entertaining globally // issue one
A look at the global ice pop trend
GREEN VARIETY A vow to visit the farmers market
TEA TIME Tea pots in all shapes and sizes
YELLOW HOUSE ART Brightonâ€™s design scene is hot
from the editor How do you start a project based on the theme, “entertaining globally?” Countlan is a quarterly digital magazine dedicated to exploring how people all over the world entertain at home. I have fond memories of dinner parties and holiday events taking place at my home in Toronto. A lot of time and attention was paid to menu selection and table setting before guests came over. Come entertaining time, we pulled out the special dishes, decorated the table with flowers and candles, and served a menu that always seemed to involve a trip or three to the grocery store. If a holiday, birthday or “just-cause” event was marked on the calendar, my mother would be on the phone at least three weeks in advance inviting guests and brainstorming potential menus. Back in the day, her extensive collection of cookbooks, recipe binders and old magazines were the go-to source for planning a significant meal. Today, the Internet and cooking shows have enhanced the dishes served to our guests. As a teen, I was amazed at how the slightest mention of “company” could ignite an energized planning state. My “ah-ha” moment happened when I realized that this hyperplanning mode was not unique to my family; it happened in houses all over the city. As I got older and started to travel the world, it dawned on me that this was a global phenomenon. What differed from table to table was the entertaining styles, customs and table articles. My discovery of these global deviations was like winning the lottery. Each invite would result in a fresh idea from which to learn. I felt like an entertaining anthropologist observing new cultural traditions, food presentation methods, and secret resources. Countlan was born out of my enthusiasm and fascination for these global discoveries. It is meant to be a digital resource for fellow Editor: Sarah Lambersky (Prague) home entertainers. From finding out about a cool online home Art Director: Stuart Woods accessories store, to learning about the design history of the cake (Prague) server or brushing up on etiquette, Countlan Magazine is for you. ILLUSTRATIOn: Alina Kotova (Prague) You are invited to explore Countlan’s ever evolving list of topics Photographer: Adam Goodman and I hope you will gain some unique entertaining ideas from the (Prague) stories, opinions, and experiences of Countlan’s global community of contributors. Correspondents: Samantha WaxIn between our quarterly issues, you can get your regular home man (Toronto), Helen Ford (Prague), entertaining fix by visiting our website, www.countlan.com. If you Maxine Silberg (Toronto), Hannah would like to get involved with Countlan Magazine as a contributor Birdsall (Chicago), Kathryn Sussman or photographer, please get in touch with me via email at sarah@ (Toronto), Leah Hawthorn (Dayton, countlan.com. Ohio) Thank you for your support and involvement. I look forward to Food Styling + Baking: Nicholas exploring the world of entertaining with you. Windley (Prague), Sarah Lambersky (Prague) Sincerely, Interviews: Veronika Studer-Tuske (Switzerland), Charlotte Franklin (London), Diana Hardeman (New York), Aja Liana (Sydney), Bianca Raine (Sydney). Elwin and Nynke Van Der Hoek (Rotterdam), Michael Stephenson (San Diego), Araya Jensen (Minneapolis), Jehane Boden Spiers (Brighton) Sarah Lambersky August 2012
contents entertaining globally
This SUMMER frozen treats ☞ The Global Ice Pop Trend 4 ☞ Interview with Liana Raine 6 ☞ Ice Pop Recipe 7 ☞ Diana Hardeman of Milk Made 9 DESIGN ☞ Source Design ☞ The New Hotel Gift Shop ☞ Mid Century Modern ☞ Colour Dipped ☞ Yellow Art
14 17 18 20 22
ETIQUETTE ☞ Table Lessons ☞ Interview with Leah Hawthorn
TEA ☞ A History of Tea Pots ☞ Market for Leaves ☞ Ice Tea Recipe ☞ Deelish Tealish
32 34 36 36
☞ TAKE STOCK: London 40 COOKING ☞ Summer Cooking from Switzerland
☞ A Vow to Visit the Farmers Market ☞ The Unlist-List of Global Food Markets
Summer Settings Summer is a wonderful season to entertain. If you reside in the northern hemisphere, temperatures warm up, schedules seem less hectic and afford more time to get together with friends and family. Every chance we get, we are busy earmarking recipes in cookbooks, browsing our favourite blogs, and pulling out our bright tableware to entertain at home. In this issue, Countlan participated in three summer-themed photo shoots: A weekend lunch featuring ingredients bought at the local farmers market, a late afternoon dessert drop-in and a pool-side outdoor frozen smorgasbord. egardless if it is a party for two or twenty, get creative with your platters, bowls, cutlery and dishes and invite people over for a summer celebration.
POP Countlan takes a look at the global ice pop trend and those making the most of it.
ften overlooked or dismissed as a childhood treat, frozen blocks of fresh fruits, herbs, spices and even vegetables are making a comeback in artisanal form all over the world. Cherished for its nostalgic qualities and appreciated as a healthier, frozen alternative to ice cream, flavoured ice on a stick, also known as an ice pop or by its trademarked name, Popsicle, is being reinvented for the modern palate. Today, it is not uncommon to find unusual flavour combinations such as carrot ginger, spiced plum and honey, watermelon mint, blueberry basil or lychee cardamom; This is a stark contrast from the ice pop flavours of yesteryears such as strawberry and grape. Raising the bar of flavoured ice concoctions, meet three
entrepreneurial ice pop companies on three different continents who are going concerns in the frozen treat world: THREE ICE POP COMPANIES MAKING A NAME:
☞ Stickhouse (TORINO)
Stickhouse is perhaps one of the newer examples of innovative frozen treats on a stick. Originating from Torino, Italy, Stickhouse was founded in 2008 and produces some pretty impressive looking ice pops made from tantalizing gelatos and sorbets made with fresh fruit. This company has grown by franchise and you can now enjoy their artfully coated or uncoated ice sticks in Italy, Spain, Israel, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Singapore,
Like Kleenex is to tissue, Popsicle is the trademarked name for an ice pop. Frank Epperson was the man responsible for giving the ice pop its mainstream name “Popsicle”. It was originally called the “Eppsicle”
Ice Pop History Photos courtesy of Liana Raine.
The ice pop trend continues to gain traction as entrepreneurs around the world find new ways to innovative frozen treats.
Roman Emperor, Nero Sent slaves up the Apenine mountains to collect snow to be mixed with honey.
Kublai Khan enjoyed ice cream during the Yuan dynasty. His agent, Marco Polo, returned to Italy with the technique and recipe for making flavoured ice from China.
Catherine de Medicis: Brought ices from Italy to France when she married King Henry.
South Korea and the Philippines.
☞ Liana Raine (Syndey)
Sister duo Aja (Liana) and Bianca (Raine), who both share a passion for food and adventure, started Liana Raine Artisan Pops in Sydney, Australia in 2011. Liana Raine ice pops are available in cafes, bars and markets throughout the city and a wedding and event catering option. They offer a range of staple ice pop flavours in addition to their seasonal rotation of fruit flavours. If you are looking for something with a kick, Liana Raine also produces a small line of poptails, ice pops with alcohol.
☞ People’s Pops (New york)
People’s Pops was started on the
hypothesis that farmers market fruit made ice pops tasted better than chemical pops. Created by Brooklyn ice pop lovers, Nathalie Jordi, David Carrell and Joel Horowitz, People’s Pops have already been in business for four years and take pride in producing handmade ice pops and shaved ice treats made from sustainably grown fruit and herbs. People’s Pops ice pops are available in stores, at markets and on street corners. In June, they published their first book “People’s Pops: 55 Recipes for Ice Pops, Shave Ice, and Boozy Pops from Brooklyn’s Coolest Pop Shop. People’s Pops is also publishing its first book that showcases fifty-four types of recipes that you can get your hands on as of June the 5th 2012.
