Today’s book/tea pairing is for an encyclopedia!
When you were a kid, (and I’m talking to those of you who were around long before Wikipedia) did you read encyclopedias for fun? I totally did! I couldn’t get enough. There was just so much about the world to read and learn and the encyclopedias made it so easy, everything in one place.
Encyclopedia of the Exquisite – An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins is just what the title says, an encyclopedia of elegant delights.
From the front flap:
Taking a cue from the exotic encyclopedias of the sixteenth century, which brimmed with mysterious artifacts, Jessica Kerwin Jenkins’s Encyclopedia of the Exquisite focuses on the elegant, the rare, the commonplace, and the delightful. A compendium of style, it merges whimsy and practicality, traipsing through the fine arts and the worlds of fashion, food, travel, home, garden, and beauty.
Each entry features several engaging anecdotes, illuminating the curious past of each enduring source of beauty. Subjects covered include the explosive history of champagne; the art of lounging on a divan; the emergence of “frillies,” the first lacy, racy lingerie; the ancient uses of sweet-smelling saffron; the wild riot incited by the appearance of London’s first top hat; Julia Child’s tip for cooking the perfect omelet; the polarizing practice of wearing red lipstick during World War II; Louis XIV’s fondness for the luscious Bartlett pear; the Indian origin of badminton; Parliament’s 1650 attempt to suppress Europe’s beauty mark fad; the evolution of the Japanese kimono; the pilgrimage of Central Park’s Egyptian obelisk; and the fanciful thrill of dining alfresco.
Cleverly illustrated, Encyclopedia of the Exquisite is an ode to life’s plenty, from the extravagant to the eccentric. It is a celebration of luxury that doesn’t necessarily require money.
Some of the encyclopedic entries are about: Painted Ladies, Red Lipstick, Tea and Quintessence. It is such a beautiful book, both inside and out. The cover is gorgeous and the book has whimsical illustrations to accompany the entries. I’ve owned Encyclopedia of the Exquisite since 2010 and I still take it off my bookshelf to reread an entry or two.
So, which tea do we pair with this gorgeous, lovely book?
This book is unique and has interesting entries that make you want to keep reading and learning. I think the perfect tea pairing is with Fortnum’s Chai. The sweet spices in Chai match the exotic entries. Plus, Chai is a tea that is perfect for any time of day. Just like reading this book!
What do you think of this tea pairing?
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