Thursday, July 01, 2010

Tea and Civility





I must have stared at this photo ten times yesterday. One obvious reason, of course, is that the setting is pretty (not a dirty word in my lexicon.) Any room dominated by books, books, and more books holds appeal. You have a table covered by a rug (at least it looks like one to me) over which a blue damask cloth has been placed. There are those gorgeous bronze dore sphinx lamps that look as though they were turned on while the photo was taken, something which adds to the tableau's warmth. But the thing that really captured my imagination is the fact that the table is set for tea. You have that knock-out silver samovar (actually, a Regency coffee urn) and the homeowner's lusterware tea cups and saucers, not to mention those cakes and molds. It's like a little oasis of civility. And you know what? That is the real reason I'm so taken with this photo. Isn't it nice to think about what life could be like if we weren't dealing with a barrage of tweets or reality shows (don't get me started on those Real Housewives). We could be taking tea in the confines of a lovely home while drinking from a proper cup and saucer. I don't know about you, but it sounds pretty tempting to me. Crumpets, anyone?

(Apartment of writer Joan Juliet Buck; House & Garden March 1990; Oberto Gili photographer)

10 comments:

  1. you hit the nail on the head. It takes you out of the whirl of life and makes one feel calm and CIVILIZED. Thats my addiction!

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  2. The closer it gets to Friday, the better this looks! I think I was meant to live this way...relaxed and serene and civilized. I am grateful that I don't have to keep up with the real housewives. The only time they'd sit and have tea is if the cameras were rolling...(I do have a semi-addiction to those "train-wreck" shows!

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  3. How wonderfully civilized!! Looks like the setting of a period piece. I expect to see Emma Thompson walk in and ask if I take milk in my tea.

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  4. This is an oasis - that other stuff is just noise.

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  5. Exactly what I believe in. No more half-communications: tweets, texts, facebook, etc. We need a return to true two-party communication, preferably face-to-face. Tea (or coffee) in porcelain cups and saucers; chairs arranged to promote conversation and not watching TV; the space for interactions to occur without video games, iphones or ipods, etc. I wish that I could catch a clearer look at those fantastic lamps--my passion of late. Everything looks so golden and embracing in this photo. Thanks.
    Mary

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  6. Long ago, I opted for hosting tea parties versus dinner or events where alcohol would be appropriate. For one thing, you don't have to "cook" for a tea party. And people have a tendency to leave at a CIVILIZED hour...

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  7. Our thing is tea on Sundays, in the dining room. And tea has become a comfort "drink" to the children!

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  8. ...absolutley lovely...save a place for me...

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  9. I'm with you! Any room dominated with books makes my knees weak and with the gorgeous table setting, ahh. I personally think we will have a retaliation to all of the tweeting and reality shows and go back to a more civilized way of life - at least I'm hoping it will happen in my lifetime.

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  10. so true. this one is a beauty and the carpet on the table_Love. at some point the Dining room will be non existent in my home. This is a perfect way to go. Of course here in the So. ice tea for me if it must be tea. pgt

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