Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tea with the Dutchess

Wedgwood's Sarah's Garden tea set and tray ~ not named for the current Dutchess of York, Sarah Ferguson (and formerly married to Prince Andrew, Duke of York), but for the first Dutchess also named Sarah. Sarah Ferguson was spokesperson for Wedgwood back in the early 2000s.




Okay, I admit it. I am a completely nuts for royalty!
When my friend Cheryl and I found out that Macy's 
was hosting Sarah, the Dutchess of York,
in a meet & greet back in 2001
We Had to Go!!!


I am not a royalty snob but I followed Princess Diana,
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mum, Prince Charles and,
the whole crew back then 
buying and collecting
People and Majesty magazines 
whenever they had 
Princess Di
on the cover. 
She was my age and generation, after all...
;)


I, like many of you, was devastated when 
Princess Diana 
was killed in that terrible accident.
I had seen her wedding to Prince Charles
when I was 19 years old
and in Germany on an exchange program.


From Leverkusen, at 2:00 o'clock
on a Saturday afternoon,
the family let me take over the television and 
stare dreamily at the screen as Diana, shy and beautiful in
her voluminous gown and sparkling from the camera lights
bouncing off the pearls and diamonds in her tiara, 
married her prince.


***


Flash forward to 2001...
Meeting the Dutchess was like getting to meet Princess Diana for me... 
She was wonderful! 
Gracious and funny, Sarah Ferguson gave a talk about taking a china tea service 
wherever she goes
as she really dislikes taking tea in a styrofoam cup!
(Her lady in waiting would prepare tea for her
when there wasn't a nice tea service around.)
She and the representative from Wedgwood
showed us all how strong their bone china is ~ that you can 
quite literally
flip a teacup over and stand on it!
It will not break.
It was really cool when the man did that. 
Everyone seemed quite impressed!
Has something to do with the way the cup is shaped,
and the strength of bone china. 
We still were impressed!

Having the same first name as the first Dutchess of York
was one of the reasons Wedgwood asked Sarah
to be their spokesperson
and to promote this ethereal line of botanical china.
Personally, I love the realistic look of the
fruits & flowers, butterflies & bees!
Soooo cute!


I use this china a lot at my teas. The salad plates are
standards in my cupboard for serving cake, muffins, whatever!
They are used daily.


The teacups come out when I want to visit with one friend
and have a heart to heart.
:)
The teapot holds eight cups of hot tea,
which is quite good when serving
many thirsty friends!


This week we are having super hot days ~ over 100 degrees F.
So, it was nice this afternoon to come home
in the rain,
with the weather slightly cooled
and have a nice cup of tea! 

Pumpkin scented candles ~ replacing some of my usual vanilla ones.
These are my favorite candleholders!
My friend Kathy gave me the front-left, cream-colored one with the roses and tied tassels.
The others I have found in various shops like Tuesday Morning and Home Goods.

Sarah Ferguson, the Dutchess of York, signed three pieces of china for me: this large serving tray, the teapot, and another tray.  Wedgwood uses a technique involving vodka to loosen up the glazing. Once loose, one can "write" on china with a certain type of pen, then each piece has to cure for a month or so to "harden."

An ethereal piece ~ so lovely!


I am looking forward to many more fall days with tea and teacups,
and you know Sarah's Garden
will be involved in there somehow...
Happy tea to you all!
Enjoy,
Barb :)


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