Thursday, April 7, 2016

More Travelling the World from My Own Home


My daughter and her friend spent a couple nights at my house and are off to see other parts of the midwest. R is the lovely girl D met in grad school in London. They joke that they are international twins, and I saw it. They'll be back later in the week before R heads home, taking in more events and activities in the cities. We went out to our favorite Mexican restaurant last night. The food is delicious and they have these cute glasses with dancing jalapeno's on them wearing sombreros. I thought R should have one, and my niece offered to smuggle one out in her bag. Being the honest soul I am, I asked if I could buy one for our English friend, and the manager just said to take one for her.

The sweet girl came with full hands, and UK treats a plenty. For DD#2, a couple bags of jelly babies, a la Doctor Who, and some little piggy gummy's. For DH and I,  there was a chocolate bar from Marks and Spencer, and a jute bag with tea and biscuits (cookies to we Americans) from Fortnum and Mason. Now Marks and Spencer I know a little about, but I had to learn more about F&M. I decided to go travelling the web to learn about the company, "the most luxurious store in the world."

This is why I am a complete Anglophile. Everything about their web site sucked me in. First, the  Fortnum and Mason site is beautifully photographed and arranged with crisp pictures of baskets, and tea's and canisters of biscuits that scream, "You're in London." Then there are the teacups and saucers. I love tea cups and saucers and have a whole bunch of individual sets, gifts from people, ones from my grandma, the only things I have from her, and from DH's grandmother, so very precious to me. I keep them in my large kitchen window sill, and they help make doing dishes a little less like drudgery. 

Then there is the history and story's of the company.  F&M was founded in 1707, a three hundred and nine year old company. I live in one of the first settled towns in Minnesota and I doubt we have trees that old. I got caught up reading posts on the journal section, such as the short history of afternoon tea.  The sites full of yet more features and fascinating background on the products, and information on the artisans the company works with are included.  Visiting their website is not just virtual window shopping, it is a trip to all things Great Britain. 

I haven't broken into our gifts yet. I want to savor the pretty packaging for a while. I feel very blessed that my daughter had the opportunity to study abroad, and develop lifelong friendships with such lovely people as R. When I do treat myself, I'll smile in appreciation. I will then sit back at precisely 4:00, having heated the water to exactly 100 degrees celsius, using my finest tea cup and saucer, plate of biscuits along side, and begin my trip across the pond,  if only for the afternoon. 


13 comments:

  1. Make sure to rinse your pot with hot water before pouring your tea into it and pour your milk into your cup before the tea(if you use milk).

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    1. Oh yes-great idea.Can't have the water temperature cool because the pot is cold. I love a splash of milk with my breakfast tea's, unless an herbal/herbal-black blend, or Earl Grey. Then, I just drink in pure state.

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  2. A adore the English. They are pure gold and I have to say that I am quite spoiled by them. We refer to them as chocolate smugglers. LOL. My bestie and her hubs are from Stoke and every time that they have family in we have huge celebrations in their honor. We call it our English invasion.

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    1. I am looking forward to that chocolate. DD#2 brought 15 bags of jelly babies plus a ton od cadbury chocolate back with us. Nice to know I'm not the only UK groupie. I say UK as I live tge English, Scots, Welsh, and Irish culture and the bloggie ladies thay keep my mind so filled with daily life.

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  3. Fortnum and Masons! Us natives shop at Lidl. x

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    1. It's a beautiful store, but I think I understand it might be for the special occasion and not where a daily shop would occur.I bet Lidl has some great tea's as well.

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  4. I think that tea definitely tastes better when drunk from china, though I use a china mug rather than a cup and saucer. We both have our tea black and sugarless, but J drinks his from one of these mugs, which is nothing like my china ones! http://www.chinamatchers.co.uk/T-G-Green-Granville-Dad-Large-Mug_A16IKJ.aspx
    I didn't pay £18 for it though - I bought it from the carboot sale for £1 and KL gave it to him as part of his Christmas gift.

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    1. It feel like a treat when I drink from a cup, with a saucer, as opposed to just a mug. Great find for J though.

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  5. Cool! My girls love having the foreign exchange kids over. A girl from Korea made us some Bulgogi. YUM!

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    1. Exchanges and school abroad opportunities are terrific for building better international relations with our future generations.

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  6. I'm with lovleygray F&M a wonderful treat. Lidl is great for wandering round as you come across the most random items eg Lovelgrays full size Serrano ham and magnificent lobster tails etc. I am definitely a tea drinker though however I can't stand putting the milk in first lol it then turns into swans tea. My old Aunty called Joan Swan made tea this way in little China cups with the milk and sugar and teapot all laid out on a floral tray. The resulting tea was foul lol too milky by far and became forever known as Swans tea. I like mine strong builders tea.

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    1. I like when you comments, Wendy.You give me little tidbits of your life just in giving me feedback. Love it. Tea and coffee is really an individual preference-surprising in such a commonly shared treat. I too need it just a splash-not too milky, but unless Earl grey or my Good Earth, I'm not a fan of it black, but also don't want too milky. No Swans's tea for me, and I'm adopting that phrase.

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  7. Lovely Fortnums. It's a treat just to walk around the shop, even if you leave empty handed. I'm a builders tea kind of woman too - Yorkshire Gold tea, preferably: as I'm from Yorkshire, I'm biased, but it makes great tea!

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