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

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Time for....a lovely new logo!

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends......did you spot our tea-riffic new logo?

We have some exciting plans for the coming weeks and we decided what better way to start than with a lovely new look! 

We commissioned the logo from the talented illustrator Morgane Carlier who we discovered on Instagram. We just love her cute designs, and we were delighted to discover that she is also rather partial to a spot of tea and cakes too! To see more of Morgane's illustrations pop by her website.

We look forward to sharing some more of our afternoon tea adventures with you over the coming weeks!

Rachel & Lorna

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Time for Tea....Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Hello there,

Welcome back to another fab guest post from Tea With Me and Friends, today we are joined by the lovely Victoria Redshaw who is sharing a rather special afternoon tea adventure with us....all the way from Dubai! Now I have heard rumours about these rather extravagant afternoon teas in Dubai, but have never heard a first hand review and so was very keen to hear more....

Last year, my friend Suzie and I visited and blogged about our afternoon tea at The Portrait Restaurant at the National Portrait Gallery.  Fast forward 10 months and Suzie is now living and working in Dubai.  And so, our plan to have afternoon tea at the world’s only 7 starred hotel, the Burj Al Arab (the one which looks like a sail) was formed…

Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai

On entering the main lobby, you are faced with an incredible fountain which I’m sure is the height of two double decker buses and afternoon tea is served above it.  All that glitters IS gold in this amazing hotel.  We’d booked the Ultimate Afternoon Tea, which costs 560 AED (approximately £100) per person and features a seven course tea and a glass of champagne.  It needs to be amazing for that price, doesn’t it?  

A quartet of men playing Arabian music was a pleasant accompaniment and once they finished, we were entertained by the beautiful sound of a harpist.  Not to mention, on our arrival the men’s tennis world number one, Novak Djokovic was posing for photographs ahead of the Dubai Tennis Open!

There are three sittings for afternoon tea, and the only available option when we booked was at 1pm; the others are at 3pm and 5pm, however we were never hurried.  With a flourish, our waiter poured our glasses of champagne and allowed us to peruse the extensive tea menu.   Course one was a berry tart – perfectly light and included fresh berries.  Remember that Dubai is effectively in a desert, so all these items have to be imported.

Berry Tart...enjoyed in the desert!

The finger sandwiches were brought next on different types of bread, but all were completely crustless.  The salmon “round” really did have a tiny bit of edible gold on it, and a little bit of caviar on the side.  Of course, the normal cucumber sandwich was divine.  In fact, it was all jolly good but there’s no endless supply of sandwiches.  However, we didn’t need any more sandwiches as course number three was the Chef’s Carvery – a perfectly pink piece of beef, with a “jus” and some potato.  Really, really good!

Afternoon tea sandwiches at Burj Al Arab

The Chef’s Carvery at Burj Al Arab

Thankfully we had a palate cleanser of a lychee and rose sorbet next; supremely light and set us up well for the scones.  One each of the fruit (called a “raisin scone” by our waiter) and plain scone and perfectly warm.  Interestingly, the preserves were an orange marmalade, a passion fruit jam and traditional strawberry, served with “Devonshire Clotted Cream”.  I can’t confirm that it definitely came from Devon, but it was delicious.

The palate cleanser

Afternoon tea scones at
Burj Al Arab

Suzie had told the staff at the hotel that it was my birthday, which it will be shortly, so our waiter presented me with a small piece of gateau with a lit candle and proceeded to sing “Happy birthday”! 

Two more courses to go and I think we were wondering whether we’d be rolled out of the hotel.  The selection of French pastries was paraded before us and we selected one or two each.  All absolutely exquisitely made.  This was before the final course of “cake”!  

We’d also selected a champagne cocktail to drink after our glass of champagne.  When you’re in such amazing surroundings, I think it’s only right to ensure you make the most of it!  I don’t think I’ll ever stay at the hotel, as the cheapest suite (no standard doubles here!) is a mere £2500 per night.

Victoria and Suzie enjoying a spot of afternoon tea!

The interior of the hotel is simply incredible.  It really does look like a billowing sail from both the exterior and interior design.  If you ever visit Dubai, it is an amazing experience to have afternoon tea here.  Unlike most other hotels, you are unable to visit on spec and I believe they charge an entry fee, which is high enough to prevent most people from having a look around.  

Wow! What an amazing sounding afternoon tea - edible gold on sandwiches! A huge thank you to Victoria for sharing this afternoon tea adventure with us and for taking all those lovely photos! If you'd like to know more about the Burj Al Arab hotel please visit their website. I can't wait to see where Victoria and Suzie visit next for a spot of afternoon tea!

Thank you for popping by today,

Friday, 27 February 2015

The Friday Review....Twinings Fruity

Hello there,

Welcome back to another Friday Review from Tea With Me and Friends.

Since we started the Friday Review a couple of weeks ago we have featured quite a mixture of iced teas and a white tea...this week we decided to feature a fruity blend from Twinings.

Twinings - Mango & Cinnamon

This is a naturally caffeine free fruit tea which combines a sweet mango flavour with the warmness of cinnamon. When I first saw this tea I wasn't sure exactly what it would taste like, but I was intrigued by the blend....

Twinings - Mango & Cinnamon

The tea is a beautiful dark orange, almost red colour once it has been brewed for a couple of minutes, and it smells lovely and fruity. It makes a really warming cup of tea - perfect at any time of the day. The cinnamon makes it comforting, whilst the mango adds a touch of sweetness.

Twinings have a large selection of teas in their collection now including black teas, green teas, fruity teas and floral teas. Do you have a favourite Twinings blend that we should feature in a future Friday Review? If so please get in touch and let us know!

Thanks for popping by today,