Tag Archives: Vintage Tea Sets

Vicky Rowe Interview on BBC Radio Bristol

Lots to report from Vintage Tea Sets & Clara Bows HQ, expect lots of blogging action later in the month but for now I’m working on the fashion show and a deluge of orders.  But here’s a quick update, earlier in the week the lovely Faye Dicker of BBC Radio Bristol came over to see me for an interview, I put on a simple afternoon tea and showed her how to make a fascinator.  It was a lovely afternoon,listen again by clicking here (time on is 0:47.22).

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Posh Pie and Mash? Brought to you by Pieminister and Vintage Tea Sets

Well vintage china kittens….just feast your eyes on this will you. When you’ve stopped drooling and gnashing at your monitor you can find out what the hell this is all about further down the page! Hmmmm pies. But just savour that picture for one more second will you.

Be gone friffy fraff food, bring me pie forthwith! Give the guests what they want.

Ok, this is from a photo shoot I did with the fabulous Pieminister. But how?  Why?  Well….cannot beat a good pie, we all know that! and thoughts like ‘pie’ often merge into my china world,  you see its not all china, cake, sandwiches and hats here, I do find time for other things…….*cough*…..like pies……maybe chocolate as well….

Are you strapped in comfortably? Last year I got this thing in my head, this overwhelming urge to get in contact with Pieminister pies with no real reason except I kept thinking posh pie and mash on vintage china would be a real guest pleaser for weddings and events, plus, I’m a real fan of these guys after their pies were becoming regular visitors in my life.

Pieminister was set up in 2002 by Jon Simon and Tristen Hogg and has just steadily grown from humble beginnings in Stokes Croft (an area that is bursting with creatives) to infinity….almost, for now Canary Wharf.  You can buy their pies in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s, a comfort for those who can’t just get to Bristol and eat at one of their pietastic shops that get food critics peeing their pants (sorry but its true, hard to please but when you do, not nice).  Basically these pies had infiltrated my social life, made me buy leggings for this first time since the early nineties and somehow got more family to travel down and ‘visit’…eh?  Thats power that is.  But how?

I first discovered Pieminister pies at our local watering hole.  My husband and I were impressed and in the space of a year I clocked up more pies than I had in a lifetime (bye bye waistline!) and before I knew it visiting friends and relatives were requesting to be taken there……so from humble beginnings two fellas who were passionate about pies having seen how the Aussie’s do it (having lived there myself for sometime I used to frequent Harry’s Cafe De Wheels so I know where these guys were coming from) had permeated my life.

To cut a long story short, after lots of chatting last year, this admiration resulted in a meeting with a very talented food photographer Mike Cooper, Jon Simon himself who I babbled at in a haze of pie admiration…jeeesh what am I like!  but its true, shows what a business can become when you’re passionate about what you do.  So the picture above was created and will be featured on my website soon to demonstrate to Brides that posh pie and mash is the way forward (and let me let you into a little secret, even the editor of ‘You and Your Wedding’ & ‘Cosmo Bride’ is a massive fan of these pies, I know that for a fact).

For more details on having a ‘posh pie and mash’ catered for at your wedding on Vintage Tea Sets china drop the Pieminister team a line or even myself and I’ll forward your query on info@vintageteasets.co.uk


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Vintage Tea Sets in BBC Antiques & Homes

This is just too darn exciting for words…..my wedding back in August last year is part of a vintage wedding feature in BBC Antiques & Homes! plus Vintage Tea Sets gets a lovely recommendation in there as well.  This magazine holds a special place for me, they’re based in Bristol (cider me up landlord) where I’m based and also the vintage and antique fabulousness they impart on the nation month after month gives me goosebumps, the Antiques Roadshow is in there…….Amen!

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Vintage Tea Sets, Alice in Wonderland and the Sanderson Hotel

Well folks, My Vintage Tea Sets cake stands will regularly be making an appearance (up to 50 times a day!) at the fabulously trendy and ultra lavish Sanderson Hotel, take a look at the hotels website and you can see exactly why it was chosen for the world premiere aftershow party for all the cast!  (I’m still so very chuffed that my cake stands were used for that party and have been used by Royalty and Johnny Depp!  eek).

Meantime, here’s the press release for the amazing afternoon tea at the Sanderson thats being served on Vintage Tea Sets cake stands.  Not bad eh?

Take a trip down the rabbit hole and try the Mad Hatters afternoon tea at Sanderson for an unusual culinary experience that keeps on getting curiouser and curiouser.

