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

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Afternoon Tea News - Wimbledon themed ARTea, Lancaster London

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - today we're sharing some afternoon tea news with you. With the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament just around the corner Lancaster London has come up with a tea-riffic tennis themed afternoon tea!

Game, Set and Match! Lancaster London has once again ‘smashed’ another ARTea Afternoon Tea, this time in honour of the 131st Wimbledon Tennis Championships, which take place from 3 – 16 July 2017. The iconic hotel is renowned for its innovative afternoon teas, and for the Wimbledon ARTea, available from Wednesday 28 June until Sunday 16 July 2017, the pastry team have gone all ‘OUT’!

As the professionals take to the court to warm up their first and second serves, chefs at Lancaster London will be doing the same! The first round commences with savoury bites of Lancaster London Smoked Salmon and Citrus Cream Cheese Granary Pinwheels; a Warm Tartlet of Goat’s Cheese and Red Onion; and a Sesame Seed Choux Bun filled with Confit Duck, Sun Blushed Tomato and Hoisin Sauce. 

The second round promises to be an exciting one with a tie-break between the Summer Berry and Traditional Scones, served with Homemade Strawberry Jam and Clotted Cornish Cream. 

For the grand final, a tangy Lemon Tennis Ball Tart will be landing on the grass next to a Mini ‘Murray’ Mess and a Centre Court Strawberry Macaron. Wimbledon wouldn’t be Wimbledon without a glass of Pimms, so the Tipsy Pimms Cupcake and Pink Champagne Teacake are the sure favourites to win the crowd’s favour. 

Served in the classic Park Room, which boasts beautiful views of Hyde Park, the Wimbledon ARTea Afternoon Tea is priced at £35 per person, or can be enjoyed with Champagne for £45, and Rose Champagne for £50

I don't know about you, but I think Chef Ben Purton and his team have created an amazing looking afternoon tea feast to celebrate Wimbledon. The Tipsy Pimms cupcake and Pink Champagne teacake sound very tempting!

If you try this afternoon tea during July we'd love to hear all about it!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Time for a Guest 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

Friday, 12 May 2017

Friday Tea Review - adagio teas - part 2

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - we're here with another tea-riffic tea review for you! Last week we brought you two hot teas from the adagio teas range....this week we are sharing one of their iced teas!

With summer (hopefully) fast approaching us in the UK (we can wish can't we??) we're starting to think of the warmer months and summer drinks. Iced teas are hugely popular in America apparently accounting for approximately 85% of all tea consumed, and they are often served sweet. Iced tea is also a popular choice across Europe - but it doesn't seem to be as popular here in the UK. Cold brewing is becoming more popular however, with more people experimenting with iced teas. So when adagio teas offered me the opportunity to try one of their iced teas I jumped at the chance!

Adagio Teas makes their iced teas using tea leaves rather than powders, selling pre-measured "iced tea-bags" that you simply add to a jug of water and refrigerate overnight. The pouches are just like oversized tea bags and each one makes about a litre of iced tea.

White peach iced tea - adagio teas

And it is as simple to prepare as adding the pouch to water, putting the jug in the fridge and waiting overnight. However, if you want your tea sooner simply steep your pouch in hot water for five minutes and then add ice to cool - I think the overnight wait is worth it though!

There are currently 8 different iced teas in the adagio range, including a blood orange iced tea, a mango iced tea and a citron green iced tea. I was lucky enough to be sent the white peach iced tea - combining a delicate white tea with sweet peach flavours.

White peach iced tea - adagio teas

This tea was sweet and delicate - not at all artificial and the peach flavour was balanced just right. Much better than black peach ice teas that I have tried previously - I think the white tea matches the peach flavour really well. All I can say is roll on summertime!

The iced tea pouches cost £6 for 6 pouches, but you do get a litre of drink from each pouch. I would definitely like to try the other iced tea flavours in the range too.

I'd like to say thank you to adagio teas for sending me the iced tea to try, but please note that all opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.

Thank you for popping by today,

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Afternoon Tea News - Flower Afternoon Tea, Lancaster London

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - today we have some afternoon tea news to share with you as Lancaster London is launching their new floral afternoon tea!

As London starts to bloom with summer flowers and the annual Chelsea Flower Show amazes guests, the chefs of Lancaster London will be switching bags of flour for flowers and the butter for buttercups as they present the ‘blooming marvellous’ Flower Afternoon Tea. 

Lancaster London Blooming Afternoon Tea

A beautifully botanical arrangement of sweet delights includes:
a creamy Lavender chocolate mousse cake;
White chocolate macaroons topped with crystallised violets;
a tangy Lime and elderflower trifle with edible flowers.

