Interested in starting a collection of your own?
Whether you were an avid watcher of the BBC production Downton Abbey, or just like to surround yourself with beautiful tableware, take inspiration from the series and create a special afternoon tea at home with friends.
Be sure to check international eBay. Search by brand name, or use general search terms, like ‘vintage’, ‘original’, ‘collectable’ to source the best pieces for less.
Look for pieces you already own and usually only think to use on ‘best’ occasions. Fine bone china is the choice of teacup because the rim is fine and the handle delicate to hold. First set the table with a linen cloth, a sugar bowl, (ideally with sugar cubes), claw-shaped sugar tongs, sliced lemon, a small milk jug, a ceramic or silver teapot and a strainer, because loose leaf tea is always preferred over teabags. Use a separate pot or jug for hot water. Present small cakes and biscuits on a tiered cake stand, though you can just as easily create your own, by placing a cup on a dinner plate and then a side plate on top. Loaf cakes, finger sandwiches and scones can each be served on cake plates. Use a quality jam, like that made by NOSHtrekker Jam Therapist, and fresh clotted cream, styled in small dishes with individual serving spoons.
Interested in starting a collection of your own? It doesn’t take a lot of money. Hunt for cups and saucers at flea markets, estate sales or charity shops. Even mismatched pieces can be pared together but avoid any with chips or hairline cracks which discolour and are more likely to break. Discover complete tea sets and accessories from etsy , craigslist and pawnshops, that are often less than the cost of online auction sites, like eBay or auction houses that have online auctions across the country.