Eat me
Featuring pineapple lollipops that turn your mouth from cold to hot and multicoloured finger sandwiches, this Alice in Wonderland inspired tea is for those who love to play with their food. Other highlights of the quirky Mad Hatters afternoon tea at Sanderson include a Queen of Hearts teacake that melts in your mouth as soon as you bite into its strawberry and white chocolate shell, and exploding mint chocolate chip ice cream lollipops.

Colourful finger sandwiches
In keeping with the eccentric theme, the finger sandwiches in the Mad Hatters afternoon tea at Sanderson come in a variety of bright colours. Nibble on ham and English mustard sandwiches served on yellow saffron bread, or smoked salmon and cream cheese on green spinach bread.

Fairytale tea
No tea would be complete without a selection of cakes and sweet treats, and the Mad Hatters afternoon tea comes complete with a hazelnut and passion fruit tart topped with the White Rabbit’s pocket watch, as well as a chocolate crackle cupcake surprise. Traditional scones with lashings of clotted cream and jam are also part of the afternoon tea.

The Mad Hatters afternoon tea at Sanderson is available daily from 2.30pm – 5.30pm throughout March 2010. The tea is served in the Courtyard Garden at the hotel.

The standard tea costs £20.00 per person, and is also available with a glass of Veuve Cliquot Champagne for £26.00. For more information and to make a reservation, call 0207 300 1444

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Clara Bows Fascinator Workshop photographed by Rosie Parsons

The gorgeous Rosie Parsons popped up to see me earlier in the week with her camera! after a lovely catch up at Bocca Bar she came with me to a ‘Mad Hatter’ themed fascinator workshop I was hosting at Caffe Clifton and took some snaps to go in my beautiful millinery website Clara Bows that both she and her husband Lee created for me.

It was a really lovely relaxed evening and the ladies that attended made some really beautiful things, two even vowed to wear their creations into work the next day!  I so hope they did.  Anyway, as they say, a picture can tell a thousand words and as usual Rosie has done me so incredibly proud, I cherish these images and can’t wait for our ‘road trip’ in just over a weeks time!

Clara Bows Fascinator Workshops

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Filed under Alice In Wonderland, clara Bows, fascinator workshop, Rosie Parsons, Tutorial, Vintage Tea Sets

1920’s wedding dress consultations with Lindsay Fleming

Ladies! Lindsay Fleming, the extremely talented wedding dress designers are travelling to London town all the way from their Scottish hub for consultations with brides who are looking for the ‘twenties’ style wedding dress.  Trust me, being a 1920’s addict, they’re dresses are to be lusted over with good reason…..plus you may have seen one of their dresses recently in ‘you and your wedding’, thats a snapshot at the top of the page.

so, notebooks to the ready,  they’ll be at the ‘Dolphin House Apartments’, Chichester Street, Pimlico, London from the 26th to the 28th of March.  These designers are hot to trot and are going to get booked up fast so get in contact with them asap.

Check out the details on their website here

You may remember me talking about them recently.  I love their collection so much, so Rosie Parsons and I included these stunning dresses in a 1920’s Bridal shoot soon to appear in a wedding magazine, whoooo hooo! Once again a special thanks to Rosie Parsons (www.rosieparsons.com), and make-up by Sarah Brock (www.sarahbmakeup.co.uk). Here are a couple of pics from the shoot. Find the complete shoot here.

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Filed under 1920's, Lindsay Fleming, Roaring twenties, Rosie Parsons, Vintage China Hire, Wedding Fayre

Introducing my 1920’s Millinery Website – Clara Bows

Its official launch isn’t until June this year but here’s a taster, I need to photograph all my hats and fascinators which is easier said that done at the minute (a good chunk are with a magazine which is another story!) so for now there’s some old pics on there .  Excuses excuses! check out my very flapperesque website Clara Bows Millinery (make sure you click on the gramophone!) created by the wonderful Rosie & Lee.  They’ve done an amazing job, thanks guys x