Frank Epperson was the man behind the invention and trademarked name, Popsicle. Born in San Francisco in 1894, at the age of eleven Frank accidentally left a stick in a soft drink on the front porch overnight. The next morning, he discovered the contents were frozen. In 1923 Epperson patented his frozen ice stick and called it an “Eppsicle” ice pop. He later changed the name to Popsicle and ended up selling the rights to a company in New York in 1925.
been lovers of food, but I don’t think we ever thought we would end up owning a food business! We were inspired to start a company that was creative and fun and was an expression of our personalities. The inspiration for the pops came a few years ago when we travelled to New York and South America. We were introduced to a ‘paleta’ while travelling through South America, which is a natural ice block made out of the wonderful tropical fruits available in that continent. Paleta is very cultural and often found at the beach. Then when we were in New York we noticed this ‘pop craze’ which was taking place. They had taken the principle of a paleta and turned it up a notch. We thought it would be a fantastic fit for Australia’s warm climate and sophisticated food scene. Bianca then went to work for a well known Sydney patissier to extend her knowledge about food production and interesting flavour combinations before we took the leap of faith and started LR.
Countlan Magazine caught up with Aja and Bianca, the two sisters and founders of the Sydney, Australia based artisanal iced pop business, Liana Raine.
What is Liana Raine and where can people enjoy your ice pops? Liana Raine (LR) makes artisan, gourmet ice pops in flavours for people to fall madly in love. We are based in Sydney, Australia and sell (our pops) through a variety of cafes and organic food markets.Our boozy pop range is also available in several bars. What was your inspiration behind starting the company? Bianca and I are sisters, and have always
Could you talk a bit about the importance of ingredient selection for the end result of your product? Given that our product has no preservatives or stabilisers and is in its raw state (not cooked), what you taste is the fruit itself. The quality of our produce is integral to the overall ‘wow’ factor of our pops. Hence we are very particular with the produce we use. We only use fruit that is in season (and therefore at its best!) and where possible we buy directly from local farmers. We also use only whole fruit and process the fruit ourselves – this also adds to the overall taste. Describe your first homemade batch of ice pops: Was it ice pop success or disaster? We have come a LONG way since our first batch of pops. When we started we were using domestic moulds and a domestic freezer – so the process was fiddly and slow! I think we started with a strawberry basil flavour – we put bits
ICE POP RECIPE Make your Summer Patio Party Pop with Two Ice Pop Recipes By Maxine Silberg Summer time brings patio parties, and patio parties bring thirsty guests. What better way to quench their thirst than with simple homemade ice pops! My absolute favourite way to entice my patio party- goers is with the classic mojito cocktail pop. Playful citrus and carefree infused mint, spiked with a touch of rum will remind your friends why it’s great to be an adult with this tangy treat. If you prefer an all-age ice pop, make this recipe sans-alcohol. Mojito Cocktail Pop Recipe Adapted from Erin Brooks.
All you need is a pop mold and some sticks and you are ready to go
❜❜ Photos courtesy of Liana Raine.
of basil through it, which we no longer do because it gets stuck in your teeth. We were very nervous and very excited to taste them – it was going to be the make or break on whether we had any talent at making pops and whether anyone would buy them! We have had heaps of successes and failures since then. Sometimes the flavours you think will be a sure fire hit turn out to be a disaster – and the ones you least expect are absolutely delicious. You just have to suck it and see! Literally!
1 can (355ml) of club soda 1/2 cup of water 3/4 cup of lime juice (about 6 limes) 1/3 cup each of mint and sugar Small slices of lime and lemon – peel on 4 tbsp of white rum (optional) To make the pops, mix together club soda, water and lime juice and in a separate bowl muddle together mint, sugar, lime and lemon slices. Add the rum to the sugar solution and let it sit for 10 minutes. Combine and pour into molds. Freeze over night. Don’t be too concerned over the type of ice pop containers you are using. Either plastic “Dollar Store” specials or fancy metal ice pop molds will work. Ice Pop Alternatives: I was at a restaurant the other week and saw the bartender put an upside down ice pop in a drink so the wooden stick was sticking out of the glass. In this format, you could sip your cocktail and eat the ice pop at the same time. Another idea: Instead of making the mojito pops, you could also pour the mojito mixture into an ice cube tray. Freeze the mojito filled ice cube trays over night and use them at your next party. If you are looking for something creamier or a pop that would complement a brunch party, try this creamy yogurt pop as the perfect frozen indulgence. Mixed berry yogurt pops adapted from Erin Brooks. 1/2 cup of plain yogurt 2 teaspoons of both honey and lemon juice 1/3 cup of mixed berries (frozen work well) Mix all four ingredients together and pour into your pop molds of choice. Let them freeze over night and serve to your guests!
➢ ➢ ➢
Is there a technique or skill to making good ice pops? The temperature of the freezer is key. Domestic freezers are hard because they are not quite cold enough – however making sure that you put them at the back of the freezer (in the coldest part) and make sure you freezer isn’t jam packed and icy is a good start. Also you have to be quite quick when taking the pops out of their moulds so they dont melt too much. More importantly, you need to experiment. Each fruit freezes differently and has a different consistency when frozen. Bananas freeze hard and creamy, where as oranges are icy. Learning how to balance all the textures just takes practice. For the home ice pop maker, how important is equipment? All you need is a pop mould and some sticks and you are on your way! I don’t think there is any particular brand that is better than others when it comes to moulds - It doesn’t need to be fancy. What are the most exotic flavour combinations you have turned into ice pops? We are known most of all for our exotic flavour combinations – and we have made many! Some of the top favourites are pineapple chilli (served with salt), spiced plum and honey yogurt, cucumber mint and lime and poached spiced pear and cream. Where does your inspiration come from for new flavours? We get our inspiration from everywhere – cocktails, desserts, exotic foods… You name it! You just have to use your imagination and have fun!! Are there any ice pop flavours you are looking forward to making next summer as it is now winter in Australia? We are saying goodbye to summer and all the wonderful fruits that come with that season, but a plus about winter is that citrus is just coming back in. So we are starting to look at what we can do with ruby grapefruit and blood oranges and all those fantastic flavours. Plus, we have all winter to dream up what we can do next summer. ✊
BOOKS: FROZEN TREATS Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream: Sweet Seasonal Recipes for Ice Creams, Sorbets, and Toppings Made with Local Ingredients - Molly Moon Neitzel
Ice Pops: Recipes for Fresh and Flavorful Frozen Treats - Shelly Kaldunski
☞ Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones: 90 Recipes for Making Your Own Ice Cream and Frozen Treats from Bi-Rite Creamery - Kris Hoogerhyde - Anne Walker -Dabney Gough
The Spunky Coconut Dairy-Free Ice Cream Cookbook: Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan - Kelly V. Brozyna
☞ Making Artisan Gelato: 45 Recipes and Techniques for Crafting Flavor-Infused Gelato and Sorbet at Home - Torrence Kopfer
Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas - Fany Gerson
☞ Pops!: Icy Treats for Everyone - Krystina Castella
☞ People’s Pops: 55 Recipes for Ice Pops, Shave Ice, and Boozy Pops from Brooklyn’s Coolest Pop Shop - Nathalie Jordi
Photo courtesy of Eric Isaac
While ice pops may be de rigueur, what is a summer without ice cream? Be it store bought, soft serve, or dished up at your special ice cream parlour, this creamy dessert never goes out of style. To get the scoop on the latest ice cream trends, Countlan Magazine caught up with Diana Hardeman of ☞ MilkMade Ice Cream in New York City. What is MilkMade and where can people enjoy your ice cream? MilkMade Ice Cream is a craft ice cream company in New York City. We hand-source, hand-craft, and hand-deliver two unique flavors of ice cream to members of our ice cream of the month membership.
What was your inspiration behind starting the company? I founded MilkMade in the fall of 2009 out of my desire for a better pint. I wanted something fresher, made with local ingredients, and with flavors that suited my more adventurous palate. So I decided to buy a little machine and make the ice cream myself. We shared our creations with friends, and it turned out people loved it and wanted more. So we launched MilkMade.
Could you talk a bit about ingredient selection and its importance in the end result of your product?
Local local local. Everything we use in our pints is hand-sourced from the finest local farms and food artisans. Not only does that support the local economy and ensure sustainable production practices, but it just tastes better! Describe your first batch of homemade ice cream. My first batch of homemade ‘scream was peanut butter. I wouldn’t write it off as a disaster, but let’s just say MilkMade’s peanut butter flavor has come a long way from that batch. It still was delicious though - I had lived 25 years eating ice cream almost every day (seriously), so regardless of its all-too-creamy consistency, I was pretty darn proud of my first batch.
