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milk, two sugars, and pass the biscuits...
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Date:2010-03-02 23:05

It was suggested to me that some of you might be interested in this rather love idea.

The Sanderson hotel are doing a special Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea throughout March!

Featuring pineapple lollipops that turn your mouth from cold to hot and multicoloured finger sandwiches, this Alice in Wonderland inspired tea is for those who love to play with their food.Other highlights of the quirky Mad Hatters afternoon tea at Sanderson include a Queen of Hearts teacake that melts in your mouth as soon as you bite into its strawberry and white chocolate shell, and exploding mint chocolate chip ice cream lollipops.

2:30pm-5:30pm till the 31st of March for £20 (or £26 with a glass of Champagne)

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Date:2009-09-16 21:18
Subject:New to the com! Tea shop suggestion!
Mood: excited

Hello teadrinkers! I stumbled across this community by accident, and I think it's lovely. I've been drinking tea since my British grandmother started feeding it to me at a very young age, and the quality of tea I imbibe has only gone up.

For any of you in the Niagara Region in Ontario, Canada, I have a tea shop suggestion for you. I'm not affiliated with them in any way, besides as a customer. It's L.M. Teas in Niagara Falls. They have over one hundred different loose leaf teas, a number of which are also organic. The owner clearly loves what he does, and has a great wealth of knowledge to share with any who ask. There is an attached restaurant which specializes in breakfast. The best part is that the prices are cheaper than some other brand-name tea shops.

My favourite is the Scottish Breakfast, with a splash of milk, to wake me up in the morning. A very close second is the Margaret's Hope Darjeeling, surprisingly light in colour with a bright astringency. My time in Japan has left me with a fondness for sencha, as well.

I'm so glad this community exists!

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Date:2009-02-28 21:53
Subject:Tea ball yeah or nay

So I picked up the recent issue of Tea Time Magazine the other day. It had a little bit about making a good cup of tea.

It recommended NOT using a tea ball to brew your tea with. But go either loose in the pot or use a basket device. Their reasoning was the leaves can't open in a tea ball.

Now I use a tea ball myself. I have a few different sizes for different types of teas and sizes of teapots. I thought that as long as you don't pack it full it works just fine.

Now I'm wondering what others think.

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Date:2009-01-14 22:31
Subject:RealCycle crockery and a good deed :)
Mood: happy

A couple of days ago a lady on my local RealCycle said that she had a few tea service bits and pieces. Sugar bowl and milk jug, a couple of cups, that sort of thing. Hoping that they'd be the Napoleon ivy pattern (of which I have one piece, the saucer in the foreground below), I arranged to collect them from her.

When I turned up this evening, she said that she had managed to dig out a few more items...

crockeryCollapse )

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Date:2009-01-12 17:42
Subject:Ecstasy is a glass full of tea and a piece of sugar in the mouth.

I joined some time ago, but never posted before. As the community is quite calm lately I thought I could make a post with some photos I have on my flickr account. Hope you like them! (Sorry if they are more related to cakes and sweetness than just to tea).
There are 9 more pictures under the cut.

Cardiff June 2008
Read more...Collapse )

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Date:2008-10-10 23:21
Subject:Someone hide the debit card...

I just found a sight FULL of lovely lovely tea things I have been drooling over it for the past hour.

Plus I just put in a bid on a Tea set on eBay that combines tea and my all time favorite movie. I've seen this set on eBay before and yes, Mrs. Potts is a real working teapot.

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Date:2008-10-02 21:41
Subject:tea time icons!

I just got bored and felt like making some. Enjoy!

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Date:2008-09-29 17:52

Recently my friend and I took a wee tour of Northland here in New Zealand and we partook of tea at several stops. I have but few photos of the settings and places sadly.

We first of all stopped off at the Puhoi Tearooms which was barely half an hour inside of our travels. I haven't been for a few years but it's a charming place with a garden and a view that overlooks part of the valley. I am gluten intolerant (luckily not coeliac!) so I elected to have the tea and a lemon crunch cake. The cake was lovely and moist, expecially for a gluten free cake. My friend had the Devonshire tea, and her single scone was of prodigious proportions!

We stopped at an organic farm further north near Kerikeri and bought some Kerikeri Earl Grey tea which is wonderfully potent! We had many a cup of this in the campervan. It is especially lovely blended with some Cream tea.

While this is not strictly tea I had to share the love. Wonderful hot chocolate but the most magnificent lemon tart I have ever had. The lemon curd filling was so soft and light and had the perfect blend of sweet and sour. It was not gluten free however there are a few, a very few, times I do take the risk.

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Date:2008-08-13 13:11
Subject:Mandeville Hotel.

Last week was both midnightxpress's birthday, and the second anniversary of my tubewhore project, so to mark this propitious occasion on the 8th of the 8th, I took the birthday boy for tea at the Mandeville.  I chose this as somewhere new to try in our ongoing investigations into Fancy Tea in Posh London Hotels and because they did a Men's Tea for the 'heteropolitan'.  Hmmm...

