Monday, September 4, 2017

Divine Tea Finds: Downton Abbey Bears and Antique Depot

Lord Grantham, Lady Mary and Mrs. Patmore 

In our second installment of our new blog feature, "BTS' Divine Tea Finds", we found "everything old is new again".

The Downton Abbey television series may be over, but there's much hinted on social media that there will be a new movie in 2018. We do so hope that is true. In the meantime, we're still hanging on to all things Downton. So, when the Downton Abbey teddy bears went on sale, we just had to snap up  a few.

Last month, the ShopPBS online store had an incredible sale on these furry personifications of the Crawley family and their downstairs staff.  These bears come from North American Bear Company, the same folks who make the adorable Muffy VanderBear family, which my daughter Rachel collected when she was young.

Lady Mary next to English Rose tea which "bears" her  likeness

Standing 12" inches tall, these bears are 4" taller than the tiny Muffy collection, giving us that much more to love.

The retail price for each Downton Abbey bear is $74.99. However, last month, ShopPBS offered up some of the  fuzzy cast members at $29.99.  At that price, the hardest decision was which to buy and how many.

Mrs. Patmore comes with her own spoon. She, too,  has her own tea.

In the end, I chose, Lord Grantham, Lady Mary and Mrs. Patmore, which provided the essentials of an aristocratic ensemble:  a Lord, a Lady and a cook.

(The other price I paid was promising Lord Gulley of Glencoe that I would take two boxes of "stuff" out of the house and donate, which I did.)

Lord Grantham with a cup of  Breakfast Blend
The other purpose for my purchase was to have the cuddly characters displayed next to the Republic of Tea's tea tins "bearing" their likeness for all our Downton Abbey afternoon teas. We prepare and serve the teas in the Republic of Tea's Downton Abbey series, specifically Grantham Breakfast Blend, English Rose and Mrs. Patmore's Pudding. These are fun teas in name and packaging and well-received by guests.

At last check, the only bear still available on ShopPBS at this great price is Lord Grantham.

Our other "old" new find, was at one of our favorite antique stores in the whole world. Lucky for us, Antique Depot in Lewiston, Michigan, is just a hop, skip and a jump from our northern retreat in nearby Greenwood Township.

Rachel stands outside Antique Depot in Lewiston, Michigan

Antique Depot is owned and run by Deb K., who manages to make the store look brand new every time we visit. She has a keen eye for design and her displays of vintage china, crystal and assorted bric-a-brac are amazing. Sometimes arranged by color, sometimes by holiday, it's always pristine and appealing.

A "new" Paragon tea cup
Not the usual, but so pretty & perfect for the tea garden

Deb also offers outstanding customer service. You know your visiting an old friend each time you step through the door and she keeps an eye out for what you collect. I'm partial to Paragon tea cups and she'll let me know if she's secured some new ones and where they are in the store.

However, when we stopped in last month, she showed me a teacup that she really liked and thought I would, too, even though it wasn't Paragon. I LOVED it! It's still fine bone china, but it's not my usual Aynsley cup with the gold line around the middle. This one is white cup with delicate blue morning glories bordering the edge of both the cup and the saucer. It is perfect for afternoon tea in my up north tea garden.

If anyone is traveling north and then a bit east of I-75 (Mio/Gaylord vicinity) and wants to experience a wonderful afternoon of browsing beautifully displayed vintage collections, you must pay a visit to Antique Depot. Tell them BTS sent you. Better yet, text me and let's go together!

Bear in mind, everything old becomes new again! These were the BTS Divine Tea Finds for August. We'll be back in a month for more!

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