Is there a technique or skill to making good ice cream? It’s all in the details, and you must have patience. When we craft a flavor, sometimes we do ten iterations of the same flavor - with a 1/4 tsp more or
less of a certain ingredient. So it takes a lot of attention to detail and a lot of patience to finally get it right. But for the at-home ice cream enthusiast making her own ‘scream - it’s just like following any recipe. For the inexperienced home ice cream maker, how important is equipment? My personal experience with at-home machines is with Cuisinart. I have heard the KitchenAid attachment is also pretty solid.
❛❛It’s all in the details, and you must have patience. When we craft a flavor, sometimes we do ten iterations of the same flavour
What is the most exotic flavour of ice cream that you have ever made at Milkmade? We just made a flavor called Cha Cha Chocolate. It’s a derivation of chocolate Cuba Spice Cake with chocolate, pineapples, and spices. It is awesome and totally different from any ice cream I’ve ever tasted. We also did a Salted Watermelon last year - which was a big delicious hit.
What is a good resource for people who want to try making their own ice cream? A quick Google search will find you a plethora of recipes, tips, etc on ice cream making. If you are ever low on flavour ideas, our blog, Adventures in Ice Cream ( http://blog.milkmadeicecream.com/), is a good place to look for inspiration. Are there any ice cream flavours you are looking forward to making this summer? YES! First we are really stoked to release our new cold brew coffee flavor, made with our new favorite drink - Grady’s Cold Brew coffee concentrate, made here in Williamsburg. It is perfect to start the summer off. We are also stoked for berry season, so we can get down with our strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry flavors again. Plums and cherries, both new to MilkMade’s suite of flavours, are also on the menu for the summer. Stay tuned! ✊
Photo courtesy of Milk Made.
Where does your inspiration for new flavours come from for your company? Inspiration is everywhere! From the farmers’ market, to the cake dessert I just ate, to a funny name that I want to turn into an ice cream flavor. Sometimes the ingredient comes first, sometimes the flavor combo, sometimes the name.
Photo courtesy of Eric Isaac.
As the days grow longer, and people have a bit more time in their schedules to relax, there is nothing more enjoyable than a weekend lunch with friends. Countlan was invited to snap some close-ups on a Sunday lunch with four friends. Photographer: Adam Goodman
DESIGN We discovered that finding the right design shop with knowledgeable owners who have an eye for detail and the energy to scour the globe for new products is an invaluable resource. These small curated brick and mortar or online design shops are wonderful sources of inspiration to find new conversation pieces for your home or to wow friends and family with unique, collectible gifts.
or those of you who indulge in tabletop or household retail therapy once in a while, you may identify with the following statement: There is nothing better than finding a go-to store, be it a local brick and mortar shop or a cool e-commerce site, where securing fabulous tabletop items or gifts is an effortless and seamless process. Discovering a store that wholeheartedly reflects your design aesthetic, as if the buyer was meant to be your personal shopper, makes life so much easier. We have our own list of go-to tableware stores around the globe that we return
to continuously to stock up on personal items and presents. Our first experience finding a store worthy of being placed on such a list occurred over a decade ago in Toronto. We can assure you, it has been a satisfying relationship ever since. If you are passionate about home accessories, or are interested in jazzing up your table with a new conversation piece from time to time, there is a certain comfort with having a trusted store to help you execute your vision. Countlan continues to look for helpful resources in cities all over the world in an effort to make your search less daunting and table more fabulous. For our
first shop profile, meet Elwyn and Nynke, the owners of &designshop in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. As a design-duo, they bring over 15 years of interior styling and an endless stream of creativity and experience to their business. Elwin and Nynke work together to create their own design items in addition to curating the work of others. Most importantly, we love Elwin and Nynkeâ€™s eye for choosing whimsical, contemporary home design pieces that would ignite a conversation around anyoneâ€™s table. We have a long list of pieces we would love to own in our own homes from them.
Elwin & Nynke van der Hoek Owners of &designshop Zwaanshals 520 3035KS Rotterdam The Netherlands
☞ en-designshop.com ☞ facebook.com/ende-
signshop ☞ twitter.com/en_designshop Next to the shop we also work in our in-house studio for consumers and companies: Elwin van der Hoek: youneedme* | creative studio (design & visualisation) Nynke van der Hoek: Star Cygnus (design, interior styling & creative advice)
Photos courtesy of &designshop.
What is &designshop known for as a store? &designshop is all about young designers and fresh brands from around the world. All products are made in smaller exclusive series with love and care for material, colour and finish. We strive to be as unique as possible by always going that extra mile looking for new and surprising creative highlights. Next to products from other designers, whom we mostly all know personally, we create and sell our own products directly to our customers. We have a close bond to all the products and strive to know and tell as much about the background story and production as we can.
How would you describe the mix of products you carry instore? We believe in hands on design which for starters, is always visually beautiful but also stays close to functionality and long life-time use. The mix of products in our shop is constantly evolving and changing according to trends we spot and create for a bigger audience. This mix includes a variety of high quality materials and new production techniques which are true eye candy. We don’t follow any strict rules, but we always need to fall in love with a product and stay close to ourselves, not conforming to other shops or trends pushed by magazines.
What constitutes a good “conversation piece” in a home? A conversation about any subject starts with something that makes you curious, something you want to know more about and something you can’t stop touching. A great example is the Endless Chair by Dirk van der Kooij, a 3D printed full size comfortable functional chair which invites a person’s touch and makes a true statement in any home. On the subject of materials that make good conversation pieces, another example is the duo behind the brand, Beeldend Konstruktief, which makes amazingly colourful furniture by laminating hand-woven fabrics onto wood. In general a design should always tell a story about its origin, how it is made and
why it looks the way it does.
ucts that you use when you entertain? As shop owners we are in a lucky position to see new and exciting products every day. Every now and then we select one of these beauties to enrich our own home. Some of these include ceramic pieces by Lenneke Wispelwey, the Chestnut lamp by Studio Snowpuppe, the Fried PVC Vase by Jonas Samson, Plopp Up by Oscar Zieta, Diamond Light by Eric Therner and Sparcus by Elwin & Nynke.
Who are some up and coming designers? We are in love with all eye-catching creations made by Lenneke Wispelwey, a ceramic designer who is able to combine a cute and tough character into one object. Her work is best described as research on shapes and textures that are reflected in her vases, cups and other household objects. Second, we just started with a new collection of woven creations by Mae Engelgeer. Her designs are graphic and playful with bright patterns. The collection contains plaids, cushions, tea towels (to name a few) all made of beautiful fabrics such as mohair, cashmere, cotton and acrylic yarns mixed together. Which brands are carrying innovative items for entertaining at home? Modu+ is a module seating system that has two base elements with endless possibilities. You can create a hocker, arm chair, lounger or couch. When you are having a party or want to change your set up, everything can be taken apart and easily moved into a new position. At the moment we are the first and only shop that sells and has Modu+ on display. What qualities do you look for when searching for products to carry at &designshop? All of our products need to be functional, made with quality materials, crafted with love and above all they need to spark people’s imagination. They also have to be able to withstand the ravages of time and evolve with consumer trends in order to stay a fresh in a home for years to come. Do you have any favourite prod-
For those who are interested in purchasing items from new or smaller designers, where should people start their search? Our shop is a very good resource (of course!), so always keep an eye on &designshop news on our website and social media pages. We visit graduation design shows, search through tons of blogs on a daily basis and ask around in our creative surrounding. Take a good look closely around you, there’s more just around the corner than you think.
Photo courtesy of &designshop.
Could you share some closing thoughts on colour or material trends this season? To define a trend, one of the most important subjects is colour. We see a shift from white and greys with an accent of bright colour towards products that are fully made in bright orange, yellow, fluorescent mixed with pastels. Furthermore, items made from raw materials or materials with a natural character are increasingly receiving more attention. Especially, combinations like ceramic and wood (oak and ash), are growing on a global scale. Next to the natural materials, new techniques such as 3D printing on plastic, metal and printed ceramics is growing in popularity. ✊
The New Hotel Gift Shop T
Photos courtesy of Berge.
