Tag: teapot

A special party for Madeline

We were very excited about our friend Maddy’s 60th birthday party. Its rare we get to be guests at parties we’re hiring vintage china for, and Madeline and Doug are such creative people we knew the party would be wonderful. Maddy asked friends and family to bake cakes and help with food so everyone got involved bringing sumptuous local produce – it was the perfect relaxed bring-and-share party. Here are some pictures from this special day…

party invitation hand drawn with pictures of cake, fruit and tea

Madeline made her own party invitations. She is a local artist who usually works in watercolour and paints so she drew beautiful pen and ink sketches of tea party items and copied these to make the outer sleeve for her invites. What a beautiful and ingenious way of inviting her 80 guests to tea?

coffee cake dorset apple cake

cake stand and traditional cakes

The menu for the day was really traditional – everyone loved it! … afternoon tea and home made cakes, Purbeck Ice Cream, Birthday Cake followed in the evening by a cold buffet of pork pies, gorgeous bread from the Pheonix Bakery, cheese, salads, Doug’s home made pickled onions, ham off the bone and quiches! Wonderful!

Madeline grows all of her own flowers – the sweet peas were heavenly! She also made bunting for the marquee and painted these cute jam-jar tealight lanterns using glass paints and copper wire for handles

flowers and tea lights

There were two birthday cakes baked by her friends (one depicting Maddy painting and the other for the small campfire of candles!) They were really great!

birthday cake showing a lady painting in a book
birthday cake 60

The tea table is always popular for choosing which cup you want to have tea served in…and we brought a variety of pots so people could escape into the garden with a pot and plenty of top-ups!

vintage teapots, vintage teacupsvintage teapots

Obviously we made sure Maddy had a pot too though!

lady holding a vintage tea pot

vintage teapot and vintage cakestand with a few cakes

Published by annie, on 21st August 2011 at 1:25 pm. Filled under: Vintage Events,Vintage Food Tags: , , , , , Comments Off on A special party for Madeline

Vintage China Care

Recently we’ve had a few people ask us about caring for vintage china. Having so much vintage china means we’ve gained real expertise in maintaining vintage ceramics and porcelain to keep it bright, clean and beautiful and this is the perfect time of year to have a look at all our stock and give it the once over. So here’s our tips for keeping all that vintage gorgeousness looking lovely and fresh.


Whenever we get “new” stock the first thing we do is give it a good wash – you never know what’s been in or on it……mmmm

  • If you are washing a teapot always remove the lid before you begin. Lids are the most vulnerable bit of the teapot and more likely to get broken than any other part.
  • Check the china over – are there any cracks or chips – we never use cracked china for food use – but blemishes are common in old crockery so just because an item has the odd uneven mark or colour spot – doesn’t mean that it is ruined! Inside teapots its quite common for the glaze to be imperfect. Marking beneath the glaze does not affect the taste of the tea or use of a teapot or cup.

washing a blue vintage teapot

  • Use a plastic bowl, lined with a dishcloth if necessary and only wash one item in the bowl at a time.
  • How hot is that water? Scalding water or direct heat can cause the glaze to crack or lift the gilding. Its one of the many reasons we never recommend using fine china teacups for scented candles – they may look pretty once – but be prepared that they will ruin the cup! Warm water is best for vintage china – and delicate hands!
  • Use a non-abrasive detergent. Vintage china does not fare well with dishwashers or modern detergents that might mark or scratch the gilding. We use Ecover or other “earth friendly” detergents. For more stubborn marks use baking soda, cream of tartar or salt. For very stubborn tea-marks then fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar soaking overnight will usually do the trick – but toothpaste can also be good for ground in discolouring – well if it works on your gnashers it’s got to be good!
  • The best way of avoiding staining is rinsing the china immediately after use. Jam is particularly horrible as it will leach into the china turning it pink. Wipe and rinse as soon as you can.

Cleaning the spout using a cotton bud


  • For teapot spouts, use a cotton bud to get into the spout and clean thoroughly. Don’t scrub at the gilding as it can start to flake off.
  • Check for staining along the underside of the spout as this area is often overlooked.
  • Use a cotton bud for the rim of the lid. Tea stains are common here too.


Checking under the spout washing a teapot lid using a cotton bud

  • Dry your china with a clean tea-towel. This prevents smears.
  • If stacking or packing china or cups do not use plastic bubble wrap. This can cause the china to sweat and encourage moulds. Remember that very old bone china may have some organic content (yum!). Your china is best wrapped in thin dry paper or paper serviettes.
  • Keep your china at moderate temperatures – too hot or too cold and wild fluctuations in temperature will cause cracking.
  • Fine surface crazing from too hot water can generally be “healed” by placing the china in warm milk for 30 minutes before re-washing – we know – how amazing is that!

Washing crockery correctly is a vital part of vintage china care. If you keep these hints in mind you’ll keep your teapots and trios in tip-top condition… but do remember to enjoy a cup of tea when you’re done! With a few biscuits of course!

Tea wedding favor

Published by vdorset, on 3rd August 2011 at 9:04 pm. Filled under: Vintage Activities,Vintage Homeware,Weddings Tags: , , , , , Comments Off on Vintage China Care