Thursday, May 26, 2016

Shanghai's Willow Tea House

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!


  1. You were not the very last person to know what inspired the Blue Willow design. I did not know it either. Have always loved the pattern though! I love the zig zag bridge! My thought is there may have been more than one reason for the zig zag. It could also slow a person's approach...thereby causing them to gear down a bit-for a relaxing tea experience!

  2. I did not know this, either, and I love Blue Willow, so I'm glad to have this bit of knowledge!

  3. Cool! And I didn't know that either... I always learn something from you.

  4. I read the information also from the website you linked us into. Whether or not this tea house inspired the Blue Willow pattern, I will never see that pattern without remembering the comments over the years from the people who visited. As interesting as this tea house and its history, I will refrain from putting it on my bucket list. You give us the most interesting tea information to read. Thanks, Angela.


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