Come to the maddest Mad Tea Party in the world on this tea cup Tuesday

July 16, 2013

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Come see what I found at RGB Kew. A 40 place setting tea party in celebration of The Great British Tea. Here is the story of this project.

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This project was created by Kirsti Davies, a London artist, and realised by skilled British craftsmen.

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This beautiful, huge table and the 40 chairs were made from green oak using traditional peg and slot methods by Welsh woodworker Giles Thaxton. He also carved the lettering into the table top.

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The china was crafted by Stokes Croft China and hand painted by Kirsti Davies and other artists who also came up with the riddles.


I loved how they thought of everything for a tea table including milk and water jugs.

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But this was Kew, and so the most important focus was on all the edible plants which end up as part of tea.

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There were herbs, and veggies, and fruit trees and even tea bushes.

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I wished some of these dishes were for sale in the gift shop because they were so fabulous, but unfortunately they were bespoke for this table only.

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There was also some transferware made for this table. I loved this gently Lady Grey plate.

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Of Course I eventually did have a cup of tea and the barista who made it for me somehow broke the tea bag and left me this fortune. Can anyone read tea leaves? Robert said it looks like I’m having to get over a wall. I saw myself painting at an easel and my friend Marrianna saw me as a gypsy dancer dancing away as carefree as anything. What do you think?

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Linking with Terri to admire her wonderful pink tea cup and matching cake, with Martha and thinking I want to go to Italy for a fantastic blue glass cup, with Sandi and admiring the English rose cups, (I love English roses), and hopefully, later with Bernideen.

Elder flower fritters
Using the smallest brushes

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  • Reply Becca July 16, 2013 at 2:53 am

    In the teacup, I see you sitting back on your knees, on lovely rolling hills, peacefully reading a book. 😉

    • Reply Veronica July 16, 2013 at 5:42 am

      Oh Becca, I love that. Maybe in the meadows at Uffington, at the White Horse. 🙂

  • Reply Bloghaus July 16, 2013 at 3:43 am

    But where are the scones?

    • Reply Veronica July 16, 2013 at 5:43 am

      Good point Bloghaus! 🙂

  • Reply Martha July 16, 2013 at 5:06 am

    Hi Veronica: It looks like you are having a wonderful time. I would love to see this wonderful party up close. Enjoy each minutes lucky lady. Hugs, Martha

    • Reply Veronica July 16, 2013 at 5:45 am

      Martha, it was so wonderful to come up to this giant fantasy table in the middle of the rose garden. 🙂

  • Reply Karen July 16, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Hi Veronica,
    That tea party looks amazing. Wow! I wish I could have see that in person … must have been thrilled! The dishes and plants are so authentic. I love your teacup with the tea leaves. My grandmother (from Scotland) used to read our tea leaves when I was a little girl but unfortunately I don’t have the knack. I am so pleased that I visited you this morning in England. It is just a fabulous tea time and the best post that I have ever seen regarding teacup Tuesday! Thank you so very much for posting this extraordinary tea! I hope that you linked up with all of the tea times on Tuesday. Enjoy your time away. It sound so exciting! (I am at the cottage to avoid the mess and concerns at home). Keep in touch.

    • Reply Veronica July 16, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Hi Karen. I was absolutely floored when I saw that table! I’m so glad you’re at the cottage; living with the renos in the same house is not fun at all! Poor C is still in the Vancouver house trying to manage and fresh workmen are showing up tomorrow. But my middle child Kerstin and her family are also at the house managing the process. Hope it will be smooth. (For both of us!) You know, my British grandma was a very practical, no-nonsense woman who wouldn’t hold any truck with tea leaves, but my Czech grandma was all magic and fantasy and spinning needles and fairies in the garden. (Crazy grandmas are so much more fun!) 🙂 I’ve got so much planned over the next week, like Art in Action and racing the mini and a castle or palace or two and loads of summer British fun, so stay tuned. 🙂

  • Reply Terri July 16, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Hello Veronica, it is always a pleasure to visit you at your blog. This table is so unusual and so wonderful in many ways. The china really is something special. And I love that they have all edible plants and even tea plants. So cool!
    I am glad you are having so much enjoyment on your trip.

