Tea time

July 12, 2018

If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you; if you are excited, it will calm you.  

Tea is for every season, even, as William Gladstone reminds us, for the hot, humid days of summer. A tall, cool glass of iced tea is always refreshing, but hot tea is lovely, too.

Our on recent cruise to Alaska, we were able to enjoy afternoon tea several times. It is offered every afternoon on the Princess cruise line. We enjoyed hot tea and a selection of tea sandwiches, scones, and tiny cakes and cookies. I think Queen Victoria was on to something when she instituted this custom back in the day.

Lovely to watch the scenery while sipping tea. This is the life!

We took a ferry to Vancouver Island after we landed in Vancouver. We stayed at The Fairmont Empress where the famous Empress Tea Room is. We weren't able to schedule tea, but we did go have a look at the tea room.

I bought this mug in the gift shop. All the china and teapots in the tea room are in this pattern.

Disappointed to miss tea at The Empress, I asked the concierge back at our hotel in Vancouver for the name of a good tea room. He directed us to TWG Tea. At first I thought it was an abbreviation of some sort for Twinings tea, but there's no connection. TWG Tea is based primarily in the Asia Pacific, with the Vancouver location their only one in Canada. 

Oh my goodness. I felt like a kid in a candy store when we walked in.

Can you believe I didn't buy any tea? I still have so much left from our trip to China. But if I had bought tea, it would have been this. I don't even know what kind it is, but who could resist?

I couldn't figure out what SFTGFOP1 meant. But there it is, right on the box -- Special Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe First Quality. Of course.

They had a huge selection of tea. (I think they said 200 varieties in the tea room; many, many more online.) I always like to try something new, but I had no idea where to start. The waitress helped me pick out a black tea, my favorite, but I can't remember now what I had. It was delicious.

My husband had a blue tea, which I liked even more than mine. I just looked it up and blue tea is also known as oolong tea. No wonder I liked it.

My husband actually ate this quail egg. I just can't eat a runny egg!

I had to open up this contraption. What a clever way to keep the teapot hot.

Next time I'm in the market for tea, I'm definitely visiting their website. So sad our local purveyor of tea has closed down.

When we were in Vancouver, I had to pick up a couple of these candy bars.

A Canadian blogger friend (can't remember who) mentioned how good these were. They're not available in the U.S. that I know of, and you have to buy a case of them if you buy them on Amazon. Which I'm now thinking isn't a bad idea. They're delicious. Light, crispy, nice chocolate and coffee flavor.

More flowers from the Butchart Gardens.
When we got home from our trip, I went with my book club to a lovely little tea room just north of us. It is housed in an old Victorian home, and filled with beautiful, vintage decor.

We shared three pots of tea, including a fruity blend and a chai. The menu included quiche and salad and individual mini loaves of pumpkin bread. We shared desserts and more tea. It was lovely.

Besides the two rooms set up for tea and the kitchen, all the rest of the rooms in this house were filled -- filled -- with jewelry, teacups, linens, and other pretty things to buy. Mostly jewelry. We took little baskets around and had fun filling them up and selecting from the bargains.


 My friend Rita from Panoply blog just sent me the beautiful red bowl shown below to complete my vintage Pyrex bowl set. She has a booth in an antique mall in Charleston, West Virginia, and found this bowl while looking for items for her shop. Her blog is filled with wonderful antique finds and lovely home decor ideas.

I use my yellow bowl all the time (I have two of them) for mixing cookies and scones and breads. The other ones are in regular rotation. I'm excited to use the red one now. They look so happy together. Thank you Rita! 

I had a chance this past weekend to put these bowls to use. My sister and her husband and three boys came for a visit. These are white chocolate chip/cherry cookies.

And because one of my nephews is gluten free, I made some gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. These were from a Betty Crocker mix, and they were pretty good.

Thanks for stopping by friends. Don't forget to take time for yourself and enjoy a relaxing cup of tea.


  1. Oh wow, what an amazing cruise to Alaska dear Deborah, I would sure love to do that ! Tea time every afternoon, my goodness, how neat can it get? I see the gorgeous dishes for tea time and all those TEAS !! That little tea room you went with your garden club looks wonderful too. The menu offered sounds delicious.
    On my post now I mention you, if you get a chance go by and visit it.
    Very happy to visit you.

  2. I so wanted to have tea in the Empress Hotel, too, Deborah, but we did Butchart Gardens instead. It looks like you were given a great tip in going to TWG Tea, with all those fabuolus teas. Having tea with your book club friends looked wonderful , too, and at such a pretty tea room. Wasn't that so nice of Rita complete your pyrex set?! I think I'll have a white chocolate chip/cherry cookie before I leave.

  3. That looks like so much fun and amazing pictures. Thank you so much for sharing! Sending Hugs

  4. Wow, such an impressive trip to Alaska with those amazing afternoon teas. The wide range of teas at TWG Tea was such a joy to behold, who knew there were so many varieties. Love the look of the cookies, hopefully there is a pot of tea along with them...

  5. What a great trip! I think if I had to choose between tea at the Empress and Butchart, the latter would've won. It appears you won all around with that tea room adventure - were you visually on overload? I can only imagine!
    Deborah, that Pyrex bowl was certainly meant to be yours! What a great and complete set you now have. I'll take one each of the cookies, and I bet there are several of us who would gladly go in on the full carton of crisps. ;)
    Have a great weekend.