Notable Hotel Gift Stores
☞ Options! Amsterdam ☞ Mama Shelter. Paris / Marseille ☞ Drake General Store. Toronto ☞ Berge Equipment. Aschau im Chiemgau
☞ Story Hotel Shop. Stockholm ☞ Ace Hotel Opening Ceremony. New York
here is no doubt, travelling is an efficient and exciting way to diversify your personal treasures. In fact, one of the most thrilling parts of travel, outside of experiencing new cultures, food and architecture, is finding something unique to take home. These memorable trinkets, which we go to great lengths to schlep home, bring diversity to our homes and tables and evolve into conversation pieces with guests. The satisfaction of our “find” is only heightened by an exciting acquisition story related to the object’s purchase. If you find yourself travelling this summer and are bored with markets, an often overlooked gem for entertaining and home décor items is the hotel gift store. While some hotel gift shops conjure up images of tired, unimaginative retail spaces filled with overpriced or downright unattractive products, the reinvented gift store has successfully divorced itself from its former tawdry image. In fact, the next generation bears little resemblance to its previous incarnation. Today, one can find eclectic, stylish assortments of lifestyle products that have been selected to reflect both the local environment and the hotel brand image. Starwood’s W hotel chain was one of the earlier hotel brands to introduce a refreshed, “cooler” hotel store concept. In addition to shopping the W hotel’s bedding and housecoat lines, those that appreciate its design aesthetic can also select from a diverse range of jewelry, obscure tech gadgets, unique furniture and other design forward home accessories. To the delight of travelers, design-forward hotel gift shops are no longer unique to the W hotel brand. For instance, take a look at Amsterdam based, Options!. It is the “gift shop” for the city’s newly opened Exchange hotel (2011) in the format of a department store. Options! is filled with loads of contemporary Dutch and foreign goods. Other interesting hotel retail concepts include that of the Standard hotel (New York) which collaborates with cool lifestyle brands on its in-store wares, the Drake Hotel’s (Toronto) General Store, which mixes vintage items and contemporary brands or Mama Shelter’s (Paris + Marseille) avant garde Aladdin’s cave of practical and obscure conversation pieces. At the opposite end of the curated gift shop spectrum, there are hotels that excel in the design and creation of its own wares such as Berge guest house. Located in the mountains between Munich and Salzburg, Berge’s gift shop delights guests with handmade maple wooden bowls, carved spoons, bread boards, porcelain bowls and egg cups. Finally, there is the hotel-store partnership concept where hotels partner-up with retailers bearing a complementary design spirit such as what the Story Hotel in Stockholm has done with its partner; Sodermalm based vintage store, Herr Judit. Similarly, the Ace Hotel partnered with retailer, Opening Ceremony in New York to create its hotel store. Next time you travel and happen to stay in a hotel that looks like it has style and taste, be sure to pop into its store, you never know, you may stumble upon. ✊
modern How does one build warmth in the home and create an environment that imbues hospitality and comfort? Is it the collection of smells, photographs and objects that makes our homes welcome to family, friends and guests? Over sixty years ago, the same question was asked by design and business couple, Max and Rita Lawrence, founders of the iconic mid-century modern earthenware brand, Architectural Pottery.
Photos courtesy of Vessel USA
rchitectural Pottery’s product line of planters, containers, sculptures and accessories was born out of the couple’s response to the wave of mid (20th) century modernism that influenced Los Angeles’ architectural landscape. Thanks to architects such as Gregory Ain, Richard Neutra and John Lautner, the design of homes started to change based on new design principles; to create houses that offered its inhabitants more fluid and seamless living environments. Previously, houses were designed in compartments where rooms had a beginning and end (walls and doors). This newly designed open concept housing style featured lots of glass, natural light and a backyard facing living room, rather than one that
faced the street. Architectural Pottery, sought to bring balance to the flow of such modern, open concept living arrangements with a line of products that could be used both indoors and outdoors. Between 1950 and 1985, Max and Rita Lawrence partnered with local designers such as LaGardo Tackett, Malcolm Leland and David Cressey. The result of these partnerships included the creation of iconic pieces such as Tackett’s hourglass planter and Leland’s gourd shaped bird feeder; both of which are still in demand today. Architectural Vessel closed in 1985 when a fire broke out in the firm’s plant. It was revived in 2001 by Michael Stephenson who renamed the company, Vessel USA. Today,
Michael Stephenson Who is the Vessel USA customer? Design addicts educated in good design.
Vessel reissues the same timeless designs from half a century ago for garden enthusiasts, designers and landscape architects; helping to fill homes with modern, quality, handmade pieces that can be used both indoors and outdoors. The essence and popularity of the Architectural Vessel brand was its focus on modernism and post-war California design. The geometric containers and vessels that were made out of ceramic, stoneware and fiberglass were stark departures from the wide lipped terra cotta pots that dominated the market at the time. Commissioning pieces for their product line by well-known designers resulted in a design legacy of luxury products for the home which are still in demand by collectors, historians and design enthusiasts. ✊
What was the defining product that put your company on the map? In 1950 pottery, along with many other manufactured household and commercial goods, began to change. For pottery, it was a change from traditional terracotta planter forms into a contemporary or modern terracotta planter form. How often do you release new products? Approximately every other year.
Architectural pottery is a well produced product line with inherent design value
What makes Architectural Pottery a collectible item? It’s a well produced product line with inherent design value. All products were commissioned by well known designers. Do you have a favourite product from your company? Malcolm Leland›s 21L Bird Shelter, Winner of the Good Design Award MOMA 1954. What is the story behind the creation of this item? This was the first prolific modern Bird House in the USA that was made exclusively for the bird loving connoisseur.
Dipped There is not enough space on one page to delineate the crossovers between the worlds of art, fashion and home décor. One home décor trend that has roots in all three disciplines and which continues to gain momentum in popularity is the “dipped” trend.
f you are not familiar with the “dipped” trend, then perhaps you are acquainted with its fashionable cousin, the colour blocking trend. Colour blocking was revived in 2011 from its original Yves Saint Laurent fashion roots back in the 1960s and continues to be a going concern in the fashion world both for clothing and manicures. Colour blocking boils down to using or applying bold blocks of colour in an outfit or on nails, sometimes contrasting two, three or four colours at a time. In the home accessories world, the colour blocking equivalent is realised by pairing the material of the object (stone, metal, wood) with a bright colour that will pop against its natural backdrop. If you are wondering where the art world connection comes in to this discussion, look no further than to the father of colour blocking, abstract Dutch painter, Piet Mondrian. Mondrian’s style of painting blocks of primary colours outlined in black lines belonged to a Dutch art movement called “de stijl,” which gained traction near the end of WW1. Fast forward twenty years and you see a different version of colour blocking. This time, colour blocking was reinterpreted by a group of American abstract artists (Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman) whose colour blocking techniques were less pronounced than the style of colour blocking employed by their Dutch predecessors. So, there is method (and history) behind the madness of the colour dipping trend. Items ranging from bowls and coat stands to candle sticks and chopsticks are being dipped in this dip-happy world.
Photos courtesy of Wind & Willow Home
Why wood? Wood is so beautiful and natural. The grains and color can be so unpredictable and yet it always has remarkable depth and richness. As a Kitchen and Bath designer for so many years, wood has been a large part of my everyday job. Its use in cabinetry, countertops and floors can really drive a design. Its versatility and durability is unmatched in heavy use areas. I think the combination of its beauty and versatility is why I was drawn to wood as a medium for the items in my own houseware line. What sparked your inspiration for the dipped bowls line? Any cues from the fashion world? The inspiration initially came from a need for some simple yet colorful items to complete my houswares collection on my webshop but I am always inspired by nature. I have always been drawn to all things natural and organic. I must say that I am not really into fashion; the home is where my heart is.
Araya Jensen talks about her first houseware line of dipped bowls for ☞Wind & Willow Home.
Who are you and how long has Wind & Willow Home been a going concern? I am a wife (happily married to my best friend and greatest supporter), mother (of two beautiful and silly kids), a passionate designer and lover of all things nature inspired. I started Wind & Willow Home after being laid off from my day job as a Kitchen and Bath Designer when our remodeling market tanked. After a whole lot of job hunting and little success I was getting hopeless and really needed a creative outlet.
