It is no secret that I adore books. So, for friends and family, it is a no brainer to shop for me at Christmas or Birthdays. Gift me a book and you will never go wrong.
After Christmas Eve midnight unwrapping, I will certainly be sharing with you some of my newly acquired titles. One little gem already in my hands is a sweet coffee table book, Tea at Fortnum & Mason Piccadilly since1707.
You don't need to be British, nor a particularly avid tea drinker (I, for example, consume coffee by the gallon) to appreciate the rich history of this beverage and all the customs and etiquette associated to taking tea.
There is a section dedicated to the quarrel over tea leaves or tea bags. Wonderful recipies for scones, biscuits, preserves, cakes and fancies are provided. And the photography captures the English love of fine delicate porcelain and floral patterns.
Fortnum & Mason is still an institution to this day and has a pedigreed supplier past having furnished, dried fruit, spices and preserves to British officers during the Napoleonic Wars, having catered prestigious court functions during the Victorian era and provided beef tea to Florence Nightingale's hospitals during the Crimean War.
It is a lovely nod to history, good manners, fine craftsmanship and high quality.