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

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Time for....some reading....Eric Lanlard Afternoon Tea - Part 2

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - we hope you're having a great day!

Remember at the beginning of the month we shared with you the fab new afternoon tea book from Eric Lanlard and the biscuit bakes we tried from the book.....well today we're back with some savoury offerings!

Eric's book covers everything you'd need to create your own afternoon tea at home, from individual recipes to how to create an afternoon tea menu. This weekend we have a family party and I offered to make some savoury canapes, having picked some recipes from Eric's book.

I opted to make:

Pear, Roquefort and walnut tarts
Brie and red onion marmalade Gruyere eclairs
Tartes flambees

Yes.....I like cheese!!

The recipes in Eric's book are simple and easy to follow, and I am fairly pleased with how each savoury treat turned out...

I particularly liked the brie and red onion marmalade eclairs, which were crisp and smooth all at the same time. The onion marmalade is very tasty and simple to make. The ingredients all work so well together - imagine creamy brie, peppery rocket and sweet onions all on a crisp base.....amazing!

I'm not entirely sure what happened with my pear and blue cheese tarts.....they kind of exploded out of the cases and made a bit of a mess. They tasted good though, and I love that the walnuts look like brains! 

As my bakes were for a family party....I made quite a few....

The recipes were very easy to double.

If you fancy trying some of the recipes for yourself, Afternoon Tea is available to buy now.....don't forget to let us know how you get on!

Thank you for popping by today.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Time for Tea.....The Arch

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - today we have another new afternoon tea to share with you! Last weekend Becca and I went to The Arch near Marble Arch to try their new Royal Afternoon Tea which celebrates the Queen's 90th Birthday.

The Arch is a family run hotel, located just off Oxford Street near Marble Arch. We enjoyed our afternoon tea in Hunter 486, which was comfortable and stylish. Jing Tea is served at The Arch, there is a great selection to pick from. The china has been especially selected for this afternoon tea.....its so pretty!!

The afternoon tea menu itself is very traditional, very befitting of a Royal Afternoon Tea......

Afternoon tea - The Arch, London

The savoury selection includes a Rare roast beef, horseradish, watercress and crispy shallots open sandwich, a Honey baked ham and piccalilli finger sandwich, an Egg mayonnaise and mustard cress finger sandwich, Stilton cheese straws and Chicken liver parfait served with brioche fingers and a spiced fig chutney. A great selection of savouries - something for everyone!

Afternoon tea savouries - The Arch, London

The sandwiches were all fresh and tasty, although there could have been a little more egg mayonnaise filling. We both really enjoyed the cheese straws, but Becca's favourite was the chicken liver parfait.

Next we enjoyed the scones - we were served a plain and a fruit scone each, served with strawberry jam and clotted cream. Becca is allergic to Strawberries (shocking I know) and so the staff brought out some apricot jam. We were impressed with how the hotel dealt with Becca's food allergies considering there were a lot of strawberries on the menu and I had forgotten to notify the hotel before we arrived.

The scones were big and very tasty - light and fluffy inside, not at all claggy. Now remember that I said Becca really liked the chicken liver parfait.....well she liked it that much that she also enjoyed it on one of her scones! Apparently it tasted really good.....

Scones dressed the Becca way....with chicken liver parfait

Finally we started on the cake selection which included Battenberg cake, a Strawberry and pistachio tart (or raspberry and pistachio for Becca), Macaroons, an Eton mess and a Chocolate orange tea cake.....

Afternoon tea cakes - The Arch, London

My favourite cake was the Battenburg cake - despite the purple colouring instead of the traditional pink. I also enjoyed the chocolate and orange tea cake, although the consistency was a little sticky. This was a good selection of sweet treats, catering for lots of different tastes. Each piece was a generous portion.

All in all this was a lovely afternoon tea - everything was fresh and the flavours were well balanced. We weren't offered additional items, but at £25.00 per person and with really generous portion sizes we had a filling afternoon tea. If like the Queen you are celebrating, you can add a glass of champagne to the afternoon tea - £38.00 per person.

See ...... I told you it was pretty china......

Afternoon tea scones - The Arch, London

The staff at the hotel are all very friendly and knowledgeable about the afternoon tea.

We'd like to thank The Arch for inviting us to try their new afternoon tea. But please remember that this has not affected our taste buds and all opinions expressed in this blog post are our own.

If you'd like to experience this afternoon tea for yourself, its available until the 10th July 2016. For more information pop by their website.

