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

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Time for Tea......Pennyhill Park, Surrey

Hello there,

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

A couple of weekend's ago the lovely Lydia visited Pennyhill Park for a spot of afternoon tea with her friends......and lucky for us she took some photos!

Afternoon tea - Pennyhill Park

Pennyhill Park received a Tea Guild Award of Excellence in 2013 and was awarded "Top City & Country Hotel Tea Awards 2012" by the Tea Guild.

Afternoon tea at Pennyhill Park is served in their Ascot Bar or weather permitting on their pretty terraces in the sunshine. On this occasion Lydia enjoyed tea in the Ascot Bar, where a pianist was also playing.

The Traditional Ascot afternoon tea includes freshly cut sandwiches, freshly baked scones with clotted cream and homemade preserves and a selection of homemade cakes and pastries - all washed down by an extensive choice of tea or coffee.

Afternoon tea - Pennyhill Park

Lydia's favourite part of this afternoon tea adventure was the enticing selection of pastries, which included among other things lemon drizzle cake and macaroons.

Afternoon tea at Pennyhill Park is served throughout the year between Monday - Friday you can enjoy tea between 2pm - 4.30pm and on Saturdays and Sundays the seating times are between 1pm - 5pm. Guests can enjoy a traditional afternoon tea for £33.00 per person, or can indulge in the Royal Ascot afternoon tea which includes a glass of Nyetimber Classic Cuvee, English Sparkling Wine for £41.00 per person. For more information about this afternoon tea please pop by the Pennyhill Park website.

We'd like to thank Lydia for sharing her afternoon tea adventure with us and for sharing those scrummy photos!

If you've enjoyed an afternoon tea adventure recently and took some photos of the experience we'd love to see them - please get in touch!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna 

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Meet the Executive Pastry Chef.....Cherish Finden, The Langham London

Hello there,

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

If you popped by the blog yesterday you'll know we featured the new afternoon tea being served at the Langham London. Today we are meeting the talented creator of this beautiful new afternoon tea feast....executive Pastry Chef Cherish Finden. You might recognise Cherish from the current BBC programme Great British Bake Off - Creme de la Creme where she appears as the firm but fair judge.

Executive Pastry Chef Cherish Finden

Recently Lorna and I had the pleasure of meeting Cherish and I can confirm that as well as being super talented and passionate about afternoon tea....she is also a really lovely person. We're so pleased that Cherish agreed to answer our slightly nosey afternoon tea questions - giving us an insight into the effort required to create such a tea-riffic afternoon tea spread!

Q How long does it usually take you to create new afternoon teas?
About 2- 3months for creating and another 2 months for food tasting and recipe development

Q. Where does your inspiration for new teas come from? 
Mostly I am inspired by the Wedgwood collection and everything I came across interest me for example:
  1. the buttery Bloom – it is inspire by the Gerkin Building and Butterfly symbolise new life and to welcome spring
  2. Hathaway Rose Victoria sponge – to bring in the classic Victorian feel
Afternoon tea - Langham London

Q. So, what is your favourite part of your latest afternoon tea?
Well I always like a new challenge. The most interesting part is to create - how to balance the flavour, texture, taste, appearance and WOW Bang effect!

Q. Do you enjoy a spot of afternoon tea yourself and have you tried tea anywhere else? 
Yes, I love to appreciate Afternoon Tea. Most of the Top 5 star hotel.

Q. What is your favourite filling in an afternoon tea sandwich? 
Classic-cucumber and cream cheese

Q. The all important question - do you put cream or jam on your scone first?
Jam and then cream - the Cornish way

Afternoon tea scones - Langham London

Q. If you could invite any guest to enjoy afternoon tea with you, who would it be and why? 
It will be a honour to invite the Queen.

The Queen has lead such an interesting life and been a tremendous ambassador for Britain. I would love to to an opportunity to share a cup of tea and a slice of humble cake with the Queen.

Executive Pastry Chef Cherish Finden with some of her tea-riffic
afternoon tea creations!