How would you describe the aesthetic of your line? I hope the aesthetic comes across as simple and organic. I really think these are pieces that can transcend specific styles and just be beautiful anywhere. What are your favourite pieces to entertain with Wind & Willow Home? I really love the mini bowls and specifically the swirl bowls which are each very unique. I love how the dipped portion takes on lines and patterns of its own. I get more excited with each and every one I make. These bowls are so tiny and cute but very versatile. I have them sitting on my kitchen window sill with some succulents growing in them. They make me happy every time I am doing dishes :) ✊
n hour outside of London, in an area that was historically known as a sleepy fishing village, lies the burgeoning and celebrated art scene in Brighton. Also known as London-by-the-Sea, Brighton is a cultural magnet and a hot spot for artists, and designers who prefer a bohemian, coastal lifestyle to the hustle of London. To understand the scope and quality of Brighton’s art scene, one only has to attend its exciting annual event, the Artists Open Houses. The first installation of Artists Open Houses got underway in 1982 when local artist, Ned Hoskins opened his front door to the public. Over the years, other artists in the Brighton community joined Ned’s open door initiative. Today, the annual event has grown to include 14 walking trails around the areas of Brighton and Hove. Every May, the city receives thousands of people who visit and tour over 300 artists’ open houses. Visitors come to interact with members of the art community and purchase original work directly from the source. Annually travelling to Brighton may not be feasible for most, which is why textile designer and entrepreneur, Jehane Boden Spiers created a solution to those interested in a more flexible version of the Artists Open House event. Jehane is the owner of online gallery and ecommerce site, Yellow House Art. The site was born out of feedback she received from visitors who passed through her yellow house in Brighton inquiring where they could purchase the artwork on display the rest of the year. In 2002 the Yellow Heart House website was launched and became the first Open House in Brighton to have an online gallery. The site carries a diverse collection of locally made pieces in mediums such as ceramics, jewellery, paintings, prints and photography. However, it was Yellow House’s wide array of entertaining items that first caught our eye at Counter magazine. We would like to add a couple pieces of Ken Eardley’s handmade, brightly coloured jugs to our personal collections as well as the hand-built stoneware ceramics of Jane Muir who makes ceramic artichokes and plates of peas piled high.
Photos courtesy of Yellow House Art.
Mark Your Calendars! Art Festivals in Brighton Brighton Art Fair (September/annual) Artists Open Houses (May/annual) Up and Beyond Faculty of Arts Graduate Show 2012 (June/annual) Made2012: Brighton’s Design and Craft Fair (November/annual)
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Countlan caught up with Jehane Boden Spiers, owner at ☞ Yellow House Art to talk about the art scene in Brighton, UK.
How do you choose which artists to work with? I work at a highly personal level with artists, so good relationships are key.
How would you describe the artists’ style you feature on your site? The style of work is quite personal to my own taste – I don’t have anything on the website which I would not want in my own house. Does the list evolve with new artists and new products? The list is ever evolving! What is special about purchasing an item from a Yellow House Art (YHA)? Customers buying from Yellow House are buying original art which has been carefully selected due to its high quality. Customers receive a much more personal level of customer service than at a big box store and we can guide and help clients through commissioning their own artwork. For a first time buyer, what are some things to consider when purchasing a piece from YHA that would differ from a brick and mortar experience?
Due to the nature of some of the artwork, whilst many pieces are immediately available and in-stock, other items are available on a made-to-order basis. Therefore this could mean that artists need longer to make these items. What are some of your favourite new pieces for summer? I am still yearning after these round jugs by Ken Eardley – I want them all! Why and when did Brighton become such a fabulous destination for art and design? Prince Regent initiated Brighton as a fashionable place to visit back in the late 19th century when he famously decided to build The Royal Pavilion, in the decadent and extravagant style of the Taj Mahal. Filling the interior with exotic art and Chinese design, this set the stage for Brighton to become an exciting destination. Local artist, Ned Hoskins also played a role in developing Brighton’s art scene when, thirty years ago, he bravely decided to open his house to the community and a phenomenon was born. Finally, Brighton is also known for its well-respected Art College, particularly in the subjects of Fashion, Illustration and 3D materials.
1.Ken Eardley jugs in four sizes. 2.Annette Bugansky’s Chunky Cups with Knit Texture. 3.Rowena Gilbert’s Low Swirl Bowls 4.Jane Muir’s Mr. Pea-Pod
The style of work is quite personal to my own taste – I don’t have anything on the website which I would not want in my own house
How does the University of Brighton’s faculty of fine arts impact the art scene in the city? It has a huge impact. Many students stay on after completing their art studies in Brighton, creating a vibrant mix of students and practicing artists. Artbased businesses look to the graduate degree shows to source new talent. I discovered the exceptional work of Emily Milne Wallis at her degree show in 2008. I fell in love with her ‘Deer in the Woods’ image and have been working with/for her ever since. How long have you been living and working in Brighton? I was born in Brighton and studied my foundation at Eastbourne College of Arts & Technology. I moved away for three years to study an honours BA in Textile Design, and then went on to work in-house as a designer in Vienna.
Photos courtesy of Yellow House Art.
I moved back to Brighton in 1996. So I’ve been here most of my life! What type of artists does Yellow House Art work with? We focus predominantly on local artists but one quarter of the work we carry is by national leading UK artists, and we even have one artist who is based in Sweden. ✊
by the pool Grab your swim suits and beach towels. When summer temperatures call for an afternoon by the pool, why not delight pool-goers with an outdoor tablescape of sweets? We have chosen our favourite frozen desserts including ice cream sandwiches, ice pops, and a mini make your own sundae bar. We thought the formal table setting would be a fun juxtaposition to your typical pool party decor. Photographer: Adam Goodman
Lessons By Leah Hawthorn
Entertaining is fun – really?! Those are the words most people are thinking. Of course, everyone loves to be invited to a party in someone’s home, but to do it yourself – Unthinkable!!
t isn’t as scary as it seems. I promise. There is one key word to keep in mind, and that word is fun. Whether you are putting on a formal dinner or a cocktail party with heavy hors d’oeuvres, fun is the main ingredient. To make entertaining a success, let’s review the differences between formal and casual entertaining at home. Formal Make sure the table is set correctly. Are you dining Continental or are you dining
American? As a Master Trainer for ☞ The Protocol School of Washington, we teach the subtle differences between Continental table settings and American table settings. The difference is slight, but there is always a chance that your guest might notice. Despite a couple laughs, or a fruitful debate over fork positions, having someone sit at your table and ask why the salad fork is beside the plate instead of outside the dinner fork is undesirable as a host. This is why brushing up on table setting etiquette couldn’t hurt. (See Dining Maps on next page)
Informal Don’t be afraid to mix and match tableware. Be creative! This is supposed to be fun. Do you have a beautiful punch bowl that can double as your shrimp display? What about those vintage nut bowls for dips? Don’t be afraid to mix and match, from napkins all the way to wine glasses. Use real forks and glasses. Yes, I know that plastic ware and paper plates are less work, but purchasing real, inexpensive forks and wine glasses will be worth its weight in gold!
Dining Maps 4 course continental
4 course AMERICAN
6 COURSE SETTING
Illustrations based on the PSOW Dining Maps
For All Entertaining Events Map out your table layout before you do anything. Visualize in your head what you want to have on the table and where you want things to go. Once you put it to paper, it isn’t nearly as overwhelming, and you can start setting the stage a little at a time. Candles, Candles, Candles! Presentation is everything and nothing sets the stage better than the glimmer of candlelight. Keep centerpieces low to the table. There is nothing worse than sitting at a formal dining table and trying to talk around a huge table arrangement. While the table arrangement might be beautiful, it is nice to see the person that you are talking to. Check for allergies or dietary restrictions. Making an incredible meal sounds good enough, right? Well, your guest, Alfred, can’t eat anything because he
is allergic to every course on your menu. Ask before you plan. Believe me; I had Alfred at my table once. Incorporate sound. Music is part of the presentation and entertaining experience. Try to have some background music that is appropriate to the age group of your party. Even better, if there is a theme, you can easily make a playlist or find a CD to fit the occasion perfectly. I once had a formal sit-down dinner party for an engagement party and the couple was getting married in Hawaii. I went out and bought a CD of beautiful Hawaiian music. Along with the Leis, and Hawaiian centerpiece, it really set the stage. Smile. If you’re not enjoying your party, you’re never going to host another one. Space out the preparation and tasks, keep it simple and smile. Your guests aren’t there to critique you; they are there to enjoy your company.
