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“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea” – Henry James

14th August 2017

If you’ve seen us around and about on our blog or social media, you’ll probably have picked up on the fact we’re pretty into our afternoon teas. It has pretty much everything we could want: cake? Check! Scones? Check! More cake on a different tier of the pretty china cake stand? CHECK! If you get the impression we’re more interested in the dessert aspect of the event, you’d be correct – we’ll swap our sandwiches for more cake please.

Since it’s national afternoon tea week this week, we’re more than willing to celebrate!

We threw a birthday afternoon tea recently – how pretty does our William Morris Willow Bough Blue tablecloth look! I think it’s important to remember that when throwing an afternoon tea, whilst it’s all about the food and company, the accessories you have on the table are also very important. Afternoon tea has been seen for centuries as a high class thing to do, so keep it proper with a beautiful tablecloth with matching napkins – bonus points for placemats too! Finish it off with china – at the moment we’re loving the trend of having mismatched china on the table, with everyone having a different patterned cup or plate. If you’ve got matching sets, this looks wonderful too, but mismatched is a good trend if one cup has been smashed over the years or you’ve picked up an individual plate or two over the years and is a great way to showcase them and still use the odd bits you’ve collected one way or another.

How did Afternoon Tea begin?

Afternoon Tea began around 1840 when Anna, the Duchess of Bedford had an issue that she got hungry between lunch and dinner as their dinners were ‘fashionable late’ at around 8pm. She began to have tea and a snack alone in her boudoir – our kind of pal. Later, she thought it would be a fun idea to invite her friends to and so the tradition was born. Anna was a close friend of Queen Victoria and so as a prominent figure in London society, others followed suit. During the 1880s, the upper class society women would dress for the occasion in gowns, gloves and hats. The afternoon tea was usually served somewhere between 4-5pm and occurred in the drawing room. During the summer months, they moved the venue into their gardens and this encouraged the Lords and men of the house to join in the fun!

It’s worth noting that at the tine, Tea was a delicacy and an expensive thing to have and so it was a bit of a status symbol that they could afford to drink such a fine tea. The rich elite would even get their portraits commissioned and have fine china and teas included in the art so, again, people knew of their status and wealth.

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Our Black Friday sale is now live! 🥂 On our website only, use code, BLACKFRIDAY10 all weekend for 10% off your order ☺️ Ends Sunday at midnight 🌙
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Dreaming of the sunshine 💭 This is our smallest size of tote bag, in our licensed William Morris Strawberry Thief, on this bike ride we were pretty happy that it was filled to the brim with snacks to eat on the beach ☀️ On Wintery nights we love to look back on the sunshine! ☁️
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We're so thrilled our new website is now live! 🌿Just in time for Christmas shopping, it's much easier to use, and still full of beautiful licensed William Morris designs on every page! We hope you like the change, especially where lots of you are featured on the new 'inspiration' page! 🌟 We absolutely love that it showcases everyones tablescapes and craft projects, just click on them to see the design and who posted the photo so you can see more of their content ☺️ If you're happy for us to use your photos, just send us a message, we'd love it to be a page we can keep adding to throughout the seasons 🪴
Special thank you to @adigi_agency for creating our website, we love it! 🤍
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A few of our licensed William Morris designs all hanging out, aren’t they iconic! It’s amazing that you can see a Morris print and instantly know it’s his design 🌿
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#williammorris #morris #williammorrisdesign #teatowels #goldenlily #strawberrythief #willowbough #upholsteryfabric #curtainfabric #onlinefabricshop
Hands up if you’re a Golden Lily fan 🙋‍♀️ Our licensed William Morris design tea towels make excellent Christmas gifts if you’re writing your Christmas list!🎄 
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Always brightening up the kitchen; Willow Bough 🌿 What a special design ✨
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“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life” - William Morris. Some days, for us, that means decorating our tables with napkin bows and settling down for a slice of cake! 🧁
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Fabric stack of floral dreams 💭
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We'd say Morris more than succeeded, with timeless designs and words, it shows true beauty and art will never age 🌿 Morris wrote this quote in "The Well At The World's End: Volume I." Have you ever read much of his poetry or writing? ✍️
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A little fabric stack full of William Morris floral magic 🌿
Is anyone else a little excited that it's only 100 days until Christmas... or is it too soon to talk about? We're quite excited for Christmas crafts, food and films! ☺️ We wonder what your favourite Morris design is? Does it change based on season? 🎄 (it's far too early for this emoji but we're excited and can't help it, sorry.)
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Important conversation of the day at Laura's Beau HQ: who fancies a crumble and which is your favourite flavour? 🍎 Apple seems popular, so does rhubarb ☀️ One thing we can agree on is that we're all going to be baking them tonight - best get our fave oven gloves out! 👩‍🍳 These are our licensed William Morris Eyebright double oven gloves, isn't it such a beautiful pattern 🤍
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We were cutting our Strawberry Thief fabric today and the sunlight hit it perfectly, we couldn’t resist a picture 🌿 All our licensed William Morris designs are printed in the United Kingdom, and we sell it by the half metre 🪡 If you’re in the UK and would like a sample, just send us a message! 💌 
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A close up of our beautiful licensed William Morris Trellis 😍 Isn't it such a timeless design, it was first designed in 1864, inspired by the rose trellis in Morris's garden at beautiful Red House 🌿 It was the first wallpaper Morris designed, along with Daisy and Fruit. 
Because the three designs were produced using a hand printing process, each colour needed a separate block and for the three designs it was 12 blocks each so was a long and expensive process. Therefore, they were all put on hold until the early 1870s when Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & co. had enough money to finance the designs 🎨We love the Trellis design, currently our tea towel is hanging over the cooker - we always wonder if Morris could ever have foreseen that his design in 1864 would be so well loved all these years later? 🤍
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Did you know we have matching  kitchen accessories in a range of licensed Morris designs? 🌿 Perfect for pressies or treating yourself to bring a little Morris floral magic into your kitchen 🤍✨
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