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junkgalore Nov 12th, 2010 01:12 PM

in London now... where to find a tea set?
We've got a couple more days left in London and I'm hoping to find a nice tea set to take home. I'd like something traditional... in china or porcelain (something thin and dainty).
Since I don't really want to waste time searching store after store, I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

I went to Harrods today and was not impressed with their selection. It was all either very high end stuff that seemed easy to find at home or mug-types with the store's name on it.

Does anyone have any recs?

PatrickLondon Nov 12th, 2010 02:04 PM

The kind of traditional you're describing is likely to come from a high-end brand these days, I suspect, now most people use mugs for every day. You could try the Tea House in Neal St (Covent Garden), Whittard's (they have a branch in Covent Garden market), or good old John Lewis (Oxford CIrcus):

schnauzer Nov 12th, 2010 07:09 PM

You could try some of the markets, Portobello market could have some antique type tea sets. This will only work if you are available when the markets are on of course. Also don't forget Nottinghill Markets. Failing that the big department stores are your best bet. There used to be the big reject store on Regent Street, but I think that may have gone, I didn't come across it last year but then I wasn't really looking. They often had great stuff at much cheaper prices, nothing really wrong with it, just old styles etc.


elcon Nov 12th, 2010 07:45 PM

There are some shops on Portobello Rd. as previously mentioned. Also Fortnum and Mason has soe lovely sets, but may be pricey.

CaliNurse Nov 12th, 2010 08:27 PM

Tomorrow is Saturday--as It sounds like you are leaving Nov 14, you have time to get to the Saturday market at Portobello Rd.
For tradtional and expensive, in addition to the already excellent advice, I would recommend the Wedgwood Shop on Regent Street.

KayF Nov 12th, 2010 08:59 PM

You could try Fortnum and Mason on Piccadilly. I just looked online and they have a Tea For Two Teaset but it's pricey at 225 pounds.,1214.aspx

A teaset is not something normally used these days so I'm guessing only the more expensive shops would stock them. If you look somewhere like John Lewis, see if Wedgewood or a similar upmarket brand may have something. Usually you can buy their china pieces separately so you could buy enough pieces to make up your own teaset.


flanneruk Nov 12th, 2010 11:01 PM

Do you want "traditional" (ie something that corresponds with your image of what people use) or fast?

If "traditional", then by all means trek round second hand places and markets till you find what you want. But it's very unlikely to be cheap.

If fast, go to the teaset page on the John Lewis website that Patrick's pointed out, choose what you want then go into their Oxford St store and buy it. This is where 99.999% of sensible young couples keep their wedding lists, from which elderly foreign relatives buy them the teaset they'll never use. If you're in the area, the General Trading Company in Sloane Sq is where the other, richer and quirkier, 0.1% heep their lists.

Don't wasre time at Whittards, which is mostly jokey or mugs

junkgalore Nov 12th, 2010 11:02 PM

Thank you for your help! Yes, we leave Monday morning so I realistically only have today and Sunday to look.

It seems "non-special" to buy say, Wedgwood when that brand is available at any Bloomingdale's at home. I've always wanted a tea set from England but it may be too old fashioned.

I'm going to look up info about Portobello Rd market. I would be over the moon if I found something on this short trip. Hmmm, maybe a good reason to return!

alihutch Nov 13th, 2010 12:39 AM

Unmatched crockery is very 'in' at the moment, so you could just buy unmatched 2nd hand cups, saucers, plates tea pot etc....

FoFoBT Nov 13th, 2010 12:57 AM

Sometimes you can find something interesting in the cooking/dining section of Selfridges. This Royal Albert chine in the Poppy pattern matches your spec for thin and dainty...true, it's made by Wedgwood, but I don't think the Royal Albert tribute pieces are as easily found in the U.S.

Another suggestion is to check the gift shop at the V&A Museum - they might have something. (They'll be open Sunday if you don't find anything today.) But like others have suggested above, try your luck at the markets or charity shops - you can find some great items there.

avalon Nov 13th, 2010 04:38 AM

Along Cromwell road at the corner of I think Beauchamp Place, near the V&A there is a china shop sellingeveral brands at reduced prices. Some are seconds but still good qualiy.

persimmondeb Nov 13th, 2010 05:05 AM

A lot of those brands, even though they're available in the US, will have patterns/pieces we rarely see here, so it's not necessarily something you could hop off to Macy's to buy.

nini Nov 13th, 2010 06:47 AM

The china shop near Beauchamp Place was called Reject China but closed several years ago. It is now a Marks & Spenser food market. V&A Museum shop is worth a look and maybe Harvey Nicks.

junkgalore Nov 13th, 2010 01:05 PM

Thank you all.
I managed to get to the Portobello market today for about 1.5hrs. There were tons of little shops that looked like they would have something I would like but unfortunately I just didn't have the time to leisurely peruse through the shops. The ones I did go through looked like they weren't antique or second hand, rather, new.

I'm not sure we'll have time to check out any stores tomorrow. I doubt we'll be making our way back to the V&A Museum. I wish I would have checked the shop before we left yesterday!

Fofo, yes, dainty and pretty. Your link is along the lines of what I'm looking for. The heavy gold rim is not quite what I want so I'll have to keep looking.

Avalon, thanks for that info. I may not have time on this trip to check it out but hopefully this thread will be helpful to someone else and I'll certainly keep it in my notes for my next trip.

Persimmon, it's good to know about the diff. designs available here.

Alihutch, mixing and matching does sound like a quaint set to put together. I wish I had several days that I could devote just to search for a tea set!

I'm not too hopeful I'll find something this time. I'm ok with spending a small fortune since it's something I've always wanted. We have our wedding china but I guess I just always imagined having a "special tea set." I have several sets but they are all for Asian tea. My husband wants to know why I can't just use one of

Also, I think having spent almost the past two weeks enjoying tea every afternoon (in vessels of all kinds!), I have a romanticized vision of sitting at home having afternoon tea (um, I guess work and real life get in the way of my fantasy).

Anyway, I appreciate all your helpful input.

CaliNurse Nov 13th, 2010 03:29 PM

Be careful drinking from it if it is bone china.

junkgalore Nov 13th, 2010 08:57 PM

CaliNurse, why? Are there different types of china?

CaliNurse Nov 13th, 2010 10:58 PM

Bone china is made from bones, and the older plates (such as you might find in antique marts) are glazed with lead. I'm sorry, i didnt mean to alarm you, rather to make you aware to be careful; This is not just true of bone china, but many of the traditional, old tea sets are made from it, due to its delicacy and translucency.

The info below is from the Australian gov't:

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