Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition is British High Tea in California

This week’s theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge is Juxtaposition.  Juxtaposition is defined in the Collins English Dictionary in this way: ‘The juxtaposition of two contrasting objects, images, or ideas is the fact that they are placed together or described together, so that the differences between them are emphasized‘.

……………………………………….

How wonderful to visit a tea room where traditional ‘high tea’ is served.  What better than to have a choice of teas ranging from the delicately perfumed Earl Grey or the light flavour of Darjeeling to every day English Breakfast tea, accompanied by tiny cheese and cucumber or salmon finger sandwiches all rounded off with a delectable selection of petit fours and homemade Victoria sponge cake.

The ambient surroundings of the cottage-style tea rooms, its walls decorated with Royal Doulton plates painted with  images of the Royal Family and china cups and crystal glasses encased within teak cabinets all lend themselves to the tranquility of the moment.

Outside, the Union Jack flaps gently in the summer breeze as the scent of lavender and climbing roses fills the air.  The Stars and Stripes dances just behind it.

Outside The Tea Cozy, Cambria, California (c) Sherri Matthews 2013

Outside The Tea Cozy, Cambria, California
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

The quintessential English tea room?

It would be except this tea room is in Cambria, California, a small community nestled high up in the pine trees overlooking the Pacific Ocean along the Pacific Coast Highway.  Keep driving and it will take you to Big Sur, Carmel, Monterey and eventually to San Francisco.

Tea at The Tea Cozy, Cambria (9)

The Tea Cozy, Cambria, California
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

I spent many treasured afternoons ‘taking tea’ with my American friends in Cambria, just off the Pacific Coast Highway. It’s been a long time since I went out for ‘proper’ tea back home in England.  I miss it.

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
This entry was posted in My California, Weekly Photo Challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition is British High Tea in California

  1. I love tearooms. There’s something so specific about them no matter where you find them. The tea rooms you describe here are inviting with lots of little details described. 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      You would love the Tea Cozy then Tess! I got to have tea there again with my dear friends when I visited last April for the first time in ten years! It was as if I never left… 🙂 Of course, I drink tea all day long, being a Brit of course. But it is a real treat to have tea ‘properly’ in a tea room 🙂

      Like

  2. Heyjude says:

    Brilliant answer to the challenge Sherri! How wonderful to have those two flags together like that. There are a few tea-rooms here in Ludlow and I often frequent those in National Trust places, though I have to confess I don’t actually drink tea 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Jude, glad you like it, I hoped it would meet the challenge theme! That photo was taken last April when I went back to visit. Look at that blue sky!! We like to go to tea rooms when out and about and the National Trust is great for them but it seems ages since we did a ‘proper’ tea. Yes, I do remember you saying you didn’t drink tea. I couldn’t imagine not drinking it 🙂

      Like

  3. lilkaraphael says:

    Hi Sherri, I loved this post. I think you should “treat yourself” to a proper tea. It would be another good way to begin the year.
    Sometimes the change in our routines can do us a world of good. I’m glad to see you are taking on your photo challenges in stride. Have a wonderful week! Lilka

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Lilka, thanks so much, glad you enjoyed this post and yes, I think it’s about time to ‘do tea’ again! It’s my mum’s birthday coming up so methinks a perfect opportunity to do so… 🙂
      I am very much enjoying the photo challenges, although unable to take part this week due to not having my laptop 😦 but will come back with gusto, hopefully anyway! Hope you had a good week and have a lovely weekend 🙂

      Like

      • lilkaraphael says:

        Atlanta got snow for the first time in three years. It has definitely been….something! 😉

        Like

        • Sherri says:

          Wow, that is unusual! We haven’t had any here yet. Just more rain, more rain and more rain. Very bad flooding here in Somerset, you may have heard on the news over there. We have only had one or two days of frost, so the weather is all over the place. Enjoy the snow while you have it (I love it, I admit 🙂 )

          Like

  4. I must have some Brit in my blood, Sherri. I could drink tea all day long. I think in my next life, I’d like to work in a tearoom. I love your photos…great job! I’m curious, what’s your favorite tea?