It does seem that manly = meaty.  Not so clever as my companion was a vegetarian, but as I had the Ladies Fashion Tea, which erred on the side of pink, we could swap our gendered sandwiches.  I had his  skewered chicken and  steak, and he made free with my egg mayonnaise and cucumber.


and hers:

Food was lovely - the meat was beautifully tender and flavoursome, and I scoffed all those delicious little potted shrimp.  The scones were a bit of an odd shape, being amusing little towers of scone, but they still disappeared all very quickly, and the pastries were delightfully - a feast for the eyes as well as was as  the palate. 

I adore the Zandra Rhodes pretty china, and the modern, funky interior was very chic.  All a bit Rat Pack retro-futurism/ Elle Decoration urban cool...

How cute as these!  Not too cute to eat, mind you...

So a very relaxed gossipy two hours were spent gently grazing our way through the plate tiers of food, which is what I need as not very well at the moment.  The service was very good; friendly and attentive from a real human being. Oddly we weren't offered milk for our tea, so I decided to go with the flow and just take it black, and very nice it was  too.

My only tiny gripe is that the price as advertised on the website is not what I paid.  I didn't check the bill really, just handed over the plastic, but unless service is a very high percentage I was slapped for nearly a tenner more than I was expecting, and I'm not sure what the extra was.  However, that aside, I still think we had our monies worth, and certainly within the usual prie range

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Date:2008-08-13 09:29
Subject:Bugs, Bees and Butterflies

Not so very long ago, my mum and I held another tea in the garden.  The theme, as it was the height of the English Summer, was Bugs, Bees and Butterflies: a celebration of everything that creeps, crawls and flutters when one is trying to enjoy tea in the garden.  I wore a bustle with spiders printed on it, and Mum had on a stag beetle brooch...I do love a spot of dressing up.

As this summer has been pretty rain-filled we were lucky to have a blazing afternoon, so could sit out on the 'bandstand'...Sadly, several of our invited guests dropped out at the last minute, but I had the rather lovely gmul visiting from London for the weekend, and he wore his Utilikilt which mum's ladies found rather racey.  He had hearts aflutter in Cornwall, but then that could have been all the sugar in the tea!

Cake with bees!

We themed the food, with little sugar beasties, and decorated the bandstand with strings of paper butterflies and bee lights...

All very civilised and gentle.  As ever, we ate our fill and didn't need supper, and there was enough left over for me to take cakes into work the following morning, which went down well.

More pictures of the food under the cut!

Later that evening my sister popped by with her toddler - small children being kept away from the fine bone china - and Alex discovered the remainder of the cherry pie filling...

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Date:2008-08-11 19:11
Subject:July birthdays...

I'm horribly late posting reviews - I have three teas to write up, so bear with me cluttering your flists with fingers with picspam of finger sandwiches, fine china and teaspoons. 

First up: back in the first week of July, myself, gothichaven and artnouveauho decided to celebrate gothichaven's birthday a little early with tea at the Athenaeum.  I was in town for a conference, and this was about te only free day of the whole week.  It was also the hottest day of the  year - whixh is not so great for wilting goths struggling across London in corsets and with luggage.

I've been to the Athenaeum  before with midnightxpress, and had enjoyed it immensely, so was looking forward to revisiting with added girly gossip.  I booked through afternoontea.co.uk, and decided on the Summer Flowers Tea, which promised all manner of flower-based treats and prettiness.  Sadly, I can't remember what the flowery frills were supposed to be, and the menu has now changed, but anyway, they weren't much in evidence.  I think we were barely aware of the flower aspect of the meal.  That's not to say that the food wasn't lovely, and plentiful, but the added extra floral element didn't stand out . 

Their current 'special' is a Pink Afternoon tea, which does look rather splendid, and rather more obvious!

We had the usual array of afternoon tea courses - rather fine finger sandwiches, of which they kept bringing more until we'd had our fill.  Then we moved onto warm scones with a choice of jams and thick, clotted cream.  As though we weren't stuffed enough, there were then pastries from the trolley to chose from.  And just when we'd though we were done, the waitress reminded us that there was still crumpets or tea cakes!  This last course was the only serious disappointment as they looked distinctly 'bought in' from Manor bakeries, rather than made in the kitchen.  Tea itself was selected from an extensive menu, and refreshed as needed.

The best bit was having the luxury of time with friends.  This is the most valuable element to me of afternoon tea - it's supposed to be a leisurely affair - at least two hours of sipping tea and being  delighted with a series of delicious and inviting morsels to  chose from.  This aspect was certainly fulfilled, and I would go back, but possibly after I've explored some more of the places recommended on the afternoon tea website.

I do fancy that pink tea though!

Pretty china and delicate little meringues:

Liza communes with her pastry.  Check out the pastry trolley behind her!

I had to loosen my laces, and G had to do with out her corset altogether  - oh the scandal! - after such a tempting spread.  We followed up the over-eating with a constitutional stroll as far as the bus stop, before further indulging in the half price sale at Butler & Wilson...a very lovely day indeed...can't wait to do it again.

