Monday, October 28, 2013

The Posset Cup or "Loving Cup"

Fancy That recently acquired a cup with two handles.  We have been asked what is the reason for a double hand, so we thought we would share some ideas.

A cup with two handles, or double handles, is not really a tea cup at all.  In European circles, tea cups have one handle.  In Asian circles, there are no handles as the cups are a little more squat making them a little more adept at capturing the smell and nature of the brewing tea leaves.

Double handled cups are often thought of as consomme or bouillon cups.  You may see soup bowls that have saucers or underplates and a handle on each side.  They may be called bouillon cups or cream soup cups.  They are usually larger in size and utilitarian.  If the hostess wanted to serve soup without lugging a tureen from the kitchen (or she had no staff to lug) she would fill the double handled cup with an underplate and deliver the soup straight to the table.

Then there is the "loving cup."  Shaped after a winner's cup or trophy cup, these were decoration or keepsakes for a significant event - christening, birthday, birth, et cetera. (The picture above is similar to a "loving cup" done in a "Fragonard Style.")

The double handled cup was a cup also made for the weak, infirm or those drinking a warm ale, curdled milk, or warm wine.  British will call that a Posset Cup.  After all, Posset is a drink that warms the hands as well as the soul.  Why not take it in a double handled cup named after the warm beverage...the Posset Cup.  Posset Cups were given as hostess sets especially during the "big wet" or damp season when common colds were as prevalent as the rain drops.

Loving cup, Posset Cup, Consomme or others, but rarely a tea cup.  Now you know!  :)  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Tea Napkin or Serviette

When setting your table for Afternoon Tea, remember the napkins.  A tea napkin, or serviette, is a dainty napkin of 9 inches to 12 inches square.  From the British or Old French, "serviette" (pronounced ser VEE Ett) is a piece of cloth that goes on the table during tea service.
Of course you can use any size napkin you wish, but keeping the napkin dainty near 12 inches square, with maybe a little bit of embroidery, adds that classic touch to your Afternoon Tea.

For points of reference, Luncheon napkins are about 12 x 16 inches, Dinner napkins are near 15 x 17 inches to 20 x 20 inches and "Lapkins" or a cloth to cover your entire lap is over 22 inches square.  Classic linen Lapkins have also been used at Afternoon Teas when a lady preferred to protect her dress from any crumbs.

We hope you enjoyed this little post.  The pictures above are from Fancy That's Tea Room where we use 12 inch square cloth napkins for each tea service.  We find the touch and feel to be reminiscent of days gone by, with a little color (pink!) added to bring the napkins "up to date."  Thanks for stopping by!  :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Afternoon Tea is popular! VERY POPULAR!

It has been several months since we last posted.  But we'll tell you, it hasn't been slow!  We have hosted over 450 people for Afternoon Tea in those short months since we got our permitting and are continuing to book guests well past the Holidays!  We started with the Dining Room, then added the Pink Room, then added "Yolla's Table" and the Very Little Table.  Then we added an earlier sitting, and a later "4PM" sitting - the proper tea time!  Yes, it has been fun...and busy! 

We continue to enjoy changing our menu monthly to bring some wonderful tea sandwiches and awesome desserts to our tea takers.  We think we have enjoyed it more as we "open" our test kitchen and try out each item.  Diet?  meh!  (grin).
We also managed to host four open houses!  We hosted the May Open House when we celebrated getting all of our permits and began serving Afternoon Tea.  We had a Parisian Open House where we served Paris Tea, Maria Antoinette tea from Nina's and a host of French-inspired desserts.  It was our best-attended open house yet.  We tried an evening Open House where we had Pink Champagne and Truffles.  Well attended.  And most recently, we hosted our Autumn Open House where we sample the fall flavours of tea breads - pumpkin and cinnamon - always a favorite of our customers!
So what's on tap?  We are now serving Afternoon Tea by reservation on more Fridays due to demand.  We added Friday November 15th and December 13th.  You can now book Tea on a select Friday!  We are having a Tea for Thanksgiving (almost fully booked!), a book signing special tea with Bruce Richardson (author of Great American Tea Rooms), Champagne Tea on New Year's Day by reservation, and two sittings with Pink Champs on Valentine's Day 2014 - one at 2pm and one in the evening.  Pfhew!  Check out our Facebook Event's Page for more information on what we have coming up.  We will be posting more often here with recipes from the Tea Room, notes about stories from tea takers, little bits of etiquette, and the like.  We like to say, when you enter our Tea Room, you leave all of your cares and worries at the door.....same here.  When you are sharing your time with our Blog and Facebook Pages, for just a little while, you can leave all of your cares ad troubles behind you.  Sit back, relax, cuddle your "cuppa" and enjoy The Tea Life with Fancy That with our "Cup Of Glee"!  :)  Thanks for stopping by!