Dining Styles ➢ American
The salad fork is farthest to the left since the first course in a traditional American meal would be the salad.
The salad fork is placed closest to the plate on the left. In Continental dining, the salad is the last course before desert. Notice in Continental style, there are two knives. There is always a knife for the salad as well as the entre. There are two glasses as there is usually wine served with the meal.
my honor. It was truly beautiful.
Five minutes with Leah Hawthorn, certified business image and etiquette coach (☞ ABI Protocol) and Master Trainer for the Protocol School of Washington.
What was the most memorable dinner party you have personally attended and why? I would have to say the most memorable dinner party that I ever attended was a seven-course dinner, hosted by Pamela Eyring, Owner of The Protocol School of Washington. This dinner party was held at The Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner, Washington DC. The meal started with incredible hors d’oeuvres and ended with magnificent champagne. The staff was attentive and it was clear who the host was at all times, which is a must in the formal dining arena. There wasn’t anything left out. The guests were my co-trainers at PSOW and these are the Masters who train dining etiquette so it was unbelievable. The reason that it was so special was it was a birthday party in
What is etiquette school and why would someone seek out your help or take a course? There are many different types of etiquette schools. Some are for business and some are for the social arena, some are for both. An etiquette school used to be called “Charm School,” which was mainly for the training of social etiquette. The people who seek out my help are people who want to learn more about business etiquette and to make an investment in their most valuable asset – themselves. There are certain guidelines that everyone needs to know. 85% of the reason you get a job, keep a job, move up in a job or get promoted is because of your social skills. Whether you are taking a course for business or to heighten your social intelligence, etiquette is the art of protocol. I think people want to learn basics. They want to know how to network properly; how to dine properly; how to deal with other cultures properly and know the etiquette and protocol that goes along with all of it. International Protocol, dining etiquette and business etiquette are more important today than ever. People want that competitive edge. What is the most common question you are asked by your students when it comes to entertaining? If I am a guest and I don’t like what I am served, what do I do? Remember when your mother always told you not to play with your food? Well, in this case, you will act as if you are dining. In most cases, the host will make sure that you like what is on the menu before the party, but sometimes that doesn’t always happen. So, yes, play with your food. Unless you are allergic to it, please try it. You just might like it. What is the biggest fear that people have when it comes to entertaining? I think the biggest fear is whether guests will like the meal. No one wants
you to fail. They are there to have a good time. As I have said before, your guests aren’t there to critique you. They have been invited to have a good time. Smile. My biggest fear is timing. I think timing and presentation is everything. You want the cocktails and hors d’oeuvres to be on time as well as the meal. What three items can always be found on your table when entertaining at home? Candles, fresh flowers and individual salt and peppers for each service. Why is the cocktail fork angled in the six course setting? The cocktail fork in the spoon at an angle dates back to the 1920’s. This is really for convenience, and this is the way that PSOW has been training table settings since its beginning; It seems to look and work the best. You will see small variations whenever searching for table settings. ✊
1. Yixing Tall Bamboo Zisha Teapot: Clay that flavours tea and the pot’s rich, dark purple colour. 2. Rishi Tea Fukugata Tokoname Teapot: Side handle makes this smooth red clay pot easy to pour. 3. Hario KDP-2T Ice Brew Teapot: An easy way of making ice-brew tea. 4. Guy Degrenne Salam Teapot: Art deco designed porcelain and stainless steel teapot first produced in France in 1957. 5. Stelton Dot Tea Pot: Built in corded tea ball means no more bitter tea in this plastic pot. 6. Eva Solo My Tea Teapot: Teapot and cup combination for one that is drip free with a sleek, modern look. 7. Royal Selangor Pewter Teapot by Erik Magnussen: Modern, pewter teapot with a brilliant polish that looks like silver. 8. Hoganas Keramik Teapot with wooden saucer 1.5L: A Swedish stoneware pot that keeps in heat. 9. Nick Munro La Cafetiere Classic Nouveau: British designed tall, sleek, glass beaker French press.10. Babaghuri Nambu Tekki Kettle: A modern tetsubin pot from Tokyo made of cast iron.
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10 teapot designs we love
Every pot we selected has a unique design story on how it came to be. Get yourself acquainted with each and perhaps the next pot of tea you pour may take on a new meaning.
s a regular tea drinker, I have spent countless hours brewing pots of tea. Recently, I began questioning whether all teapots were created equal. In my experience, pouring tea from a tea pot with a shorter spout can result in a wet tabletop if you do not pour with enough gusto or the correct wrist angle. Similarly, some pots, while aesthetically beautiful, are hard to hold or are poor conductors of heat and burn your fingers at the slightest touch. This brings me to two important questions: How did teapot design evolve and what makes a good teapot? If necessity is the mother of invention, this is as true for teapots as it is for any other item. Since its introduction to society, the evolution of teapot design demonstrates a pragmatic response to the availability of materials in different regions, as well as a reflection of changing attitudes towards tea drinking. The tea drinking tradition began almost simultaneously in India, China and Japan,
by the 4th century, when the Camellia Sinensis tea plant was first cultivated. The growth of tea consumption for medicinal purposes and later, pleasure, required an efficient, and eventually an aesthetically pleasing, vessel. Dry tea initially existed in brick form – comprised of tightly packed tea powder. Chunks were cut off as needed and broken up for boiling. Cauldrons were used at this time for mixing tea, which was served in wide bowls. Later, the powder was left loose and mixed into boiling water in a similar way. By the 14th century, leaf infusions had become popular and teapots were required for brewing the leaves. Some of the earliest teapots are from the YiXing region of China, made from the region’s purple clay (zisha). These dual-purpose pots were used for both brewing tea and drinking it through the spout. The insides were unglazed: purple clay absorbs the aroma and flavour of tea, making a well-used teapot a
Teapot Materials Unearthed Metal: Insulation of heat varies Cast Iron: Slow to heat up but slow to cool down which means your tea will stay hotter, longer. Silver: Fast conductor of heat. Beautiful to look at but tarnishes; May leave a metallic taste in your tea. Stainless Steel: Known for its insulation properties, will keep your tea warm. Pewter: Comes in different finishes and will not leave a metallic taste like silver. Historically, pewter contained lead. Today it is lead free and safe to use with beverages. Clay: Will keep your tea warm
Today, design still echoes function in tea pot design.
Porcelain: Great insulator of heat and will keep your tea warm. Bone China: Developed in England and made of bone ash, China stone (petuntse) and China clay (kaolin). Stoneware: Keeps tea warm. Dense, hard ceramic that is typically thicker and heavier than bone china or porcelain. Glass: Fun to look at. Best material to use if you are curious about what is brewing inside your teapot but not the best at keeping tea hot.
prized possession. By the 15th century, Chinese and Japanese populations drank tea for ceremonial, rather than solely medicinal, purposes. This gave great impetus to the stylistic and artistic evolution of teapots. Japanese artisans used locally available red clay, but relied upon imported Chinese methods of potting. In Japanese tea ceremonies (chanoyu), which were lengthy and scripted affairs, tea was mixed in drinking bowls rather than teapots. Hot water was poured from an ortegama (a kettle without a spout or handle) directly into the bowls. In the 17th century Sencha tea was imported into Japan from China, where it became popular with the middle classes as a revolt against the â€˜stiffâ€™ formality of chanoyu. Tea drinking became more relaxed, creating a need for different tea brewing equipment. Cast-iron teapots (tetsubin) developed from the previous ortegama which were originally left on the fireplace to heat water, rather than being used for serving. As tetsubin were table-top, rather than stove-side items, greater interest was taken in their aesthetic and they became more elaborately decorated with complex
relief designs around the spout. As tea was shipped from China to Europe, Europeans developed their own forms of vessel, based on traditional Chinese forms but using local materials. The discovery of a hard-paste formula for porcelain led to innovative design from the end of the 18th century. Porcelain factories were established in a number of cities including Vienna, Venice and Berlin. Porcelain remained an expensive and therefore exclusive product, limiting tea drinking (itself expensive in Europe) to more affluent populations. At the same time, English and Scandinavian society coveted silver teapots. These received the royal seal of approval in the nineteenth century, by Queen Victoria of England. More affordable pewter was a popular alternative amongst the less wealthy. Towards the end of the twentieth century, clear glass teapots became common. Design still echoes function, and glass teapots enable the user to monitor the strength of their tea. Often, these include detachable infusers for loose tea, which remains popular and better regarded than bagged varieties. âœŠ
LEAVES We are big tea drinkers at Countlan. There is nothing we like more than to visit our local tea shop, talk with the shop assistant and breath in the intoxicating aromas of tea blends.
