Birds of Britain Portmeirion Collection

The History Of Portmeirion Birds Of Britain

I have been fascinated by the Italianate village of Portmeirion in North Wales, since 1973 upon first entering through the archway set in the mountains of North Wales. I knew that the village was created by architect Clough Williams-Ellis as his bit of paradise in a harsh world and also as the setting for the famous 1960s cult television series, ‘The Prisoner’ but , it was only years later that I discovered the Portmeirion pottery created by Williams-Ellis’s eldest daughter, Susan Williams-Ellis, and her husband Euan Cooper-Willis.

My future mother-in-law was way ahead of me. The Welsh dresser in her bungalow in Wales was, stacked with Portmeirion dinnerware depicting ‘The Birds Of Britain.’ I bought a tea caddy with an illustration of the nightingale many years ago and have treasured it but recently I have had the good fortune to receive 4 mugs, a casserole dish and a teapot from my mother-in-law in her attempt to declutter. I get pleasure seeing them displayed in the kitchen and they are sturdy enough to be used everyday. They are dishwasher safe and can be used in the microwave.

My daughter and son have started to collect various pieces of Portmeirion Pottery. They have grown up appreciating the exquisite illustrations on the Birds Of Britain china in our home and at their Grandmother’s house in Wolverhampton and bungalow in Wales., My son keeps hinting that he would like the set of 4 large Birds Of Britain mugs (if we are not using them) but we feel like holding on to them at the moment.

The picture of the bullfinch teapot is one of my own photographs taken in the backgarden of my bungalow in Wales, about 40 miles from our house – appropriate, I think.
Who was Edward Donovan?
The author and illustrator of ‘The Natural History of British Birds’

Edward Donovan was an author/illustrator and amateur zoologist, born in Cork, Ireland, who lived between the years 1768 and 1837. Donovan collected natural history specimens from auctions of items collected from voyages of exploration and displayed them in the London Museum and the Institute of Natural History, which he operated. He used these specimens as his models for his illustrations and took control of the whole process of the illustration, the drawing, etching, engraving and hand colouring. The result was vibrant engravings that looked almost like watercolour paintings. Susan Williams-Ellis happened upon his book, ‘Natural History Of British Birds (1792-97)’ and’The Complete Morris’s British Birds (1891),’ at an antiquarian bookshop and was inspired to reproduce these wonderful drawings for her new series of Portmeirion earthenware which appeared in 1978.

The Natural History of British Birds by E. DonovanBUY NOW
Susan Williams-Ellis was inspired by Edward Donovan’s work, published in five volumes, when she discovered it at an antiquarian bookshop. It must have been one of those ‘wow’ moments for her.

British Slang and Colloquialisms, English and UK slang

Having recently created one Hub about Yorkshire Dialect, and one about some of the language differences between British and American people, my thoughts have turned to British slang, colloquialisms, idioms and funny euphemisms.

I will offer my apologies here and now to any reader who takes offense, as none is intended. I will also apologise for any strange words or sayings that I foolishly thought were unique to the UK, but are more international.

So here goes:
McGraw-Hill’s Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions: The Most Up-to-Date Reference for the Nonstandard Usage, Popular Jargon, and Vulgarisms of Contempos (McGraw-Hill ESL References)
McGraw-Hill’s Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions: The Most Up-to-Date Reference for the Nonstandard Usage, Popular Jargon, and Vulgarisms of Contempos (McGraw-Hill ESL References)
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Round the hat rack, generally means a bit barmy, or not all there.
Lost the plot means that you have no idea what is going on.
As much use as a chocolate fireguard or as a chocolate teapot. Hopefully this one is self explanatory. No? Well it means the person or thing referred to is useless.
I’ll make you smile on the other side of your face. This generally refers to a cheeky grinning child, threatened with a slap. Hopefully this one is becoming extinct.
Its like the black hole of Calcutta in here, refers to a place that is very dark. I guess this one dates back to the days of Empire. The black hole of Calcutta was where prisoners were held back then.
A bit of Aggro or Bovver refers to a fight or some such trouble.
If he or she has been ASBO’ed they have received an Anti Social Behaviour Order from the courts or police.
As Mad as a Hatter.
One of my mother’s funny expressions was about a person who was not very nice looking. He, or she, looks as if his Mother stood on his face to wind the clock up. Sorry this is not a nice expression but it still makes me laugh.
A lick and a promise is not as exciting as it may sound. It simply means a job done in a hurry and not thoroughly.
Your not backward at coming forwards are you?, may be said to someone who is definitely not shy.
I’ll give you something to cry about. This used to be said to a child who was crying, for no reason, and could mean that the child was in for a slap.