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Well Jill, here I am, how many days later, getting back to you in answer to your tea question! Yep, got my laptop back at long last 🙂
      I’m not surprised that you love tea, I’m sure Derek from Devon does too… 😉
      I am afraid that I am very boring. I don’t like herbal teas of any description and I drink every day plain English breakfast tea, as in PG Tips, Tetley, or when it’s on offer, Yorkshire Gold 🙂 Just polishing off a mug of it now! Hope you had a good week, I’m trying to catch up now but have a long way to go… 🙂

      Like

  5. Hey, I looked at the photo before reading the post and I thought: Gee, that looks like the U.S. But it can’t be. It’s a tea room in Great Britain. HA fooled me!! I loved the pic. You take gorgeous photos, Sherri. I love them. I also am a finicky tea drinker. I was so disappointed on my one trip to England that our tea was served “instant” from tea bags and the water was only a luke warm boil. I won’t even tell you what decaffeinated coffee looked like!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ha Ha! Guess I had you there then Bev! Thank you! I’m so glad that you are enjoying my photo challenge posts, I love that 🙂 I’m so sorry about your tea experiences over here, I’m appalled actually. If you ever come back, you know where you can come for a proper cup of tea and I can assure you that it won’t be luke warm 🙂 Have a great weekend and a cuppa on me 🙂

      Like

  6. Denise says:

    So bright, skies and colours we hardly ever experience here. It makes me think how we associate tea with reserve, properness, pale rather than bold heat, an association I had never appreciated before.

    I think it takes a unique mind to realise this juxtaposition. You are rather like your daughter, with her unique creativity.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Yes, that blue sky never fails to capture my amazement. I’m sure it has a different depth to it. It did always seem to me to be a clash of cultures – the Californian, wide-open, come-as-you-are against the reserve and ‘properness’ of ‘taking tea’. Yet I went out to tea many more times over there than I ever do here. In my mind, that was the true juxtaposition and I’m so glad that this idea worked for the challenge. Thank you Denise for your very interesting reply, you help me see things in such a different way as I tend to think that my way of thinking is at best, a little odd 😉

      Like

      • Denise says:

        I think you think magic, not odd. I like the way you are so subtle and sensitive in the work you create. There are very many obvious ways you could illustrate contrasts but you chose your own way.

        Like

        • Sherri says:

          Wow, thank so much Denise, you are always such a great encouragement to me in so many ways 🙂 I’m so glad that you don’t think I’m too odd 😉 I have to say, I do prefer the work ‘magic’ much better…

          Like

  7. Steven says:

    What a fantastic answer to the challenge!

    I want to go to the Tea Cozy! It sounds brilliant. Though, I only go through about 4 cuppas a day, which is tame compared to some people I know 😛 and I’m a freak because I don’t drink it at breakfast time.

    Like diners, there is a certain charm and warmth about a tearoom. They just seem, well, cosy!

    Like

    • I actually laughed at, “and I’m a freak because I don’t drink it at breakfast time.” There isn’t a law saying we HAVE to drink at breakfast. Don’t be so hard on yourself 😉
      But you think 4 is tame? I only have one a day. At breakfast 😉

      Like

      • Steven says:

        Haha! Well, it’s always nice to know I made somebody laugh. I get a bit of flack because I apparently go for the half-French option – croissant and hot chocolate (since I detest coffee). J’assure, je suis anglais 😉 I just can’t seem to ‘do’ tea so early in the morning. It tastes funny…

        Only one…!?!?!? Blimey, I just spat out my second of the day 😉 I know some, mainly those who I worked with, who would go through what must have been about eight, just in the working day.

        Like

        • Hot chocolate? For breakfast?? That’s… interesting! Oh, I’m with you on the coffee front though; just the smell of it makes me retch! Bleeeuugghhhh.

          Haha, sorry 😉 I do, on occasion, push the boat out and have two a day. I live on the edge. Ahh yeah, I know people like that. Specifically my brother. He has about 700 cups a day (tiny exaggeration).

