As a young girl growing up in Albany, NY, I had a best friend. Her name was Maura. Maura and I walked to school together every day since we started, and even went to the same high school . Then, we walked to the bus stop together. She only lived one block down the hill from me, and so we spent a great deal of time at her house fooling around.
One of my favorite memories is the two of us, singing to albums- vinyl records…on the stereo in her living room and then being treated to tea made by her father. We could sit there for hours.
Her father was from England, and he made a pot of hot tea. white tea as he called it. “Will you have it white?” That is, served with cream. I poured a lot of milk and sugar in mine..we all did. I felt so sophisticated and worldly having afternoon tea with Maura and her dad.
My father, the son of Irish immigrants, also drank tea but mainly at work. I believe he ate tea and toast for breakfast and lunch both!! But we did not routinely drink tea in the home. My mother was a big coffee fan.
I began to collect teacups in highschool. We would have an opportunity to buy an item in the giftshops after school trips, and I purchased teacups if I could find them.
One time I bought a cardinal, my February birthday cup on another. After high school, my brother enlisted in the airforce. Eventually, he was stationed in Europe, mainly in Germany. Luckily, he would give me china presents for Christmas. He gave me a blue and white Delft vase one year and teacups from Germany over the next couple of years.
I still have these. These beautiful teacups reside in a glass cabinet in the dining room, along with my teapot and other cups and saucers.
In Ireland, every local shop sold teasets. A small set consisted of six teacups and saucers and teapot, creamer and sugar bowl. Everyone has one.
A complete teaset expands to include lunch plates and/or cake plates.
Even larger sets included a coffee or chocolate pot. The first thing one did when a guest arrived was to put the kettle on, get the serving tray, and assemble teacups, saucers, teapot, milk n sugar, and a plate of biscuits ( cookies).
Here at home, I had a pink floral teapot; I purchased somewhere as a young woman to use with my teacup collection. Of course, we had a small set in Ireland, mainly a mixed set of unmatched antiques and a pale blue teapot.
When I began to upgrade the Ohio house, I bought s couple set of blue and white dinnerwear. I am a massive fan of blue and white- a color combination I love. If you put in a dash of yellow and a splash of green and I am in heaven…smile.
So I bought a navy and white teapot to go with my blue and white dinner dishes tea mugs. Apparently, teacups are not an American favorite in dinner sets.
To make up for the lack of available teacups, I have a set of eight beautiful antique blue paisley tea luncheon plates and cups. My mother-in-law loved to use them for informal luncheons. I always admired them. I admit to being a paisley freak.
After she passed away, my father in law asked me if I wanted any of her dishes, and I gratefully requested this set. I always believed she got them from her mother. In my research for this post, I was surprised to discover my mother in law must have purchased the set in the 1970s.
I used the mark and numbers on the bottom of the set to research the plates and found they are common lunch sets made by a Japanese porcelain company called Lefton China. HERE This link will take you to the history of this post war company. Started by a Hungarian immigrant in America. It ended up in postwar Japan and eventually to Taiwan. It has a very interesting history. Sorry the link pictures are not available but I found the story really interesting. This set is considered an antique at some valuation sites, but I’ll call it vintage. She must have purchased it in the 1970s.
The luncheon plate has a round depressed area to allow for the placement of the teacup, and then there is room for cake, scones, or a sandwich.
I have only used these beauties on are occasional, But I have recently decided to begin to use some of my “good” stuff and not worry about it anymore. Why keep in stored away and never see or use it!!!
I started using crystal champagne glasses for my morning juice and began using crystal wine goblets instead of the cheap store-bought ones. But here I am, a bit careful. I do go through wine glasses, so if I am having a bunch of friends, I use the store stuff but the crystal for intimate gatherings or for myself alone.
How many of you guys have started to use some of your good stuff everyday? What do you think? I admit to a fear of breaking everything. but I do use the crystal champagne glasses and haven’t broke one yet. My kids will not want them after I am gone so I might as well enjoy them now. HAHA
Guess what, I found a creamer and sugar bowl on Etsy for this set and what did I do? I purchased it of course!
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Take good care