Welcome to our blog....here we will share all our afternoon tea adventures with you...the good, the bad and the wonderful!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Afternoon Tea News....‘Blooming delicious’ afternoon tea

Hello there,

Welcome back to another Afternoon Tea News article from Tea With Me and Friends....this time we have another beautifully floral tea to share with you.

Between the 12th May - 22nd June 2015 guests visiting the Chinoiserie lounge at Jumeirah Carlton Tower can enjoy this beau-tea-ful afternoon tea...

Afternoon tea - Jumeirah Carlton Tower

This beautiful feast is the creation of executive chef, Simon Young which includes a rosewater and raspberry flower tart, a mini plant pot filled with chocolate mousse, or orange blossom and golden raisin scones.  There is also a coconut and pineapple delice and an elderflower and chocolate window box. 

The savouries include brioche filled buns with roast peppered beef and watercress, saffron bread with Laverstoke Park mozzarella and Sussex goat’s cheese and lemon thyme muffin with Loch Fyne smoked salmon.

Afternoon tea - Jumeirah Carlton Tower

For more information about this afternoon tea please visit the Jumeirah Carlton Tower website. 

If you enjoy this limited edition tea we'd love to hear all about it - don't forget to take a photo for us!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Time for Tea...Gladstone's Library

Hello there,

Welcome back to another afternoon tea post from Tea With Me and Friends....today I would like to share with you a rather special afternoon tea adventure that I enjoyed recently with Alex.

Alex's sister Louisa works at Gladstone's Library in Hawarden, North Wales and she invited us to attend a rather tea-riffic "Museum at Night" event, which was held at the library and celebrated Alice in Wonderland.

An afternoon tea adventure at Gladstone's Library

Gladstone's Library is a residential library which pays tribute to William Gladstone. It was founded by Gladstone himself and, following his death in 1898 became the national memorial to his life and work. It is a beautiful Grade 1 listed building and we were really privileged to be able to enjoy afternoon tea in one of the reading rooms.

Gladstone's Library

The room was full of vintage china and scrummy treats for everyone to enjoy....as you can imagine there were plenty of teapots to keep us in tea...

Lots of teapots! 

As this afternoon tea event was part of "Museums at Night" ,that have been taking place between 13th-16th May, this afternoon tea adventure was enjoyed at night time. 

Once everyone had arrived, we took our seats and the tea stands were served....

Afternoon tea
Gladstone's Library

The library also has it's own bistro called Food for Thought, which serves lunch to non-residents every day, and everything we enjoyed at this event was made on site by Chef Alan. 

We began with the freshly made cucumber sandwiches on the bottom tier....

Afternoon tea sandwiches - Gladstone's Library

There was just one variety of sandwich on offer, but the bread was soft and the sandwiches very fresh (not at all soggy). The sandwiches were buttered and filled with thinly sliced cucumber. There wasn't a crust in sight and the fingers were a good size - not too big and not too small. 

A very tasty start to our afternoon tea adventure!

Next we moved onto the freshly made scones....

Afternoon tea scones - Gladstone's Library

These were served with whipped cream and strawberry jam. They came pre-sliced, which was a bit unusual, but to be honest they were so fresh this made no difference. 

The scones were a good size and texture - very enjoyable!

Scones dressed the
Tea With Me and Friends way!

At the top of the cake stand were the most amazing biscuits...something quite unusual on a traditional afternoon tea menu, but they made a very enjoyable addition....

Afternoon tea biscuits - Gladstone's Library

They were big, chewy and had large chocolate chips in them .....I don't I need to say anything else about them....they were scrummy!

As well as the food on the stands there were also various large cakes dotted around the room which we could help ourselves to. I didn't manage to take any photos of the whole cakes (I was a little distracted by the rest of the scrummy food) but I did remember to take a snap of the slice I enjoyed....

Afternoon tea cake
Gladstone's Library

Now, this cake reminded me of one of my favourite Mr Kipling cakes when I was younger....the "Manor House Cake" (yes I was a weird child)...only it was much better! 

It was a scrummy golden sponge, filled with raisins and walnuts. It was everything a cake should be!

All in all this was a wonderful afternoon tea, the food was good quality and very fresh. Particular attention had also been paid to the smaller details, including the theme, which all added to the experience. I know everyone at the library worked really hard to put this event on and their efforts didn't go unnoticed.

Alice in Wonderland inspired
afternoon tea - Gladstone's Library

Once we had enjoyed our tea, the lights were dimmed and we enjoyed a series of readings from Alice in Wonderland. Each reading was unique and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening.

