So, every now and then, I will post an interview with someone involved in the tea industry who I think is rather interesting. Today's interviewee is Catherine, AKA Mrs Stokes, who sells vintage china. She recently got back from Vintage at Goodwood.
2) Why do you think tea tastes so much better in a pretty china cup?
3) If you could have five guests to your dream tea party, who would they be, what would you serve and what type of tea set would you use?
Just once I saw a stunning handpainted, pink trio (cup, saucer, plate) with the handle shaped like a butterfly. It didn’t have a maker so was probably Victorian. The trio alone was £75, I would love to see and own the whole set.
5) Why do you think vintage china is becoming fashionable?
Probably because people want to own small items of value at the moment. We have become far less of a throwaway society and now that people are watching what they spend, their affordable luxuries are changing from a pair of shoes or a handbag to items of heritage, especially those that are handpainted or crafted or of which there are only a few. My trios range from £5-20 at the moment and my boxed teasets from £10-£45 so all are affordable and my customers know they are buying something special and if it is English-made, something of which there are a limited number as many of the big potteries no longer exist.
I think the fashion started a few years ago when china teacups were found two-a-penny in charity shops for next-to-nothing and people realised they were a unique and affordable way to add a twist to their cafes or their homes, plus they realised how pretty they are. But ever since the explosion of antiques programmes you won’t find so many bargains of good quality in charity shops any more because they know the value of the the china, either from an auction point of view or a desirable point of view.
6) Are you a tea drinker? If so, what do you use to drink it in and what's your favourite brew?
Yes I am a tea drinker and at the moment I have a wonderful blend called Earl Grey Blue Lady. It’s loose-leaf tea that I bought from Wiltshire Tea at Green Park Station Market in Bath where I also have a stall. I use a cup and saucer, currently one that was my husband’s grandmother's – the original Mrs Stokes.
For more info about Mrs Stokes Vintage china visit her website www.mrsstokes.com