If you miss the old Victoria magazine as much as I do, check out the January issue of Romantic Homes magazine. It is their British issue and it's lovely. Not quite Victoria but so close you'll find yourself near bliss. :)
Since the weather turned cooler, I have been fixing tea every evening for my husband and me. I love the HT Holiday blend enough to make sure I'll purchase an extra tin next month. However, my evening teas are Spring Cherry green tea (The Republic of Tea) and Candy Cane Lane decaf green tea (Celestial Seasonings). (I know Mrs. Wilt likes the Candy Cane Lane tea, too!) I hope to stock up some on the latter this weekend, if there are boxes still available. HT has a wonderful Winter White Earl Grey available all year that I enjoy as well as their Chinese Flower green tea. I've read that the white teas have the same benefit as green teas. (I buy my HT brand at Barnes & Noble but they are also available online.)
I pour my husband's tea into a small yellow mug. It's much nicer for men and he doesn't have to be as careful with it has bone china. I have a few favorite tea cups that I switch around for everyday use. Sometimes I use my Royal Albert Lavender Rose cup that matches my china and sometimes the American Limoges teacup (found at Goodwill). My favorite is a beautiful cup with roses on a white background that's slightly larger and not as delicate as those two. I was showing this particular teacup to my sister (I purchased the two cups/saucers and two plates for $5.00 at a garage sale a few years ago). It turns out to be the same pattern as her wedding china! I use my plain, white teapot for everyday use. My favorite teapot is very similar (if not exactly the same) as the one shown in the picture above. It was a gift from my daughter (and my very first teapot). It has a place of honor in the inherited china cabinet.
As I've mentioned many times since beginning my ponderings here, it is up to me to make the atmosphere I want in our home. If I want teatime, I have to plan ahead (especially on such a tight budget). I am now reaping the benefit of years of thrift store and garage sale shopping with beautiful silver, crystal, and china to enjoy a little of the fine life here in my little house in the country. Once the eye is trained, it's amazing how fast you can run to grab the teacup at Goodwill, knocking down only two or three people on the way for the prize. :)
The greatest benefit of my son learning to drive (and almost worth the enormous increase in our insurance policy) is being at home in the evenings now. I've been enjoying curling up on the sofa with a great book, lighting the various Christmas candles and "taking tea" while reading. Tomorrow is Thursday, my "day off". I get to sleep late but I also have a full days work ahead with household cleaning, going through Christmas boxes for items to give to Goodwill and catching up a bit on laundry. Tonight, however...candles, tea and books.