A Little Jane Eyre A Little Tea Perhaps ?

Although I live in sunny San Diego I can’t help get lost reading classic Gothic novels over many cups of tea.  One of my favorites is “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. It does help to have an overcast, chilly winter day here in southern california but I will read any of the wonderful Gothic novels or watch the adapted film versions anytime.  I love “Rebecca”, “Pride and Prejudice”, “Wuthering Heights”, you name it.

For some reason, I am attracted to big, drafty, gloomy places.  While in France in the Loire Valley I really felt at home in the enormous hunting lodges and chateaus of the Kings and Queens. The hearths were absolutely massive and one of my favorite things was  looking out through caged windows way up in these secret little rooms.

In the blog www.austenprose.com they describe that the novel’s gloomy, atmospheric tone was perfectly embodied in the film, directed by Cary Fukunaga in Haddon Hall in Debyshire built atop a limestone outcropping and one of the oldest houses in England standing in for Thornfeld Hall.   The whole place has that dark, Gothic, masculine feel especially in the attic scenes.

One thing I must say that the characters in the film drink alot of tea in those dark, drafty rooms.  I think a tea party with a theme like Jane Eyre would be really fun.  The tricky part would be to find the costumes.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have an elaborate tea service, made with delectable treats and to either read aloud different parts of the novel or to watch the lastest version of the film with Mia Wasikowska and the dashing Michael Fassbender, while dressed in our finery. How do we fit into the dresses with the impossibly small waists.  Having tea and crumpets certainly won’t help.  We will just have to find low carb versions of treats to eat.

Don’t we all love the tale of the spirited governess who finds true love in a eerie classic medieval castle with heart stopping romance.  Jane Eyre is the ultimate underdog, a poor orphan against unbelievable odds, whose love and determination redeem a hero wracked with torment.

We can all identify with the themes that are relevant today: women’s struggle for equality, self-realization and the satisfying experience of true love.  Overall, appealing to our hearts and minds.

Syrie James, the author of “The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte”, explains that Mia truly inhabits the role, beautifully protraying Jane’s sense of self-respect, integrity and restraint as well as her passion and vulnerability.  Although, she wished Mia had thrown herself a little more at Mr. Rochester’s character.  She also felt that Michael Fassbender was inspired casting.  She says, “He embodies Mr. Rochester with the ideal blend of charisma and sinister brooding, while at the same time allowing glimpses of his underlying desperation and wounded depths of his soul.  When Jane and Rochester finally admit their love for eachother, it is romantic, exciting with sparks flying.  As this is the favorite part of the story for me, it was far too short.” I have to agree.  I loved their chemistry and could have used a longer love scene.

Since this is a blog about tea I will be writing all about different type of tea parties, activities to do a tea parties, the dress, etc…  Reading about special tea houses across the globe, intimate, lavish is something that I also like to do since I have a love of travel so I will probably be reporting about some of that.

Would love to hear about fun tea parties you have been to and great tea houses you have visited, the food they served, the customs, etc… Please share your thoughts and ideas.

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Mulberry Street Tea House- A Place to Find Solace and Friendship

You may wonder what the reason may be for the name Mulberry Street Tea House for my blog.  I began my obsession with tea when I lived in a little town called Beecroft which was close to the gorgeous, sophisicated city of Sydney.  Beecroft like all the towns in the suburbs on the train line to Sydney,  had  little cafes, tea houses, shops selling all kinds of food, boutiques.  It is in these tea shops and cafes where I solidified my friendships with the ex-pats I met, lovely Canadians and British women who became like family to me and many wonderful Australian women. 

 Afternoon Tea at the homes of these lovely women, was a ritual that I grew to love. Our children played and gained sustenance from Fairy Bread, white bread covered in butter and the multi-colored baking sprinkles that we put on cupcakes.  The women gained sustainance from each other as we shared our stories over cups of tea. 

Many of the Australian women I knew had beautiul, old homes with so much character.  I felt like I was living in England.  It is in the homes of these women where I learned to drink my black tea with milk.  In my own home I would drink tea all day long.  It would give me comfort while I made a life for my family in a place so beautiful but so foreign to me. 

The name Mulberry Street popped in my mind over and over again as a name for my business and blog.  To my surprise, when I googled Mulberry Street, what came up was the book “The Tea House on Mulberry Street” by Sharon Owens. 

While perusing the book I founded many parallels between the book and my business/blog. One of the reviews said, ” I felt disappointed that I could not step into the Tea House on Mulberry Street with its engaging human characters and mouth watering recipes.  A book as warm and comforting as a really good afternoon tea.”

Another review said, “The book will cause readers to long for place to go when life becomes too much to handle, to escape with a cup of tea and lose yourself in this thoughtful book.”

My breakthrough thought was why can’t I create an online community that is “warm and comforting” like an afternoon tea.  I have been throwing really fun tea parties for a while now and have been urged by friends to start a tea party business.  Another thought was, why can’t I start a business creating different kinds of tea parties where women can escape from the drudgeries of life.  A place where women can come together in community and find support and friendship. 

The blog Mulberry Street Tea House will be a place for women to share their wisdom and knowledge so that we can all live more peaceful, calm, comforting lives.  It is a place to share recipes, rituals, thoughts and information about tea and tea paties, crafts, and ideas to enrich our lives. 

Lately I have been experimenting with green crafts.  Women can sit with a cup of tea, read my blog and get some good ideas on how to make soul satisfying creations.  There is something so homespun about repurposing things and turning them into a thing of beauty.  Something very comforting.  It is almost like stepping back in time to our grandmother’s era when so many families lived on farms and ” making do” was the norm.  I feel like we have come full circle and “making do” is becoming not only cool and trendy but a necessity. 

Would love to hear your ideas on how many of you have found a new life for something that was destined for the trash bin and now has become an object of beauty.

Mulberry Street Tea House will not only be a virtual place.  It will be located in my home in La Jolla and I will offer this kind of experience in the homes of other women who would like to build community and offer a little bit of peace, solace, friendship and fun to women.

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