orontoâ€™s tea market is brewing. Actually, it is on fire. It seems that everywhere I turn; a new tea shop is in the midst of opening. In an attempt to convince hot beverage drinkers to ditch the bag (tea bag) or the grind, an onslaught of tea purveyors are doing their best to tempt people with their creative, flavourful concoctions of blended tea leaves. While some tea shops have remained a local neighbourhood fixture, others are aiming for a larger scale by pursuing national and international expansion. Part of each tea shopâ€™s success rests on
its ability to build and educate a lifestyle around tea and the tea drinking experience. Thanks to these next generation tea steepers, tea has been given a new look and elevated to something that is perceived as trendy, healthy, refreshing and most importantly, delicious. Gone are the days when tea was predominantly consumed by the septuagenarian-plus demographic. While some tea aficionados or purists may scoff at tea blends that have little resemblance to their original terroir and taste more like caramel cupcakes, others rejoice in having a tasty alternative to coffee.
Next generation tea shops around the world have elevated the status of tea from dull to delightful.
Top: David’s Tea Toronto Middle: The Gourmet Tea, Sao Paulo Bottom: T2, Melbourne
Top Spots for Tea ☞ David’s Tea (Toronto) davidstea.com Started in Montreal but opened its first store on Queen Street in Toronto. The brand now boasts over 75 stores across Canada and two in the US. ☞ T2 Two (Melbourne) t2tea.com 10 stores around Australia with a phenomenal array of in-store tea merchandise and accessories. ☞ Argo Tea (Chicago) argotea.com Two words: self-serve! Argo Tea has bottled and loose leaf tea options in their stores around the city. ☞ Tea Bar (Amsterdam) teabar.nl A bright, white store that is part self-serve tea shop and part tea café. Packaging was designed with some killer graphics. ☞ Song Fang Maison de The (Shanghai) songfangtea.com Sells Chinese and French teas from a historic three story lane house in Shanghai’s French Concession as well as a shop location on the Bund. The interior boasts an impressive collection of old antique tins. ☞ TWG Tea (Singapore) twgtea.com Offers over 800 single estate fine harvest teas in its seven stores around the world. We love their iconic yellow tins of tea that adorn the shelves of their stores and cafes. ☞ THE GOURMET TEA (SAO PAULO) Colourfully designed, modern pop-up tea store that emerges from behind coloured panels to reveal a tea bar and merchandise. countlan
Basic Iced Tea Recipe Adapted from Tealish recipe card
Ingredients: 8 teaspoons of the tea of your choice (or approximately 3-4 teabags) 4 cups of boiling water Sweetener of your choice (approximately 1.5 teaspoons) Mint leaves (for taste) Lemon slices (for taste)
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Equipment: Kettle/pot Jug/container for tea Ice cube trays
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By Samantha Waxman
Steep tea according to the directions on the package. Add desired amount and type of sweetener to jug. Stir until sweetener has dissolved into tea. Add in mint leaves and lemon slices if desired. Add in ice cubes and your favourite garnish. Cool ice tea in refrigerator and add more ice cubes before serving. Make your ice tea extra special
The first thing you notice when you walk into ☞ Tealish, a tea store located in Toronto’s trendy Queen West neighbourhood, is its wall of pantone-esque coloured tea cans sporting bold prints. The shop is bright, clean, and inviting, and has a strong aroma of dried fruit and bubble gum. For someone who has trouble making decisions, I could probably spend days smelling and tasting all the different tea offerings in the store. If you’re not in the mood to sniff and sample tea, there is also an eclectic selection of pre-packaged teas and quirky tea accessories such as mugs with mustaches on them that read “Mr. and Mrs. Tea.” During my visit to Tealish, I decided to try a coconut tea that was recommended by one of the staff mem-
bers- as I love all things coconut. The tea, called Coconut Bongo, was described as a “lightly oxidized oolong tea infused with the aroma of orchids and fresh baked goods” which somehow translated into a light coconut-milk tasting flavour on my palate. To celebrate the arrival of summer, I opted to have my tea brew on ice. In addition to my iced tea, I also purchased two types of loose leaf tea. The first was an English breakfast tea, which I used to make iced tea at home (see recipe). The second tea, called Monk’s Blend, is a black tea with vanilla and caramel flavours blended with pomegranate. I have yet to dip in to this tea but every time I open the bag for a whiff, I am captivated by the aroma that fills my kitchen.
Frozen fruit: Fruit, such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, can be frozen whole and used to chill the tea. Another option is to freeze the fruit in water in ice cube trays. Frozen herbs: As with the fruit cubes, herbs such as mint, can be frozen into the ice cube trays and added to the iced tea.
Ice cubes: Using fun shaped ice cube trays can change the vibe of your drink. For example, ice cube stir sticks, boats, or dentures can liven up your beverage.
Sweetener options: white sugar, brown sugar, honey, agave syrup
Nectars: Fruit nectars, such as mango and pear, can be added to the iced tea. Garnish the glass with slices of the fruit.
afternoon delight Countlan created a sun filled, colourful dessert buffet using a mixture of contemporary and antique tableware items. We picked a statement piece of furniture such as our antique buffet table as the perfect backdrop to the fun floral cupcakes, whimsical deconstructed pavlova fruit sundaes, lemon meringue pie and angel food cake garden. Photographer: Adam Goodman
☞ Divertimenti 33/34 Marylebone High
Street London, W1U 4PT Full-service Divertimenti offers bakers with equipment for any sweet tooth craving from flan tins and moulds to cake decorating tools and baking mats. Meat: ☞Jacob’s Ladder 104 Druid Street Saturday from 9am-2pm in an area now known as the Maltby Street market where a collection of food and beverage retailers open to the public and sell their goods every Saturday morning.
☞ Columbia Road Shops & Flower Market
Sunday from 8am-3pm (ish). It is located in the East End sitting close to Shoreditch, Brick Lane and Spitafields. Chocolate:
☞ Rococo Chocolates 45 Marylebone High
Street London W1U 5HG has been around for thirty years. Created by Chantal Coady, her stores make beautifully hand crafted chocolate and she also runs a chocolate school.
Buckingham Palace Gardens
(Broadway Market location) is the source to find everything from aromatics, flavourings, preserves to chutneys, herbs and spices. ✊
St. James’s Park Lake
Tea: ☞ TeaSmith 8 Lamb Street London E1 6EA is a gourmet tea retailer and tea bar located in the Spitafields market area where you can sample and purchase tea as well as enjoy sweets from their pastry and chocolate menu.
☞ Arabica Food and Spice Company
St shire Devon
h St Marylebone Hig
ntertaining is an art and a personal expression of our traditions, tastes and values. What is placed on the table at home is none other than, the accumulation of every home entertainer’s set of trusted resources (shops, people, things) around the city which enables his or her vision to become a reality. In fact, one can learn a great deal about the landscape of city based on examining where people go to purchase the food, the beverages and the accessories they use when entertaining guests. Charlotte Franklin, blogger and photographer behind Lovely Food and Anknel and Burblets, reveals her go-to list of entertaining resources in and around London.
☞ Lovely Food Blog ☞ Anknel and Burblets
Columbia Road Finsbury
Hoffman Clerkenwell Square
Arabica Food and Spice Company Temple
Borough Waterloo Newington
Lambeth Millstream Rd
What Are You Cooking This Summer? Switzerland based, photographer and food blogger ( â˜ž The Kitchen Finesse ), Veronika Studer-Tuske shares one of the meals she is cooking this summer as well as food tips for anyone visiting Switzerland who is interested in trying something authentic. Photos courtesy of Veronika Studer.
