Afternoon tea at Liberty.

After a quick visit to Columbia Road flower markets to get some big blousy pink roses there seemed nothing better to do on a rainy, dreary Sunday afternoon than visit Liberty for afternoon tea.

I am a big fan of Burleigh's black and white willow pattern. I quite fancy the whole dinner set for everyday use. My old china is just too fragile.

The coffee cake was delicious, although I can still feel the clotted cream clogging my arteries.

Tea with Susie

I'm back on a self-imposed teacup buying ban at the moment. My shelves are overflowing with china and each time I take down a vase or book I'm terrified something is gonna bite the dust. But gifts are okay right? One of the recent additions to my collection is a beautiful 1930's Susie Cooper trio. A pale greenish-grey and cream number with delicate burgundy decoration.

The trio was a 30th birthday present and considering it's age, is in almost immaculate condition. There's just a bit of light crazing on the bottom of the plates, which is hardly noticeable. I like to think it used to belong to a dark-haired, elegant lady called Elisa.  A thin woman who drank her tea unsweetened, black and never with cake.

According to Wikipedia, Susie Cooper (29 October 1902 – 28 July 1995) was a prolific English ceramic designer working in the Stroke-on-Trent pottery industries from the 1920s to the 1980s. She worked for many firms, including Wedgwood, and was even awarded an OBE in 1979.

Her work is pretty and very collectable. This is labelled (on the plates not the cup as shown above) 'A Susie Cooper Production, Crown Works, Buslem'  so dates back to when she was running her own business that she started in 1929. There's a good site here, which has loads of information about collecting Susie Cooper.

Tea’s made…

My 30th birthday was, well quite fabulous really. Without going on too much... The day started with breakfast with two of my favourite people at Islington's Ottolenghi.  Ricotta and orange filled crepes covered in lashings of berry sauce served up with lots of strong coffee. Yum.

This was when one of my many amazing birthday presents was unveiled. So amazing in fact that I've dedicated the rest of this post to it. Introducing my 1950's teasmade.

In pride of place.

Amazing.

Alarm clock to get me out of bed.

And even the light works!

Thanks Asha you rule. More exciting birthday present updates to come...