Last weekend it was my dad's birthday, and to celebrate we trekked out to a little antique-shop-with-cafe in Watsons' Creek... just a small place, featuring robust home-cooked meals (and plenty of them) and stunning cakes, served on the enclosed back verandah outside the antique shop itself.
Naturally I was on the hunt for vintage teawares and I did not come away disappointed. There were a few lovely offerings there, including some full tea sets that were unfortunately out of my budget range, but then I saw this tucked into a glass-fronted cabinet and knew I had to have it:
It's Aynsley bone china, no pattern name or number listed on the bottom, and a Google search hasn't helped me identify it, but no matter. It's in perfect condition, too, apart from a little wear on the gilt around the lip of the cup and the edge of the saucer, although I'm not sure how old it is.
I particularly like it because it's so different to most of the vintage teacup sets that I have (quite a few of them are Aynsley, as well) - most are white or cream with various flower patterns, roses being heavily represented, and much as I love them this one really stands out with the gorgeous cobalt blue of the outer cup and the saucer. Also, while I have a number of cups with a little bit of the design inside the rim, I don't have one that features it like this does - such a lovely surprise compared with the relative plainness - or, well, simplicity might be a better term - of the outside.
I can't wait to use it; I've been saving it up for something special - I think perhaps an oolong or a Darjeeling, something with a clear pale or coppery colour so the design on the inside of the cup still shows through... it would be a pity to conceal it by drinking something that has milk added.