Spaghetti Gratin with Fennel Cream Cut the fennel into small pieces. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add fennel. Cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes, if necessary add more butter. Take the pan off of the heat and stir in mascarpone and parmesan. With an electric mixer process the fennel until creamy. Season to taste and let it cool down. When it is cool enough then stir in eggs and minced garlic. Preheat the oven to 180C. Cook spaghetti till al dente. Fold the noodles into the fennel cream and pour into a 24cm diameter cake pan. Bake for about 20 minutes.
Ingredients: 400g spaghetti 3 fennel bulbs 250g mascarpone 2 eggs 100g butter A handful of grated parmesan 2 cloves of garlic Salt Pepper
Other Swiss dishes to try... Raclette Originating from the Valais region of Switzerland, raclette is the name of both the cheese and the dish. It is a semi-firm, creamy cheese made from raw cow’s milk which is typically scrapped from the wheel of cheese (racler = scrape in French). It is also the main ingredient dish called raclette which consists of a slice of bread with garlic, white wine, pepper, pork, tomatoes, and raclette cheese which is then melted over a fire or grill. The 2012 raclette cheese festival takes place in Bagnes, Switzerland on September 22 + 23, if you would like to take a closer look. Fondue A Swiss specialty which is traditionally made with equal portions of Gruyere and Vacherin Fribourgeois cheese. Gruyere cheese originates from the town of Gruyere in Western Switzerland. It is a soft, smooth cheese made from cow milk and has a distinct, somewhat fruity taste depending on the region of origin. Gruyere cheese holds an AOC designation (similar to the designations bestowed on wine regions) which denotes an official mark of quality. On the Gruyere website, you can enter in the cheese dairy code of your cheese to find out who made your cheese. Meringues with Gruyere Double Cream If the cream served with afternoon tea is your reference, Gruyere double cream is even more decadent. It is a rich butterfat cream that is skimmed off in the production of Gruyere cheese. The double cream is often served on top of meringues and eaten with berries and is a local Swiss treat.
When In Switzerland
If you want to eat traditional Swiss food like raclette or fondue, you have to visit the Gruyere region. One stop not to miss is the Chateau de Gruyeres, a beautiful medieval castle where you can take in eight centuries of architecture. In the castle there are a few great restaurants where you can enjoy the view and the food. For dessert, I recommend the regional specialty, the double crème with meringue and strawberries. You will not regret it.
A vow to visit farmers markets
By K at h Suss ryn ma n
We all have our own excuses why we don’t visit farmers markets. This summer, vow to bust this cycle. You’ll be amazed by how different meals taste at home
1: Viktualienmarkt, Munich 2: Borough Market, London
ne of your city’s best resources for top quality produce, meats, dairy products, breads and preserves are the local farmers markets. If you live in the northern hemisphere like I do, farmers markets are in full swing, brimming with interesting and colourful items, and a treasure-trove of ingredients and inspiration for any home entertaining soiree or feast. On the other hand, if you reside in a climate that is conducive to growing crops year-round, then you are luckier than the rest of us who have a harder time eating locally when the ground is frozen four to six months a year. Most of us city dwellers take advantage of this plethora of fresh, healthy goodness all too infrequently. Of course the degree to which people take advantage of shopping at farmers markets has to do with a variety of factors such as affordability, convenience, timing and proximity to a market, cultural values towards food, quality and variety of items at the market, your level of personal interest in food related matters as well as your willingness to support the local community. How many times have I driven by the sign advertising my
local market and made a mental note to stop by each Tuesday from mid-May through to the end of October, only to completely forget and let yet another week pass by without a visit? Instead, I often find myself staring at wilted lettuce and fruit that is either overor-under ripe at one of the massive grocery stores in the city. Otherwise, at home I am chomping down on tasteless, unnaturally large strawberries from California and I am disappointed in both scenarios. As someone who lives in Toronto, Ontario strawberries may be a better choice. I say, this year, do something different: grab some cash and a fabric bag, get out there in the sunshine and walk over to your nearest market. Good for you, good for the environment, good for the farmers. This summer you’ll be sure to find the tastiest, juiciest strawberries, raspberries, plums, peaches and apricots, not to mention a wide selection of greenhouse grown fruits, vegetables and fresh herbs. So take out your planner, diary, iPad calendarwhatever method it is you use to plan the important dates of your days, and pencil in ‘Trip to the Farmers Market’ this upcoming week!
The Unlist-List: Global Farmers Markets
I love a good list. Lists are so definitive, exclusive and media-worthy. There are lists upon lists rating everything from lipstick to lavender including the farmers markets of the world. ome lists rate farmers markets by size and scope while others rate based on food type or whether the market is indoor or outdoor. Ratings are relative which is why we have come up with the Countlan unlist-list of farmers markets around the world. At the end of the day, does it really matter how a market is ranked as long as you are able to find what you need, to try some new things, to have a break from your grocery store routine, to have the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with the local producers, to support the local business community, to try eating seasonal or to learn about the origin of your food? Your reason for visiting a market is personal. Our philosophy is to curate list of cool farmers markets where we like to shop and let you be the judge. The markets on our list are not based on anything other than the fact that people seem to be talking about them online and offline and they are interesting places to be.
Marche Jean-Talon. MONTREAL The draw: Farmers stands, fish stores, butcher stalls, real maple syrup, cidre de glace, jars of maple butter, maple candy, Boulangerie Premiere Moisson and handmade charcuterie. Torvehallerne. COPENHAGEN The draw: The architecture of the building. Diversity of food (local and international), fruits and vegetables, mustard and sea salts, Duck confit sandwiches from Ma Poule, local fish, baked goods, oils, the Coffee Collective coffee bar, rhubarb juice, ox meat Neighbourgoods Market. CAPETOWN The draw: Farm fresh, organic, locally produced specialty goods. Neighbourgoods market is an independent initiative to reinvent the public market- housed in an old sky lit Victorian warehouse and courtyard at the old biscuit mill in the emerging industrial neighbourhood of Woodstock, Cape Town. Mercado el 100. MEXICO CITY The draw: This is an outdoor organic farmers market where everything sold here has been produced within 100 miles.
Our unlist-list of farmers markets is populated by a mix of old and new establishments. Some markets are housed in stunning architectural buildings, while others are made up of a collection of outdoor stalls. Each market plays an important role in the community in which it resides by providing people with sustenance, entertainment and a place to gather.
The produce is supplied by small organic producers (free of pesticides, herbicides). This market carries over 250 products such as rabbit, quail, honey, chilaquiles, mole, lemon balm, cheeses, lettuces. Adelaide Central Market. ADELAIDE The draw: Long standing tradition in the community, this market was established in 1869. It contains 80 stalls in a covered market setting and offers divers products like Laksa Sorbet from Zed’s Café, Australian cows milk feta, game meats such as kangaroo meat, wild pork, wild goat, fish, homemade Greek yoghurt from the Yoghurt Shop, Nishiki Ichiba. KYOTO The draw: Known as the kitchen of Kyoto, this narrow shopping street is approximately 390 meters long housed in a 400 year old covered food market which has more than 100 shops and restaurants. It specializes in seafood, produce, knives, cookware and seasonal Kyoto items like Japanese sweets, pickles dried seafood and sushi. Borough Market. LONDON The draw: British and international produce
and goods spread over a combination of indoor and outdoor stalls, retail shops and restaurants. Not to be missed: Farm fresh food, Ostrich burgers, Monmouth coffee shop, mushroom pate, Greedy Goat ice cream in raspberry + chilli or Billy Vanilli, handmade fudge, fruit tarts, game meats (partridge, venison), oysters, and curries, olive oils. Eastern Market. DETROIT The draw: Walk through blocks of indoor and outdoor market stalls connected by a series of warehouses. The perimeter of the market houses a variety of mainstay retail shops that compliment the market wares. Find fresh veggies, okra, potatoes, sugar beets, flowers, spices, pies, cheeses, green curry and pork sausages, honeys, canned pickles, free range eggs, garden accessories, and nuts from Rocky Peanut company. Viktualienmarkt . MUNICH The draw: Large outdoor market where you can find a mix of local produce and European goods. Don’t miss out on the beautiful fresh flowers, gardening accessories and gifts, juices, vegetables, fruits, wine, bread, pretzels, spices, sausages and cheese. ✊
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Countlan is a quarterly magazine dedicated to exploring how people around the world entertain at home.