  6. Deborah, it's been ages since I had tea at the Empress, but I still remember those columns and windows. I understand one must book months in advance now. Like you, I prefer black tea AND don't like runny eggs!

  7. Your trip sounds wonderful and tea is a marvellous beverage...I just finished a cup myself.
    I have lived in Victoria since birth and have only ever gone to Tea at the Empress once...we have many other lovely spots for tea here in town.
    Your afternoon tea with the ladies looks and sounds like great fun.
    The TWG tear is new to me I have never heard of it before...Laduree have a tea room on Robson Street in Vancouver which I may try next time I am over there.

  8. Dearest Deborah,
    Wow, that was quite an exposure to tea and more tea!
    Oh my, that runny egg was sure nothing for me; it has to be completely boiled for me to eat any egg.
    Glad you got to at least see the Empress Tea Room and had a further chance on the mainland of Vancouver to enjoy good tea.
    Your outing with the book club no doubt was a fun time together.
    Sending you hugs,

  9. I can only imagine how beautiful the scenery was on your Alaskan cruise...what an experience that must have been! I would not have known what to do in that store with all the teas...oh my word! How in the world is one to choose? What a gorgeous tea room you visited with your friends...that would have been pure heaven. I would have been so busy looking around, my tea would have gotten cold! Enjoy your weekend and your tea time!

  10. I'm loving the diverse tea times that you've experienced. Tea time at the Empress is on my bucket list. I would also love to visit the TWG shop. A few years ago, my brother brought me back some TWG teas when he took a trip to Vancouver.

    Coffee Crisp is the only coffee that I like. HA!

  11. What a lovely post! We did this cruise 10 years ago and stayed at the Fairmont also. And, we toured Butchart Gardens, it was a fabulous trip! I've never been anything but an iced tea drinker, just never cared for hot tea but I do love me some coffee. The Coffee Crisp look like something I would enjoy for sure!!!

  12. Hi, Deborah! Looks like your cruise was a lovely success, and what beautiful tea things! I'd have had trouble choosing one or two tea tins from that selection. And the tea room near you looks just beautiful. What a peaceful place to be with friends.
    I zipped over to Rita's blog b/c you said she was from Charleston, WVa. That's where my family is from, and where I was born. Nice to connect with her.

  13. I can just second Lea's comment. I love iced tea and drink it often; for hot I am a coffee girl all the way. The Coffee Crisp look yummy. So glad that you were given the red bowl. Such a thoughtful gift and so nice to have the complete set. We have the Alaskan cruise on our bucket list. Your pics make me even more excited about going. Love the tea shop where you had lunch with your book club.

  14. I have that same 4-bowl set! It was my grandmother's.

    Ugh! I don't do runny yolks either!

    Your stay in Vancouver sounds lovely! That is a fantastic-looking tearoom. All those teas! Wow!

    My daughter and son-in-law are taking a trip to Victoria, BC, in October, for their 3-year anniversary. They are planning to do high tea at some hotel there.

    I am envious of your Victorian tearoom. We no longer have a tearoom here in Boise. Miss Tami's Tea Cottage closed about 2 years ago, as the owner relocated. Her leaving has left a void.


  15. Being in the South, we drink our tea cold and sweet. I have never been into drinking hot teas but all the flavors and accessories they have, interest me. I would love to try different flavors from a tea room. If I could find one around here.

  16. Goodness that tea shop looks like a candy shop. I wouldn't know what to choose, though I did like your idea of the tea party tea. We are still missing our lovely tea room here that morphed into a hair salon and now is a trendy coffee shop. Your tea room looks lovely and a leisurely time there with friends must be about a perfect afternoon! We also were at the Empress Tea Room when there were no sittings open .. but it was fun to look. Lastly, I have a similar set of pyrex bowls-- shower present from 47 years ago!

  17. I really don't care a lot for hot tea but I want to try and cultivate a taste for it. In the winter I love to drink flavored coffees and other hot drinks, so maybe this year I can add some teas to my Favorites list. There are so many to choose from, surely I can find one I like. In the meantime I will continue to enjoy our southern sweet iced tea:)

  18. Hi Deborah,
    What an interesting post! My kids are all out for the evening so I decided to stop by for a visit. My son and his family are visiting from Vancouver, BC. He goes to the Empress a lot when he travels to Victoria. He's been there so many times he takes it for granted. Imagine that! My DIL and I went to that same TWG tea room but we didn't make reservations so we chose some tea and left. I would love to have stayed and sipped some tea with her. And isn't Coffee Crisp wonderful? I love them too. My youngest who lives in the States sometimes misses the treats here so I sent him a box full of chocolate bars he can't get down there, including the coffee crisp bars and he was pretty pleased. Seems we all like chocolate no matter our age.

    I see your weather is much like ours these days. Hot and humid. Great beach weather! Would you mind emailing me your mailing address? I seem to have lost it somehow.

  19. Lovely tea room and lovely teas! Sounds like a wonderful trip.
    I've got the same Pyrex set. I remember them from my childhood, and now use or display mine daily.

  20. My sweet friend, what a lovely and enchanting post. I was ooohing and ahhhing the entire time I read your words and looked at your photos :)

    I hope you are well, dear one. And I hope you have a most wonderful August! Love and hugs to you.

    P.S. -I absolutely love the Coffee Crisp chocolate bars. Whenever I or my parents go back to Canada we get them :)


Thank you for visiting! I'm truly delighted to hear from you.