The ages-old tapestry of taking tea is woven with a prismatic palette of threads, from the golden strands of tradition and the silver cords of friendship to the rainbow ribbons of taste bud–tempting refreshments and the brightly hued filaments of an elegantly set table. This hardcover book from the editors of Victoria magazine invites readers to savor the pleasures and possibilities of this cherished ritual shared by people the world over.
Divided into four enticing sections, this exquisitely photographed volume offers page after page of ideas for making teatime an unforgettable experience. Begin by learning the essentials, from differentiating the various types of tea to learning the “tools of the tray” and how to brew the perfect pot. Recipes for classic scones and the traditional accompaniments, such as lemon curd and clotted cream, are also included. The Celebrations chapter is filled with inspiration, tips, and recipes for planning special occasions, whether it’s a summertime gathering with butterfly-adorned china and a menu that includes delicate lavender cream scones or an outdoor setting to celebrate Mother’s Day, where roses—both botanical and edible—are the order of the day.
Since presentation is such an important part of any event, readers will discover a treasure trove of brilliant ways for creating the perfect tea affair from start to finish. With a basic “tea primer” leading off this section, the visual journey continues with beautiful linens, china, silver, and floral arrangements before addressing the details—those grace notes that make all the difference in a tableau. And for journeys of a different kind, the spotlight shines on some of the editors’ favorite tea destinations, both stateside and abroad. Among the featured venues are the gilded grandeur of San Francisco’s Palace Hotel and the history-steeped environs of The Williamsburg Inn in Virginia and Washington, D.C.’s Willard Hotel. For those whose adventures go beyond America’s borders, they’ll add The Empress in Canada, Ashford Castle in Ireland, and Bettys Café Tea Rooms in England to their must-visit lists.