afternoon tea picnic in the garden

Afternoon Tea Week with Spode

August 15, 2018Susan

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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Comments (46)

  • Kirsty

    August 15, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Oh look at the plates! Aren’t they dreamy

    1. Susie

      August 15, 2018 at 1:56 pm

      Such a classic arent they!

  • Bec – views from my garden bench

    August 15, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    these are beautiful high quality china sets – great choices. It’s definitely worth buying from places like Spode as the china lasts for decades. I’m with you – I mix and match. Love Bec xx

    1. Susie

      August 15, 2018 at 1:53 pm

      That is very true, working out cost per use over the time I’ll own it, and it’s well worth the initial investment

      1. Bec – views from my garden bench

        August 15, 2018 at 2:19 pm

        yes – and good quality china tends to survive a bounce on the floor too 🙂

      2. Susie

        August 15, 2018 at 3:09 pm

        Hahaha- haven’t done that yet!

  • H is for Home

    August 15, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    I’m swooning over the William Morris print – he’s one of my favourites. As you say, it never goes out of style!

    1. Susie

      August 16, 2018 at 4:11 pm

      Yes! I knew you’d agree! Thanks x

  • Girl on Film

    August 16, 2018 at 11:05 am

    Those plates are beautiful! So classic!

    1. Susie

      August 16, 2018 at 4:11 pm

      Cheers lovely, I’m really pleased with them x

  • lucy

    August 16, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    The crockery is stunning!

    1. Susie

      August 16, 2018 at 4:14 pm

      Yeah I’m over the moon with it!

  • The Cheshire wife

    August 17, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    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

    1. Susie

      August 17, 2018 at 7:12 pm

      Aw I love that story! Thanks for sharing!

  • Juan Sandiego

    August 20, 2018 at 8:28 am

    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!

    1. Susie

      August 24, 2018 at 6:37 pm

      That is such a great point Juan! I never thought of it!

  • Claire

    August 20, 2018 at 8:30 am

    What a lovely experience! Who doesn’t like a good afternoon tea? And these plates and cups are just gorgeous!

    1. Susie

      August 24, 2018 at 6:35 pm

      Thank-you Claire! Enjoy the Bank Holiday!

  • Hollie Brooks | Audenza

    August 20, 2018 at 11:28 am

    I do love a bit of William Morris and I think the two designs Work really well together. Definitely the nicest cake tins I’ve seen in a while!

    1. Susie

      August 24, 2018 at 6:35 pm

      Thanks so much Holly! I can’t wait to use them!

  • Donna Ford

    August 20, 2018 at 2:36 pm

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

    1. Susie

      August 24, 2018 at 6:34 pm

      Thanks so much Donna!! Enjoy your weekend

  • heymamablog1

    August 21, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    What a beautiful print! Your table looks so inviting.

    1. Susie

      August 21, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      Thanks so much lovely!

  • Lucy

    August 21, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    It’s so beautifully colourful. Love it. Your styling is gorgeous – as ever x

    1. Susie

      August 24, 2018 at 6:31 pm

      Ah thanks so much Lucy! Have a great weekend!

  • Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely

    August 21, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    I love the designs you choose. And they do go so well together. I’m a huge fan of Spode. Their Blue Italian teacups are my absolute fave!!

    1. Susie

      August 24, 2018 at 6:30 pm

      It was pretty hard to choose actually, but these won out in the end x

  • thewhiteapproach

    August 21, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    Oh be still my beating heart ! What a stunning set and as always your gorgeous photography ! xxx

    1. Susie

      August 24, 2018 at 6:44 pm

      Aw you are too kind, thanks for the compliment!

  • Marlene

    August 21, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    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 🙂

    1. Susie

      August 24, 2018 at 6:47 pm

      Enjoy the Earl Grey, I can’t get enough of it at the moment

  • freshdesignblog

    August 22, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    I’m all for mixing and matching! The designs look fab and your tea looks delicious.

    1. Susie

      August 24, 2018 at 6:45 pm

      Thanks so much! Have a great Bank Holiday!

  • Nicolette Lafonseca

    August 22, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    I love William Morris and that is my favourite quote I used it I my A level extended essay on the arts and crafts movement.
    Also thank you for bringing afternoon tea week to my attention x

    1. Susie

      August 24, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      Such a brilliant quote isn’t it!

  • theinterioreditor

    August 24, 2018 at 8:37 am

    Gorgeous tableware and such a classic! Great photography too! 😀

    1. Susie

      August 24, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind words xx

  • Stacey Sheppard

    August 25, 2018 at 10:01 am

    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

    1. Susie

      August 26, 2018 at 3:06 pm

      Hahaa! That is so true! Thanks love


    August 27, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    totally dreamy set up here, you have me looking around the hotel room now for something sweet. I love tea, and a bit of cake, it’s my comfort food really!

    1. Susie

      August 28, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      Aw hope you found something!

  • Kimberly Duran

    August 30, 2018 at 8:25 am

    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

    1. Susie

      August 31, 2018 at 3:12 pm

      Aw anytime lovely! Thanks for stopping by today xx

  • Stephanie

    August 30, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    I can’t resist an afternoon tea, and this one looks so nice on the Spode set. I do like that you’ve mixed and matched the set too

    1. Susie

      August 31, 2018 at 3:10 pm

      Aw thanks so much lovely, have a great weekend x

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