This week has been quite an eye opener for me. I find myself inspired by two women, both of whom had the courage and passion to move from an assured lucrative career to another less assured career but one that resonated with their values, interests, and quest to learn, explore, and communicate about the world of tea. Jane Pettigrew, the renowned tea shop owner, writer, lecturer, tea historian, and world traveler, and Henrietta Lovell, the Rare Tea-Lady, and owner of The Rare Tea Company.
I have many of Jane Pettigrew’s books. They are among my ‘go to’ for tea history, recipes, and style. Before I knew anything about her, I stumbled on to her first book, “Tea Time”, published in 1986 which details the basics of traditional English tea and tea parties, with wonderful English recipes (alas, in English metrics). (“Tea Time” is out of print but you might be able to find it on Alibris, the used book site) or at Amazon. Just reading the ingredients of the recipes will make your mouth water and you will hunger for a lovely tea setting, hot tea, wonderful tea treats, and terrific conversation. It’s a very English book, which makes it all the more charming and delectable.
Ms. Pettigrew is a prolific writer (I have four of her books) and she clearly thrives on discovery, history, and adventure. If you are looking for a history of British tea, her book, A Social History of Tea will educate and delight you with the history and social evolution of tea in Britain and beyond. The lady rocks!
What got me on this today? I’m still reading Katrina Avila Munichiello’s A Tea Reader and there is a wonderful writeup by Ms. Pettigrew entitled ‘Around the World with a Cup of Tea’ in which she details her career evolution from communications professional to tea shop partner and owner to tea writer. When they say, ‘follow your bliss’, she has!
And, as I mentioned in my earlier blog this week, Henrietta Lovell, the Rare Tea-Lady is equally inspiring with her Rare Tea Company. Another heavy hitter in the corporate world who stumbled on a new passion and had the courage to follow that path. Both these women are wonderful role models and remind me that there is so much adventure still to have in life and with hard work, courage, passion, discipline and the willingness to push another door and another door and another door, there is lots of adventure, learning, and community ahead.