afternoon tea picnic in the garden

Afternoon Tea Week with Spode

When Spode got in touch recently to team up with them for Afternoon Tea Week, how could I refuse?

Renown for great products I was thrilled to say yes.

I love a good afternoon tea, endless Earl Grey with lots of finger food. There’s plenty of worse ways to spend a few hours.

The thing is I’d actually been looking to update the crockery at home. I’ve been doing a lot of purging recently, it feels good to streamline, but I wanted to replace it all with something that would stand the test of time.

You know me by now, I love a classic, something that won’t date. I think I found it with this mixture from Spode, William Morris’s Strawberry Thief and the leafy, green hues of Ruskin House. I’m always mixing and matching, it keeps things fresh and these two ranges complement each other without competing.

sunflowers william morris strawberry thief afternoon tea spode

Here’s a shot, pre-food frenzy, I’m looking forward to getting some use out of the cake tins. They are much deeper than the ones I had before, meaning I can make bigger cakes!

spode afternoon tea

We took our afternoon tea outside to make the most of the incredible summer we’ve had this year.

I must confess that I hung out in the chilled food aisle for longer than necessary to get some treats for our afternoon tea. I’ve barely been able to put the oven on, it’s just been too hot!

summer afternoon tea outside

afternoon tea with spode

What I noticed straight away whilst unpacking the new crockery was the quality of the products, checking several times that they are dishwasher safe and I can verify that they are. The glaze doesn’t scratch, I’ve often noticed grey scratches on the cheaper brands I’ve had in the past. The pattern print is flawless too, something as detailed as this and you could be forgiven for a smudge here and there, but it’s as sharp as a pin.

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”  William Morris

The useful and beautiful boxes are well and truly checked in this case.

afternoon tea outside with william morris

I love the elegance of the Strawberry Thief Cup & Saucer sets. These would make a great gift too as the boxes are covered in the famous print.

What are your thoughts on the mix and matching? Would you mix two sets?

This is obviously a really informal setting, but it could easily become a bit grander with a dark tablecloth, vintage glassware and a candelabra centrepiece. It will be perfect for Christmas, but I intend using it all year round. It’s too lovely to keep for special occasions.

I stuck with the William Morris pattern for the main items like the dinner plates and the girls loved the chocolates in the trinket dish. Definitely keeping that exclusively for treats.

afternoon tea picnic in the garden

I love the quiet elegance of the Ruskin House range too, the mugs are the perfect size for when you don’t want a full cup of tea, but just a pick-me-up. We used them for orange juice, but they’d also make great kid-sized hot chocolates. Ideal for that after school treat come Autumn time. I love a pattern clash like the Strawberry Thief tray above with the Ruskin cake plates

Do you enjoy Afternoon tea? We mixed savoury and sweet here which I prefer. Let me know in the comments if you’ll be treating yourself to Afternoon Tea this week.

Afternoon Tea Week runs from 13th-20th August 2018

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46 Comments

  1. The Cheshire wife

    Coming from stoke on Trent , I’ve been brought up understanding the true value of a good pot ( potteries dialect for anything China ) it’s not about the cost it’s about the value and the fact it’s used so much ( cost per use kinda thinking )

    I love the fact there all a mixed set – it reminds me of my mum and dads.

    If your a true stokie you always check your plate / cup/ mug / saucer / bowl when your done – it always puts a smile on your face when it turns out it’s from your home town 🙂 I’ve found pots from stoke in the USA, Cuba, Kos , and Turkey

  2. Juan Sandiego

    I say yes to mix and matching! The William Morris sset is my favourite with the strawberry and bird details. To be honest, afternoon tea doesn’t feel right if you go for plain crockery. Pattern all the way!

  3. Donna Ford

    Oh I love afternoon tea and the more I find out about William Morris the more I love his designs. Great look here! X

  4. Marlene

    I love good quality homeware and I feel it all starts with a nice tea or coffee set. Anything you touch should be great and make you sparkle! I didn’t know it was Afternoon Tea week, I will certainly have an earl grey and some cake as a celebration 🙂

  5. Stacey Sheppard

    Lovely photos Suzie. I’ve got to say I’m not one for mixing and matching pattern but this looks great. And I totally agree with you on the benefits of investing in good quality china. I think its a sign of true adulting! lol

  6. Kimberly Duran

    What a stunning set up and agree that the two patterns mix beautifully! It’s so nice to have gorgeous high-quality dinner sets to use every day – it just makes everything that little bit special 🙂 Gorgeous items and gorgeous pictures – I want to come to tea at yours next!! 😉 xxx

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