Thank you for popping by today,

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Time for Tea.....Grosvenor House Hotel

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends.

This month the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Hotel launched a special new afternoon tea to celebrate the Queen's 90th Birthday. We've visited Grosvenor House Hotel before and loved their afternoon tea treats and brilliant service and so when we were invited back to try this new afternoon tea feast we jumped at the opportunity!

Park Room - Grosvenor House Hotel

Situated overlooking Park Lane with big windows, the Park Room is the perfect setting for a spot of afternoon tea. The room is spacious and comfortable and very welcoming - and the staff are all really friendly and professional, they have the perfect balance! And if you happen to be facing the window you'll have plenty of opportunity for people watching! 

Afternoon tea setting - Park Room - Grosvenor House Hotel

This is a seasonal afternoon tea and each of the afternoon tea treats has a link to the Queen. The feast begins with a homemade raspberry soda, which is light and refreshing and looks so pretty....

Raspberry soda - Park Room

Once we had enjoyed our raspberry sodas and picked our teas from the extensive tea menu the afternoon tea stand was brought out to us. The stand includes finger sandwiches, scones and of course the selection of pastries and sweet treats.

The colours on the stand are fresh and pretty and the sweet treats include a lot of seasonal fruit.....

Afternoon tea stand
Park Room, Grosvenor House Hotel

The sandwiches include a coronation chicken, a cucumber with minted butter, a really good ham sandwich and a prawn with Marie Rose sauce. In addition to the finger sandwiches, which are fresh and well made, there are two open sandwiches - smoked salmon, cream cheese and prawn and a egg mayonnaise.

Finger sandwiches - Park Room, Grosvenor House Hotel

Open sandwiches - Park Room, Grosvenor House Hotel

I really enjoyed the prawn and salmon open sandwich and also the prawn and Marie Rose sauce (can you tell I love prawns!), but if I am honest all the sandwiches were really well made and the bread was fresh. The filling was generous in each sandwich and we were offered more if we wanted them.

Once we were full of sandwiches we moved onto the scones, which were served with clotted cream and the choice from six different preserves (there really was something for everyone!). 

Afternoon tea scones - Park Room

Afternoon tea scones

The scones were fresh and a good size. They looked a little over-baked, but appearances can be deceiving and these were scrummy! They were light and fluffy on the inside and crumbly on the outside - perfect!

We were given plenty of cream and preserve to accompany our scones, and we could have had more scones if we had wanted them.

Finally we got to the top tier of the afternoon tea stand - the sweet treats....

Afternoon tea treats - Park Room, Grosvenor House Hotel

The treats included a chocolate biscuit cake, a strawberry and white peach pavlova, a cherry and Dubonnet jelly, a raspberry and jam shortbread and a Dundee cake made with honey and apricot. 

Each treat was a good size, the ingredients were fresh and the flavours well balanced. Lorna really enjoyed the chocolate biscuit cake (which apparently is a favourite of the Queen) and I thought the strawberry and white peach pavlova was divine! We both really liked the raspberry and jam shortbread - the raspberries were tangy and went well with the shortbread base.

Again, we were offered more sweet treats if we wanted them and during the afternoon tea our tea was refilled regularly by the attentive staff.

Just when we thought it was all over we were invited to take a look at the cake table in the middle of the room. We could each pick something from the table to either enjoy in the Park Room or take home with us to enjoy later. The table was full of cakes such as lemon drizzle cake,  Victoria sponge and a big jar of macaroons.

Cake table - Park Room, Grosvenor House Hotel

The table was also full of the most amazing flower display.....

As we were both pleasantly full from the feast we opted to take our cake home with us. 

This afternoon tea costs £42.50 per person, which for the quality and amount of food on offer is great value. The service at the Park Room is also brilliant, everyone knows the afternoon tea menu really well and can offer advice about the tea menu. All in all a lovely afternoon tea!

I'd like to thank Grosvenor House Hotel for their hospitality. Please remember that although we enjoyed a complementary afternoon tea on this occasion it hasn't effected our taste buds, and all opinions expressed in this article are our own.

If you'd like to know more about this afternoon tea feast pop by the Park Room website.

Have you enjoyed an afternoon tea recently? We'd love to hear all about it - leave us a comment or get in touch over on Facebook!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Time for Tea.....Pretty Things, Horsham

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - today we have another wonderful guest post for you. Recently the lovely Sara Smart enjoyed a spot of afternoon tea at Pretty Things in Horsham. Sara often joins us over on Facebook and when she mentioned a review she had written we jumped at the chance of sharing it with you.

