Monday, April 6, 2020

Tartan Tea Party
~ National Tartan Day ~ April 6 ~

Bluebonnet Tartan

Like others across the globe, many Texans will no doubt celebrate National Tartan Day on April 6, 2020. The official State Tartan, Texas Bluebonnet Tartan, was designed by June Prescott McRoberts in 1986 and adopted by the state of Texas in 1989. You can read more details about the Texas Bluebonnet Tartan here.

My Grandparents
My grandfather, born in Helmsley, England, came to this country as a young man of 28 in 1884. He lived to be 78, but died before I was born. I've not traced our family history, but I suspect that there is Scottish ancestry in some branch of our family tree. Regardless, I've long been mad about tartan. It's not just for Christmas, you know! So join me as I honor all Americans of Scottish descent and celebrate Tartan Day.

I have a fresh pot of a special blend 
of Scottish tea steeping.

And I've pulled out one of my favorite little treasures from MacKenzie-Childs in the Maclachlan pattern and filled it with Scottish shortbread from Campbells.

The lid of this sweet box features a thistle, which like tartan, is one of the most recognizable symbols of Scotland. The thistle can be found in the Royal Arms of Scotland.

Campbells is internationally famous and according to the Campbells' website, is Scotland's oldest bakery. You can visit their site here.

We have a selection of shortbread 
from Campbells' Gold Kilt tin.

I've gathered some of my 
tartan pieces to celebrate the day.

Tartan paper maché 
balls gathered in a footed dish.

An empty Walkers' tartan tin filled with spring flowers. Walkers is another company known for Scottish Shortbread. You can find them here.

This vertical tin is perfect as a vase, and it
features a charming little Scottish lass with her dog.

Entitled "Which Hand Will You Take?",
this tin was filled with chocolate chip shortbread.

Fortunately, I don't need reading glasses, but I couldn't resist this pair of vintage specks in their own tartanware case.

The case is in the McDuff pattern. TARTANWARE by Princess Ira Von Furstenberg is a great little book full of photographs of tartan covered objects that were produced as souvenirs from Scotland in the early to mid 19th century. Many of the objects are from the Princess' personal collection. Published in 1996, this book is now difficult to find.

You might want to settle in with a cup of tea, a few shortbread cookies, and enjoy my copy.

You can see the Gold Kilt 
tin here on the tray.

The kilt is the distinctive traditional dress of the highland Scottish male. As this attire does not have the convenience of pockets, a sporran, (leather pouch) is worn to carry valuables.

Thank you for joining me today to celebrate Tartan Day, 2020.
I first shared this post in 2011.


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Dearest Sarah,
    What a lovely post you've created here!
    Too bad the link for the Texas BB tartan is not working...
    How lovely is that Campbell shortbread tin; quite a treasure to have and to KEEP!
    Sending you hugs and wishing you and yours well,

  2. I didn't realize today was National Tartan Day! My great grandmother was Scottish, and I hear she was one tough little woman. I'm waiting to get my "Ancestry" test sent in until all the virus testing is over. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful plaid pieces; I didn't know Texas had it's own Tartan. Happy Easter, Sarah, stay well!

  3. Sarah, You know I'm mad for all things plaid! I love having another look at your wonderful tartan collection and post, especially your MacKenzie-Childs Maclachlan lidded box...what a treasure! I hope you, the Chef and Sadie are tucked away safely at home and not going too stir crazy. Happy National Tartan Day ♥

  4. I love your tartans, Sarah. I am a big fan of tartans as well. I have missed a couple opportunities to add a sporran to my purse collection, but they are a nice specimen. I enjoyed my tea with you today. Happy Tartan Day!

  5. Sarah, I adore tartans as well! We were fortunate enough to visit Scotland in 2015 and there were many shops that were filled with the most beautiful tartans. I enjoyed having tea with you and I love shortbread cookies. The MKC Maclachlan box is stunning! Happy Tartan Day and stay safe!

  6. Another dear collection of yours..Well done!I still have tartan..and boy did my girls wear kilts too!

  7. I had no idea that Texas had an official tartan. That one is so pretty! Blue and green are two of my favorite colors. The cookies look delicious.

  8. I wish I could join you for tea Sarah. I know I would be charmed with all of your pretty tartan collectibles. Love the Maclachlan box from MC, such a special treasure. You have a lovely tray of tea and biscuits. Tartan has always been one of my favorites and I do have a few favorite pieces. When Jay was married he and his groomsmen wore black watch plaid vests underneath their coats so I think my love of this wore off a little. I enjoyed my visit with you this two take care.

  9. Delightful post Sarah. My family is Scottish, so I appreciate anything Tartan. The Maclachlan Mackenzie Childs lidded box is lovely. You have so many wonderful keepsakes. It would be heavenly to join you for tea. Hoping you, the Chef and sweet Sadie stay safe.

  10. Great tartan stories and collection dear Sarah. I love tartan, my favorite having always been the Black Watch. I love Walker's shortbread and if I had a tin here right now I'd probably devour every crunchy, buttery piece!
    Appetite has changed over the past couple of weeks - don't relish proper meals often, just a cheese and cracker with a glass of wine, or a couple of cookies with a cup of tea seem enough. Sadly though my waistline doesn't appear to be getting any smaller, haha!

    Hope you and M are well and managing OK - stay safe my dears. I know you are enjoying your gorgeous garden - thankful, like me I'm sure, that you have one!
    Mary XX

  11. Happy Tartan Day my friend and you do have a gorgeous collection to celebrate.
    I love the teacup and everything else. The white teapot is a gem, as is the McCh. lidded box.
    Such a darling pic of your grandparents.
    Keep safe and well.

  12. How much fun Sarah! I didn't know there was a Tartan's Day! You certainly have a lot of lovely plaid to celebrate with, such a wonderful vignette!

  13. I'm a bit late to tea but thanks for this! What a lovely Tartan collection you have. Quite beautiful. Isn't Walker's Shortbread the best? That wonderful tin with the girl and her dog is a real treasure.

    I hope you and Mr. Hyacinth are staying safe and well. Take care.

  14. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

  15. Sarah,
    Everything is so pretty!! Love all your tartans!! how are you doing??
    Stay safe, healthy and happy!


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