OK so that’s a few sayings to get us started. So what about rude expressions, that are not really swearing. How about:

Get knotted
Shut your Gob (mouth)
Shut yer cakehole (mouth, again)
Get lost
Get stuffed
This is one of Hubby’s put downs, to moronic individuals. Go polish the bolt in your neck.
Have you got verbal diarrhoea?, may be asked of someone who never stops talking.

So how about a few words?

Fireballer is a creep. Someone who is trying to get round you (another expression I guess)
Plonker simply means you silly thing.
Skive off. This means to avoid work or chores.
Bunk off. This could refer to a child who is playing truant from school.
Twagging, is also a word for playing truant.
Pulling a sickie refers to someone absent from work who is pretending to be sick.
Titfer is a hat. Perhaps this is like the Cockney rhyming slang. Tit for tat.
One yer Bike, means no chance, clear off and stronger phrases.
Med up for yer. Pleased for someone.
Yer not as daft as yer look, are you? Well really what a cheeky saying.
Thick as two short planks, could refer to someone who is not that bright.
Stop going round the houses, will tell someone that you want them to get to the point.
Spuds are potatoes.

Fashions and times change and this means that slang words and phrases often change also. In the second world war a Spiv was a person who traded goods on the black market, for example.These days the British language has plenty of American expressions used on a daily basis.

When I was young and rather a chatterbox or natterbag, as my Dad would say, Dad had a pertinent expression about me. He used to ask “Was you vaccinated with a Gramophone needle?” I guess most youngsters these days will have no idea what I am talking about.

How to Make a Great cup of Tea

The British Way of Making the best Cup of Tea

Here’s how to make a great British cup of tea – how am I qualified to advise you? Well, I live in London and I used to work in a ‘caff’ (cafe) in the heart of Camden, where they taught me to brew the best tea in town!

We all know that there’s more British than a good cup of tea. This is a tradition that came about during the 17th Century when China exported tea to British India and the British controlled tea production in the subcontinent.

There are references to drinking tea in Samuel Pepys’s Diary in 1660:

“We talked together of the interest of this kingdom to have a peace with Spain and a war with France and Holland… And afterwards did send for a Cupp of Tee (a China drink) of which I never had before, and went away.”

Samuel Pepys, Diary, 25 Sept.

Tea is served everywhere in the UK, hospitals, school staff rooms, prisons, and in meetings of every description! It is a social custom that helps breaks the ice, calm the nerves, warm the soul, and lift the spirit.

But should you pour the milk first? Does you little finger make any difference at all to the taste of the tea? Are bone china cups necessary? Should the water be boiling before you pour it in the teapot? What teapot is best?

Find the answers to these and more fascinating questions about the art of making a perfect cup of tea from experts from Fortnum & Mason – scroll down to find their videos.

Please leave a comment before you go. Ta ta from London!
A Perfect Cup of Tea
Cup of tea and chocolates
Cup of tea and chocolates | Source
London Underground Map & Mug of tea
London Underground Map & Mug of tea | Source
Tea in the UK

Tea drinking is something the British do every day, and although coffee is now also very popular you will more than likely be offered a cup of tea if you pop next door to visit your neighbour or if someone invites you home in the afternoon. In the summer time people sit in their gardens and are refreshed by their cup of tea, and in the winter that same cup of tea will warm them up.

Although I am Italian, I was born in London and I have lived here all my life so I have completely embraced this wonderful tradition of drinking afternoon tea. We drink tea every day. We usually guzzle it down in large mugs and make it with tea bags bought in the local supermarket, but on special occasions we get out our best china tea service and do it the proper way, with all the ritual, taking great care to follow the tradition completely.

Making a British Cup of Tea
A kettle
A kettle | Source
Step 1 – The Water

The water should be drawn freshly from the cold tap. Do not use any water that may be still in the kettle from earlier in the day. Tip that away. I usually use it to water my plants.

The water should be just at boiling point, no more, do not let it boil – this is very difficult to judge, so don’t worry if it does!
Source
Step 2 – Warm Your Teapot

This is a very important part of the process because otherwise the tea will become cold before it has a chance to brew.

When the water in the kettle is about to boil pour some into your tea pot. Swill it around to warm the pot and then throw it away.

A Comparison Of The Leading English Cufflink Brands

There is a very large and diverse range of cufflinks, with something to suit every taste and personality. Each designer brand offers a unique look, but without knowing what sets them apart it is hard to find the right brand (and hence pair of cufflinks) for you. Some cufflink brands focus on classic sterling silver designs whilst others specialise in brightly coloured enamel cufflinks or sparkly crystal designs. There are several English designer brands that are particularly worth having a look at. In this article I will look at cufflinks from Duchamp-London, Tateossian, Simon Carter, Paul Smith, Tyler and Tyler, Murray Ward and Seven London.

If you’re intention is to be bold and get noticed, take a look at Duchamp-London cufflinks. Duchamp is a premium men’s accessories brand that has developed a global reputation for their use of vivid colours and detailed abstract designs. The cufflink shapes are classic and include rectangles, circles and ovals. The standout feature though is the vivid colour and design detail they are able to achieve through the use of hand enamelling. One of their signature cufflinks is the square Harlequin which has smaller squares of colour for a stained glass effect. Whilst most cufflinks have an abstract design, some include motifs such as paisley and floral patterns. Duchamp-London cufflinks make a strong style statement, and are there to be noticed. They are ideally suited for a confident man who wants to show that he has achieved a certain level of success and maturity.

Tateossian is a London based jewellery company, and as such their cufflinks are like pieces of jewellery with many incorporating precious stones such as onyx, mother of pearl, lapis, jade and even black diamonds. Their cufflinks are very high quality, with a close attention to detail. For example their football cufflinks feature a matching football boot, whilst their solid silver king skull cufflinks are decorated with Swarovski crystals in the crown and eyes. Tateossian cufflinks are ideally suited for special occasions and present a feeling of opulence and luxury. Tateossian are also well known for their mechanical cufflinks such as working thermometers, compasses and watches which can act as a real talking point.

The title ‘King of Cufflinks’ belongs to Simon Carter, whose range has a very British flavour. His quirky sense of humour shines through with his modern take on vintage British styling, which includes his Victorian subversives and regency squares. There is a real cross section of patterns and shapes, holding it all together by Simon Carter’s love for everything British. Many cufflinks use semi precious stones such as mother of pearl and Swarovski crystals at very reasonable prices. Unusual shapes include; honeybees, aspirin tablets, petals and teapots. His cufflinks are well suited to anyone who wants to inject a light hearted feel into their plain everyday suit.

Paul Smith is perhaps one of England’s best loved fashion designers with his distinctive, slightly 1960s, British look. He has a very strong range of men’s accessories which includes some wonderful cufflinks. Similar to Duchamp-London, classic shapes are given a unique twist with coloured enamelled patterns, such as the Paul Smith thin multi-stripe synonymous to the brand. There is a definite sense of fun running throughout the range, such as the classic British mini painted with the Paul Smith stripe.

