Monday, October 9, 2017

Teapots Steeped with Memories

“Tea is quiet,” explains author and tea authority James Norwood Pratt, “and our thirst for tea is never far from our craving for beauty.” Many of my loveliest moments have unfolded over teatime — beginning my day in the hush of early morning with a steaming brew, welcoming friends to my table for an afternoon of conversation and dainty treats, or traveling to an exotic destination for the weekend and taking tea in the elegant environs of a historic venue. Whether a few minutes of solitude or leisurely hours shared in the company of loved ones, teatime, for me, is always an occasion to be sipped and savored.

In my home, accoutrements related to serving tea have been elevated to prized objet d’art. Many of these treasures were purchased during visits to tearooms, and their presence evokes fond memories. A porcelain teacup and saucer, tucked among cookbooks in the kitchen, bring back memories of the sweet friend who first invited me to tea then gifted me afterward with this rose-covered memento. A towering trio of white cake plates highlights a buffet in our living room — their shapely pedestals and gently scalloped edges an artful complement to the serene décor. And gleaming atop a tufted ottoman in the sitting room, a silver tray showcases a selection of my favorite teapots.

These teapots, in particular, hold a special place in my heart. When my husband was in law school and we lived frugally on my starter salary at a publishing house, going to tea felt like an ultimate luxury. Joe does not share my affinity for much of the traditional tea menu, but he loved watching my eyes light up at the sight of such exquisite offerings. During those years, we celebrated my December birthday with an annual visit to an area tearoom, and after our meal, I would wait eagerly in the car while he purchased my Christmas present from items I had pointed out in the gift shop. Decades later, I appreciate not only the prettiness of these keepsakes, but also the sacrifice of love that each one represents.

Today, these teapots add a grace note to my interiors. Sometimes they catch my eye on a busy day — stirring sentimental thoughts of the past. Other days they encourage me to slow down, brew a fresh pot of a seasonal blend, and fill our prettiest china cups for an impromptu teatime. For parties, they often crown the table, brimming with fragrant blossoms. Always, always, they give me glimpses of beauty and remind me how truly blessed I am.

What objects in your decor hold great sentimental value?

Photo by Nathan Prichard. Used with permission.
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