Sunday, October 6, 2013

Arizona and Blue Willow

Well, Hello there from Lady B! This will be a different little post! A few weeks ago I went to Arizona to visit my son. As I usually do, I researched a bit to see if there was a nearby tea room. Now, Arizona is very different from my neck of the woods. I didn't see a rose bush any where...lots of cacti though. But I did find a tea room!! In the town aptly named Carefree!! The English Rose Tea Room was located on the corner of Easy Street and Lucky Street!! Honestly!

It really was everything I could hope for in a tea room. The only problem was that it was closed!! We couldn't wait around as we had reservations for a tour in Sedona  But you can bet the next time I visit I will make this my priority.

A piece of British heaven in the desert!!

There were beautiful rose murals on the outside. I imagine they miss the real thing too.

Teacup chandeliers...of course.

The cactus were as big as people!

Adjoining the tea room was a British-themed store called Jo London

I had to give this all up to go to Sedona. But, as you can see, it was worth it.

So, changing gears, I have to share the story of Blue Willow china because I found this lovely teapot at a yard sale after I returned home.  It got me thinking about the story that goes with it. The pattern was designed by Thomas Minton in the late 1700's. To promote the sales, Minton invented a story to go with it. The story is completely English in origin with no ties to China.

One version goes like this: Once there was a wealthy Mandarin who had a beautiful daughter, Koong-se. She had fallen in love with her father's humble accountant, Chang. This angered her father who wished for her to marry a powerful Duke. He built a fence around his house to keep the lovers apart. The Duke arrived bearing gifts. On the eve of the wedding, the accountant, disguised as a servant slipped into the palace and the two lovers escaped with the jewels. They were discovered and the Mandarin chased after them. They ran over the bridge and were helped by three gardeners. They escaped to a remote island but were discovered and put to death. The gods transformed the lovers into doves. The other story told of a Shaolin monastery burned by the Imperial troops of the Manchu rulers. The souls of the dead monks take a boat to the Isle of the Blest On the bridge are three Buddha awaiting the dead souls. They are Sakyamuni, the Buddha of the past, Maitreya, the Buddha of the future, and Amitabha, the ruler of the western paradise. The doves are the monks' souls on the journey from human to immortal life.

That particular dish was manufactured by Burleigh

Another yard sale treasure by Johnson Brothers.

A close-up of the fanciful trees.

Here's a kettle in the same design. Now I can bring the kettle to the pot!! Love the little bird.

I'm sure a willow pattern has been made by many, many pottery companies.

                                                                Two birds flying high
                                                           A Chinese vessel, sailing by
                                                A bridge with three men, sometimes four
                                                           A willow tree hanging o'er
                                                      A Chinese temple, there it stands
                                                             Built upon the river sands
                                                         An apple tree, with apples on
                                                       A crooked fence to end my song


relevanttealeaf said...

Lovely post! I love the Blue Willow pattern and the story that accompanies it. Glad you had a good time in Arizona, and discovered a tea room to visit the next time you're there. Isn't it great that tea fits perfectly into to every geographic area.

Lady B and Dame Ruthie said...

Absolutely. Tea certainly has a unifying effect!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

How wonderful to find a tea room in Arizona - and then to come home and find the lovely tea pot.

Barby said...

Lovely Arizona!
Your yard sale Blue Willow teapot is elegant and pretty, Lady B, and I love the romantic story.
What a glorious kettle, and the sweetest poem. :)

Ruthie Miller said...

Dear Lady B,
What a darling tea place. Good news is that you will return and will be sure to go there. My favorite thing about it, is the hanging teapots and cups. So cute.
Great stories about Blue Willow. Scrambling around on Pinterest, the picture of the book, Blue Willow came up. It was a book I read as a young girl. My mother always had blue and white dishes so I have always loved them and you know how many I have....
Great post!
xo Dame Ruthie

Karen said...

Hi Ruthie,
I just love the Blue Willow pattern. Aren't garage sales and thrift shopping the best? I am addicted to treasure hunting. My cupboards and cabinets are all full and it is time to buy another cabinet. Hee hee. I didn't realize how pricey Shelley teacups were until I visited some antique shops recently and was shocked. The cream and sugar I featured were Roslyn. It is so nice to have friends like you who treasure precious china. Thank you for visiting me. Have a wonderful weekend. Karen

Antiques And Teacups said...

What a wonderful tea room...and Blue Willow is one of the longest lived patterns of china. I love it! But then it IS blue and white! You must have had a great time! Thanks for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

What a wonderful trip you must have had. Pity the tea room was closed but it looks lovely. The cliffs of Sedona are red like our cliffs here on the Island.
I always enjoy seeing Blue Willow and I much more prefer the story of the lovers. I love your kettle!
Thanks for sharing with us.


Angela McRae said...

Yes, you really, really must visit that tea room and give us a report when you can! I loved seeing all your Blue Willow, and especially the fun tea kettle. (Thanks too for the kind comments about my mom. I so appreciate it!)

Princesa Nadie said...

Dear Ruthie
Thank you very much for your visits and for the information about that painter

Beth said...

I like the Blue Willow pattern. Love your teapot and tea kettle. Enjoyed reading about your trip to AZ too. Loved seeing your tea birthday cards in your newer post as well. Happy Birthday!