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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Would You Care for a Spot of Tea?

Potstickers + wontons + cucumber sandwiches = an Asian-inspired tea party. Part of the appeal of an afternoon tea is the chance to use my lovely teapots and teacups. So recently when my cousins were over and I was in the midst of making potstickers anyway, I decided to turn it into an impromptu tea party. I chose a lovely whole leaf green tea. (To keep green tea from tasting bitter, boil water, turn off burner and let rest until water is no longer bubbling, and then pour almost-but-not-quite-boiling water over green tea leaves.) Now, you know how much I like having lovely things in my kitchen. I love a bargain even more. I've simply collected them throughout the years, and occasionally I meet someone who loves bargains and lovely girly things as much as I do. The teapot was $9.99 from TJMaxx. The sugar and creamer were $5.99 from Target's Rachel Ashwell Simply Shabby Chic collection. The dipping saucers and chopsticks rests were about 10 cents each, souvenirs from my month in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2005. This teacup and saucer set was 75 cents from a thrift store. I've got three of these sets of slightly different flowers.
The tea party was inspired by a recent slew of good finds at the thrift store. This Wilendur dogwood tablecloth was $6. I've seen it sell on eBay for $30 and up. This set of teacups and saucers was $3. The porcelain is so fine that I can see the light shine through the teacups. The Churchill Blue Willow design transferware teacups and saucers were $2 apiece. According to Amazon, the two birds represent Chinese star-crossed lovers. This set of plates was $3.
This set was $2.50. I couldn't resist sharing my display of recent treasures and I hope you liked it too. Isn't there a little girl inside of you who loved to play tea party? On the way out, one of my cousins asked for crumpets and scones for our next tea party. Hmm. Must find some good recipes to try before then. In the meantime, would you care for a spot of tea? Other tea party posts: Afternoon Tea in the Garden with Portland from Glendora and Angel Face Roses Thanksgiving Leftovers Afternoon Tea


  1. This made me smile with warm fuzzies.

  2. That is too charming :) Talk about dining like royalty at peasant prices! A set of plates for $2.50? Holla!!

  3. My mom would totally fall in love you you! She has an addiction to purchasing dinnerware and dishes all the time. She has so many sets and patterns, she has lost count a long time ago! But dang, even I couldn't resist what you've purchased. I am going to camp out in front of TJMaxx so I don't miss a set like that next time they have another one of those for sale! ;)

  4. Hey, not only our tastes and cooking are in sync, our hunts for bargains eg TJMaxx and Target are also in-sync! But I seldom buy dinnerware and dishes coz I'm worried that if one day I've got to move, I would not be able to bring them with me...they're too fragile :(
    I would love to come to your tea party one day ..:)

    Will be great if you could keep those tea sets behind some kind of glass cabinet coz they are such beautiful displays too.

  5. Ooh that looks lovely!

  6. WC, Your table looks beautiful!
    Unfortunately about half of the pictures are only red x's for me. I do love those that I can see, though.

    I, too, am addicted to dishes. I try not to buy them, but if the price is low enough, they seem to find their way to my home!

    Have a great weekend.

  7. Hi Wc - Such a nice elegant setting with a wonderful combination of dishes!

  8. I love your tablecloth, so nice. Cute tea sets too, the setting looks like a cozy bed and breakfast. ;)

  9. Great bargain huntin skills! And yes, I wouldn't mind a spot of tea!

  10. I came back to see the pictures that weren't working. That Wilendur tablecloth is gorgeous! I love vintage tablecloths and have a small collection (5-6 of them).

    I was wondering about your name, Wandering Chopsticks. I just noticed your header explains it. Neat name!

  11. Mayoi bashi-san,

    WOW, i love this!!! i too love scouring discount places and antique shops for amazing deals on housewares. it's sort of a disease, isn't it?? Marshall's always has deeply discounted pots and pans and really quirky finds like neon pink pepper grinders. beautiful tablecloth! this has inspired me to write about a pea-green vintage pyrex bowl set that i just bought from my friend for $35. thanks for this fun post! glad to know i'm not the only one with this discount houseware fixation.

  12. I LOVE thrift stores (Downtown Orange anyone??). You have great stuff and everything looks beautiful. I think mis matched china is the only way to go! Shoot me a note sometime and let's go shopping!

  13. Now that's a tempting tea party! Love that dogwood tablecloth...

  14. Elmo,

    I'm all about the bargains. :)

    I need to stop. I have no more room in my cupboards for any more dishes.

    Yeah, apparently that night H went and made another cucumber sandwich.

    I do have some behind a glass cabinet. I don't worry too much about something breaking b/c the dishes are pretty cheap. And I've moved many times and have only lost a few glasses b/c they were packed sideways. I am sad that I broke the Scotland glass I made at the glass factory. :(

    I'm sure a proper English tea would be much nicer. :)

    Thanks for pointing out the errors. I tell myself I have no more room but I can't resist such a bargain either!

    Thanks. :)

    Thanks. :)

    Wok and Spoon,
    I'll trade you afternoon tea for an afternoon scoping out French castles. :)

    I can't resist vintage tableclothes either! I'm such an addict.

    Welcome! It's funny isn't it? This bargain hunting brought out so many comments. You should post those green pyrex bowls. I love how women like to peak into each other's kitchens. :)

    Mismatched means I get that many more nice pieces. :)

    I want the Wilendur roses tablecloth. I bet you would too! :)

  15. You've inspired me to go treasure hunting now. Oooohhh....my husband is going to get so mad....we just had a garage sale and he made me clean out the cupboards! I'll shop in secret!

  16. Hi Steamy Kitchen,

    It's OK, men never notice these things. I bet he wouldn't even know the difference. :P

  17. hi! i found you through google while frantically trying to read up on tea parties/showers. i'm trying to give a good friend a bridal shower with a tea theme (our favorite tea, or the only tea i drink, is called "barley tea"). anyway, if i could, i'd love to try your cucumber sandwich recipe. thanks. :)

  18. Hi Gail,

    Yay! I love tea parties. No need to ask my permission to make a recipe. I post them so everyone can share. The cucumber sandwich recipe is linked on this post, where it's in red? Otherwise, all my recipes are listed on the right side, you just have to scroll down a bit but they're in alphabetical order. Let me know how it goes. :)

  19. great post! your teacups and plates are just too cute. let's have a tea party!


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