a blue and white stripey teapot pours tea into a blue and white stripey mug by Cornishware

The Best British Tea Sets

Interiors /


One cup, or two?

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Us Brits have been one of the world’s largest tea consumers since the eighteenth century – and our obsession has yet to dwindle. This quintessentially British pastime deserves a show-stopping presentation to match the regality of the tradition, and where better to start than with a good tea set? These are the best British tea sets on the market right now…

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The Best British Tea Sets

The origins of tea can be traced back to South East Asia (specifically in ancient China), where it flourished for centuries. It was only in the 1700s, when Britain was developing more refined trading routes, that the art of tea-drinking made it’s way to us – and even then, it was hoarded by the European upper classes.

To match the demand for tea, ceramics manufacturers began to turn their hand to teaware. Notable names in the industry, like Burleigh, Royal Worcester and Wedgwood, catered to society’s elite with beautifully designed cups, saucers, teapots, milk jugs and sugar pots. The British tea set was born.

Since then, tea-drinking has become something of a national sport. We’ve developed a taste for different blends, brands and afternoon teas, and we’re well up for cracking out the fancy china to up the sophistication of our next get-together.

Speaking on the rise in popularity of teaware Burleigh’s Design and Development Manager, Alison Howell, commented: ‘There will be no more “saving it for best”… This desire to make every moment count and appreciate the joy of the little nuances in life will lead us to fill our homes with only the pieces we truly love – pieces which combine functionality and beauty. This means buying less, and more thoughtfully; buying to last. This also means becoming curators of our own object collections – we’re going to be less willing to compromise on a detail to have a “matching set”.’

Want to start your collection? Check out our picks below…

18 Teaware Pieces to Shop Now

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A dresser withyellow stripy mugs and plates by Cornishware

Cornish Yellow 16 Piece Dinner Set with Mugs, £201.60, Cornishware, cornishware.co.uk

Emma Bridgewater Dresser

An assortment of Emma Bridgewater crockery, emmabridgewater.com

Blue Asiatic Pheasants Teacup, Saucer and Teapot

Burleigh Blue Asiatic Pheasants Teacup, Saucer and Teapot, £121, burleigh.co.uk

Nina Campbell Marguerite Tea for Two Set

Nina Campbell Marguerite Tea for Two Set, £435, halcyondays.co.uk

Royal Albert 100 years 5-piece cup and saucer set (1900-1940)

Royal Albert 100 years 5-piece cup and saucer set (1900-1940), £210, selfridges.com

Royal Collection Trust Coronation Teapot

Royal Collection Trust Coronation Teapot, £125, harrods.com

Cath Kidston Cherished Tea Cup & Saucer

Cath Kidston Cherished Tea Cup & Saucer, £38, cathkidston.com

Burleigh Blue Asiatic Pheasants Sugar Bowl

Burleigh Blue Asiatic Pheasants Sugar Bowl 9.5cm/4″, £26, burleigh.co.uk

Sara Miller London Portmeirion Chelsea Tea Spoons Set of 4

Royal Worcester x Sara Miller London Portmeirion Chelsea Tea Spoons Set of Four, £23, royalworcester.co.uk

Fortnum's Cloverleaf Tea for Two Set

Fortnum’s Cloverleaf Tea for Two Set, £950, fortnumandmason.com

Luna & Curious Blaggard Teapot

Luna & Curious Blaggard Teapot, £100, lunaandcurious.com

Tea Garden Lemon and Ginger 3 Piece Set

Wedgwood Tea Garden Lemon and Ginger Three Piece Set, £85, wedgwood.com

Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot 4 Mug Teapot Boxed Set

Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot 4 Mug Teapot Boxed Set, £65, emmabridgewater.co.uk

Harrods Imperial Russian Coffee Cup and Saucer (Set of 6)

Harrods Imperial Russian Coffee Cup and Saucer (Set of 6), £295, harrods.com

Wonderlust Golden Parrot Teacup & Saucer

Paul Smith x Wedgwood Wonderlust Golden Parrot Teacup & Saucer, £59, wedgwood.com

Fortnum & Mason Herend Fish Scale Creamer, Eau de Nil

Fortnum & Mason Herend Fish Scale Creamer, Eau de Nil, £140, fortnumandmason.com

Halcyon Days Shell Garden Floral Thistle Tea for One

Halcyon Days Shell Garden Floral Thistle Tea for One, £150, halcyondays.co.uk

Royal Albert Rose Confetti three-piece tea set

Royal Albert Rose Confetti three-piece tea set, £180, selfridges.com

Whittard English Breakfast Tea Cup and Saucer

Whittard English Breakfast Tea Cup and Saucer, £16, whittard.co.uk

O.W.London Loop Teapot

O.W. London Loop Blush andWhite Teapot (with Gold Trim), £94, ow-london.com

Featured image: Cornishware

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