Category Archives: Grapevine

Cozy Shopping

Can’t make it to England for spring break?

If you’re in north Texas, do the next best thing: pay a visit to The British Emporium in Grapevine.

It’s owned by 2 English ladies,Sheela Kadam and Alexandra Evans.

This is Sheela and her son.

There are lots of British products, so it’s easy to miss something; if you don’t find what you’re looking for – just ask – they’re always friendly and helpful.

A Large selection of tea, bags, loose, black, or green:

Biscuits:

There’s quite a variety of U.K. foods, including frozen items.

Almost 20 years ago when I helped plan a cream tea for the ladies at our church, I bought clotted cream there. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen it on the shelf of any other grocery store on this side of the pond.

This is a fun place and a unique one. The other British shops I’ve seen weren’t nearly so nice or as comprehensive in their stock.

Loads and loads of gift items: everything from china tea pots, cups and saucers to English newspapers, British comedies on DVD, music CDs, greeting cards, playing cards (perhaps 15 different kinds), electric kettles and books.


Ahhh, the books.

As you can see it’s not a huge selection, but that’s okay because it’s a good one. And it’s not static. There are different ones each time I visit and sometimes it’s really difficult to choose just one. Or two.

At Christmas you might find unique board games, such as Beatles Monopoly.

Last year I took some nice photographs before Easter but lost them when our hard drive crashed, but I think they’ll be decorating again for it soon.

During the various English celebrations (such as the royal wedding) the shop invites patrons to join them for planned events.


Even Indian food specialities have their own shelf.

And that shelf above Sheela’s head? Containers of loose tea and hard candy. If you prefer something more personal than pre-packaged tea or candy, you can do it the old-fashioned way and have your selection weighed out and bagged for you.

Not going to be in the area? Then you can shop from their online store, here.

Some of my photos are a bit blurry, but you can go here for their tour of the store.

Then for a relaxing lunch after shopping, I recommend that you go 1 block south, then 1 block west to Beatitudes Tea Room.

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Filed under Books, England, Food, Grapevine, Local Shopping, Shopping, Texas, Texas

Beatitudes Tea Room

When we’re out, my husband is quick to notice any Chinese, Thai, Indian or Barbeque restaurant.

Not really my cup of tea.

In fact, the businesses that catch my attention are antique malls, thrift stores, bookshops and tea rooms.

So, I was delighted when I spotted a new one: Beatitudes, one block off Main in downtown Grapevine, Texas.


A few days later I was reading the November/December issue of Tea in Texas, a free magazine available in many tea rooms across the state, and saw this article about Beatitudes.

So the next time my friend, Mo, and I were out at lunch time, we decided to give it a try.


We chose the Victorian dining room because I was very tired that day and the chairs seemed a bit more comfortable.

Next time – and I do plan on several next times there – I’d like to have lunch in the Country dining room. Very cottagey. (Spell check is going crazy with that word, but it gets the point across.)

As you can see, the decor is lovely, the atmosphere is serene.

The food was quite good. Complimentary appetizers were small scones and flavored butter.

I ordered the veggie sandwich and it wasn’t at all what I expected, but it was absolutely delicious.

For dessert, I had coconut cream pie, which was warm and it was some of the best I’ve ever had.

The shop offers a variety of Faith based gifts and vintage china.

So, if you find yourself in Grapevine near lunchtime (or breakfast), please give this Christ-centered business a try.

Here is their website.

Go here for the menu.

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Filed under Antiques/Vintage, Faith, Food, Grapevine, Internet links, Local Shopping, Tea, Texas, Texas

Grapevine Farmer’s Market

Last Friday morning I stopped by the Grapevine Farmer’s Market and loaded up on fresh produce. Jack & Racquel Morehead were quite nice and their son cheerfully carried everything to the car for me.

Why buy fruits and vegetables at a farmer’s market (in Oklahoma we call them fruit stands)? Why not? I was going to buy it at the grocery store anyway, and there was something really nice about walking around looking at the vendors’ tables and talking with them.

Good old free enterprise and small business – the backbone of the American economy.

Grapevine Farmer’s Market is open Thursday – Saturday, 8:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m. and they take credit and debit cards.


I took home one of these beauties.

Another vendor was a nice family selling beef. Their ranch is near Decatur. I didn’t buy any then because I wasn’t going to go home for several more hours and didn’t have an ice chest with me, but I plan to get some later.

Steve & Susan Beggs sell lean, grass-fed beef. Go here for their website. She told me that the produce market in Decatur (the one in the little stone building just north of Braum’s) also carries their beef.