Let's find out how Sara's afternoon tea adventure went.....

I'm a huge fan of tea rooms and afternoon teas in particular, to my friends I'm know as the afternoon tea Queen but I didn't know of a tearoom called 'Pretty Things' in Horsham. It was recommended by a friend for me to try and I'm very glad she did. 

Pretty Things Tea Room - Horsham

It was very quiet when my friend and I arrived but it was only 11am on a Monday morning!!!
We were raring to go (we both love our food) but with salivating mouths we decided to have a wander around the 2 story tea shop to have a look at all it had to offer. It had some beautiful gifts to buy, it seems set out well with lots of tables set with vintage tablecloths and pretty accessories, it is beautifully decorated. 

Pretty Things Tea Room - Horsham

We then went back down to take a window seat and choose from the tempting menu. We quickly chose an afternoon tea to share, we added one of their piggy rolls, which can I say was absolutely delicious and an extra piece of cake. My friend and I are definitely in the 'Joey from Friends' camp when it comes to not sharing cake. 

Afternoon tea treats - Pretty Things Tea Room, Horsham

Well the food didn't disappoint it was delicious, the coronation chicken sandwich had a generous tasty amount of filling, the scones beautifully soft and warm with enough clotted cream for both of us to be very happy. 

Afternoon tea - Pretty Things Tea Room, Horsham

We then, after a suitably acceptable pause, allowing for an extra few cups of tea went to choose our cake. Decisions, decisions!!! After much deliberation over the choices on offer, of which there were a few. There were pretty cupcakes, fruity flapjacks, gingerbread men and various slices of flavoured cakes. My friend chose the triple layered coffee cake and I the apple and blackberry cake. Both were deliciously moist and full of flavour and although I was stuffed, I finished every mouthful. 

Afternoon tea cake - Pretty Things Tea Room, Horsham

We weren't rushed at all and we spent a lovely few hours catching up and eating. So to sum up, the service was very good, the piggy rolls were of the best I've had and the scones absolutely fabulous. I will be back with my husband very soon as he will really enjoy it too.

Wow - don't know about you, but I'm drooling over those tea-riffic photos that Sara has shared with us! That triple layer cake looks amazing! For more photos from Pretty Things pop by their Facebook page (there are rather a lot of scrummy cakes on there!).

A big thank you to Sara for sharing this wonderful afternoon tea adventure with us - we look forward to hearing about more teas in the future! If you've enjoyed an afternoon tea and have some photos to share please get in touch - we'd love to hear from you!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Afternoon tea news.....a royal afternoon tea at Dorsett Shepherds Bush

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends....we're back today with some more afternoon tea news for you!

In celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday, Dorsett Shepherds Bush is launching a special Queens Afternoon Tea for royalists and avid connoisseurs of the traditionally British institution from the 12th May 2016.

Located in the golden atrium of the hotel, Jin Bar is the perfect setting in which to celebrate something special. To commemorate the Queen’s 90th birthday, guests can enjoy an afternoon tea feast: savoury sandwiches filled with coronation chicken, smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese; sweet treats including macaroons, strawberries and cream, Battenberg cake and freshly baked scones served with Devonshire clotted cream and homemade strawberry preserve. 

Of course afternoon tea wouldn’t be complete without a great selection of traditional and herbal teas. Guests can take their pick from a refreshing array of teas including a zesty lemon and ginger infusion, a delicate China green or a palette-cleansing peppermint tea. Alternatively, opt for a light tea made from chamomile flowers renowned for their calming properties, Imperial Earl Grey scented with aromatic oil of Bergamot fused together with cornflowers, or a splendid English breakfast tea blended from the finest Broken Orange Pekoe teas from India and Kenya.

The Queen’s Afternoon Tea experience at Dorsett Shepherds Bush is served daily between 2pm – 5pm from 12th May – 12th June 2016. Prices start at £24.00 per person for a traditional afternoon tea. For more information pop by the Dorsett Shepherds Bush website.

If you enjoy this afternoon tea feast in the next month we'd love to hear all about it - drop us a line or send us a photo!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Friday, 13 May 2016

Cocktail News ..... Rose Garden Cocktail - in celebration of Chelsea Flower Show

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends!

As regular readers will know.....Lorna and I love the odd cocktail or two and so we always love to bring you news of new cocktails as well as afternoon teas! In the run up to Chelsea Flower Show’s floral frenzy, The Mews at Sopwell House has devised a bloomin’ marvellous Rose Garden Cocktail, served in its very own mini watering can.

