Chanel for Tea…?

14/03/2010

“…her originality would hit on one emblem, the camellia, which in her hands became a necklace, a watch, a hat, a chignon, a detail on a button, or just a silk flower pinned to a dress. There was something radically simple about its shape, what Bott calls ‘its perfect, almost geometric roundness’. As far back as 1922 a stylised camellia is embroidered on a blouse. Every season it appears as a jewelled monogram on a toe or beaded outline on the heel of a Chanel shoe. Like the lotus in Buddhism, the camellia expressed for Chanel a shape with infinite possibilities.”

– Linda Grant writing for The Telegraph, 2007

Who knew that tea, that essential reviver, relaxant and comforter, comes from a special variety of Camellia? Of course as with all things botanical, there are many varieties of camellia and many different-looking flowers, not all of them resembling Chanel’s favoured multi-petalled variety. The Client is a huge fan of both Mlle. Chanel and a nice cup of tea, so it was sheer delight to discover that there is a flourishing organic tea plantation in the UK in the beautiful county of Cornwall, long having held the belief that tea only grows in India, China and other such distant and exotic climes more evocative of the spirit of Chanel.

Tregothnan is a family estate which boasts continuous, same-family ownership dating back to the 1300’s. The estate was the first to bring ornamental camellias to the UK 200 years ago, and today has a selection of plants, available to buy inexpensively online, to nurture yourself in your own garden. The resulting blooms will bring the spirit of Chanel richly to life. Whilst visiting the website (or if you find yourself in that part of the world the gardens themselves) be sure to treat yourself to some organic honey which is also produced on the estate, these luckiest of bees no doubt visiting the camellia flowers in the plantation to plunder their nectar.

Tregothnan Estate, Truro, Cornwall, TR2 4AN
01872 520000
www.tregothnan.co.uk

photo: Camellia “White Nun” available at Tregothnan’s online shop

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