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

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Time for a Gues Post ......Kavanagh’s Tea Room, Oakham

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends, we hope you're having a lovely day.

Today we have another lovely guest post from Victoria, who has enjoyed an afternoon tea adventure at the newly opened Kavanagh's Tea Room in Oakham. The tea room only opened in May and we love to hear about new places to enjoy a spot of tea and cake. Let's see what Victoria thought.....

Kavanagh’s Tea Room has opened within Oakham in Rutland (England’s smallest county!) over the last month. Having popped in for a coffee during its first couple of weeks of opening, I felt that it was my duty to book their Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea for a Fathers’ Day treat for my father. Just for research purposes, you understand!

We were welcomed warmly by the owners, Clare and Martyn. It was Martyn who explained the menu to us and there is a separate tea menu of loose leaf tea. We all ordered English Breakfast tea, which was beautifully smoky and perfect to accompany our food. The staff also brought us bottles of chilled water as it was such a hot day.

Each one of us decided to try the full selection and it arrived on a tiered stand. No finger sandwiches, but beautiful bread. Clare did tell me later that she is a coeliac so everything available on the menu is also available in a gluten free form, without any prior knowledge. The fillings on the sandwiches were plentiful, the pulled pork was divine but my favourite was the goats cheese with roasted vegetables and pesto. 

The scones are freshly baked each day and are all gluten free. Strawberry jam and clotted cream was served in accompaniment. I’m afraid that the sweet treats on the top nearly defeated us, but oh my word, the brownie was divine.

Definitely a place to return to time and time again! A quirky treat was a tiny Polaroid picture that Martyn took of us all enjoying our tea.

That all looks and sounds tea-riffic! Those scones look amazing!

A huge thank you to Victoria for sharing her afternoon tea adventure with us. If you've been somewhere new (or an old favourite) we'd love to hear all about it - drop us a line!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Monday, 19 June 2017

Time for....some cold brew tea from Ahmad Tea

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends!

Phew! If you're in the UK at the moment you're probably feeling the heat! Not that I'm going to complain....the sunshine is much better than our usual UK weather! But we do need something to help us cool down in this heat.....and so I was so pleased with my recent post from Ahmad Teas which included a selection of cold brew teas.

Cold Brew Tea - Ahmad Tea

Each of the teas are brewed using just a teabag and cold water and are ready in approximately 5 minutes. There are three different varieties to try - English tea, peach & passion fruit and lemon & lime.

So far I have tried the two fruity options...

Cold Brew Tea - Ahmad Tea

The peach & passion fruit did indeed brew in about five minutes giving the tea a lovely rich colour. The flavour is peachy, but I would try and brew it a bit longer next time to intensify the flavour.

Cold Brew Tea - Ahmad Tea

The lemon & lime tea brewed in under five minutes and the flavour was very refreshing. The instructions suggest you might like to sweeten the tea, but I found the flavour of this one to be great on it's own. This is definitely my favourite of the two fruit teas.

The best thing about these teas are how quick and convenient they are to make - no need for boiling water or any fancy contraptions. Just make with cold water in your favourite glass and add ice!

Ahmad Tea sells these in boxes of 20 teabags for £2.20, for more information pop by the Ahmad Tea website.

I'd like to thank Ahmad Tea for sending me their cold brew teas to try - such perfect timing!

Thank you for popping by today,

Sunday, 18 June 2017

When You Wish Upon A Brunch - Disney Brunch Special

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - we hope you're well today.

So, we have something a little different for you today.....there's no tea or cake (shock horror I know) but there is lots of fun, some Disney singing and lots of bubbles! Recently we took our lovely friend Becca for a Birthday treat - a Disney inspired brunch hosted by the team at Impossible Things Entertainment.

Now this is a brunch for big kids and anyone who loves Disney, or anyone who wants to experience something really different .....it's a brunch full of your favourite Disney songs, quizzes, dressing up!

The event was held at The Birds in Leytonstone, it was the first time they had held the event at this particular venue. When we first arrived we were seated on a long table, our breakfast order was taken and bubbles were poured. We were supposed to be joined by four other guests....but they didn't show up! But unfazed by the smaller than usual group, the team made us feel really welcome and thus began the most amazing couple of hours of fun!

The food was good (we all opted for a full English), the bubbles flowed throughout brunch and the team from Impossible Things Entertainment were friendly and super talented. We were really lucky to experience this brunch with no other guests.....but we're definitely going back to get the full experience!

The three of us spent three hours taking part in Disney quizzes, hunting for Nemo in the pub, enjoying a colouring competition and singing to Disney songs. The Impossible Things Entertainment team put on a great show for us - their singing is fantastic, they had us up on our feet dancing!

If you love Disney, this is definitely the brunch for you. If you're looking for a fun Saturday out.....then this is definitely the brunch for you! To find out more about the When You Wish Upon A Brunch and where it's taking place next pop by the Design My Night website.

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel and Lorna

Monday, 12 June 2017

Afternoon Tea News - High Chai Afternoon Tea

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - we hope you're feeling tea-riffic today!

Wow - it's been a while since we last posted anything - sorry! Never fear though.....we've been busy sampling tea and cakes and have lots more blog posts up our sleeves!

Today we wanted to share some afternoon tea news with you, highlighting a special event that is taking place this coming weekend at Chit Chaat Chai, an Indian street-eats restaurant in Wandsworth, London. As part of London Evening Standard’s Food Month, Chit Chaat Chai are hosting a High Chai: Afternoon Tea with an Indian Street-Food Twist - how exciting!

