The Future In A Teacup

The Future In A Teacup

On the weekend my BFF girlfriend and I had our tea leaves read. Do you ever do this?

We’ve been seeking our fortune, telling that is, every year now for the last 3 years at the Calico Cat Tea House. And each time I’m both excited and apprehensive. Hmmm, what will I learn, or more accurately, be given to think about for the coming year?

See how attentive these women are?


Well, that was kind of us!

The table was already set with vintage china teacups when we arrived, and it was so much fun because they were all different.

I didn’t take photos because I wasn’t sure about that whole connection with photographs and Karma, and the fortune in the leaves… you know, all that mysterious stuff 😉

This one is very similar to the teacup my friend used.


It’s Queen Anne bone china in the Gold Lace pattern. Isn’t it pretty?

And the other 2 of the 3 teacups were the same as a few that my grandmother used to have. She loved her teacups, and had a collection of many different ones.

Like this one that I used.


It’s from the Royal Vale series, and is called Red Rose.

And this other one, in the Silver Birch pattern, is a Royal Albert china piece.


I always remember my Grandpa drinking tea from a teacup like this. My grandparents routinely enjoyed a ‘spot’ of tea with their lunch!

Anyway, I took this as a sign of good things to come. And of course, we won’t know for sure until the year has passed…

But drinking from the teacup got me to thinking about how we don’t use china teacups the way we used to. And yet when we do, there’s something so fine about it, don’t you think?

And I’m always intrigued by the different shapes of teacups and their matching saucers. So I thought I’d share a glimpse of the footed teacup from my own china pattern with you. Footed refers to the mini pedestal or base at the bottom of the cup that sits into the saucer, like all of the ones above.

My china pattern is ‘Simplicity’ by Royal Doulton. I’ve had it for 21 years, and it’s now discontinued.

In spite of its near vintage age (eeek!), notice how the lines of my footed teacup are more streamlined than the teacups above?


And do you see the little indentation in the saucer? That’s what I meant by ‘sitting’ into the saucer.

My china also comes with a flat base cup.


Do you see how there is no foot with this cup? It actually looks more like a mini coffee cup, and is referred to as the ‘coffee tea cup’.

This is the demitasse cup and saucer, again it is flat.


Starting to look a lot more like the shape of a mug now, isn’t it? Except that demitasse cups are much smaller than regular teacups. From this photo, who would have known?

And here’s the coffee cup to the set. It comes without a saucer, and is actually called a flat cup.


And I can see why since the cup sits flush to the surface. Makes sense to me!

Isn’t it interesting how the shapes vary? Even within a set?

There are so many parts and pieces to a china set, so many different types of china, and from what I’ve learned, there’s no official guideline for what each piece is named. But for a basic list of the commonly used names click here.

Just like the leaves in a tea leaf reading, there are so many possibilities, aren’t there?

And that’s where the real fortune is told. It’s in all of the bits and pieces that make up the greater whole.

It’s about coming home… If you want a remarkable space that tells your story, contact me to see how we can help!


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12 thoughts on “The Future In A Teacup”

    • Apparently my fortune, as in money, will come in a year, but this year is showing joy and good things ahead! I think it really boils down to how one measures ‘fortune’. I feel fortunate for so many things already. As for the money piece, I don’t buy lottery tickets, so fortune in the form of winning the lottery is definitely out! Hmmm… 😉

  • So neat Sheila (and is your signature new at the bottom of your posts?) I wish I drank tea and could justify collecting tea cups, but I just drink coffee. We have everyday china that we use, well everyday for the most part. I started drinking out of our flat bottomed coffee cups and I really enjoy them. We should drink from the fine china all the time, right? This was really neat to see the variations in the bases of the different pieces. You always continue to provide new and fun information!!

    • I think we should drink from china all the time – why not? But we don’t, so I guess that’s what makes it feel special when we do. Thank you for noticing my signature – I started doing that around Christmas, but I’ve just shifted a few things around so maybe it just stands out a little more now…

  • If I may add that tea tastes better in a china cup. Tastes even better with Bailey’s added:) I am fortunate to have inherited my gramma’s chinaware from 1930’s. I’ve heard that using china regularly somehow tempers it…makes it stronger?

    • Wow, the 1930’s! That’s just awesome. What is your pattern? I agree with you completely – tea does taste better from a china cup, and you can never go wrong with a little added flavour 😉 That’s interesting about the tempering. Something I’d like to know more about…

  • I love tea cups. I inherited my moms tea cups, and full china set which is also Royal Dalton but I’m not quite sure which one perhaps you can tell me because I forgot. Anyhoo I plan on doing a post on all of my china….. Where can I get a tea reading? Maybe we should have one for the group.

    • Do you have any photos of your china? If you email one to me, I’d love to try and help you find out which pattern you have. How special, Tracey to have your Mom’s china… so many memories to connect with the pieces. I did my tea leaf reading at the Calico Cat Tea House in Nanaimo,
      so I’m not sure where to go in the Vancouver area – but how much fun would that be, to have the whole group go? What a great idea!

  • Love this Sheila! I was just invited to go to a fortune teller party…just like you excited but apprehensive. Glad you received good news and a year will be here in no time!

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