from around 2005, a thrift shop find.
To avoid camera flash reflection, I scanned
it with a curtain bunched around it, but a
swatch of chintz would've worked as well.
The label on the other side said it originally held
Darjeeling - "the champagne of teas" - but
looks much like the label below at Tomokilog,
a Japanese blog which incorrectly identifies
Whittard's Summer leaf tea as Earl Grey.
The author was obviously not a tea drinker!
These caddies are a wonderful reminder of a
visit to Whittard in Buckingham Palace Road,
opposite the Royal Mews (the royal garage).
The gold State Coach, btw, is fabulous!
But back to Whittard's...
Here's a link to a map of the area, and below the map,
a nifty rotating cam of Buck Palace Road on a sunny day.
The trees at one end are part of St. James's Park, and
at the other end, under the trees at the left of the large
white building, a pocket park handy for enjoying a bag
lunch from Pret A Manger in Victoria Station.
On the other side of the wrought iron fence and
gate between the pillars is the Royal Mews.
But I digress (again)...
In 1886, Walter Whittard ("whi TARD") opened a small
tea emporium in Fleet Street in the City of London, but
soon expanded its stock to include coffee. "Of Chelsea"
was added when the original shop moved to Kings
Road in the borough of that name. Whittard of
Chelsea now has stores all over the world.
In 1976, a non-tea drinker named Giles Hilton
was hired as the accountant-bookkeeper. Soon he
discovered he did like tea - very much, in fact - and
after a 5-year apprenticeship, became Whittard's chief
buyer-blender, prompting the nickname "The Nose".
Today Giles is essentially the face of Whittard's.
Quite a personable chap to boot, as you'll see (plus
many tips on choosing tea) in the following videos :
And here's a Day with Giles in London:
Last but not least, a tea estate in Darjeeling, India,
showing what happens to tea between the field and
your teapot. (The music is mesmerizing, but "wobbly".)
A few links you might find interesting:
Whittard of Chelsea's homepage
The history of Whittard of Chelsea
Giles Hilton, Whittard's "Guru"
Tea Things Tuesday is hosted by the
Lovely Kim at Shabby Pink and Pretty,
where you can check out other TTT entries.
Happy Tea Time!