A cup of tea – a universal luxury

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Essentials should be beautiful as well as functional in any home.  In fact it’s even more important to make them part of the charm when space is at a premium and there isn’t much room for superfluous objects.

Therefore, a beautiful teapot is one of my apartment essentials – for decoration, for entertaining, and to give myself a little bit of luxury every day.

I recently visited friends in Holywell, UK and I was lucky enough to be served a cup of tea and the paper every morning.  It was made even more special by the fact that it was in a Jack Russell cup, which really said everything about the couple I stayed with and how much their pets Jessie, Dulcie, Jamaica and Jack Russell Spottie are part of the family.  That cup of tea was one of the most special parts of the day when I took 10 minutes to relax and contemplate.

Here are some of my favourite tea time experiences that I’ve come across (both mine and others):

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A tea set from the Silk Market in Beijing, China – part of the fun is the tiny tea cups to share and re-fill often over conversations with friends

ImageA beautiful green and herbal tea floral arrangement at High Tea, Hotel Windsor Melbourne

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Japanese inspiration at a cafe in Sydney

Alternative uses for herbs

lavender and herbs

As a single person house, sometimes I don’t use up all my herbs.  Here are some alternate uses:

  • Make a display – My herbs bolted so to keep them alive, I had to prune them back.  They looked and smelt divine with my lavender
  • Dry them – Herbs also look beautiful when hanging up to dry.  So decorate your house with them, and they will come in handy when cooking over the slower-growing months, too!
  • Make tea with them – Mint tea, with real mint, is divine.  Try using different types of mint for different strength and flavour
  • Swap them! Think of all your friends, neighbours and family who also cook, and you’ll realise there’s no reason to let your herbs go to waste.  Even better, encourage people around you to grow something for you to share.  Contribute to your community, make new friends, improve the air quality in your little space, and enjoy BIG flavours.  Win, win, win, WIN!