This website will be selling hats I make, giving details on how to order a bespoke hat from me and of course, details on my fascinator workshops (with lots of pictures showing them in progress).  I’ve been selling hats now for well over a year, no promotion at all but still getting at least a couple of orders a month usually people who stumble on me via the web or who stop me in the street.  I’ve been given my own millinery section in the Bristol Fashion Show later in the year.  I’m excited, nervous and honoured all at once about that, I’m busily making my six key pieces……six pieces that I’ve wanted to make for years heavily influenced by the 1920’s, its a creative indulgence and I’ve had to up my skills to create these pieces where the practices needed to make them have almost died out.  And two of these pieces wouldn’t be possible If it wasn’t for a lady with over 50 years in the business making hats for Royalty  passing on her skills as I couldn’t find anyone else up to the job.  All the feedback I’ve had from customers has been incredible but whilst I was growing Vintage Tea Sets I kept this in the background, and lets face it I’m very very busy with the china hire business!  But with the support of my lovely Mum – together we make an amazing team – she blocks the hats for me, makes those lovely vinyl cakes stands that just keep flying off the shelves and helping get big orders together.

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Filed under 1920's, clara Bows, Cloche Hat, fascinator workshop, Flapper, Tutorial, Wedding Fayre

My 1920’s wedding in Cosmopolitan Bride……

Well its a lovely way to start 2010!  My 1920’s style wedding has been given a whopping 4 pages in Cosmopolitan Bride, you can read the full article here on my blog and its just hit the shelves.  The fab photographers were Graham Morgan and Rosie Parsons.

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How to make a cake stand using vintage plates and cups

Happy New Year!!!  And on that joyous note here’s some good news.  I’ve written a downloadable tutorial including step by step pictorial instructions showing you how to make your very own cake stands made from vintage plates and tea cups, just like the ones I sell and hire through vintage tea sets.  I’ve had so many people email asking how I made them and I decided to put this tutorial together, I’ll be adding more during 2010.   Its downloadable as a PDF for only £5.00 and I show you exactly how I make my cake stands.  This is perfect for a crafty bride to be on a budget wanting a swish afternoon tea or anyone just feeling creative wanting to make something really unique and a little quirky.

Vintage Tea Sets cake stand tutorial


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How to make a tea cup candle, step by step instructions…..from Vintage Tea Sets

I reveal how to make one of these.......

I promise you, as soon as you’ve made one of these beautiful soy tea cup candles you won’t ever buy one as they are just too easy to make (within 5 mins you’ll have it poured and cooling), your house will turn into a mini production unit guaranteed.  I’ve been making these for over a year and a half now and my house is full of them, I’ve sold them very successfully in craft fairs and online as they make such a fabulous presents (think Mothers Day, Birthdays and Christmas) and they also make wonderful additions to table centre pieces or dotted around a venue to add some ambience for a vintage tea party or mad hatter tea party .  I use soy wax because its eco-friendly, water soluble and burns at lower temperatures so as not to damage the vintage china.  You can purchase or hire these through my vintage china hire website vintage tea sets but they are so fun to make, give them a go!

You do need to buy a few things, not much.  I’ve put together a shopping list for you but for a sound investment of £20 you can have enough tea cup candles for plenty of presents and also fill your house/event with them.  They go a long way and burn for over 32 hours.  Websites are charging between £12-20 per tea cup candle, you can make many many more for that, you just need to go to some car boot sales and charity shops and buy some tea cups.

Here are my step by step instructions.

What you need

What you need:-  All the waxes, wicks and scent items are available from this website 4candles

Eco Soya Wax

Wedo Eco Wick

Metal tab for the wick

Scent (optional)

2 wooden skewers and some gaffa tape (I love gaffa!)


2 saucepans, one small and one large and flat (Make a bain-marie)

Vintage Tea Cup

Step 1 – First you measure the wax out.  The wax comes in flakes and I fill the volume of my vintage cup up with flakes one and a half times.

Measure the wax flakes

2 – Add to the small saucepan (don’t worry eco wax is water soluble and washes out with some washing up liquid).  Place the small pan in the larger pan filled halfway with water and over a medium to low heat gently melt the wax.

Melt the wax in a bain-marie

Add a scent if you like

3. Prepare your teacup.  Cut a length of wick and pull it through the metal tab (all for sale on the website I gave you earlier).  You can buy special metal pins to hold the wicks in place so it remains centered.  Being a resourceful so and so though I just used some wooden skewers and taped them closely together as seen below and that works just fine.  Now all you need do is pour the wax.

Now all you need do is pour the wax

4.  Now pour gently…….

And pour......

5.  Over half an hour the wax will harden, do not move your tea cup candle during this stage.

Slowly the wax will harden

6.  Finally, trim the wick and light!!!!

And light! How easy was that!!!!

I hope you enjoyed that little tutorial. More to come…….


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