Visiting an antiques warehouse recently it was a revelation to see a great number of trendy and fashion conscious twenty something females placing pieces of great grandma's china into their baskets. Now you'd think that a hip young thing would be selecting her dinnerware from Ikea or John Lewis for example, and not seeking out a second hand bit of vintage from the dust covered shelves of an eclectic antiques emporium. Think again. The demand for all things shabby chic is huge and it's the hard working party girl generation who is eager for the old stuff. With sixty year old china this pretty however, it ought to have come out from the back of the store cupboard or granny's attic years ago.
Our famous Potteries sadly will never produce the beautiful wares of their heyday again. They're closing down fast and those which remain in business are moving out to Indonesia and far flung places across the globe. The result is that vintage Staffordshire is becoming increasingly hard to find and the price is rising. Life perhaps started to move a whole lot faster in the latter half of the 20th century and the lovely English tradition of taking afternoon tea simply withered away. Just like platform shoes and shoulder pads, now cupcakes are back in fashion and so too are pretty patterns and dainty tea plates to pick up the crumbs. A little bit of wear around the edges then all the better. There's something wonderfully nostalgic about recycling great granny's best tea set and giving it a new lease of life.
Ideally, to add a really individual touch of vintage glamour to your table, you want to mismatch your pieces and make up your own quirky tea set. Be bold and brave and use your imagination by mixing up all that gorgeous china into a unique service. We're all conscious now of the need to fix and mend rather than throw away. If you have a little lost saucer or a lonely tea cup too well loved to dispose of then they're a match made in heaven. Put them together and use them! Show them off and be proud of your heritage. We've filled a picnic basket with a variety of teacup trios. You could really go off the rails and mix them all up.
Have a little of everything and lots of it. Fabulous shabby chic!