It was a real pleasure to listen to Cherish talk about her new afternoon tea at The Langham, her passion for creating perfectly balanced sweet treats is obvious as she talks. We'd like to thank Cherish for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer our afternoon tea questions.

For more information about the new afternoon tea at Langham London please visit their website.

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Afternoon Tea News - Wedgwood Afternoon Tea, The Langham

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - you may remember that recently Lorna and I attended the fabulous launch for Executive Pastry Chef Cherish Finden's new afternoon tea at The Langham in London. It was a tea-riffic event where we got to sample the afternoon tea treats, meet Cherish in person and hear all about the new afternoon tea creation. As promised here is a little more information about the food on offer....

The Langham, London is delighted to launch its new Langham Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood collection, created by Executive Pastry Chef, Cherish Finden and her culinary team.  The collection is inspired by classic Wedgwood collections, featuring butterfly and daisy motifs, heralding the start of spring and the changing season. 

Langham Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood collection

The palette is prepared with a pre-dessert of apricot and natural yoghurt panna cotta before being greeted by: 

The ‘Paisley Parcel’; a moist chocolate offering enhanced with Kahlua and double espresso. An amaretto taste is also incorporated and the ‘icing on the cake’ represented by white chocolate buttons with a bespoke white and blue paisley Wedgwood design.    

The ‘Butterfly Bloom’ takes inspiration from the Wedgwood collection of the same name, featuring a buttery shortbread tower with salted caramel. Two hand crafted butterflies at its peak represent the bloom of spring and the new florals blossoming.    

Sweet treats - Langham Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood collection

The ‘Yuzu for You’ offers an exciting mixture of the sweetness from the Langham No. 150 chocolate balanced with the acidity of the ‘yuzu’, a citrus fruit originating in East Asia. A kick of chocolate is added with the Langham’s bespoke ‘No. 150’ chocolate. The taste is rounded off with a crunchy chocolate sable. 

The Wedgwood Wild Strawberry comprises of a wild strawberry ‘pâte de fruit’ and pistachio cream macaroon, replicating the ‘Wedgwood Wild Strawberry’ design. The final pastry of ‘Hathaway Rose’ incorporates Lemon Victoria sponge, with a raspberry and jam.   

Pastries are accompanied by plain and raisin scones in addition to delicious sandwiches conceived by Head Chef of The Langham, London Chris King and team. These include Truffled duck egg brioche, Smoked salmon asparagus and rye, Cucumber with cream cheese and chives, Peppered beef pastrami with red Leicester coleslaw and Corn-fed chicken with golden sultana on carrot bread. 

Savoury selection - Langham Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood collection

The new collection is priced at £49 per person, £59 per person including a glass of N.V Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne and £64 per person including a glass of N.V Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne Rosé. Available from 6th April with sittings at 1.00pm, 3.15pm and 5.30pm.  For more information about this afternoon tea please visit The Langham London website.

Pop back tomorrow when we'll be meeting Executive Pastry Chef Cherish Finden to find out a little more about how she created this beautiful afternoon tea.....and the most important question of all....which way does she dress her scones?

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Time for Tea....The William Cecil Hotel, Stamford

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - we hope you're having a tea-riffic week!

Today we are joined by the lovely Victoria, who is sharing her recent afternoon tea adventure at The William Cecil Hotel in Stamford. Let's find out about her afternoon tea experience.....

Sophie, Anthea and I, whom had all met through the local branch of the Clandestine Cake Club, decided that a Sunday afternoon treat would be a visit to The William Cecil – a property owned by the Burghley Estate and run by Hillbrooke Hotels.  We were served our tea in the Olympic Bar, which is a nod to the last Lord Burghley’s sporting prowess.  It’s a great place to eat and drink, in civilised surroundings.  I digress…

The William Cecil, Stamford

Afternoon tea for two is £25, but we could easily add another person for £12.50.  Absolutely fantastic value, as we compared our other experiences of afternoon teas up and down the country.  The tea arrived on a three tiered stand and pots of tea, with Teapigs tea, included in the price.