The Flower Afternoon Tea features both traditional and raisin scones with classic toppings of strawberry jam and clotted cream, plus a delectably nectar-sweet orange blossom jam.

The savoury treats also have a wild theme with:
Lancaster London home-smoked salmon roses on rye bread,
Coronation chicken served on sweet cranberry bread,
a warm tartlet of English asparagus, with saffron and sun-blushed tomatoes
Sunflower seeded choux buns with wild mushroom, truffle oil and cream cheese are full of wild British woodland flavours. 

Lancaster London Blooming Afternoon Tea

The blossoming tea is served in the hotel’s Lounge Bar from 2pm until 5.30pm, Wednesday 3 May until Wednesday 31 May 2017. The tea is priced at £30 per person and £45 with a glass of Pommery Champagne included. The Flower Afternoon Tea is also available as a Flower ARTea, priced from £35 per person. For more information pop by the Lancaster London website.

This certainly looks like a beautiful afternoon tea experience - if you give it a try during May we would love to know what you think!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Friday, 5 May 2017

Friday Tea Review - adagio teas

Hello there,

It's Friday and we've written a blog post....that can only mean one....yes the return of the Friday Tea Review! It's been a while since we posted a Friday review, but we've been busy tasting teas ready to share with you!

This week we are sharing some teas from adagio teas that we've recently been sent to try. Adagio teas are sourced directly from artisan growers, which means they'll reach you super fresh and full of flavour. Tea varieties in their range vary from traditional blends you know and love to something a little bit different - there is something for everyone within their range!

I've tried two rather unique teas to start my tea adventure with adagio teas - a white blueberry and an earl grey green....

Earl Grey Green - a twist on a traditional earl grey blend! 

early grey green - adagio teas

This is a blend of green tea, orange peels, natural bergamot flavour and blue cornflowers to produce a lighter version of a traditional earl grey. When brewed for 2-3 minutes you get a lovely pale yellow tea which has the aroma of bergamot.

The tea is light and refreshing - perfect for a sunny afternoon! The flavour isn't as intense as a traditional earl grey tea, but if you're happy with a slightly lighter tea then this is worth a try.

White Blueberry - a light, fragrant white tea blend!

white blueberry - adagio teas

This tea blends two of my favourite things - white tea and blueberries! I seriously cannot be controlled when there are blueberries about - there is something about the flavour that I just love and I can easily devour a punnet without realising! So when I saw this tea I knew I had to try it.

White Blueberry tea blends together flavour of blueberries with premium white tea from Fujian province, China. This tea can be enjoyed hot or cold - I opted for hot, brewing for tea for about three minutes.

The tea is very aromatic once brewed and a beautiful copper colour. The flavour is very light and delicate, the blueberries add a pleasant sweet taste. Not for anyone who likes a lot of flavour from their tea, but if you are looking for something light and refreshing this is a good tea to try.

I think it would make a really good cold brew tea as well - lovely in the summer months.

I'd like to thank adagio teas for sending me their teas to try, however please note that all opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.

Do you have a favourite adagio tea? If so we'd love to hear all about it - get in touch! If you'd like to see more of the adagio tea range pop by their website.

Thank you for popping by today,

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Afternoon Tea News - Back to the Classics Afternoon Tea at The Langham

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - this week we were lucky enough to be invited to the launch of the new afternoon tea created by newly appointed Executive Pastry Chef at The Langham, London, Andrew Gravett, and his team. Reverting ‘Back to the Classics’, the new tea showcases classical recipes made with fresh ingredients, skilfully produced by a team of passionate patissiers with a contemporary twist. Just look how beautiful the tea stand looks.....

Langham London Afternoon Tea

With reduced sugar and lighter textures, the tea reflects tastes that are easily recognisable but lighter to enjoy...... so when you have finished your afternoon tea feast you are not left feeling too stuffed. Its not a "healthy" afternoon tea, but the treats are lighter.

The Paris Brest is made with Crunchy Choux pastry, lightened pecan cream and caramelised pecans. Babalicious features blackcurrant and star anise soaked baba, Jivara whipped ganache and crunchy pearls. The Decidedly Madeleine offers the classic Madeleine sponge, passion fruit jelly wrapped in a coat of Itakuja. Spherically Challenged comprises of creamy coconut, liquid raspberry and Manjari mousse. Last but not least, the One in a Million showcases a caramelised puff pastry with vanilla infused mascarpone.

Langham London Afternoon Tea

I think my favourite sweet was the "One in a Million" which features the lightest, puff pastry - crisp and buttery! Although the "Spherically Challenged" was also amazing - full of the lightest coconut mousse which dances about on your tongue before disappearing. Lorna was rather partial to the Paris Breast - crisp and crunchy with a light pecan filling.

