Pairing books with tea (All The Time In The World)

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All The Time In The World by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins is inspired by the medieval book of hours. According to Encyclopedia Brittanica, a book of hours is a “devotional book widely popular in the later Middle Ages. The book of hours began to appear in the 13th century, containing prayers to be said at the canonical hours in honour of the Virgin Mary. The growing demand for smaller such books for family and individual use created a prayerbook style enormously popular among the wealthy. The demand for the books was crucial to the development of Gothic illumination. These lavishly decorated texts, of small dimensions, varied in content according to their patrons’ desires.

All The Time In The World, complete with whimsical drawings and filled with fascinating anecdotes and witty articles, is meant for reflection and leisurely enjoyment. The entries are to be read slowly, with the passing seasons.

The more than seventy-five articles are cleverly divided by the hour of the day. The first article (6:00 AM) is about the circus and the last article  (5:00 AM) is about the songbirds waking you up at dawn. Fitting.

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I’d pair an herbal tea with this book. Particularly Twinings Buttermint. Sipping a nice, steaming cup of herbal tea is perfect while leisurely reading the entries.

So let me ask you this, which drink would you pair with your current read?

xoxo, Jane

Pairing books with tea (The Scarlet Pimpernel)

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Who is the Scarlet Pimpernel? He is an English aristocrat who makes it his mission to rescue French aristocrats from Madame la Guillotine. He doesn’t do this alone. He has a secret league of 19 aristocratic young men assisting him in snatching French aristocrats from certain death and escorting them to England.  The league is so secret that even the Scarlet Pimpernel’s wife doesn’t initially know about her husband’s alter ego.

The first book in the series, The Scarlet Pimpernel, was written in 1901 and became a play in 1903.

“They seek him here, they seek him there
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere
Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
That demmed elusive Pimpernel”

Baroness Emmuska Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel

Which tea goes well with The Scarlet Pimpernel? I think a French tea would be perfect. The Scarlet Pimpernel is so good at evading the French authorities and saving the aristocrats from right under the noses of the French authorities, that I can imagine him drinking a cup of French tea while silently laughing to himself. Paris Earl Grey by Mariage Frères would be perfect. What do you think?

Happy reading and happy tea-drinking!

xoxo, Jane

Thursday Reading Links #34 (Tea edition)

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“A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Today’s reading links are dedicated to all things tea because a good cup of tea is one of life’s most wonderful pleasures.

Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and enjoy some light reading.

Sparkling tea, anyone?

A lovely tea caddy from 1810.

How to stay in business for 300 years and stay relevant, according to Fortnums.

The best afternoon tea in London, according to British Vogue.

The history of afternoon tea. And another article on the history of afternoon tea by Twinings, with lots of wonderful illustrations and photography.

Historian Lucy Worsley wrote a cookbook about Afternoon Tea, Tea Fit for a Queen. I own it and have made several of the sandwich recipes.

I’m not sure this article is credible, but it’s fun to read: How does Queen Elizabeth take her tea?

This Tea For One pot by Royal Albert is my latest acquisition and it is perfection.

Tea Advent Calendars.

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Mariage Frères in Tokyo.

Pairing books with tea.

Earl Grey Tea scented candle.

All about Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford (the lady who gave us Afternoon Tea).

Paris Tea Favorites.

xoxo, Jane

Gilded Age reading and a tea recommendation

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I’m really excited for the Downton Abbey movie. With few exceptions, I prefer watching movies at home. It’s just more comfortable for me. Nothing beats pjs, bunny slippers and a good cup of tea. But I’ll have to stay patient for a little while longer and not read any spoilers.

In honor of the Downton Abbey movie, let’s talk about two timely, but fun, books.

To Marry an English Lord by Gail MacColl and Carol McD. Wallace

I love this book! I actually read it years before Downton Abbey premiered and it’s the book that inspired Julian Fellowes to create Downton Abbey. That’s where Cora’s character comes from because this book talks about all of the rich American girls who exchanged dollars (dowries) for titles. The book has an abundance of pictures and illustrations and an actual American heiress directory for your perusal.

The Husband Hunters by Anne De Courcy

In a similar vein, this book is about the American heiresses who married into the British aristocracy. One such heiress was Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s mama. We keep forgetting Churchill was half-American. The book has a generous amount of illustrations and photographs and a great bibliography for further reference.

