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Tea Celebrations: The Way to Serenity Hardcover – October 24, 1994


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Take time out for a restful tea break! Stoddard's personal philosophy is of a decidedly Eastern persuasion: life should be celebrated through the ceremony of tea. This doyenne of interior decorating extols the benefits of making quiet times a regular part of each day, where one enjoys solitary, comtemplative moments over a simple cup of tea. Stoddard also suggests unhurried tea parties for good friends or honored guests as a sure way of improving the quality of life through the sharing of carefully prepared light fare, fragrant teas, and treasured cups, teapots, linens, and other special items to enhance these occasions. Recipes for assorted goodies are included, and there will be line drawings to illustrate Stoddard's upbeat text. Alice Joyce

From Kirkus Reviews

Stoddard (Creating a Beautiful Home, not reviewed) makes some amazing claims about the healing powers of tea in this overwrought little book that focuses less on cooking than on personal memoir, entertaining hints, and egregiously inane aphorisms. Those who plod through the insipid writing will learn that ``each of us, whether broken or whole, is empowered by tea''; that Stoddard's husband thinks she must have been an apprentice tea-master in a former life; and that the sound track from the film Mission serves as the perfect accompaniment to ironing napkins. She spends an inordinate amount of time explaining how to make the tea experience special with everything from mismatched cups and saucers (buying a complete tea set is ``less exciting'' than collecting porcelain piece by piece) to flower arrangements (go asymmetrical, be sparing, let a leaf or blossom overlap the vase, ``play'') to using decorative swizzle sticks to spice up an ordinary glass of hot or cold tea (she seems especially attached to the set she bought at Pier I: ``Sometimes I put the blue ball at the bottom of the glass, and other times I put it at the top for color and delight''). The prize for making it to the end is a chapter of recipes, both sweet and savory, to serve with tea--from lemon bread to watercress-and-egg sandwiches. Most are well explained, one-bowl operations, and the scones are fabulous. But with only 19 recipes, no serious cook will look at this twice. Tea may soothe, but Stoddard will drive you crazy with her self-conscious, precious drivel. (Illustrations, not seen) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 227 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (October 24, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688134270
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688134273
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,467,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Author of 27 books, Alexandra Stoddard is sought after as a speaker on the art of living the good life. She has inspired millions of listeners and readers with such books as Things I Want My Daughters to Know, Choosing Happiness, You Are Your Choices, and Time Alive. A mother and grandmother herself, she lives in Stonington Village, Connecticut, with her husband, Peter Brown.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Margo Martin on December 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
What a rare treat this little volume is! I had to pace myself to prolong the enjoyment. Reading it was like having a wonderful conversation with a kindred soul over a great cup of tea. Alexandra shares inspiration and wonderful recipes as an added bonus along with her great conversation.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Her Dotness on October 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
Any fan of Stoddard's will welcome this little book as yet another of her musings upon elements that can make everyday moments transcend the ordinary. If you're looking for a taut, informative book on tea, continue looking as you'll not find it in this text. However, for the person who simply wants to relax and share the author's enjoyment of the little touches that make life more pleasant, this book will entertain and delight. "Precious drivel"? Well, perhaps, although I find in the author's obvious enjoyment of cherished objects a reminder to look around my house at the lovely things I have with a fresh appreciation for them.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 1996
Format: Hardcover
I havae read this book numerous times and have each time found
new and interesting items missed the last time through.Ms.Stoddard
presents tea celebration in such a way that one looks forward to
being able to have friends over to enjoy. It is too amazing
the way one looks forward to enjoying a cuppa alone. I have
decided that when I enjoy tea by myself--as Ms.Stoddard encourages
the preparation is also important-but when that cup is poured
I can sit back, sip by sip, and watch the world go by.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Phillips on January 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a must read for our hurried drive through society. I have bought more than three copies of this book and given them away to several people. My 23 year old daughter loved it as well as my over 59 friends. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to step back and begin to enjoy everyday life on a whole new level.
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