle" book will help you do just that!


  1. I have this book too, and like it very much.

  2. I remember that store!!! I may have been the one to go with you....

  3. I have all Victoria Magazines Tea Books and others. I love their book "SWEET BAKING" also for sweet tea time treats.


  4. Angela: This is one of my favorites too! I can get lost in those old "smokey" Victoria photos.
    I love the quotes, linens, etc. I just got a new Victoria Book yesterday and will feature it one day this week!
    Love your blog!

  5. This one is my favorite, too!

  6. Angela, this looks like a book to get! Thanks for the review, Joanie

  7. This book as well as the early issues of 'Victoria' are some of my most beloved and frequently enjoyed reading. It is such fun to know that even after so many years they still bring pleasure to many tea lovers.

    Janet P.


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