          Like

          • Steven says:

            Everybody says this. I think I must be the only one who has it for brekkie… well, except for my brother. My mother is responsible.

            Like

            • Haha, she forced you to drink it in the mornings, did she? It is slightly unusual, I feel… It’s more of an evening thing.

              Like

              • Steven says:

                Aye, mumsey is a tough taskmaster. 🙂 It’s a hot alternative to tea or coffee, I guess.

                Well then in that case I’m just proud to be yet more unconventional 😉

                Like

                • Hurrah for freakism! Oh, sorry, I mean hurrah for bucking the trend 😉

                  Like

                  • Steven says:

                    Grrrr…. you’re lucky you’re so far away, or I’d.. I’d.. I’d mess up your hair!!! Hmph.

                    Like

                    • Hahaha, I’m terribly sorry. I’m only messin’ 😉 You go ahead and drink hot chocolate for breakfast, and there’s nothing wrong with that. To be fair, you couldn’t make my hair much worse, given it’s forever a total curly-frizz-disaster mess. The damage has already been done by genetics.

                      Like

                    • Steven says:

                      Ha, I’m chuckling at this and I’m not entirely sure why. I’m certainly not laughing at your hair. I’m sure it looks lovely.

                      Maybe it’s because I’m not getting a whole lot of sincerity out of “there’s nothing wrong with that” 😛

                      I’m tempted to go out with a clipboard and ask people on the street, but then I might just get arrested.

                      Like

                    • Laugh away at my hair if you so wish – I do, all the time. Every time I happen to look in a mirror. It’s either that or cry, so I go for the merry option 😉

                      I was being totally sincere! I’m offended you don’t believe me. I am wounded.

                      Haha, you’ll be in the paper as the local whacko. Although, not necessarily; just say you’re from the Hot Chocolate Appreciation Society and you’re doing a survey.

                      We seem to have taken over Sherri’s post with our conversations, as well as our own. Sorry Sherri 😉

                      Like

                    • Steven says:

                      I would never dare laugh nor make even a passing comment about a woman’s hairstyle. I’ve made that mistake before. I like messy hair though. Characterful.

                      Haha! It’s an invasion… see what happens when you’re absent, Sherri Poppins? 😉

                      Like

                    • Aren’t you wise 😉 I think there’s a fine line between ‘messy’ and ‘Oh, I look like I’ve just been electrocuted’. Well, there certainly is if you have curly hair. Ugh, curls. Be glad you’re a man.

                      Sherri Poppins? That’s brilliant. Haha, we have totally invaded. I feel like we’re sniggering children who’re going to be shouted at for running rampage.. Sherri’s in for a treat when she returns! 😉

                      Like

                    • Steven says:

                      Haha yes, that’s exactly how I see it! Like the fun bit where the teacher walks out of the room and everybody starts running riot.

                      I’m ashamed to say I’m not entirely sure I can remember how ‘Sherri Poppins’ came about. She is a magical woman, though, and has a cool brolly, so it’s appropriate.

                      Like

                    • Haha, that’s exactly it! We’ll be getting detention in a minute.

                      It’s very appropriate! Does she have a cool brolly? I’m intrigued.

                      Like

                    • Steven says:

                      What’s a…. ‘detention’? Never had one of those, before.

                      Like

                    • I really hope that’s a joke. But I’m sure it is, given you like to torment mummies and such. If it isn’t then… you’re a jammy git! (I say this in the nicest possible way, of course)

                      Like

                    • Steven says:

                      Ha, it is, though I did only get a couple in my time. I was shy; I did my rebelling in silence!

                      Oh, and Mrs Carter loved our teasing her… she thought it made her all ‘down with the kids’. 😉

                      Like

                    • Only a couple? How tame 😉 Or how sly, I suppose, since you managed to avoid it. I’m pretty certain I had a detention every day most of the time… break and lunch… and then I often had after school detentions… and I was in isolation quite a bit… and I was also on school report. How awful. Wasn’t I just awful?

                      Ohh, those ‘down with the kids’ teachers 😛 Funny.