Gladstone's Library

Now, this was a special event - part of the event calendar at Gladstone's Library, but no fear as you can enjoy afternoon tea at the library Monday - Friday between 3pm-4pm. Afternoon tea costs £7.95 per person and includes a cup of tea or coffee, sandwiches with a choice of fillings, a fruit scone with cream and jam and a piece of sponge cake. Booking is essential, please visit the Gladstone's Library website for more information.

We were really privileged to enjoy afternoon tea in this beautiful building, I'd like to thank Louisa for telling us about this experience. 

So, over to you - have you enjoyed an afternoon tea adventure in an unusual location? We'd love to hear all about it, drop us a line!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel

Friday, 22 May 2015

The Friday Review....Bluebird Tea

Hello there,

It's Friday again and that means one thing here at Tea With Me and Friends.....yes it's time to share our latest tea tasting. This time we have something rather special to share with you from the lovely people at the Bluebird Tea Co.

The Bluebird Tea Co had been recommended to us by some lovely people Twitter and when I heard their teas had names like Strawberry Lemonade Tea and Honey Bee Beautiful Tea I knew we had to try these teas for ourselves!

Krisi and Mike set up and run the company, and they are clearly passionate about how innovative, fun and versatile tea can be - their motto is ‘spreading happiness, one cupful at a time.’ The Bluebird Tea Co  specialises in developing unique and creative flavours of tea.

We were sent a lovely variety of teas...including some perfect for an afternoon tea blog....take a look at these....

Bluebird Tea Co

Yes, that is Black Forest, Vicky's Sponge Cake and Cherry Bakewell! I couldn't wait to try these three! So I got some of my pretty teacups out and got ready for a cakey tea experience!

I began with the Black Forest tea....

Bluebird Tea Co - Black Forest
Now I have spent quite a bit of time in Germany, visiting the Black Forest a couple of times and yes enjoying real Black Forest gateaux and so I was really keen to try this tea out. So, whats in this blend I hear you say....well it has a black tea base but also features.... Cocoa shells, Hibiscus, Apple pieces, Elderberies, Raspberry pieces,Strawberry pieces, Blackberries, Cranberry pieces (cranberry, sugar, rice flour, vegetable oil (sunflower) Vanilla pieces, Sunflower and calendula petals, Blackberry leaves.

As you open the packet you are immediately hit by the mouth watering aroma of cherries....honestly my mouth watered! I allowed about a teaspoon of this pretty blend to brew for about four minutes and then I enjoyed the tea without milk.....

Bluebird Tea Co - Black Forest

Once brewed I had a lovely reddy-brown coloured tea that smelt of chocolate and cherries - the boiling water really brought out cocoa shells. Each mouthful is full of flavour - it's a sweet, chocolaty, fruity tea...in fact I forgot that it is actually a black tea at heart!

Next I moved onto Vicky's Sponge Cake....

Bluebird Tea Co - Vicky's Sponge Cake

Inspired by a good old fashioned Victoria Sponge cake this blend includes Ceylon black tea, Coconut, Strawberry granules, Freeze dried raspberries, Raspberry leaves. When you first open this packet you can smell the delicate aroma of vanilla and coconut...again my mouth watered!

Again I used a teaspoon of leaves and drank the tea black (I'm not a fan of milky tea)....

Bluebird Tea Co - Vicky's Sponge Cake

I love this tea...there I've said it out loud...this light golden brown brew was sweet and refreshing, with a light coconut aftertaste. 

There was nothing overpowering or artificial about this cuppa and I found it to be a really comforting cup of tea.

Finally it was time for the Cherry Bakewell...

Bluebird Tea Co - Cherry Bakewell

Just look at that pretty blend - the colours are just lovely and the aroma is sweet - full of almonds and cherries!

Now this is slight different to the first two as it's a white tea which has been combined with Apple, Rosehip, Hibiscus, Cornflowers (red + blue), Almond pieces, Currants, Cranberry pieces, Flavour.

I brewed this for slightly less time and ended up with a rather pink cuppa....

Bluebird Tea Co - Cherry Bakewell
Once brewed I could still smell the almonds, but the taste was much more fruity. There was almost a sweet and sour taste to this cuppa, I think this might have been the apples. It definitely reminded me of a lovely cherry bakewell and I would like to try this as a cold brew.

Bluebird Tea Company tea tasting

What a wonderful selection of teas to try! Plus we have three more to share with you in another Friday Review in a couple of weeks time! If you'd like to know more about these teas or discover some of the other 50+ blends that they have created please visit the Bluebird Tea Co website. If you are feeling really inspired and fancy having a go at creating your own mix you could try a mixology class!

A huge thank you to Bluebird Tea Co for sending us these scrummy samples. Please note that although we have received complimentary samples, they have not affected our taste buds and all opinions expressed here are our own.

So, over to you....have you tried any of the Bluebird Teas? Which is your favourite?

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel