Tuesday 1 December 2015

The Solitary Teabag

I am an old fashioned girl, and I do prefer my tea poured from a pot. That’s fine when there are two or more of us – but when I am home alone [frequently now Bob works from his office at Church] I have been pushing a tea bag around in a mug of boiling water. It just isn’t the same! So I have treated myself to a little teapot [I did have a ‘Brown Betty’ but it has gone missing in the move]

portmeirion teapot

It’s a gorgeous retro Portmeirion pot, in the Fifi design. It cost me £1.80 in a charity shop.


According to the Sanderson  website “An original 50s Sanderson wallpaper Fifi was recently discovered in a customers loft where it had been hidden away for the last 50 years. The design depicts the typical hourglass silhouette described as ‘The New Look’  a trend pioneered in 1947 by one of the most iconic fashion designers Christian Dior who was very influential throughout the post-war period.” It has been revived on fabric and wallpaper, and Portmeirion produced some china. My teapot really should have a cup underneath – on a cute triangular saucer

with cup

I don’t really mind, the teapot on its own is quite lovely . It pours beautifully – a prime requirement of any pot.  You will notice in the collage at the top there is also a photo of a small square of cake. This is my Cornish Hevva Cake, baked at the weekend.

Fat Dormouse alerted me to the Cornish Hewa/Hevva/Heavy Cake after I posted about my trip to St Ives. Here’s mine in the tinP1020685

It was a really easy recipe, useful if you are short of eggs.It is a surprisingly dry mix, and you do need to push it down into the tin. I sprinkled mine with demerara sugar.

It goes beautifully with a cuppa, but it is quite crumbly. Thanks FD for this one!

Prep: 15 minutes, Cook: 30 minutes

250g Self raising flour

125g Butter

175g Mixed dried fruit

90g Sugar

50ml Milk


1. Preheat the oven to 190°C fan 170°C

Line a 8” square cake tin.

2. Rub the butter into the flour until it's the texture of fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and fruit and mix well. Add the milk and mix to a soft, stiff dough.

3. Press into the cake tin, pushing down firmly in the corners. Score the top of the cake with a sharp knife, making crisscross diagonal lines.

4. Place in the middle of the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

5. Remove from the oven and while still warm, brush with milk and give a generous sprinkling of  sugar. Allow to cool and cut into squares [16 small, or 9 generous portions]

To be really retro, I should probably sing the song ‘Tea for Two’ from the 1950 musical of that name [film starring Doris Day] – I wonder if my Cornish Bake counts as a ‘sugar cake’?

Oh, honey, picture me upon your knee
With tea for two and two for tea
Just me for you and you for me alone
Nobody near us to see us or hear us
No friends or relations on weekend vacations
We won't have it known, dear
That we own a telephone, dear
Day will break and I'll awake
And start to bake a sugar cake
For you to take, for all the boys to see

Tea for two and two for tea
Me for you and you for me alone


  1. I think you bagged a bargain with the teapot. They are still selling these in the Portmeirion shops. I love it!

    1. I suspect that the shops are charging a lot more than £1.80! I wonder what happened to the original cup and saucer - it certainly wasn't elsewhere in the Charity Shop or I would have noticed it.

  2. Oooh, what a sweet pot and a bargain to boot!

  3. Lovely teapot.
    I also prefer a teapot for one. A teabag in a mug just doesn't taste the same, and there's something slightly indulgent and luxurious about making a pot for one. Cake looks lovely.

  4. I'm so glad you found such a perfect little pot. I do so hope you find Betty soon.

  5. My mum is something of a tea enthusiast and only uses Loose leaf teas. She gets really cross if I tell her I can't tell the difference between loose leaf and teabags lol.

  6. Happy to see you liked the cake! I haven't made it: it was just serendipity that you wrote your post shortly after I'd watched Lovely Nigel's programme on cake. I'd quibble over your provenance of "Tea for Two" though - I thought it was from the musical "No,No,Nanette" (or "Net,Net, No-No" as we used to call it when I was in it.)

    1. You are SO right - thanks for the correction - it seems that DD's 1950's film was a reworking on the 1920's musical NNN - which in turn was based on a 1919 play my lady friends [although that clearly had no songs in it] It is always good to get our facts right [did you play the part of Nanette?]

    2. No, it was a very minor role. My singing isn't good enough for a lead in a musical.

  7. I only started drinking tea after my mum died early this year and I too like to pour it from a tea pot. I found a lovely pink one at charity shop that I use at weekends as we all drink tea then. Your little tea pot is gorgeous.

  8. Love your little teapot! It wouldn't go amiss on the set for Strictly Come Dancing!


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