Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Sunday, 4 November 2012

'Earl Grey with a Mandarin'

Britta Huegel

Dear YOU, 
yes, admittedly: they were a bit over the top with their crush on chinoiserie, Frederick the Great and his court. But you can't deny there is a big element of surprise when you walk through the wonderful parks of Sanssoucis in Potsdam and suddenly you stand in front of the Chinese Teahouse: 

Britta Huegel


On the roof sits a big Chinese Mandarin with a parasol - both in pure gold! The golden figures of musicians and tea-drinkers in Chinese costumes are as the 18-century artists THOUGHT they might have looked (I was to polite to take pictures of the vast crowd of foreign guests from Asia, who took photos bowing often, I suspect to hide their supressed bouts of laughter...)
Inside you find a beautiful hall with little niches for a cozy tete à tete - or look at the artfully painted walls and ceilings:


And when you come home after a long hearty stroll through the vast old English park, with abundent red and gold colours of its own, and the crispness of the air has tired you out, and you climb into your bed and close your eyes, then, suddenly, you realize the genius of the architects: behind your closed lids you see the uplifting sparkle, the unearthly glitter and shining of this poetical bulwark against grey-bare November-tristesse:

Britta Huegel

They captured summer - the colours of sunshine and light - something to dream of in chilly ice-cold winter's days...

Britta Huegel

6 comments:

  1. Hello Britta:
    This tea house is absolutely delightful. We love the gilding and the 'over the top' decoration, just the thing to transport one to distant lands and exotic blends for the teapot! The building certainly makes an impact in its 'English park' setting, but we rather like this Alice in Wonderland feel to it all. Drink me.....it seems to say....

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  2. Dear Jane and Lance,
    "Is that the reason so many tea-things are put out here?" she asked. "Yes, that's it," said the Hatter with a sigh: "it's always tea-time, and we've no time to wash the things between whiles." "Then you keep moving round, I suppose?" said Alice. "Exactly so," said the Hatter: "as the things get used up." "But what happens when you come to the beginning again?" Alice ventured to ask.
    "Suppose we change the subject", the March Hare interrupted, yawning. "I'm getting tired of this."

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  3. Britta, what a glorious tea house. I don't think I have heard of it before. What an amazing amount of gold! wow.

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    1. Dear Janet,
      it is worth a visit! And the park around it even more - I know that you love trees so much, so it will enchant you. (And those vineyards at Sanssouci - so architectural pleasant)

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  4. What a wonderfully magical, entirely over-the-top place. They captured summer, as you write. I love the very idea of that!

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    1. Dear Sue,
      see: a lot worthwhile to visit us (at the right season). The very first time I saw it I really thought of the Mad Hatters Teaparty - but then suddenly I had the idea what might be intended by it.

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