Accompanying sandwiches devised by Executive Chef of The Langham, London, Chris King include:

Burford Brown egg, marinated artichoke, rosemary bread
Classic English cucumber, cream cheese, chives,
Beef Pastrami, sauce ‘Albert’, watercress, caramelised onion bread
Scottish smoked salmon, Sarawak pepper and preserved lemon cream
Classic ‘prawn cocktail’, iceberg, potato bun, tomato powder

Langham London Afternoon Tea

A classical plate of well balanced savouries. My favourite was definitely the prawn cocktail - the dusting of tomato powder on the top of the roll is pure genius! I wasn't a fan of the artichoke in the egg sandwich, but that was purely down to personal taste rather than anything else.

At the launch we also met various members of the team and saw some of the sweets being put together. Everyone we met was passionate about the afternoon tea, explaining the various items.

The Langham Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood is served in Palm Court with a selection of scones and a choice of blended teas. The tea is priced at £49 per person, £59 with a glass of N.V Laurent-Perrier Brut champagne, £64 with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Rose champagne.

Seatings are available daily between 12.15pm to 5.30pm.

We can't wait to hear what everyone thinks of this new classical afternoon tea experience!

Thank you to everyone at The Langham for inviting us to sample this new afternoon tea. Please note that all opinions expressed in this article are our own.

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Time to..... explore the April Tea Box from Teatourist

Hello there,

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

It's always an exciting time when the next Teatourist subscription box arrives through the post - each month they manage to curate an exciting and diverse collection of teas that I have not discovered before! They package up enough tea for you to enjoy about four cups of each variety - meaning you really get a good taste, but there is not much waste if something isn't to your liking.

This month's collection is light and fun, perfect for springtime...it includes two black teas, three herbal teas and a veggie tea!

Teatourist April subscription box

In this post we are going to look at the first couple of teas I tried.....one of the black teas and the veggie tea! First off we have the Thieves Brew by Bev's Tea company. This 100% Vangedi Pekoe black tea is a medium caffeine tea from Sri Lanka,  which sounded perfect when I found myself in a rather delicate (self-inflicted) state on Bank Holiday Monday.

Thieves' Brew tea by Bev's Tea Company

The tea should be brewed with 95 degree water for 3-4 minutes to produce a cooper-coloured tea that will make you smile...

Thieves' Brew tea by Bev's Tea Company

The flavour is smooth, with a slight nutty note. I enjoyed it black, but it can be drunk with milk or lemon. Bev is a tea consultant, based in Scotland, who has previously managed a tea estate and set up a sustainable micro tea factory in Sri Lanka. I think it's safe to say she knows her tea!

Thieves' Brew was a very refreshing cup of tea, perfect for my delicate state....

The other tea that really intrigued me was the "veggie tea" from Leaves of the World. This company was started by The TeaNomads and it specialises in certified-organic tea and boasts one of the largest selections of vegan-friendly teas in the UK!

Pumpkins Go Bananas is a sweet brew which can be enjoyed hot or cold and is packed full of fruit and veg.....just take a look at the "leaves"....

Pumpkins Go Bananas - Leaves of the World

This tea is full of apple, carrot, pumpkin, pineapple, banana chips, ginger and coriander. It should be brewed using 2 teaspoons of leaves in 100 degree water for 5-8 minutes.

Pumpkins Go Bananas - Leaves of the World

 This pale yellow tea smells and tastes just like banana!

It's sweet and can apparently be enjoyed hot or cold. It's definitely something really different, that I wouldn't have tried if I didn't have this month's Teatourist box. I hope this post illustrates how diverse the Teatourist boxes can be - keeping both traditional and experimental tea lovers happy!

To find out more about these companies or the teas they offer pop by their websites - you never know what you'll discover!

Thank you to Teatourist for sharing another one of their tea-riffic subscription boxes with me. To find out more about their monthly boxes pop by their website.

Thank you for popping by today,

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Time for Tea - German Gymnasium, London

Hello there,

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

Last weekend it was a Birthday at Tea With Me and Friends Towers - so we did what we do best and celebrated with a spot of afternoon tea! I've eaten at German Gymnasium in Kings Cross before, enjoying their savoury menu, but I knew they also did an afternoon tea menu that took my fancy. I've spent quite a lot of time in the Rhine area of Germany and love the food and drink there.

So I rounded up my friends and headed on a new afternoon tea adventure!

German Gymnasium - Afternoon Tea

At German Gymnasium you need to decide whether you want an Austrian themed afternoon tea or a German themed one. Both have savoury and sweet options.....but for the traditionalists amongst you watch out as there are no scones! The options are made up of foods from the region, the staff were happy to swap some of the savoury items around (Anika had three egg rolls instead of the selection of three different rolls).