    • Reply Veronica July 17, 2013 at 3:37 am

      Hi Terri, it was fun for me to see actual tea shrubs. You know how you see images of them on TV, well the leaves are similar to bay leaves I think. Really dark green and glossy. Now I want to go back there and see it again! 🙂 Thank you so much for hosting again this week.

  • Reply Jann Olson July 16, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Veronica, this is fabulous! Love the pitchers and teapots that are labeled. Wish you could have brought one home with you. The table is wonderful too.

    • Reply Veronica July 17, 2013 at 3:38 am

      I Know Jann, maybe I can go to one of those paint your own china places and paint one. 🙂

      • Reply Flora September 9, 2013 at 10:44 am

        Deep in the beating heart of The People’s Republic of Stokes Croft, Bristol, where we made all these pieces with Kirsti, you can! We hold china decorating workshops on the first Sunday of every month, where you will have access to a wild array of ceramic decals, vintage and modern, to create your own unique piece of fine English bone china 🙂 From £10 for a mug!

        Flora, Stokes Croft China

        • Reply Veronica September 9, 2013 at 3:50 pm

          Hi Flora, that’s good to know, thank you, I’d like that very much. Next time I’m in England I’ll make an effort to come over. 🙂

  • Reply Bernideen's Tea Time Blog July 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    What a incredible table that just goes and goes and goes!!!! So glad you shared at Tea In The Garden!

    • Reply Veronica July 17, 2013 at 3:39 am

      Thanks Bernideen, it was so super cool, just like an Alice table. Thank you so much for hosting again this week. 🙂

  • Reply Sandi July 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Let me just say first of all, that the tea table is fabulous and it’s such a whimsical and wonderful sight. I do hope you’re having a splendid time in England and enjoying lots of delicious English tea. I understand you also celebrated a birthday while visiting. Happy Birthday, Veronica, and thank you so much for sharing at my party this week! Enjoy your vacation.


    • Reply Veronica July 17, 2013 at 3:42 am

      Hi Sandi. It might feel like a vacation but I actually live here for part of the year, so the same old work, mowing the lawn, taking the garbage out, shopping, gardening and visiting with friends happens here. (It’s just a lot closer to castles than Vancouver…lol) Thank you so much for the birthday wishes; I’ve been at Kew…more or less…for about a decade worth of birthdays and I love it there. Thank you so much for hosting again this week Sandi. I love visiting with you and all the tea gals. 🙂

  • Reply Nancy July 16, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    What a beautiful table and fun dishes! Thank you for sharing and happy tea day to you!

    • Reply Veronica July 17, 2013 at 3:43 am

      Thank you so much Nancy, happy tea time to you too. 🙂

  • Reply July 16, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    FANTASTIC V !!!!! Just loved this!

    • Reply Veronica July 17, 2013 at 3:43 am

      I know Kathryn! What an imagination. 🙂

  • Reply michellepond July 16, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    A tea time masterpiece! By the way, I’m drinking Lady Grey right now.

    • Reply Veronica July 17, 2013 at 3:43 am

      Oh Michelle, that’s one of my favourite teas. Mmmm 🙂

  • Reply Maria Andrade July 17, 2013 at 4:15 am

    Hi Veronica,
    What a FUNtastic way of celebrating tea with a great party! It is all so imaginative but simple and natural!
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful table and all the details.

    • Reply Veronica July 17, 2013 at 4:35 am

      Hi Maria, I like that FUNtastic! 🙂 Exactly! 🙂

  • Reply jennywoolf August 21, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Lovely post! I’ve just visited this and I’ve written about it on my Lewis Carroll blog (I’ve published a biography of him) because “Alice” was really the inspiration for the whole mad tea party idea. You can find the post here if you are interested. Jenny

    • Reply Veronica August 21, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Hi Jenny, this is fantastic, I live 10 miles out of the city of Alice, Oxford. Can’t wait to visit you. 🙂

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