Podcast recommendation

If you’d rather listen than read, then I recommend The History Chicks’ episode on this very subject, Gilded Age Servants and Heiresses. The episode is over an hour long.

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Tea recommendation

Time for a tea recommendation. Fortnum’s Royal Blend is perfect for reading, quiet evenings at home or watching movies (like the Downton Abbey film).

If you’ve seen the movie, don’t give me any spoilers but let me know what you thought!

xoxo, Jane

This week’s library loot

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I’m currently reading The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson (outstanding) and I also borrowed two classic Sandra Brown books (I’m going through a serious Sandra Brown phase) and a fun children’s book, Bad Girls Throughout History. I recommend it for all ages, though. We are never too old to learn about incredible, fearless women.

What are you currently reading?

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I also enjoyed a lovely cup of Fortnum’s Royal Blend today. It was a change from my usual Countess Grey.

Have a great new week!

xoxo, Jane

Thursday Reading Links (on a Sunday) #28

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Mariage Frères in Tokyo.

Having just returned from Japan, I was so sorry and sad to hear about the typhoon. I was happy that Japan beat Scotland in their rugby match. They really needed a win as a morale boost for the nation.

We had a lovely tea at Mariage Frères in Tokyo.

Four Most Haunted Hotels in Washington D.C.

I am craving a good slice of battenberg cake and can’t seem to find one in my neck of the woods. Which makes sense since I live across that little pond from Britain. How to make the perfect battenberg cake. I just need to stop being lazy so I can make it myself. I have a great recipe in my Fortnum’s cookbook.

Renovation Romance Novels to Read if You Love HGTV.

Meghan Markle vs. The Daily Mail. One of the comments in this article made a good point. The media keeps crucifying the Duchess, but Prince Andrew can get away with pedophilia? I’m as baffled as you are.

A Creative Life: Sophie & Spencer.

I’m reading The Gown by Jennifer Robson. It is so, so, so good that I don’t have words for it (yet, review to follow). If you love couture, royals, history and royal history then you might like this book too.

And just for fun, the blog one year ago: Trinket Tuesday: Tour Eiffel

Have a great new week!!

xoxo, Jane

Mariage Frères in Tokyo

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Mariage’s fabulous teaware. (If you look closely, you can spot Japan’s famous vending machines.)

I’m back from two weeks of traveling, (one week in Japan and the other week in Palau) though I’m still trying to play catch-up. It’s been harder than I anticipated to get back into the swing of things.

The blog might remain quiet for a while longer, but I did want to quickly share my wonderful afternoon tea experience at Mariage Frères in Tokyo’s Ginza neighborhood.

Mariage Frères (Mariage Brothers) is a French tea company, founded in 1854. It’s a luxury brand with locations in Paris, Berlin, London and Tokyo. They have over 500 tea blends!

We visited the Ginza location, which is Tokyo’s uber-chic shopping district, and sat down for their version of afternoon tea.

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The peaceful and beautiful Ginza restaurant.

The restaurant was peaceful and beautifully decorated. I loved the floor tiles and the wall art. I kept looking all around me because I didn’t want to miss any details.

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Time for tea!

I had a savory tea, while my husband opted for scones. It was divine.

I must admit, what I enjoyed the most about our experience (and generally dining in Japan), was the peacefulness of it. You can stay at your table for as long as you want. You don’t actually get the check until you ask for it. This really allowed us to sit and enjoy ourselves for a few hours without feeling as if we had to leave. It was a fabulous experience.

Do you have a favorite tea restaurant? (In England, my favorite place for tea is Fortnum and Mason.)

xoxo, Jane

 

Thursday Reading Links #25

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This gold toilet on display at Blenheim Palace was stolen. The first thing that comes to mind is that Donald Trump must have hired people to steal it for him. Gold is his thing, in case you didn’t know.

In less weirder news, Fortnums (my happy place) released a brand-new Tea Lovers Advent Calendar. I would buy it now, but I’m afraid that I might not be able to contain myself.

If you like tea, follow me on Instagram. I usually post pictures of my daily cup of tea (and some other stuff too).

I like this set of pearl ear crawlers, but I can’t justify the price. I’m keeping an eye on them though, in case they go on sale. But if they get sold out before I buy them, then it wasn’t meant to be.

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How to Harness the Stress-Busting Power of Lists. This is true for me. I sleep better at night if I keep to-do lists.

The Most Gorgeous Entryways We’ve Ever Seen.

I’ve added What’s Her Name Podcast to my listening reportoire. Because women never get their due and we don’t really learn about them in school (at least I didn’t). I love podcasts that focus on women’s history.

Have a great day and a wonderful weekend!

xoxo, Jane

Butterfly images via Pexels.com

 

Pairing books with tea (Agnes Moor’s Wild Knight)

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This week’s tea and book pairing is for a very sweet story, Agnes Moor’s Wild Knight by Alyssa Cole. It’s a short love story featuring Agnes Moor, a black woman who has a position at the court of King James IV (Scotland) as the “favorite.” The King and Queen consider her their “exotic.” But Agnes is so much more than just something to show off. She is extremely intelligent, brave, beautiful and poised. She also speaks Gaelic.

This story has it all. There is a jousting tournament, a knight in shining armor (known as “The Wild Knight”) and a happily ever after. This is an interracial romance set in the Scottish Highlands and it’s really a must-read because I don’t know of any other story like it, plus the character Agnes Moor is inspired by a real woman.

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Tea image via Fortnum & Mason.

It was fun to decide which tea to pair with this book. I think Fortnum’s Breakfast Blend goes well with this story because Breakfast Tea was first blended in Edinburgh* and the story is set in Scotland.

Happy Reading!

xoxo, Jane

*Queen Victoria enjoyed drinking this blend during her trips to Scotland and it soon became popular in England.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links. Thank you for supporting my book-loving blog. xoxo, Jane

Fall Favorites

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Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Today (Labor Day) marks the end of summer in the US, but the truth is that the Washington, D.C. region will have summer weather well into October. Nevertheless, let’s talk about fall favorites.

Here’s what I love about fall:

  1. Wearing cozy sweaters.
  2. Drinking copious amounts of tea (but to be honest, I drink copious amounts of tea year-round).
  3. The canvas of colorful leaves.
  4. Breathing in the crisp morning air during my morning walk to the metro.
  5. Mugs of hot chocolate with whipped cream.
  6. Curling up by the fire with a good book.
  7. Puttering around the house on Saturday mornings.
  8. The anticipation of the festive season (I love, love, love the festive season and will be blogging about it this winter).
  9. Freshly baked bread (I use a no-knead recipe).
  10. Wearing fun tights.

Do you have a fall season in your neck of the woods? If yes, what are you looking forward to the most?

xoxo, Jane

Pairing books with tea (Encyclopedia of the Exquisite)

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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.

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The book is gorgeous, even without the beautiful cover.

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?

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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?

xoxo, Jane

 

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links. Thank you for supporting my book-loving blog. xoxo, Jane

 

 

A fun little Q&A

Hi, friends. So, I was inspired by kitty marie’s reading corner to do this fun Q&A.  Thanks for humoring me!

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Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com

What is your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?

Any Jane Austen novel.

If you had to be stranded on a desert island with one book character, who would you choose?

Anne Elliott from Jane Austen’s Persuasion because she is the nicest and is never judgmental. Plus Captain Wentworth would miss her a lot and come rescue us anyway.

Vaclav Havel
Not book-related, but I just love this quote by Vaclav Havel and it’s more true today than ever.

If you wrote a book, what would its genre be?

I do write books. I’m a romance and women’s fiction writer and working towards publication.

What is your favorite book?

Persuasion by Jane Austen. (I wrote about my love for Persuasion here.)

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What is your favorite coffee flavor? (Or another type of drink, if you don’t drink coffee.)

I am a tea connoisseur and I love Fortnum’s Countess Grey best of all. It’s a softer, lovelier version of Earl Grey.

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My precious copies of Persuasion and Jane Eyre.

What is your least favorite book?

I had to think about this one and it’s Catcher in the Rye. It kind of left me feeling depressed. I prefer uplifting stories.

Is there any book coming out this year that you’re looking forward to reading?

I have so many books on my TBR shelf that I don’t dare look ahead to what’s being published next week or next month. I need to give my TBR shelf a little TLC. #love.books.so.so.much

What completed book series would you like to see one more new volume for? 

Harry Potter. A girl can dream.

What genre do you read the most?

Romance and women’s fiction. But I read a lot of nonfiction too. Usually biographies.

Thanks, Kittie Marie, for the great questions and inspiration! This was super fun! Feel free to answer any of these questions in the comments. I love getting to know my readers!! xoxo, Jane