As you can see from the menus below, this is a great value afternoon tea....

Within the group some of us wanted the German and some the Austrian, so we got to see both cake stands. I'll be the first to admit that we had to Google some items to find out what they were (not sure why we didn't just ask the waiters!), it definitely was an afternoon tea adventure!

When the stands were served I was a little disappointed initially as they looked a little sparse, but in fact I found the portion sizes just right.

German Gymnasium - Afternoon Tea

The rolls were fresh and soft, with just the right amount of fillings. I'm not overly keen on fennel, so one of the rolls was a bit too "fennelly" for me, but otherwise the fillings were well balanced.

The sweets were all really different, again they were all fresh and a good size. I was a tad bit disappointed that my black forest gateaux was in macaroon form, but it was well made and I could taste both chocolate and cherry.

However, the Opera cake was probably the stand out sweet treat....

The restaurant knew we were celebrating a Birthday and so at the end of the meal they sang Happy Birthday and brought out a piece of scrummy cake....

.....but they obviously don't know me very well because look how many forks they also brought us - "just in case everyone wanted a taste"....

German Gymnasium is well located, opposite Kings Cross station, and is a lovely space to enjoy a meal in. The building was designed by Edward Gruning and was England’s first purpose-built gymnasium, with funding coming solely from London's German community. It was built in 1865 for the German Gymnastics Society (established in 1861 by Ernst Ravenstein) and hosted the indoor events London's first Olympic Games, back in 1866.

This is definitely a great value afternoon tea at only £18.50 per person, you can also add a glass (or two) of SchlossVaux Sekt sparkling wine for £4.50 a glass. For more information about German Gymnasium pop by their website.

Thank you for popping by today,

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Time for Tea....with T2, Kingston Surrey

Hello there,

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

Did you know that Friday is National Tea Day here in the UK? National Tea Day is a chance for Tea lovers to unite in their love of tea - whether you attend the Tea Festival in London or just enjoy a brew at home with your friends and family. You can get involved on social media too, sharing your tea stories by using the #nationalteaday hashtag!

Ahead of National Tea Day I was invited into T2 which is located in the Bentall Centre in Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey for a tea masterclass. Lorna first introduced me to T2 a while ago and I thoroughly enjoy popping into their shops to have a sniff of the leaves and try the various teas (there are over 200 on offer!)......plus the staff are always so friendly. So I gladly accepted the invitation to meet Nick, store manager and learn a bit more!

This is Nick......who is full of passion and knowledge for tea (he even puts it in his stroganoff!) ....he makes a mean cuppa and wants to share his knowledge with everyone...

Nick - T2 store manager, Kingston Surrey

The philosophy at T2 is very laid back - the staff actually want to talk to you (imagine that!), they want to know what tea you enjoy already, how you brew your tea, what flavours float your boat. You're also encouraged to explore the numerous tins of tea....to have a smell of the leaves and try some of the teas (yes, they'll even brew you a cuppa!).

The first T2 store opened in Fitzroy, Melbourne in 1996 and today they have stores around the world. Every store I have been in has had the same friendly feel - lots of happy people wandering around gorgeous displays of teas and teaware.

The Kingston branch is exactly the same.....a feast for the eyes and the nose....

As we talked about the history of T2 and talked tea in general, Nick asked me questions about flavours I like and dislike and started brewing up some teas to try.

The stores are fitted out so you can sample both hot and cold teas from the whole range. If you fancy trying something new it's a great place to visit.

Today we sampled a white rose tea, French Earl Grey, a smoky London breakfast tea, Berry Oolong and a peach tisane to name a few!

Tea sampling - T2

Nick and his team are knowledgeable about tea in general (as well as T2 teas) and can guide you around the teas on offer in the current tea range. They are keen to show people how great tea can be and how easy it is to enjoy loose leaf tea at home.

If you have a T2 shop near you I would definitely recommend popping in and saying hi - you never know what you might discover.

Nick also showed me the T2 Teamaker - which lets you brew loose leaf tea at home (or anywhere) really easily and then serve it in your favourite cup simply by placing it on top of your cup (it looks kinda magical as the tea pours into the cup).

T2 Teamaker

I'd like to thank Nick for taking the time to talk to me about T2 and for taking me through so many teas. I learnt today that I still don't like Rose tea, but discovered a rather lovely New York breakfast blend that features cinnamon and vanilla (reminds me of pancakes!).

Disclaimer - Nick very kindly gave me a Teamaker and some tea to take home with me - however please note that all opinions in this blog post are my own and have not been influenced by this gift.

If you have a favourite T2 Tea we'd love to hear all about it. To find out more about T2 pop by their website.

Thank you for popping by today,