Tea with Miss Read

October 4, 2015

In far too many places in England today, the agreeable habit of taking afternoon tea has vanished.

'Such a shocking waste of time,' says one.

'Much too fattening a meal with all that dreadful starch,' says another.

'Quite unnecessary, if one has had lunch or proposes to eat in the evening,' says a third.

. . . All very true, no doubt, but what a lot of innocent pleasure these strong-minded people are missing! The very ritual of tea-making, warming the pot, making sure that the water is just boiling, inhaling the fragrant steam, arranging the tea-cosy to fit snugly around the precious container, all the preliminaries lead up to the exquisite pleasure of sipping the brew from thin porcelain, and helping oneself to hot buttered scones and strawberry jam, a slice of feather-light sponge cake or home-made shortbread.

                                                                 -- from Gossip from Thrush Green by Miss Read

Love this new (to me) teacup. I bought it as a gift for a friend, but will have to find her something else. Don't want to part with it!

If you've never read any of Miss Read's books, you don't know what you're missing. I've read the first four of her Fairacre series, and the first five of the Thrush Green series. The one I've quoted from here is next on my list. If you like charming and simple stories of village life in mid-20th century England,  peopled with lovable and sometimes eccentric characters, you're in for a treat.

Linking with Sandi's tea party.


  1. What a pretty cup and saucer. I would keep it, too. ;-) I think people need to get back to taking time out of their afternoon to relax and enjoy a comforting cup of tea. Our souls need it in this unsettled world. Deb

  2. Tea with Miss Read is a lovely way to spend some tea. I've read several of her books and will look for more of them. Taking time to relax with tea and a book is a very good thing. Beautiful tea cup.

  3. I adore Miss Read books too. I have a shelf of them that have been read over and over.

    I've always thought that the tea hour in England was such a civilized thing. And then it seemed to combine with small children's supper after which they could go to bed and let the adults have a quiet dinner!

    Now you've made me decided to begin all over again with the dear characters in Miss Read's books, some not so lovable!


    1. Deborah, I'm back to say I'm on my third Miss Read since your post inspired me to reread them once more. I picked the first one off the shelf randomly and turned to the first sentence. Guess what it said? "In far too many places in England today...." I thought of you as I read it. And now I'm craving gingerbread and sponge cake!

      They were just what I needed right now for relaxing bedtime reading!


  4. Hi Deborah, what a beautiful teacup! Have a wonderful week,

  5. Dearest Deborah,
    Judging from your excerpt, it must be a very good book!
    And who would want to do away with afternoon tea?! Love your dark chocolate piece... smart way as it is so healthy.

  6. I love the sound of the book, I must get a copy. I still have afternoon tea everyday, not always a full tea with scones and cream but certainly a little something. It soothes the soul.

  7. Hi Deborah, the book sounds like a great read. I will look for these. Love your gorgeous tea cup. I always have afternoon tea. Not always with the added treats, but the tea is a must. Enjoy the day.
    Hugs, cm

  8. Hi, Deborah. What a beautiful teacup! I'd keep it, too! I've often wished we had an afternoon tea ritual in this country. Somehow that afternoon cup of coffee to relieve that 3 PM dip in energy just doesn't feel the same! Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

  9. I "discovered" Miss Read books in the 1970s and now own all of them, which I treasure and read again and again. I wrote to tell her of my long-time enjoyment of her writing while she was still alive, and received a nice reply from her daughter. These books are wonderfully wry and witty.

  10. I remember reading several of her books in years past. I might hit the library for some of her newer ones, thanks to your reminder. if you like her books you'd probably love D.E Stevenson if you have not read any of hers. Most are out of print now...I've picked up many a used one over time online, but the libraries still have some of her titles. They are always having tea ! :)

  11. Deborah, your teacup is a real beauty! I would keep it too. It's truly unique in its green floral pattern and gold trim. I adore green! I haven't read any of those books but they sound like they are worth looking into. Thanks for sharing your beautiful teacup with us and enjoy it, my friend!


  12. I think I'd have to hang on to that pretty green teacup, too, Deborah. I have Miss Read's entire Fairacre series and have read about half of them a second time, working them in between library books, etc. I've only read one Thrush Green book, and it wasn't the first in the series, so I really must make a point to start ordering them through our library's service. I can get most of the DE Stevenson books that way (altho our local library has a bunch) and also Angela Thirkell (but I've only read one of hers so far). English Village books are my favorite novels. That chocolate is making my mouth water! Have a great week, Bess

  13. OH Deborah, I'm so glad that you couldn't bear to part with that pretty teacup!! It's soooo pretty!
    Thank you for the recommendation on the books and the author. I love charming stories of people in villages. I will look the books up.
    I do have tea in the afternoon, but skip the treat. Sad, I know, but tea is a treat in itself.

  14. Your gorgeous green teacup is definitely a keeper, Deborah! I chuckled when I read that you had originally purchased the teacup for your friend (hope she doesn't read this post!) but decided to get her another gift because I've done the same thing myself. Hee! I'll have to check out Miss Read's books.

  15. Not sure my comment went through, Deborah. Looking forward to reading more of your lovely blog.

  16. Love the tea cup - and the endorsement for Miss Read. There is a stack of Christmas books sitting on the desk right here, and Miss Read's Christmas is one of them.

  17. That is a lovely cup! I enjoyed that descriptive paragraph.

  18. Isn't that the prettiest tea cup and saucer, Deborah - I can understand why you can't part with it! Afternoon tea is a must for me - I always take a little break to have a snack and catch up on some reading. The books sound wonderful. I will add these to my book list. Thank you for sharing. xo Karen

  19. I can see why that is a keeper teacup and saucer. It's so pretty -- love that particular shade of green.

    And I've been looking for the Miss Read books around here ... can't find the beginning of the series books. So I'll have to visit amazon soon.

    Thanks for sharing a lovely post again, Deborah!

  20. Oh, Deb - that tea cup and saucer are divine! I can't blame you for not wanting to part with it, haha!

    I adore those quotes! I think I may have to read those someone this winter! I will slowly be catching up on missed reading, been crazy here. Huge hugs and ♥

  21. A gorgeous new teacup Deborah, I would have kept it too. I see your one square of chocolate that you allow yourself and would like the ginger flavour too.
    I haven't read any of these books but the theme sounds delightful.

  22. Beautiful pattern, Deborah. I'm all for any ritual that makes us pause and appreciate life's delicious details. I enjoy the occasional cup with dry toast and lemon curd. These days it's mostly evening tea.
    Always a pleasure catching up here. Love the perfume bottle vase. I apologize I'm so slow at returning visits these days, wedding plans are now in full swing.
    Love and blessings!

  23. I wouldn't be able to part with that teacup & saucer either! I hope your friend isn't disappointed. I'll have to check out this series for a nice evening read. When visiting my grandparents in England when I was a child, my grandmother prepared a proper English tea for us. The food was incredible, and SO rich and sweet! I couldn't eat most of the things she put out. That was at 4pm, then there was still supper to eat. I couldn't do that on a regular basis. I'm good with just a cup of tea in the afternoon without the food.


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