                      Like

    • Sherri says:

      SO JG….. I turn my back for a few days and this is what I return to? An invasion of conversation about, well, what? Tea, hot chocolate, wild hair and cool brollies!!!! Perhaps I should put you both on the naughty step, but at least you didn’t leave the place too untidy, LOL 🙂

      I’m glad you enjoyed my take on this challenge, thanks for that. What more to say? Methinks you and Jennifer have said all there is to say, ha 😉 I’m glad to be back though, what a very odd week it’s been though (more on that later)

      Oh, and ‘Sherri Poppins’? Wasn’t it something to do with me telling you about the time when my ex told me not to get stressed out over Christmas because it would ‘just happen’ and I told him that I wasn’t ‘Mary effing Poppins’?? Ah yes, that was it…

      Hope you’ve had a good week, I’m catching up manically whilst drinking copious amounts of tea. Although all I really need to do is to fly away with my magical brolly, snap my fingers and hey presto, it will all be done, just like that… 😉

      Like

      • Steven says:

        *Hangs head guiltily*

        Well, she started it… honest! And she’s been very mean to me; I’m glad you’re back to keep her under control 😉

        Aah yes, that was it, I remember it clearly now! Great to see you back – it’s been, quite clearly, a war zone without you! 🙂

        Like

        • Sherri says:

          A war zone, ha, no kidding!! Well, I will not take any sides, and no need to feel guilty…yet, lol 🙂
          Thanks again JG, great to be back, and gain some control again… 😉

          Like

  8. I love the juxtaposition of the two flags, it’s a perfect capture for the photo challenge. You now have me wanting to get some tea at a tea house! I am an avid tea drinker yet somehow I’ve never managed to get myself to a tea house and have the full experience of taking tea. It sounds splendid!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Heather, I’m really glad you enjoyed this challenge! I do hope that you get to have ‘proper’ tea at some point, you would really enjoy it not just for the tea and the food but for the entire experience. Too bad that I can’t go with you… 😉

      Like

  9. This is a great interpretation of the juxtaposition challenge, Sherri!
    Downtown we have a British Tea Parlour, complete with quaint windows and painted window boxes filled with flowers, and always the British flag. On the sidewalk in front, not 8 steps from the front door, are two cart vendors. One is for Colorado Rockies Power Pretzels (with the Colorado State flag), and the other is for Swedish sandwiches and pastries (complete with the blue and yellow national flag of Sweden), and both have servers in full attire, playing their theme music. All three businesses do really well, and tourists have their choice of several cuisines.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Marylin, thanks so much, I’m finally getting back to you and everyone, phew! I hope you have had a good week 🙂

      Loved reading about your British Tea Parlour and the two, delightfully international cart vendors right outside, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that. How wonderful to have these choices on offer from different cultures together like this, I don’t know what I would go for first, and I am actually feeling quite hungry right about now 😉

      Like

  10. The flags were a great example of juxtaposition. Clever.

    Like

  11. bulldog says:

    As a non “drinker” I love to find the small and cosy tea rooms and coffee shops rather than the pubs or bars… I have found some really weird and wonderful little shops hidden in the cities… Linda, my wife, owned a coffee shop and we went all out to make it unique, we had people from Switzerland that visited SA every year and always stopped when passing through, saying it was their favourite shop…

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      How wonderful that Linda made your coffee shop so unique, that is what attracts visitors time and time again. I do love the small, cosy tea rooms but I do also like pubs, I missed them very much when I lived in California as the bars there are just not the same. Even the so-called ‘English’ ones, just nothing like a real, old country pub. Of course, the pubs here now offer wonderful food, so very different to the days when you were lucky to get a packet of crisps and a stale sausage roll!! Thanks Bulldog, loved reading about your tea and coffee experiences 🙂

      Like

  12. I’m sure there’s someone you can have a cuppa with, Sherri! Take some time out if you need it. We want a happy Sherri 🙂 It is strange what we can miss though, isn’t it? Something hit home to me last night, and I wondered why on earth I was yearning for that out of everything else.

    Great angle on the word, by the way!

