Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"Tea at Fortnum & Mason"

Do you ever want to look at a book or magazine simply because it's pretty? I do. In the course of my job I am forever reading articles about cooking, decorating, news and technology, but sometimes I just need to quiet my mind by looking at something where I don't have to think so much. Even two recent visits to the magazine stands turned up nothing inspiring. For that reason, I was so very surprised -- and grateful -- when a new tea book I ordered ended up being not only a delightful read but also the loveliest thing I've *looked at* in quite some time!

"Tea at Fortnum & Mason" is a small (5-1/2 x 7-1/2 inches) book, clad in that beautiful eau de nil color for which the London department store is rightly famous. This book had been on my wish list for some time, and I finally ordered it as a small treat for myself for surviving another large project at work. Ahh, it was just what I was looking for, with tea information and recipes I wanted but also beautiful photography I was craving. Like the image of this Eclair with Fresh Cream and Raspberries.

And this Honey, Sultana and Pecan Tea Bread, sliced and cleverly posed against a teapot.

Even the opening pages of the chapters are gorgeous, such as this spread for "The History of Tea."

Or what about this one for "Small Cakes and Fancies"? The design and recipes in this book are both outstanding, and if you need a little "soul food" yourself I'd certainly recommend it. Now if you don't mind my asking ... what's the last really pretty book or magazine you've read?


  1. That does look like a great book - lots of gorgeous photos. The cover is a dazzling blue - no wonder they use it as their signature color.

    Table Settings by Victoria is an older book (2002), but it is a tea lovers dream (and very pretty).

  2. Because of your blog, my list of books to ask my library to order keeps getting longer! For book inspiration: this summer I finally bought my own copy of The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brocket, after checking it out of the library several times. This book doesn't necessarily picture elegant home life, but cheerful, cozy times at home.

  3. What a great find! F&M's is always on our list of tea places to visit for afternoon tea when we are in London. The treats are always delicious & plated beautifully. Another book goes on the list! Thanks for sharing!

  4. There is still nothing like holding a beautiful book and enjoying the feel of the pages in your hands. (I know there is a place for the electronic readers, but a beautiful book can not be savored in this mode!) This book is one that I would want to hold!

    My favorite pretty book is "The Love of Lace" by Cynthia Hart and Catherine Calvert. The book jacket is even a feast, made of vellum to resemble lace, it is just a wonderful preview of the exquisite laces you will encounter in its pages. As a former designer of wedding gowns, this book for me is a visual delight.

  5. Oh my! That is a gorgeous book! Just love the pictures! I'll have to put this on my wish list! So lovely to meet you! Thoroughly enjoyed my visit!
    God Bless,

  6. Angela, One of my favorite books is On Women & Friendship(Starr Ockenga) and I love all of Susan Branch!Christine

  7. Hankie Couture: Hand-crafted Fashions Made from Vintage Handkerchiefs by Marsha Greenberg. I saw it in the new section at the library and had to bring it home to ooh and ahh over. I can't sew but my Mom is going to give me my grandmother's vintage hankies and I think I'll use some of them in the Easter shadowboxes I'm making for her and my sister.

  8. That is a lovely book. Since the last books I've read were all children's books, I'll opt out of that question. Unless you think Clifford or Curious George are pretty. LOL

  9. Definitely one to add to my ever-growing list of tea books to purchase! One beautiful-to-look-at book I bought recently is "A Proper Tea" by Joanna Isles. It contains some good information, and wonderful ideas for themed teas, but her water color illustrations are what really sold me on it.

  10. Thanks for sharing this book with was such a busy work week that I am tardy reading all the fun posts but I am thankful for Fridays off! As usual you are my first visit and I am excited to learn about another tea book to add to the wish list! I know EXACTLY what you mean about pretty books for the sake of pretty...I LOVE all my tea books and magazines like victoria, southern lady and Tea Time (I am as excited as a CHILD when it comes) REcently I purchased a tea time book from the publishers of Victoria and the book is so pretty! Angela your blog makes me happy!

  11. Hello Angela, I agree with Trish!
    Your blog makes me happy too -
    it's been a scary week for us, weather wise: lightning struck a neighbors tree, it went on fire and it sounded like a BOMB had gone off!

    Electric wires went down & were 'live,' cable wires 'burned up, (phone / cable / internet) Fortunately, within 24-hours the repairs were made but there was a lot of damage. That lightning can be so dangerous.

    So nice to be able to catch up and see a lovely book, the photos are gorgeous. Thans for having such a great site, Joanie

  12. Wow, this is pretty! Right now I am looking and sort of reading Romantic Prairie Style by Fifi O'Neill.

  13. To visit that store would be a dream come true!


Thanks so much for taking time to leave a comment! It makes my day to hear from readers!