Similar to Tateossian, Seven London is a jeweelry brand with a range of designer cufflinks. All their designs combine solid silver with precious stones and crystals. Their look is fashionable and refined, with clean simple lines and limited use of colour. If you are looking for sports motif cufflinks for the discerning gentleman then look no further than Murray Ward. They specialize in solid silver designs on shooting, horse riding, golf tennis, skiing and other outdoor pursuits. Finally, Tyler and Tyler offer a unique collection of hand enabelled cufflinks with two very different signature looks. The first uses black floral silhouettes set against a background of vivid and seductive colour. This look is very dramatic and works very well with a black tie/dinner suit. Their second look is the ‘Victorian tease’, which has erotic pictures of Victorian women and will show off the more naughty side of your personality.

Learning The Difference Between Sterling And Britannia Silver

Overview of Sterling Silver

Fine, or pure silver is often too soft to produce functional silverware items, so the metal is usually combined with another (often copper, although other metals are used) to give it strength while preserving the natural beauty of the metal.
Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by mass of silver and 7.5% by mass of other metals. You will find sterling silver can be identified as it will have the numbers 925 stamped onto it to show the 92.5% purity value.
History of Silver

It is often difficult to locate where Sterling silver began, however it is thought that around 3100BC ambassadors from Crete bought gifts such as sterling silver vases to give to the pharaohs of Egypt. So from the early days of history silver was used to make ornamental and functional pieces; including vases, cups and jewellery.
Popular Silverware

One of the popular and functional items of silverware to be produced are silver tea sets and tea services. Such tea sets date back to the Ming Dynasty 1368-1644AD. In the late 1600’s tea became more readily available to Europe, however tea sets where not introduced until 1700’s. People had then started to add milk and sugar to tea hence the use of a full tea set. The tea set then comprised of a teapot, sugar bowl and cream jug (creamer) became available when the price of tea reduced to make this a more affordable drink , and made it available to the masses.

Britannia Silver

As you may already be aware one of the most popular and more collectable types of silver is English Sterling. There other silver standards out there which silversmiths can create their wonderful silverware from, one of which is Britannia silver.
Introduced by parliament back in 1697 Britannia silver (95.84% – Britannia silver is a combined of 958 parts pure silver and 42 parts copper) was introduced to be the standard that actually replaced sterling silver (92.5%) as the mandatory standard for items of wrought plate. The decision to do this was made as many people were melting sterling silver coinage and making silverware so this new, higher standard was brought in to counter act this.

Hallmarking of Britannia Silver

The change to this higher standard also meant a change in hallmarking to represent these Britannia silver items. To denote Britannia silver the lion passant, (which denotes sterling silver) was replaced by the seated figure of a lady, known as Britannia holding an oval shield, which denotes silver of this standard. This is often accompanied by the lion erased (profile of lions head) which substituted the crowned leopard head.

1999 saw another change in hallmarking, and Britannia silver is now denoted with the superior fineness mark of 958 with the option to also use the Britannia icon.

The decline in Britannia silver

Silversmiths didn’t seem to be too happy with the introduction of this new silver and lobbied to get sterling silver re introduced. Britannia silver was more expensive, slightly softer and less robust. The silversmiths won and sterling silver was re-introduced on 1st June 1720. Britannia didn’t fade away however and has remained as an alternative to sterling silver for silvermiths.

Many silversmiths still used Britannia silver to make some impressive pieces favouring this higher purity silver material to sterling silver. It is often difficult to find good quality, old Britannia marked silver pieces, due to this they are rare and collectible, the also therefore command a slightly higher price.
When buying silver there are a lot of things to consider such as, which type of silver teapots to collect. This is why it is always important to purchase your antique silver pieces from a professional and registered silver dealer.

Buying An English Teapot Today

Of all available teapots, perhaps English teapots are one of the most elegant styles. The teapots made of bone china are typically floral and have a dainty, fragile look that make you feel like royalty when you touch them. With care, they will last for many lifetimes and serve many guests.