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Date:2008-07-05 21:41

I recently purchased a tea set from a local online auction site and am very very happy :) Today we christened it with some single origin Dilmah and home made meringues.

I have found out that the set is pre-1933 as it is made by R&D under Balmoral which operated from around 1902 to 1933. the style suggests to me then that it is probably from the teens or early 20s. Oh yes, that is a coffee pot and I am on the look out for a tea pot, sugar bowl and cream/milk jug (not sure which of the latter I have). The set is probably one aimed at the middle classes as it is remarkably similar to description in How to Keep House on £200 a year for a suitible but pretty set for every day use. it is remarkable to me that it has then survived so long being a servicable set rather than the best china.
it belonged to the grandmother of the husband of the woman I bought this from so I think i am about the third owner, which again is quite remarkable given their age.
We also sampled some Christmas tea which was a little strong in these cups, the green hints from the single origin suited it much more.

When summer comes around again (for it is winter here in the southern hemisphre) there shall be an Edwradian style breakfast/luncheon that shall make use of this.

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Date:2008-06-11 18:37
Subject:My china cupboard pic spam!

It's not very big. I would like more, but we move so often that I have had to restrict myself to these two very precious sets. They never get used, which is a pity, but I'm so afraid of damaging them. Perhaps I should look around for a second-best set to use...

So the picturesCollapse )

For everyday use, we have mugs. Lots and lots of them. We were making a proper collection once, and we had a shelf unit in the lounge that they lived on. Here they live in a kitchen cupboard, but maybe one day they'll come out again. We used to buy them as souvenirs, so they're a pretty mixed bag. Unfortunately it's a bit dark in there for photos and I'm not getting them all out... Sorry!

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Date:2008-06-11 14:49
Subject:Daintiness Pic Spam

Part of the fun of afternoon tea at home is building a collection of tea things...and let's face it there are a lot of peripheral fripperies one can indulge in....no end of embroidered linens, tray clothes, silver sugar tongs and cake stands to fill up the cupboards with...

A few weekends ago, I was in Truro (having tea with my mother, natch) and trawling the charity shops discovered some very pretty things which provided an excuse to dress up my bookcase which has been depleted of books since I went on a rationalisation bender and took loads of them down to the local thrift stores.  In the Red Cross shop they had a basket of bits and bobs where I found three tatted doilies (tatting does seem to be a popular subject with my friends at the minute), six crocheted doilies and a set of embroidered doilies in the shape of pansies - one big tablecloth, six medium ones and six little coasters sizes.  Everything in the basket was a mere 25p each!  Plus a willow pattern tea cosy for a whole English pound.  Bargain.

I then sold a pile of vintage clothes and used the proceeds to buy some Royal Albert Old Country Roses trios...have wanted some for simply ages and the china stall in the Truro flea market is run by the sort of dotty old lady I hope to become one day.
So I dusted off the Real Old Willow Pattern as well, and made everything look pretty...

Then on Friday evening, when
came to visit for the weekend, he surprised me with another set of Royal Albert I'd been coveting - their Masquerade pattern.  Full on gothy girliness...I only have four of the six trios out due to space, but think a tea party to christen it need s to be organised!  Abashed at such a lovely present...

The finished tea corner:

So, I've shown you mine, now I'd just love to see yours...pic spam me please!

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Date:2008-06-06 15:53
Subject:The case of the weary traveller and the teapot

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Date:2008-06-01 11:29
Subject:Egg powder disaster

I was asked to bake some cupcakes for my sister's Eurovision party last weekend, and only once I'd out the oven on and assembled my equipment did I realise we'd eaten the last of the eggs for lunch the day before (hard-boiled in salad with grilled local asparagus to be precise, which was yummy). 

Mum volunteered some egg powder which is supposedly an egg replacement suitable for use in baking.  I followed the instructions, which are to beat it with water, which gave a very dubious looking white goopy substance that certainly resembled something high in organic proteins, but necessarily what I would associate with baking.  The creamed mix, pre-addition of flour was very pale compared to the usual colour of free range organic eggs which are often very yellow.  Our own eggs, from chickens allowed to peck about outside, were always such a bright yellow they looked liked colouring had been added.

I was very skeptical of the whole thing, but ploughed on nonetheless...20 minutes later, they came out of the oven looking very sad and sunken...

D and I both tried a bit - see bottom right - and it was not at all nice.  It squashed down to a partly raw biscuity texture.  Total flop! 

Despite a growing headache, and still in my jammies we nipped up to the local Spar corner shop for proper eggs - sadly nothing free-range left - and repeated exactly the same method/ quantities, just with real eggs.

Twenty minutes later:

A bit more like it!  My pride assuaged!

Side by side:

So a life lesson there then.  Powdered egg: It looks like spoof in a cup. Give it to a sperm bank; don't try to bake with it.

The headache then turned nasty. so gave up on fiddling about with icing, (or  even getting dressed at any point in the day), collapsed on the sofa and watched zombie movies in between eating icing sugar-dusted cakes and ibuprofen...

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