So, the bottom tier had three different types of sandwiches: cheese and pickle, cucumber and smoked salmon.  All were in incredibly soft bread, with tasty fillings and completely crustless; pretty perfect!  There could have been more filling in the cucumber sandwiches, but maybe I’m being fussy.

Afternoon tea - The William Cecil, Stamford

Up to the middle tier, where the warm, plain scones were waiting for us.  Of course, we had the jam or clotted cream discussion, but all three of us agreed that it’s jam first, which we think is the Cornish way.  Whichever way it is, these were delicious and not claggy.  They were deliciously light and fluffy – and didn’t last long on our plates!

Afternoon tea sweet treats
The William Cecil, Stamford

Now to the very top with those sweet treats.  We each started this layer with a macaron, mine was vanilla, Sophie’s was coffee and Anthea’s was strawberry – all were light and very fresh.  Anthea shared her macaron making success (maybe there’s a blogpost waiting there!); we were impressed!  Onto the slice of carrot cake.  Being members of the Clandestine Cake Club, we try to fancy ourselves as Great British Bake Off critics, but there was no criticising here.  We all saved our slab of brownie until last.  Sophie is a brownie baking queen and was disappointed that they weren’t squidgy, but we all agreed that they were delicious.  Not to forget the lemon posset at the end.  A great palate cleanser after all that eating.

A great value afternoon tea, to which we’d all return at some point soon.

Those sweet treats all look rather scrummy don't they! To find out more about the afternoon tea on offer at the William Cecil in Stamford please visit their website.

A huge thank you to Victoria for sharing her afternoon tea adventure with us - we always love to hear where Victoria has been enjoying a spot of afternoon tea! If you have an afternoon tea that you'd like to share with us, please get in touch!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Friday, 8 April 2016

The Friday Review....Gyokuro from T2

Hello there,

Happy Friday! We hope you're well today!

Last week Lorna and I happened to pop into the T2 Tea store on Regent Street and spent a rather lovely time talking to one of the assistants in there. If you're not familiar with the T2 Tea brand, they are an Australian tea company who now have over 70 stores in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.  They are Australia’s leading tea retailer, offering the country’s largest range of premium, fragrant tea and tea wares from all around the globe.

T2 Tea instore display - swoon!

As we looked around the gorgeous tea and teaware displays, the assistant told us about her favourite tea - Gyokuro which is a green tea. This tea can be brewed twice and you can even eat the leaves once you've made your cuppa!

T2 Tea Gyokuro Green Tea

Gyokuro is a highly prized Japanese green tea. The tea bushes are shaded to encourage a heightened level of chlorophyll. The emerald green leaves yield a refined brew with what T2 Tea describe as a sweet lingering flavour. This however, is an expensive tea...are you ready for this....it costs £24.00 for 100g.

I decided despite the expense that I needed to give this tea a go (it was pay day so I decided to treat myself!).....

T2 Tea Gyokuro Green Tea

The dry leaves are a pretty green colour, and I noted they were very fine. For this tea it is recommended that you use 1 tsp of leaves per 250mls of water, the leaves should be brewed for 1-3 minutes at 80°C (176°F). 

The tea once brewed is a little yellow colour...

T2 Tea Gyokuro Green Tea

The flavour is light, with a slight nuttiness to it. It's a very refreshing cup of tea, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I didn't eat the leaves this time, but I did brew them more than once giving me better value for money.

Was it worth the £24 price tag I hear you cry? Well, it was probably one of the best green teas that I have enjoyed at home.

I also might have treated myself to some new teaware while I was there too.....shhh...don't tell my bank manager!! It was far too pretty to leave in the shop though!

T2 Tea and pretty teaware

To find out more about T2 Tea and their range of teas and teaware pop by their website.
Do you have a favourite T2 tea? Leave us a comment below and let us know!

Thank you for popping by today.