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Rhian Beynon's Tropical Afternoon Tea Caddy

Rhian Beynon's Tropical Afternoon Tea Caddy is part of our Limited Edition Designer Caddy range. Rhian created the design for our 2014 Design a Tea Caddy competition and the creation came to life this year. You can buy Rhian's caddy online here or in selected Whittard of Chelsea stores. 

We met with Rhian last week and asked her to answer a few questions about her beautiful design. We also indulged in a Tea Tasting Experience at our Regent Street St James store, where the winners tasted a variety of teas accompanied by the perfect sweet treat. 

Hi Rhian, can you tell us a little more about your background in art and design?
With creative family members I have always enjoyed all forms of art from a young age. I studied art A-level and continued my interest by studying an Art and Design foundation course at Gower College Swansea where I achieved a distinction, during this I developed a love for print design. I am currently studying a BA (Hons) for Textiles for Fashion and Interiors, at Bath Spa University. I am thoroughly enjoying my degree as a second year student and I aspire to achieve a career in textile design.

What were the key influences behind the colours and design of your tea caddy?
I chose the theme ‘the exotic provenance of tea’ to create my floral design. Focussing on the word ‘exotic’ I used a bright, refreshing and contemporary colour palette to illustrate the origin of tea from China and the Far East. Having been inspired by exotic plants for this design, I am constantly inspired by the natural beauty of the Gower Peninsular.

Which media did you use to create the design?
I created my flat colour design from observational drawings of flowers and plants of spring season, and also exotic plants from the Swansea Botanical gardens. I used acrylic paint to create my design and mirror repeated it using Photoshop. By doing this I created a design to fit the dimensions for a tea caddy. One of my projects in my first year of University was a colour project where I found a love for vibrant, tropical colours. I was inspired by trend magazines such as ‘View’ magazine, as sources of inspiration for my contemporary colour palette.

The winners of our Design a Caddy competition all received complimentary vouchers for Whittard of Chelsea - what did you spend your winnings on?
I spent my Whittard vouchers on the Alice in Wonderland collection as I adore the original illustrations by John Tenniel. I also love the story of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, which has always been a childhood favourite. 

How did you find seeing your caddy in the flesh, meeting the Whittard of Chelsea team and the Tea Experience day?
Thank you, it was such a great opportunity, it was also such a lovely experience to try all the teas!

Seeing the tea caddy in the flesh was really great as I am studying a textiles surface pattern course, and to then see one of my own prints manufactured and available to purchase was amazing. I thought the other tea caddies looked great too, they worked well together and all had an oriental feel.

It was a lovely experience to try all the different teas. I wouldn't have bought some of the teas before, but would definitely buy them now. I think the idea of the tea bar at Regent Street St James is really good as people can try a variety of different teas and then be able to purchase what they have tried. My favourite Whittard product has to be the relaxing, aromatic Jasmine green tea!

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