Bone china is not your only option, however. Now English teapots are made from a variety of different substances. If you think that English teapots are an extravagance, you’ll be pleased to know that the price range varies according to your selection. Plus, besides serving tea from them, think of the other possibilities for using them.

Consider giving an English teapot whenever you need a gift for a friend or relative. You could start a collection of service for them and continue adding to their existing collection whenever you need to give them another gift. They’ll be appreciative and you can make life simpler for yourself as well by not having to spend your time shopping for a gift.

Even better is to start your own collection. Of course you will probably want to add the matching cups and saucers. Imagine your collection in a china cabinet illuminated by a soft, glowing light. Won’t your friends enjoy admiring them? When your friends or relatives ask what you want for a gift for your birthday or a holiday, you could ask for a teapot or additional pieces to your own set. Later, when you’re ready, you could consider giving your pieces to someone special as an heirloom.

If you’re worried about breaking a piece, you can usually buy or find a replacement through replacement services and websites, so don’t worry about replacements. Instead, think of your tea parties. Picture a table set with your gorgeous English teapot and matching cups, saucers, creamer, and sugar bowl. Imagine your guests commenting on your exquisite pattern and questioning its origin. See yourself explaining how you received the set and how much you love it.

What’s left to do? Take action and find the set you want. Your biggest challenge will be deciding among the beautiful selections. Take your time. Choosing the exact style, color, and pattern you like is part of the fun. If you have trouble deciding and if your budget allows, you may want to order several teapots or sets for yourself. The more sets you have, the more guests you can invite to your tea parties.

Once you do make a selection, you’ll have pieces you’ll cherish forever. Remember – don’t just look at your teapots. Use them. You now have a wonderful reason to have more company so that you can share your valued set.

You deserve to treat yourself and teapots are one of the best ways to do so. When is the best time to treat yourself? Without a doubt, the best time to treat yourself is always right now!

Different Kinds Of Teapots

What is the best kind of teapot to have? This is a common question among tea drinkers seeking for the perfect teapot.

Well, there are different types of teapots and knowing the type of tea you are planning to brew will help you know which pot is best to use. Some teas are just better brewed in a particular kind of teapot than in another.

To help you decide, here are some of the most common types of teapots.

Brown Betty – This teapot is made from red terracotta clay. Its design is quite simple, but still very beautiful. The unique shape of this pot teapot allows the tea leaves to swirl around when the water is poured into the teapot. Such infusion extremely enhances the flavor of the tea. People from Britain deem that the brown betty makes the most enjoyable pot of tea because of its shape and the special clay material from which it is made.

Tetsubin – Tetsubin or Japanese cast iron teapots contain a great deal of elaborate decoration. Such kind of pot is known to be one of the most beautiful and delicately crafted teapots in the world. It originated from Japan as a teaware used in many sacred ceremonies. It is known to have the ability to distribute heat evenly. Japanese tea sets are actually one of the well-admired type of teaware these days.

Yixing – It originated in the Jiangsu province of China Yixing and is made out of unique, porous, purple clay. As clay teapots are extremely absorbent, they are able to take up the flavor of the brewed tea – making each pot brewed more flavorful than before. Because Yixing becomes seasoned with each use, it is best to brew only one flavor of tea in this teapot.

Porcelain Teapots- A German named discovered porcelain teapots in 1710. This type of teapot is heavily influenced by Chinese porcelain and the Yixing teapots design.

Silver Teapots – Silver teapots are known to be very durable and have a great ability to retain heat. Silver teapots gained its popularity in the 1700’s.

Glass Teapots – Glass teapots are well-liked because of their ability to brew several types of tea without retaining their flavors. This type of pot is convenient for those that like tasting different types of teas. Such teapots are microwave and dishwasher safe as well.

