Coffee and Cake with Oma

I love china – fine bone china, from England, France, Japan, Germany, the Czech Republic, and yes, even the USA.

My first introduction to china was by my grandmother, my Oma, at her house in Augsburg, Germany during the almost daily afternoon ritual of “Kaffee und Kuchen”, (or “Coffee and Cake”), when I would spend summers in Germany with my family when I was a little girl. This was the time of day that she took out her nice china, set the table with her prettiest white lace tablecloth, and we used her silver teaspoons and tiny cake forks. The exquisite teacups were balanced sweetly on their perfect saucers and were filled with that delicious warm sweetened milk, with just a hint of that strong German coffee that our parents were enjoying at full strength. There was always cake, served on beautiful china plates with intricate patterns and the teacups with their delicate gold-edged handles. Oma served everyone “Kaffee und Kuchen” on her good china – family, formal guests, neighbors, old friends, and new acquaintances.

My love for china was nurtured at various points throughout my life, like when I got married and registered for my first set of china – (I loved looking at all the pretty patterns, and oohed and aahed at the ones with pretty flowers, or delicate hand painted greenery.) I have always been one to pick up eclectic pieces here and there when I would see something that would catch my eye; a pretty plate, a teacup and mismatched saucer, or an old sugar bowl and lid with a notch cut out for the spoon to fit. Then when we were living in Windsor, England, I had an opportunity to take a day trip to Staffordshire and visit the factory stores for many of the highly regarded fine bone china makers in Britain. I was in heaven. It was in Staffordshire that I bought 4 of the most perfect hand painted Aynsley teacups and saucers. These teacups are still one of my most prized possessions!

I get very excited when I find a vintage romantic dinner plate that reminds me of my Oma’s place settings. I can immediately visualize how beautiful it will look when paired with an eclectic salad plate with a scalloped edge and pink flowers in the center like the ones I oohed and aahed over when registering as a bride. If I stumble across a bread plate delicately hand painted with a floral pattern and gold edge, I immediately see a table set out for eight, ten, a wedding, a rehearsal dinner, or even a garden party. It is from this love and passion for all things china, “Something Borrowed: Special Occasion Vintage China Rental and Sales” was born.

Written by Yvonne Janvrin

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