Rose Garden Cocktail - The Mews at Sopwell House

Yep - the cocktail is served in a watering can! Amazing! Now you can see why we wanted to share this with you!

With Chelsea Flower Show running from 24-28th May 2016, The Mews at Sopwell House hasn’t just stopped to smell the roses – they have mixed them into a summer cocktail.

The cocktail is created from Hendricks Gin, Homemade Rose Syrup, Lemon Juice and muddled Cucumber topped with Soda Water. Once the ingredients have been shaken, they are double strained into a mini watering can along with crushed ice. The Rose Garden Cocktail is available throughout the summer months at £9.95 per watering can.

The Mews at Sopwell House has a strong affinity with Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medallist Ann-Marie Powell. Ann-Marie designed the stunning bespoke gardens at The Mews, which for the first time, will be in full bloom this summer.

For more information about this cute cocktail pop by the Sopwell House hotel website. If you try this cocktail we'd love to hear what you think!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Afternoon Tea News.....Afternoon Tea at Chai Wu, Harrods

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends.

Today we're back with some news on a new afternoon tea that launched last month in the contemporary Chinese restaurant Chai Wu, on the fifth floor of Harrods in Knightsbridge. This afternoon tea adventure embraces the rich history of Chinese tea and indulges guests with a feast of refined cuisine, presenting an exciting alternative to London’s traditional afternoon tea menus.

Chai Wu - Harrods, Knightsbridge

Chinese tea has a cultural and historic legacy spanning thousands of years, yet with its many medicinal and relaxing properties it remains a tonic to the stresses of modern life. Chai Wu’s afternoon tea menu features six Chinese fine teas, such as Chrysanthemum Flower Tea and Ali Shan High Mountain Tea, an Oolong tea slow grown at altitudes of up to 1400m which produces a sweet flavour. A selection of premium teas from the Harrods Own range are also available, including the 1849 Blend, created to celebrate Harrods’ 150th anniversary, and Harrods Bari, planted for Harrods at the turn of the millennium in the hills of Darjeeling.

Afternoon tea - Chai Wu, Harrods - Knightsbridge

Chai Wu’s Head Chef Tong Fatt Kok has created an enticing menu of contemporary Chinese treats incorporating speciality and luxury ingredients. The gastronomic journey will begin with a palate-cleansing baby spinach soup, followed by the arrival of a stunning two-tier stand brimming with savoury morsels. This includes a selection of mouth-watering chopped salads with combinations of fresh ingredients such as; scallop, king crab, avocado with spicy mayo and grilled Shitake mushroom with kampyo, asparagus, avocado and yuzu dressing. Kaya Toast, with a caramel jam filling, is playfully presented as a finger sandwich; a nod to the quintessentially British afternoon tea tradition. Chai Wu is renowned for its expertly made dim sum, featured dishes include; Wagyu beef puff topped with gold leaf; lobster wonton, prawn dumpling with caviar and chicken steamed and fried gyoza.

Savoury afternoon tea treats - Chai Wu, Harrods

Savoury afternoon tea - Chai Wu, Harrods

The first of the sweet courses is Chendol, a hugely popular traditional dessert, where silky liquid layers of plum sugar, red bean paste and coconut milk suspend cubes of jelly and vibrant green rice flour jelly noodles. Finally, a platter of exquisite desserts include green tea cheesecake, mango mousse and a coconut and brown sugar filled pandan pancake roll.

Sweet afternoon tea treats - Chai Wu, Harrods

If you are looking for something a little bit different for your next afternoon tea adventure this certainly looks like a wonderful feast. The afternoon tea is available daily between 2pm - 6pm and starts at £59 per person. For more information pop by the Chai Wu website.

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Afternoon Tea News - Royal Afternoon Tea at The Arch London

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends. Today we're sharing another new afternoon tea adventure taking place in London.

Fancy an afternoon tea fit for Royalty this summer - well you might like the newly launched afternoon tea at The Arch London ....the Royal Afternoon Tea.

Royal Afternoon Tea - The Arch

The stately spread features a procession of dishes worthy of the Royal seal of approval. Classic British savoury delights will include Chicken liver parfait with spiced fig chutney; and Rare roast beef, watercress and crispy shallots. With a nod to Wimbledon (27 June – 10 July), which the Royals regularly attend, a quintessentially British dessert of Eaton mess will be served, along with Victoria sponge, Battenberg, and Strawberry tart.  