Whichever teapot you wish to buy, it is extremely important that you know how to properly clean and care for it in order to have a great cup of tea every time.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6127998

History of the Teapot

The Teapot

Back in ancient China tea drinking developed over time into a very socially-oriented practice. Through the ages this approach has changed little; different cultures have just taken the social interactions associated with this popular drink and added their own cultural lilt. In some cases such as in Japan, they have gone to the extremes and makes tea drinking an almost religious occasion – that is not to say other tea drinkers from nations around the world do not also view tea with elevated reverence.

A 500-year-old invention

The teapot was first invented in Yixing Province in China sometime during the Ming Dynasty in the 1500’s. It was developed in response to the growing use of black tea which required boiling water to steep in; at the time the Gaiwan, a lidded bowl was used to make green tea in. Picking up a bowl full of boiling water as everyone knows, can be a dangerous activity to the undefended hand. Using a cloth or wearing a mitten to pick up a hot bowl is equally dangerous – anyone who has spilled boiling water on themselves will lay testament to this!

To get around this problem of not being able to lift and pour such a hot drink, a handle was added to the bowl. It was obvious that this was a much more appropriate implement to use. Adding a pouring mechanism in the form of a spout, which is directional therefore further avoiding the potential for spillage, was a natural addition to the design

Europe

Europeans, who were drinking mainly black tea, knew about teapots as they were traded along with the chests of tea brought over from China in the 17th century. The pottery used to make teapots had to withstand the heat of boiling water without cracking; the Europeans did not take long in mimicking Chinese pottery production processes and producing their own wares and tea services. The Dutch who were among the first “tea pioneers” in Europe, developed at pottery line called delftware which not only use the technology that the Chinese had developed in their pottery, but they also copied the blue patterns that adorned Chinese ceramics. Adding their own cultural twist, these patterns would typically have been of European scenes rather than oriental architecture and flora found on Chinese porcelain. Cobalt blue was the secret ingredient to this decorative process and the Dutch still today produce delftware in this same way.

Bone China

Britain came up with bone china, porcelain made by adding ground animal bones to the firing mix which produces very high-grade porcelain and has exceptional heat retention properties. Tea tastes best when kept at an optimum temperature during brewing; bone china teapots maintain the water temperature for longer than any other kind of pottery making bone china a popular choice for a teapot. In fact its suitability has made bone china the choice of many when it comes to investing in a tea service – the most expensive tea services available in Britain are usually manufactured from bone china.

Massive variety – a collectors dream or nightmare?

Teapots, since their invention over 500 years ago, are now so varied in design and function, that a collector would be able to buy a different teapot every day of their lives and still never own a complete collection! Just the number of different formulas of ceramic ingredients alone used to make pottery teapots is vast; never mind the number of other materials that are also used in manufacture. The varieties of color, shape, form, function and application make teapots a popular and ideal collector’s item the world over.

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The Beauty Of Teapots

You may decide the time has come to add a new teapot to your kitchen wares. You will find this project to be easily done in terms of locating site after site with lots of pots to look over. However, choosing from all that are available is what will make this task not so simple.

It’s not just the very many kinds of pots available for your choice but all the items that you can choose to add to your pot to make tea making easier. You can have different types of strainers to remove the tea leaves, or infusers that will hold the loose tea in the pot while it steeps. There are timers to let you know when the tea is ready. There are thermometers to be sure the water is the right temperature for the tea you are brewing and so on.

Getting back to the teapots themselves, you will find they are made from lots of different materials. There are metals ones like the beautiful silver tea services you can find. There are porcelain ones. Different kinds of clay make different types of teapots such as the red clay Brown Betty. Some are made from plastic and some from glass. The later can provide an interesting show for the “agony of the leaves”.

Teapots also come in all types of shapes and sizes. We have tall ones and short ones. We have ones that look like traditional coffee pots. We have round ones, pear-shaped ones and multi-sided ones. There are even fantasy pots that can look like animals or bee hives complete with a couple bees attached.

Beyond materials and shapes of tea pots, you can have your choice of just about any color you wish. Reds, greens, blues and yellows abound. Many beautiful teapots come in blue and white or red and white. Many are glazed with whatever colors are popular at the time they are created. It would be like looking through history when looking at the colors of some pots. Even the precious metals will be around in the golden or silver trim on some teapots.

