Monday, June 28, 2010

Les Marchés au Puces - { The Market of the Fleas }


My passion for tea drinking began at the tender age of ten when my Mum and I made a train pilgrimage into the big smoke (all of a 30 minute journey) for a day of shopping. Morning tea or "Mornos" has and will always be a huge part of my Mum's day. Along with breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea (yes..."Arvos") and dinner. No she's not the size of a house, nor a hobbit...she just loves food and I thank her for passing this fabulous pastime onto me.


Morning tea in Brisbane City could only be at one place, the Shingle Inn (not the dodgy replicas popping up in shopping centres...but the first!). Picture original wooden booths, silver sugar bowls and tea pots, lemon meringue pie with a cloud of white mallowy heaven and a giant dollop of cream. Waitresses clad in "shower cap" hats and matching frocks seated you, took your order and presented your chosen morsels with every conceivable utensil (silver of course) needed to indulge. Mum told stories of past visits with her mother. A time when ladies wore gloves and hats....Mum, however, always ahead of her time was wearing hotpants and knee high boots and a bouffant bob with a kiss curl (stuck down with sticky tape the night before)!

As I grew up, and uni and work took me closer to the city, the Shingle Inn still remained a heavenly sanctuary to sip tea, munch on mini lemon curd tarts and crack open a newly purchased Vogue. But then.....a catastrophe so horrendous occurred.....they closed it!!! All the original fittings, the china, the silverware....even the uniforms were boxed up as the building was renovated. O.K. it was replaced with Louis Vuitton and Tiffany but oh how my heart ached for city trips with Bijou playing ladies one day. Followed by red patent leather sandal buying in David Jones for my girl just like my Mumma had done for me.


There has been a little dark place in my heart for the last five years or so where the Shingle Inn used to burn...that is until the wonderful news that it will again shine in a new home with all the original loveliness. City Hall will now be the proud governess of my beloved tea drinking spot and I simply can not wait!!!


In homage to this fabulous news I thought I'd share my ever growing collection of tea cups. I use them every day and never pay too much for them. Yes, tears are shed when a special favourite is broken but things this gorgeous should not be gathering dust in a display cabinet. Nothing is quite so lovely as a dishrack filled with sherbet coloured cups, saucers and plates. It also means I've had lots of cups of tea that day too...bliss!

Why not dig out your favourite cup and saucer and have a cuppa while you meander through all the loveliness at Sophie's. I might just join you.

17 comments:

m.e (Cathie) said...

ohhh Steph, I absolutely adore tea cups & tea sets.
I love it when I find some in an old little oppie & it's only a few dollars, but I refuse to pay ludicrous amounts & just keep on searching as it makes them feel even more wonderful.
they look lovely all lined up and remind me that I need another cup of tea!
My mum said to me yesterday that cups like that are too nice to use everyday..and I said, life is too short to keep them for just special occassions, every day & every cup of tea should feel special.
enjoy ♥

Lauren said...

oh there are a lot of pretty tea cups there! :)and what a nice story! x

plushka said...

What a lovely collection! They are so delicate and pretty. Enjoy you new tea drinking spot:)

Little Ted Canvas said...

What a gorgeous collevtion you have. There is something just so quaint & feminine about the tea cup & saucer, lovely!

Jennie said...

Thats a pretty amazing collection you have Steph! Especially with the plates as well!x

moose and bird said...

I agree.....pretty things should not be hidden away! Your tea cups are absolutely gorgeous. xo

mylittlebirdie said...

oh they are beautiful steph, such pretty colours, patterns and sentimental treasures. i love a gorgeous cup and saucer set and you have a stunning collection. all inspired to add to mine now : ) hope you have a lovely week!

Catherine said...

mmm, reading this was almost as good as a real cup of tea... just love your beautiful tea cups!

Carmel said...

I love the idea of patent red sandals! Thank you for the tea tip-off in Brisbane. You are too sweet. I have been disappointed by S.Inn at Indrops, but I daren't say it!

running thread said...

What gorgeous tea cups.
And even more delightful that you're using them, not keeping them in a cupboard for best! And as an ex-Queenslander, I'm thrilled to hear the Shingle Inn is enjoying a new life.

yardage girl said...

I'm so glad you use them - there really is nothing better than a dishrack full of gorgeous cups and saucers. I wish I drank tea ... I use mine for water! Nic

Kylie said...

Red Shoes and a read beanie (am putting on my thinking cap and designing (replicationg) one for the miss)

We shall have to have a trip into town when it opens - a girls morning what fun - I had a great weekend thankyou.

melania said...

Pretty pretty! Inspiring me to get my set out. When it was just us, they were in reaching distance, but now that we are sharing...well...it's a little trickier! Enjoy. And thanks for sharing your dishwashing liquid recipe, I'm looking forward to trying it soon.

Linda said...

oh your collection is so gorgeous I LOVE LOVE LOVE teacups and have been collecting for years and get such joy from them, I have tried to hold off buying them over the last 18 months or so becasue I have run out of room but it is really hard to resist!

littleminx said...

what a lovley story - and great that the tea house is coming back. I LOVE your tea cup collection, and couldn't agree more, things must be used!

Polka Dot Daze said...

I love your collection!
I have been trying to collect them too, not going too well though. Although I have about 10 side plates now, which are perfect for little girls parties.

Rosalind said...

Gorgeous Steph! I thought the Shingle Inn had moved to the arcade where Big W is in the city now? It's reputation was second to none in Brisvagas... oh I miss it!

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