For the love of tea!
Our annual trip to the Maine Highland Games & Scottish Festival this year needed to include a special purchase. A few months ago I shattered my wee Scottish Tain Pottery teacup after it slipped and fell from an Adirondack chair out on the deck. I was heartbroken. My favorite Scottish pottery was missing a piece! Thankfully, I knew the vendor Faire Isles Trading Co. would be present at the games and I could hopefully pick up a replacement teacup in my favorite Glenaldie thistle pattern. But of course I picked up a “few” other things besides the teacup.
I always pick up some scones from To The Queen’s Taste and another vendor beside them, Lorelei’s Loaves & Treats, was serving up savory and sweet treats that I could not resist. I picked up two bites of their Spice Chai Fudge, two Lavender shortbread cookies, and a small package of Lemon Crinkles. Just the scent alone sold me.
At another vendor’s tent, I found a lovely Celtic cookie stamp. I’ve been looking for an inexpensive shortbread pan, but they all seem to run over $40, but this stamp was a perfect solution and I loved the lovely celtic design. It wasn’t made in Scotland, but was made in America.
Along with the Tain teacup (and yes, I had to buy the saucer as well, so now I have two saucers) I also picked up one package of loose leaf Scottish Breakfast tea and a box of teabags for the same kind from the world-famous Taylors of Harrogate.
My last stop of the day had nothing to do with tasty treats, but everything to do with Scotland. When we visited Scotland in 2013, I was introduced to HeatherGems when we visited their factory store in Pitlochry, Perthshire. The “gems” are the cut stems of harvested heather from the moors of Scotland. The stems are dried, compressed, colored, cut, and polished to create some of the most unique pieces of Scotland one could own. Check out their step-by-step process and video if you have a moment. It’s fascinating.
Several vendors sell HeatherGems at the games each year, and I was looking for a specific stone color on a bracelet to wear to the brain aneurysm gala I’ll be attending in September. My dress is a purple color and I was looking for something with a purple or pink hue to it and this one stone looked great. I tried on the bracelet…then made the mistake of asking if there were matching earrings…then made the mistake of seeing the matching necklace. After the seller actually cut me a deal for all three pieces…that’s what I walked away with. It’s a beautiful set and I always love that they truly area a piece of Scotland.
So, my tea this morning was the Scottish Breakfast tea using my new teacup, along with my existing teapot and vase for some phlox and sedum cut from my garden. I produced the lavender shortbread cookies (fantastic!), the milk chocolate tea cakes (yum!), the lemon crinkles (divine!) and some orange marmalade for the scones. I’m glad to have a full teacup and saucer set again and thrilled there are local vendors who can provide those items to us here across the big pond. Click images below to view larger photos. Sláinte