Finding a teapot from a specific location can probably be done if that is what you want. Being a person who wants a teapot, at least enough to look on line, probably means you want something you can’t find locally. It might be a Tetsubin from Japan or a special Staffordshire from Great Britain. It could be the most fragile porcelain from China. Whatever it is, there are teapots from all around the world.

Going beyond the other characteristics of the teapot, you will also find that the times have left their mark as well. Each movement or fashion has affected the humble tea pot. Among these you will find Art Deco, Rococo, 60’s modernism, and Art Nouveau. If you have a taste for a particular art or architectural style, you just might be able to find a teapot that reflects it.

So finding the perfect teapot for brewing you favorite beverage is all simply a matter of taste. Not only your taste for the beauty of the pot you pick, but your taste for your favorite teas will have some impact upon it as well. You could find that if you drink different types of tea, you will need different types of pots.

Some Of Britain’s Best Places For Afternoon Tea

Arguably one of the best British traditions is that of afternoon tea. Who can resist a cake stand stacked high with freshly baked scones, cakes, and handmade sandwiches? Accompanied by a steaming pot of tea, mmm, perfection! Even better are the places where your hosts roam the room with a trolley full of baked goodies. And venues where booze qualifies as an intrinsic part of the afternoon tea service are always favourites. But how does one choose where to go in a world where the tradition has become such a major trend again?
The best general advice is to avoid places who’ve spent vast amounts of money on an advertising campaign. No no no, you’re looking for places with a more independent approach. Many of the best afternoon tea spots take care of their own publicity through the successful use of social media, and simply by word of mouth.

Scotland

In Scotland the tradition of afternoon tea has become as hip as can be. Cafes seem to be competing not only in terms of who makes the nicest cakes, but also who has the cutest vintage tea sets and cake stands.
Visitors to Edinburgh are absolutely spoilt for choice. It seems like an impossible task to nominate just a few of the best places for tea and cakes. The clear winner in the Twittersphere is Mimi’s Bakehouse. Mimi tweets daily pictures of mouthwatering cakes. And they taste exactly as exquisite as they look. Due to its massive following, the cafe recently had to expand, taking over the other half of its lovely �old warehouse-type building by the canal� in the trendy Shore area of town. Mimi’s is beautiful in every sense of the word, from branding to cake mastery to interior design. It’s cakey bliss!
Other local favourites are The Birdcage in Musselburgh where tea and cakes come accompanied with prosecco and cocktails in teapots, and Eteaket tea boutique with its lovely selection of mini-patisserie.
In Glasgow afternoon tea doesn’t come better than that served in The Willow Tea Rooms, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh himself. The lush selection of fresh delicacies tastes even better in the glamorous, old school setting.
T Ann is where to go in Dundee for yummy homemade goods in a cute wee shop just near the high street.

England

You just have to go to Devon for afternoon tea in England. Nowhere is better to savour the sweet treat that is scones with clotted cream and jam. The thought alone is enough to make one hungry even minutes after having finished lunch!
One of the best afternoon teas in the area can be enjoyed within the historically grand Lewtrenchard Manor with its blazing fireplaces and gorgeous period features. Afternoon tea comes in either a sober or boozy version i.e. with or without champagne.
In Mersham le Hatch, Kent you’ll find The Secret Garden where everything is locally sourced. Simply knowing that your scone and cream originated just down the road make them taste ever the more delicious!
Time For Tea is a total time warp in the heart of London’s hip Shoreditch area. Te faux 40s interior is a great setting to indulge in cakes and ponder over a milky mug of tea.

No matter where you end up having your afternoon tea, it’s bound to fill you up and make you sleepy so a nap is adamant. Therefore you need to make sure you book yourself a cosy and comfortable Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Devon or London Westminster hotel, preferably with a gym…