Introduction:

Victorian Trading Company As the founder of Victorian Trading Co., a time-honored catalogue/web company premised upon enduring classics. I am devoted to pursuing a charming lifestyle with an antique aesthetic and literary influences. For over three decades, we have catered to home decor and fashion markets, offering exquisitely beautiful goods replicated with discerning care to authenticity and crafted to transcend generations.

Preserving the richness of the most romantic eras, we capture antiquity in our exclusive gifts, clothing, and home décor.

This blog offers a glimpse into the heart of our enterprise—the current that moves and shapes us. It is a diary of our favourite historical tidbits and inspirations—a series of portraits, short stories, and musings. Victorian Trading Company  Furthermore, we delight in getting to know our fellow romantics, so please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and questions! We bid you a warm welcome and expectation that you will make yourself at home on our blog and website.

Victorian Trading Company How To Host A Victorian Picnic

victorian trading company

Ahhhh, summer, that exuberant succession of fair-weather months strung together with long days and balmy nights. The gardens are a riot of color, dappled in sunlight and abuzz with bees. The whole world is alive and abloom and bursting with potential—inspiring travel, adventure, socializing. What summer pastime better mingles such pleasures than a good, old-fashioned picnic?

A Brief History:

An inherently ritualistic people, the Victorian Trading Company revelled in seasonally-inspired customs and traditions. The picnic was one such beloved Victorian tradition, but contrary to what Jane Austen may suggest, picnics were often far from simple. The working classes—bound to cramped urban living—resorted to informal potluck picnics in city parks. But for the leisure classes, hosting a picnic was an elaborate affair requiring a great deal of planning, organization, and effort, thus earning the nickname “a moveable feast.”

A Definition:

Victorian Trading Company  In an attempt to understand the role of the picnic in Victorian popular culture, let us first examine its definition within the context of the 19th century. The Oxford English Dictionary originally defined the word “picnic” as “a pleasure party including an excursion to some spot in the country where all partake of a repast out of doors.” And so we see, a picnic was far more than a mere meal enjoyed outdoors, but an expedition of sorts. Andrew Hubbell, author of How Wordsworth Invented Picnicking and Saved British Culture, takes this notion a step further, suggesting that for British Victorians, picnicking was an ideological pursuit that reinforced important social and nationalistic bonds:

To picnic is to consume not only particular food but also a specific environment chosen according to an aesthetic standard and a particular form of sharing food according to certain standards of behavior. It means creating a moveable feast and overcoming difficulties and inconveniences; the reward is primarily ideological: it enables the participant to share a form of eating that makes relationships between small groups of people, natural landmarks, and cultural ideals. These relationships form a consciousness of national identity. Picnicking, especially for early nineteenth-century picnickers, was thus a way of performing Britishness.

How to Host A Victorian Picnic:

While al fresco dining was certainly more relaxed than a formal meal à table, it was still strictly governed by rules of social etiquette. Victorian Trading Company household management manuals and etiquette guides of the day offered detailed instructions about what to wear, what to serve, which activities to plan, how to scout a perfect location, and how to set up and break down a site properly.

Midsummer Celebrations

The summer solstice, also known as “Midsummer,” has been celebrated throughout the ages as the longest day and shortest night of the year. Solstice festivities date back to the Stone Age and encompass various cultural and religious rites centered around notions of harmony, femininity, and fertility.

According to ancient pagan folklore, the summer solstice is the most magically charge day of the year, a time when supernatural powers for both good and evil are at their most potent! Ronald Hutton, Professor of History at the University of Bristol, Midsummer was seen as “a time when the normal laws of nature or divinity could be suspended, when spirits and fairies could contact humans when humans could exceed the usual limitations of their world.” Shakespeare toyed with this notion in his famous comedic play Midsummer Night’s Dreamwhich chronicles a summer solstice eve gone awry, set against the backdrop of an enchanted forest rife with fairy magic romantic misadventures.

Victorian Trading Company In ancient European pagan cultures, bonfires accompanies by singing and dancing were held on Midsummer’s night to ward off evil spirits, lend luck in love, and fuel the sun’s energy in hopes of a bountiful harvest. In ancient Greece, the summer solstice marked the birth of a new calendar year. Ancient Romans celebrated the occasion with a religious festival in honour of Vesta, goddess of hearth & home. Vikings traditionally convened on this day to make important decisions and resolve conflicts.

The Earth Laughs In Flowers.

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Sage words from the great Ralph Waldo Emerson, and these days with dark and dismal headlines weighing upon our spirits, we could all benefit from more joy in our lives. Simple pleasures of watching bees hover over plump blooms or the sound of nothing. But carefree summer breezes rustling through the treetops. These are the innate pleasures we need most right now, and an escape to nature is the balm for the soul.

On a bright June morning, after a ferocious thunderstorm the night before, the air was fresh and intoxicating with promise.  It was a Monday, and the world was at work, but a few of us gave in to a whim and road tripped 45 minutes south with a delightful destination in our scope.  Today was the day we took a field trip to the Blue Lotus Flower Farm.

The beauty of a flower farm is that it is ever-changing.  The peonies and iris had been celebrat. Now the larkspur, Verbascum and foxglove had taken the stage. Nature’s wonder would continue when more sunlight and heat coax the tiny zinnia buds and cosmos out of their infancy.  My sister discovered this piece of Kansas farmland years ago and created. Victorian Trading Company  A haven with a clear vision of what she wanted it to be. Every year it evolves and grows, and she does as well.  Reaping the glories of the successes and learning from the failures, she plants her seeds and hopes they will thrive. Nature is a teacher of patience and humility, but her rewards are bountiful and soul-satisfying.

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