Jean Simeon Chardin's 'Lady Taking Tea', 1735
It's time to warm it up a little. And what's a better way to start than with a gorgeous painting by the 18th Century French painter Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin (1699-1779). Louis XV had granted him a studio and living quarters in the Louvre in 1757. Chardin was especially good and well known for his still life paintings.
In 1723 Chardin entered into a marriage contact with Marguerite Saintard, although it was not until 1731 when they married. It is believed that the above work, 'Lady Taking Tea' depicts Marguerite, who died two months after this painting was completed.
My boss just recently came back from England, and although I was jealous of her going (and I told her so!) she was amazing in bringing me back some proper British goodies!! Now, I know that you can get an awful lot of British foods and things over here now (much more than when I was younger in the 80's!! We used to take road trips to Canada and stock up!!), but trust me when I say they don't taste the same!
I had a craving for delicious McVities Rich Tea Biscuits, and she brought me back three packs! And like a total Brit, I've been devouring these with many cups of tea. Hence the inspiration to post Chardin's 'Lady Taking Tea'. There's a pack in the office too, and even though everyone says 'Only a Brit could like these, they're bland' I still have them visit my desk to nab one here and there!
Funny how a little biscuit can bring back so many memories. 'Rich Tea' remind me of my Mum's parents, and having a cuppa in the afternoon. And watching them dunk these biscuits in their tea!...sitting there, studying them do it...trying it myself, and loving the taste!
You see, the thing with dunking, it's all about the timing...dunk too long, and you'll loose your biscuit in your tea! Not dunk long enough and the biscuit hasn't got that yummy tea flavor and it's still too crunchy.... it's a fine art, one passed on through the generations, a tried and tested process, a British tradition....it's a part of my history, fit into one little biscuit! Perfection...
a McVitie's Rich Tea Biscuit!
And to warm things up a little more, courtesy of Flickr, here's a few beautiful photos of some tealight candles!