Taking place on 17th and 18th June, the High Chai menu brings you the best of Indian street eats. The High Chai includes signature favourites alongside new surprises, such as the Bombay bhel, the iconic beach treat of puffed rice, potatoes, onions and chickpeas married in house-made chaatneys; samosa chaat, a party of tangy tamarind, crunchy samosa and crispy sev; sloppy keema joes served with soft, buttery brioche buns; tandoor-fired spiced chicken bites wrapped in delicious flatbread; and vada pau burgers, spiced potato patties, loaded up with house made chaatneys, to name a few.

Finish off the meal with coconut samosas drizzled in Himalayan salted chocolate, and chai-spiced chocolate brownies served alongside a revitalising vanilla pod ice cream.

Plus you can opt to wash down your feast with bottomless Indian Masala Chai or bottomless Badmaash Bellinis! How good does that all sound?

This is a special event, taking place only on Saturday 17th June and Sunday 18th June between 1-5pm. High Chai is £25 per person and includes bottomless masala chai. If you’d like to indulge in Bottomless Mango Bellinis as well, enjoy the High Chai at £35 per person. Advanced booking on hello@chitchaatchai.com is required. For more information pop by the Chit Chaat Chai website.

If you take part in this afternoon tea event with a difference we'd love to hear all about your adventure! Send us your photos on Twitter!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Time for.....a Blooming Great Tea Party!

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends, we hope you're feeling tea-riffic today.

Today is a special post as we are talking about Marie Curie's Blooming Great Tea Party campaign which takes place in June in order to raise awareness and funds for the amazing work that Marie Curie nurses do. Marie Curie holds a special place in our hearts, as Lorna and I have experienced first hand the care and support that their nurses provide to families.

We cannot thank enough the nurses who helped us when our Dad passed away six years ago. The care they provided overnight to our Dad meant we could rest a little easier at night time, but they also supported each of us too, being a shoulder to cry on and just making sure we were ok. They really helped us in a particularly dark time.

Marie Curie needs funds to keep providing this service though, and that's why the Blooming Great Tea Party campaign is really important. All you need to do is hold a tea party - however big or small - and collect donations while enjoying a spot of tea and cake with friends, family, colleagues, neighbours....or anyone who loves cake! It doesn't matter how much you raise, all donations are important....

20 pays for…an hour of nursing care for a person living with a terminal illness in their own home

£180 pays for…a Marie Curie Nurse to look after someone with a terminal illness for a full nine-hour shift through the night.

Lorna and I have enjoyed holding Blooming Great Tea Parties with our friends and family - our favourite was a vintage themed party. We had lots of fun, ate cake and raised money - what a great afternoon!

So why not get your friends together between 23rd - 25th June and throw a Blooming Great Tea Party. All the information you need, including how to get a fund raising pack can be found on the Marie Curie website.... if you fancy baking some scrummy goodies read on for some of our favourite recipes.

Lorna's Scrumptious Scones
225g self-raising flour, plus a little extra for dusting
pinch of salt
75g butter, cold (using cold butter helps the fluffiness of your scones)
40g caster sugar
150ml milk
1 egg, beaten
  • Preheat the oven to 220C and lightly grease a baking sheet
  • Mix together the flour, salt and butter - rubbing the butter into the mixture until you have "breadcrumbs"
  • Add the sugar and milk to the mixture and bring together into a dough
  • Roll the dough into a circle at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick
  • Carefully cut the scones out using a cutter - press about three-quarters of the way through your dough and then tear the rest. It sounds a bit weird, but if you press the cutters all the way down, you seal the sides of your scones….and this hampers the rising! Also try not to twist your cutter!
  • Place the scones on the baking tray, brush them lightly with the beaten egg
    Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until they are well risen and golden brown
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool
  • Enjoy with lashings of clotted cream and jam

Top tip alert -
Handle the dough as little as possible. You don’t want gluten to develop in your dough and remember.....you want the butter to stay cold before baking – so stop touching the dough!

Rachel's Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake - be warned this makes quite a big cake, perfect for sharing!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer
128g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
113g butter, room temperature
50g caster sugar
110g brown sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
100g mini chocolate chips

Cake Layer
4 eggs
226g butter, room temperature
226g flour
226g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
200g mini chocolate chips

Lots of chocolate butter cream - make with butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder

To make the cookie layer:
  • Line an 8" or 9" cake tin with parchment paper
  • Preheat the oven to 170c
  • Cream the butter with both sugars
  • Add the egg and mix
  • Add the flour, baking powder and salt
  • Add the chocolate chips and mix until everything is combined
  • Spread the dough into the cake tin. The dough should be approx 1/2" thick
  • Bake for approx. 15 mins.
  • Cool completely in the tin
  • Set aside at room temperature until ready to assemble the cake
To make the cake layer:
  • Line an 8" or 9" cake tin with parchment paper
  • Preheat the oven to 170c
  • Cream the butter with both sugars
  • Beat the eggs into the mixture
  • Carefully add the flour, baking soda and salt
  • Add the chocolate chips and mix until combined
  • Put into cake tin and bake in the oven for about 45mins
  • Allow to cool completely before assembly
  • Once cooled, cut the cake in half horizontally
  • On your serving plate place the cookie layer at the bottom and top with a layer of chocolate buttercream
  • Next place a cake layer on top of the buttercream and add another layer of buttercream
  • Add your top layer of cake
  • Now cover the whole cake in buttercream, top and sides - this is the messy bit!
  • You can then decorate the top - I used chocolate sprinkles and edible gold sprinkles
  • Serve with a cup of tea and enjoy

We hope you've enjoyed our recipes and they inspire you to get baking. If you'd like to find out more about the Marie Curie Blooming Great Tea Party campaign pop by their website. If you hold a tea party this June we would love to see your photos!

Finally we'd like to thank all the wonderful Marie Curie nurses out there - you do such an amazing job and provide comfort to so many people.

In memory of Dad

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna