When I think of tea and teapots I am always reminded of the time I was doing a bit of hillwalking in the highlands of Scotland. I was up in the Cairngorm massif, specifically, rather a bit up the side of that old bugger, Ben Macdui. I had my sights on the summit and the summit cairn when the weather took a turn for the worse. The wind was soon blowing a gale, with sideways blasts of rain alternating with showers of hailstones. It was, as they say, really pegging it.
As I made my way to the Corrour bothy, the clouds came down close and the temperature dropped. I was never so glad as I when I saw the metal roof and grey walls of the bothy looming up out of the growing gloom. Pushing my way inside, I soon had a lively blaze going in the wood stove that was quickly hot enough to get a good scald of tea going. In no time, I was snug, dry and warm, inside and out. As I sipped my tea, the weather continued to lash against the window and the wind moaned around the eaves of the roof. Yet, there I was as safe as houses. I smiled into my mug and took another sip.
Tea is a civilizing beverage. Brewing tea is a ritualized practice of authenticity and nothing represents that civilizing practice more than a teapot. More than a vessel for holding liquid, the teapot is a metaphor for decorum, balance and beauty.
All three of these elements are represented in this lovely porcelain teapot by Royal Albert. Decorated with a detailed vintage rose design, it begs for clotted cream, strawberries and cucumber sandwiches. Perfect for enjoying a casual “cuppa” with friends, a delightfully gregarious princess tea party with my 3 tutu-sporting miniature sovereigns or a more formal afternoon tea on the terrace with the ladies from the village green preservation society.