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Filed under Food, Grapevine, Local Shopping, Texas, Texas

Reading Material

As a quick look around our home will tell you, I love to read. Books, magazines, old letters, vintage catalogs (!), clipped articles, and yes, even cereal boxes. When I go to the antique mall or a garage sale, rarely do I buy anything that isn’t printed. Occasionally a pretty dish or a doll. Maybe a vintage article of clothing or old sewing supplies.


More often, my treasure sack contains various types of ephemera: old sewing patterns, a pattern catalog from the 1950s, a 16 Magazine from 1965, Needlecraft Magazine from 1932, a very well-worn elementary reader from the 1930s, a slim WWII volume: This is the Navy, a 1960 Montgomery Ward catalog, the little booklet/catalog that came with Barbie dolls in 1962, an old drama script, a handmade wedding album from the Depression, old high school and college yearbooks, cookbooks, paper dolls (!), school room ephemera (the seasonal cardboard cut-outs that teachers used to decorate their door with). Let’s pause and take a breath. (And yes, I know I ended that sentence with a preposition. It just didn’t sound right when I used “with which”.)

I just love the printed word.

However, not all printed words.

A few weeks ago Joe and I went to the Grapevine Public Library to see what offerings were in the Friends of the Library nook. These are items which have been donated to them, which they can’t keep and they will let you take them home for a donation to their funds.

One of the employees was re-stocking the shelves and I asked her if they had any donations which were too tattered to put out and that would go straight to the paper recycler. I explained that I like to do paper crafts and find it very difficult to tear up a book to use for projects (and I can never alter one that I liked). I explained the caveat that the books cannot be prurient, even for crafting. Can you just imagine a collaged piece from a Harold Robbins book?! Yikes!

(As a Fawlty Towers fan, I first typed Harold Robinson, then caught myself and corrected it. I think the Waldorf Salad episode was my favorite one.)

Anyway, she said that they had just received a large donation (I’m guessing several hundred books), most of which wouldn’t sell and that I could go into the office and look at them and see if there was anything I liked.


She showed me the Jalna series of books by Mazo de la Roche. The Jalna books were a popular series, the first of which was written in 1927. The lady told me that they would not sell.


Also there was the World War II collection by Winston Churchill, missing one volume.

On and on it went. I ended up with 41 books in my stack, knowing that only a few would end up as craft material. One slightly unpleasant aspect of all of it was the pricing. These were books without a price tag. Buyers are expected to come up with what they think is reasonable and fair. My general rule of thumb is a garage sale price. Magazines are a dime, children’s books and paperbacks a quarter and hardbacks .50 unless in very bad condition. But she wasn’t happy with my offer of $20.00.

Now, before you hit that comment link about how greedy I was, take a deep breath and remember that she considered all of these books unsaleable. They would get nothing for them when sent to the pulp mill. My choices were 39 hardbacks and 2 paperbacks (39 x .50 = $19.50 + .25 +.25 +$20.00). So, I offered her $25.00 and she accepted.

My plans are to read the Jalna series this summer, then perhaps start on the Churchill books this fall (they are huge – over 700 pages each; the usual goal of 1 book per week will collapse with those).

Many of the others are simply old novels. Maybe I’ll read them and then be willing to tear out the pages. But maybe not.


Three of them were old looking and when I read the titles I thought, “Surely I won’t mind tearing these up.”

Then we got them home and I really looked at them (I didn’t spend the time to look them over carefully while at the library).

One of belongs in a genealogy department because it’s an 1886 list of Illinois Civil War veterans, which includes their dates of service and promotions. Scratch this one from the scrap heap.


The next one is an 1898 volume called “The Lives of the Saints”. Even though we aren’t Catholic, a saint is a saint and my husband is particularly interested in St. Theresa of Avila, who is chapter one. Scratch this one from the scrap heap.


The last really old looking one was called the Illinois Blue Book, 1933-34. It was a state government book published in 1933. Alright! Here was one that I could use! A lot of cool looking photos of state officials and lists of government projects … and then right in the center is this gorgeous section of photos and drawings of the “Century of Progress Exposition 1833 – 1933, Held at Chicago, May 27 to Nov. 12, 1933”.

Argggghhhh!

And ebay? Ebay?? Someone save me from ebay. (However, I just got the bid on the most fantastic bundle of 1965 and 1967 Seventeen magazines. I’ll share the photos with you later.)

*Updated May 26, 2013

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Filed under 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960's, Altered Books, America, Books, Chicago, Cookbooks, Crafts, Crafts - Paper, Ephemera, Faith, Family, Fashion, Fiction, Grapevine, History, Humor, Internet links, Local Shopping, Sewing, Shopping, Texas, Vintage catalogs, Vintage Magazines, Winston Churchill, World War II