JOURNAL

TAKE TIME FOR TEA

The comforting ritual of tea.

As you sip on your tea, intentionally let your mind drift away from all the stresses of your day. Inhale, breathe in and out, steadily let it calm and soothe. Allow your teatime to be that respite that restores peace and refocuses your mind.

Turn your tea time into a ritual to hit pause on your busy day and give yourself a short mindful break to refresh. Take out your favourite teacup and teapot, once ready, put your phone away and relax near a window. Some fresh air or even the view of nature will help you to disconnect. Although this may seem like a modern concept, the ritual of tea making has been at the centre of human expression for centuries.

As you sip on your tea, intentionally let your mind drift away from all the stresses of your day. Inhale, breathe in and out, steadily let it calm and soothe. Allow your teatime to be that respite that restores peace and refocuses your mind.

Turn your tea time into a ritual to hit pause on your busy day and give yourself a short mindful break to refresh. Take out your favourite teacup and teapot, once ready, put your phone away and relax near a window. Some fresh air or even the view of nature will help you to disconnect. Although this may seem like a modern concept, the ritual of tea making has been at the centre of human expression for centuries.

Tea originated in China 5,000 years ago. Legend has it that Emperor Shen Nung discovered it when a leaf fell into his cup of freshly boiled water. It was introduced to Britain in the early 17th century, when the Portuguese Catherine of Braganza, who loved to drink tea, married King Charles II and introduced the ritual of tea drinking to the English Royal Court. It was soon adopted by the aristocracy.

The intention behind a teapot encourages the user to take the time to do things properly. The Drift Teapots were designed to improve the tea experience with guaranteed non-drip spouts, stay-cool handles and a secure removable lid. A tea collection created around a pivotal pastime, using fluid shapes synonymous with the drift range, was a natural step. And to design the perfect contemporary tea set, a nod to the past was essential. The ceremony of tea-drinking was placed at the centre of this design.

The designer, Kit deBretton Gordon explains ‘Our interaction with tea has been the same over many centuries and so we wanted to produce a collection that reflected that sense of continuity.’ Every piece marries form and function. Teapots and jugs pour seamlessly without spills, the sugar bowl works just as beautifully with its soft water drop shape. It is the most recent in a long tradition of silver and stainless-steel teapots associated with Robert Welch Designs, starting with Old Hall Tableware’s first teapot, the world’s first stainless steel teapot, made in 1930.

Tea originated in China 5,000 years ago. Legend has it that Emperor Shen Nung discovered it when a leaf fell into his cup of freshly boiled water. It was introduced to Britain in the early 17th century, when the Portuguese Catherine of Braganza, who loved to drink tea, married King Charles II and introduced the ritual of tea drinking to the English Royal Court. It was soon adopted by the aristocracy.

The intention behind a teapot encourages the user to take the time to do things properly. The Drift Teapots were designed to improve the tea experience with guaranteed non-drip spouts, stay-cool handles and a secure removable lid. A tea collection created around a pivotal pastime, using fluid shapes synonymous with the drift range, was a natural step. And to design the perfect contemporary tea set, a nod to the past was essential. The ceremony of tea-drinking was placed at the centre of this design.

The designer, Kit deBretton Gordon explains ‘Our interaction with tea has been the same over many centuries and so we wanted to produce a collection that reflected that sense of continuity.’ Every piece marries form and function. Teapots and jugs pour seamlessly without spills, the sugar bowl works just as beautifully with its soft water drop shape. It is the most recent in a long tradition of silver and stainless-steel teapots associated with Robert Welch Designs, starting with Old Hall Tableware’s first teapot, the world’s first stainless steel teapot, made in 1930.

This was over 20 years before Robert first began working with the company as consultant designer in 1954, however it is how that appointment came about. As a student, Robert had made several teapots and tea sets out of silver and gilding-metal. The last of these, a stacking tea set made as a final examination piece, he had satin chrome plated to give the impression it had been mechanically produced in stainless steel even though it had been handmade in the workshop. This and a vegetable dish he had produced caught the eye of the owners of Old Hall Tableware, J. & J. Wiggin, and they offered him a job.

Image on the left - A silver teapot designed for Sir John Charrington in 1955; Robert Welch’s final piece of work at the Royal College of Art in 1954, a stacking tea set made in gilding-metal and satin chrome plated to look like it was made from stainless steel; and the timeless Alveston teapot.

By 1964 he had created the ultimate design, the Alveston or Aladdin’s lamp teapot which became iconic and still in daily use in homes across the world. In considering what makes the design timeless, inspired by her love of the Alveston teapot, Michelle Ogundehin wrote that “such inherent longevity comes from honesty. Such pieces are not trying to seduce the consumer into buying something they do not need. They exist only to say, we do what we do exceptionally well, and we are considered in every detail; treasure us, and we will last a lifetime.”

The Alveston tea set is lauded for having an easy balance in the hand and the perfect pour, accolades that were key to the development of the Drift tea set nearly sixty years on. Instead of the geometric aesthetics of Alveston, the classic proportions of the Drift teapot are combined with organic curves to create a union of form and function and a feeling of fluid movement. The graceful and classically proportioned Drift teapots are designed to elevate the experience of the age-old, mindful ritual of preparing and savouring a cup of tea.


This was over 20 years before Robert first began working with the company as consultant designer in 1954, however it is how that appointment came about. As a student, Robert had made several teapots and tea sets out of silver and gilding-metal. The last of these, a stacking tea set made as a final examination piece, he had satin chrome plated to give the impression it had been mechanically produced in stainless steel even though it had been handmade in the workshop. This and a vegetable dish he had produced caught the eye of the owners of Old Hall Tableware, J. & J. Wiggin, and they offered him a job.

Images - The timeless Alveston teapot, and Robert Welch’s final piece of work at the Royal College of Art in 1954, a stacking tea set made in gilding-metal and satin chrome plated to look like it was made from stainless steel.

By 1964 he had created the ultimate design, the Alveston or Aladdin’s lamp teapot which became iconic and still in daily use in homes across the world. In considering what makes the design timeless, inspired by her love of the Alveston teapot, Michelle Ogundehin wrote that “such inherent longevity comes from honesty. Such pieces are not trying to seduce the consumer into buying something they do not need. They exist only to say, we do what we do exceptionally well, and we are considered in every detail; treasure us, and we will last a lifetime.”

The Alveston tea set is lauded for having an easy balance in the hand and the perfect pour, accolades that were key to the development of the Drift tea set nearly sixty years on. Instead of the geometric aesthetics of Alveston, the classic proportions of the Drift teapot are combined with organic curves to create a union of form and function and a feeling of fluid movement. The graceful and classically proportioned Drift teapots are designed to elevate the experience of the age-old, mindful ritual of preparing and savouring a cup of tea.



In the early 1960s Robert Welch designed his first piece in cast iron, a candleholder he named Hobart. Cast iron was an important addition to Robert Welch's portfolio, complementing his designs in silver and steel. At first Hobart was produced in small numbers,

the initial order was only two dozen, but after displaying them in his studio and home the designs popularity grew and led to a second order of one-hundred. Robert sold the designs himself out of a suitcase for a year, and initial buyers included Liberty and Heals.