This is a colourful and pretty looking afternoon tea spread, served on contemporary china....

Royal Afternoon Tea - The Arch

The Royal Afternoon Tea, priced at £25 per person or £38 with a glass of bubbles, is available from 1 May until 31 July 2016 throughout this summer’s Royal events. Afternoon tea is available from 3pm until 6pm and can be enjoyed in the hotel’s Martini Library, Hunter 486 restaurant or Salon de Champagne lounge.

For more information about this afternoon tea pop by The Arch website.

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Time for a spot of.....coffee and cake - Krema Farnham

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends.

Last December Krema Coffee opened its doors in Downing Street, Farnham in Surrey .....and last weekend.....four months later..... I finally got around to sampling some of the delights on offer!

Krema Artisan Coffee - Farnham, Surrey

Krema Coffee is independently owned and committed to supporting the local community, and where possible sourcing their food and drink from quality local suppliers. Their freshly roasted speciality coffee is undoubtedly the star of the show, along with a great range of loose leaf teas, hot chocolate, cold press juices and soft drinks. 

They also serve sandwiches, soups and salads prepared freshly every day using locally-baked artisan breads, meats and cheeses and I'm pleased to report that they have a rather fine selection of handmade cakes and sweet treats on offer! 

John (centre) and his team at Krema Coffee, Farnham

The interior of Krema Coffee is rustic but comfortable and the team of staff are friendly and very helpful if you are stuck making your refreshment decisions!

When I popped by I was in need of a good lunch.....and I was really spoilt for choice. Krema Coffee have a good selection of both sweet and savoury items to pick from, displayed in wonderful bowls or stacked up high in their glass cabinets.....

Decisions, decisions at Krema Coffee

I opted to go for a cheese and tomato toastie and a huge slab of Victoria sponge cake, washed down with a Tropical Smoothie (I know I know....I should have enjoyed a coffee or a cup of tea....but the night before had taken its toll and I really need some hydration!!). 

The food is freshly prepared and the portion sizes generous....

Toasted cheese & tomato sandwich and victoria sponge - Krema Coffee

The toasted sandwich is made with good quality bread and served with a small fresh side salad. If you are looking for a fully toasted sandwich, which leaks melted cheese from the sides then this might not be the sandwich for you - but I thoroughly enjoyed it....

My Tropical Smoothie really hit the spot and the cake was scrummy! 

Just take a look at the size of it....with a great ratio of cake to filling....

How cake is done at Krema Coffee, Farnham

I had the pleasure of meeting owner John as I was leaving and he told me all about the freshly made salads and fruit smoothies that are proving to be very popular at the moment. 

I'll definitely be popping back for some of that tomato and mozzarella salad....

He also pointed out the rather scrummy selection of squares, which I think I'm going to have to sample on my next visits....

A selection of sweet squares at Krema Coffee, Farnham

It's always great to find new local businesses that offer good quality tea, coffee and of course cake! If you happen to be in the Farnham area and fancy a piece of cake you should give Krema a go!

If you'd like to know more about Krema pop by their Facebook page.

Thank you for popping by today,

Friday, 6 May 2016

The Friday Review - French Earl Grey - T2

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - its been a while since we featured a new tea on the blog....but this week I enjoyed a lovely cup from T2 that I'd like to share with you.

This week I have been enjoying French Earl Grey tea from T2 - thanks to Lorna for the tea-riffic recommendation and the lovely T2 lady for letting me have a sample of the tea!

French Earl Grey - T2

In this tea the traditional Earl Grey gets a French fruity twist! This medium-bodied black tea base is full of fruity notes that play with the classic bergamot flavours in an uplifting cuppa. The ingredients for this flavoured black tea include...... black tea, flavouring, hibiscus, sunflower petals, rose petals, mallow flowers

I sampled this tea in teabag form....

French Earl Grey - T2

The teabag itself is rather luxious.....as its a handcrafted cotton teabag that encases your tea leaves and other ingredients. The needs to be brewed for just a couple of minutes to give you an amber coloured cup of tea....

French Earl Grey - T2

I found this tea to be very refreshing, a bit fruity, a bit floral....a bit citrus - perfect with a piece of cake or biscuit! A very enjoyable cuppa in the afternoon.

For more information about French Earl Grey or the rest of the teas in the T2 range pop by their website. Do you have a favourite T2 tea? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Thank you for popping by today,