    Like

  13. Dylan Hearn says:

    I’ve never had “high tea” in England. I have in Germany, though. I think there is something about being away from home – regardless of where home is – that makes you behave in ways that accentuates your home culture, often counter to how you would behave at home. Lovely photograph as always.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      This is so true Dylan, you really hit the nail on the head about accentuating your home culture when away from home. That is just how I felt about ‘taking tea’ in California! How interesting that you also did this in Germany. Glad you enjoyed the post and photos, thanks as always 🙂

      Like

  14. jennypellett says:

    Great example of juxtaposition! Nothing like a good old British cuppa. Well done again with this challenge;)

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Jenny, thanks so much (yes, I’m baaaack!!) and yes, we both do love our good old British cuppa that’s for sure, I remember our discussions about it back in the summer. Lovely! Hope you had a good week. I’ll be over to you asap, catching up and it ain’t pretty… 😉

      Like

  15. TBM says:

    Ha! This makes me homesick–for California. It was a great place to grow up since there was so much diversity. When I moved to Colorado (which is pretty white) I was depressed. I love being surrounded by different cultures and people.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, yes, I can fully understand that TB. I haven’t lived in Colorado but I did love the diversity in California so I know just what you mean. My daughter feels more at home there than here in the UK for that very reason, she feels anonymous and she says people don’t stare like they do here! I am so very grateful for having experienced the different cultures. My one time in-laws (my children’s grandparents, their father’s parents, both passed on now) were Mexican and Greek 🙂

      Like

  16. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: JUXTAPOSITION | The Adventures of Iñigo Boy

  17. Great, imaginative example of juxtaposition for the challenge, Sherri. You had us expecting one thing with your introduction about high tea, only to surprise us with an unexpected take on it. You know, I’ve lived in the UK all my life and never been for a proper English tea. I think because we working class folk didn’t do that kind of thing – it was for other people. For me, coffee is usually the drink of choice these days (though we never drank coffee when I was growing up). Tea is only ever the ordinary kind, as you say, and it’s for drinking with things like sandwiches, or when you want to dunk biscuits 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      So true this Andrea! This is what surprised me so much when I lived in the States. I was invited to ‘tea’ thinking it would be a mug and a couple of biscuits for dunking only to find a table laid out with Royal Doulton china cups and plates, a cake stand, sugar lumps with tongs with which to drop them delicately into the tea cup and a selection of sandwiches, scones and cakes. All home made! I was astounded to say the least! I have gone out for ‘high tea’ here twice in all these years for special occasions (twice with my hubby believe it or not!) so it was with this in mind that I thought it would make for a good example of a juxtaposition. I’m so glad that you enjoyed it, and thanks for sharing your take on our British ‘taking of tea’ 🙂

      Like

  18. Imelda says:

    I imagine those tea afternoons to be such lovely times. I have only gone to one tea place and I was completely charmed. I loved the graceful tea sets and teacups and the charming way that everything was presented. I did feel like a lady at that time. 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ah yes Imelda, a really lovely, relaxed way to spend an afternoon with good friends. It certainly is a very ladylike pastime and one I could very easily get used to 🙂

      Like

  19. Lovely shots. I swear, you’re so at home there you were never California Girl. ;P
    And I’m glad the new virus robot is sexy. Keep it fun.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, but there is a hole in my heart where a huge chunk of California living belongs…and yes, gotta love that sexy metal-man 😉 Thanks Diane x

      Like

      • DianA

        HA Ha ha ha ha
        (Don’t bother with the sorry.)

        Like

        • Sherri says:

          Geez Louise…I’m really not doing well am I? You know, it is so stupid. I have a good friend called Diane (who lives in California, how ironic is that?) so what the hell? I KNOW your name is DIANA and I even checked it to make sure. I am sorry though. People spell my name wrong all the time – Sherry, Sherrie, Cherry, Sheryl, you name it! Ahh well, if I do it a third time, just shoot me… 😉

          Like

  20. willowmarie says:

    I know exactly what you mean. My fav place in Ottawa is the Chateau Laurier. Going for high tea there is ALWAYS good for my soul.

    Like

Lovely to chat...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s