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

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Time for Scones.....Mini Review Richoux Gloucester Road

Hello there,

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

I happened to be near Gloucester Road tube station recently and in need of a cup of tea, so I popped into Richoux  where I was persuaded by my companions to indulge in a scone with my cuppa (as you can imagine I didn't need much persuasion!).

With four locations across London and the south coast, Richoux offers diners a range of menus across the day. From all day breakfasts, to sandwiches and salads and main meals. However, they also offer rather wonderful looking Patisserie....

Looks good doesn't it! I wish I had tried the Viennese biscuits, but I didn't spot them until I was leaving.

If I'm honest the service we experienced on the day was a little slow and missing some smiles. We arrived without a reservation, just after lunchtime which could have explained the slowness. 

The tea menu offered a choice of different loose leaf teas, which were served in teapots and pretty teacups.

We order a cream tea for one, which included two baby scones, along with your choice of hot drink.

 The scones were served warm with strawberry jam and clotted cream. Unfortunately I think the scones had been warmed either in a microwave or in a too hot oven because they were hard in the middle. 

The scones were full of fruit, which was really nice. But the experience was somewhat ruined by the hard centres - I would have preferred to enjoy the scones cold. 

Richoux also offers diners the option of a traditional afternoon tea, which includes a selection of traditionally filled finger sandwiches, the baby scones and a choice of patisserie with your hot drink. 

For a quick stop Richoux offered a good cup of tea, but I don't think I'll be returning for another scone!

Thank you for popping by today,

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Christmas Cheer - Starbucks Takeaway Coffee

Hello there,

Welcome back to another Christmas Cheer blog post from Tea With Me and Friends. Were you inspired to try the brussels sprouts tea after our last post??

Today we are joined by the lovely Becca and her sister Sam as they recently tried some Starbucks Christmas coffees while out and about in London. During their shopping trip Becca and Sam decided they wanted some caffeine and so headed to Starbucks......they picked the Gingerbread latte and the Toffee Nut Latte from the Christmas menu.

Here are their coffees.....artfully arranged in a Christmas tree in Harrods....

Did you know that Starbucks started selling coffee in 1971?

Anyway, quiz night facts aside....lets see what Becca and Sam thought of their festive coffees.

The toffee nut latte is not new to the Starbucks Christmas menu, but apparently its a firm favourite of Starbucks fans! Its a blend of two shots of espresso, milk and toffee nut syrup. If you are feeling extra decadent you can also have whipped cream and toffee nut sprinkles on top.

Sam told us that this drink was rich and creamy, but very sweet - not for the faint hearted!

Becca enjoyed the Gingerbread Latte (which I have also tried), which is made from two shots of espresso, milk and gingerbread syrup. Again, if you want extra luxury you can top your latte with ginger whip cream and wafer topping. 

Becca really enjoyed this drink, she thought there was just enough ginger and it wasn't too sweet. I also really enjoyed this latte when I tried it - I'm not normally a milky coffee fan, but the balance of ginger in this coffee is really good.

Have you tried these Christmas coffees? We'd love to know what you thought of them!

Thanks for popping by today, we'll be back soon with more Christmas Cheer!
Rachel & Lorna

Monday, 19 November 2018

Christmas Cheer - Sainsburys Christmas Tea

Hello there,

Welcome back to another Christmas Cheer blog post - this time Lorna and her hubby Jim have been trying Sainsbury's Christmas teas - Brussel Sprout flavoured tea and Pigs in Blanket flavoured tea.

Yes, you read that correctly....we've been sampling tea flavoured with sprouts!!

Let's start with the pigs in blankets flavour tea.... don't worry though, the tea doesn't contain any sausages (that would be weird!). Looking at the ingredients, the pigs in blankets flavour is achieved by blending a Lapsang souchong tea with sage and rosemary and some flavouring. 

Each tea bag includes smoky Lapsang Souchong Tea, Apple Pieces, Flavouring, Sage and Rosemary. 

But what were the verdicts from Lorna and Jim I hear you say......

Jim thought this tea smelt peppery (his nose apparently curled when he smelt it) and tasted savoury - tea loves strong tea, but he decided the smoky blend wasn't for him. Lorna picked up on the smoky flavours and decided that the Lapsang Souchong wasn't complimented by the sage. Neither of them will be drinking it again.

Not a popular tea then!

Next comes the Brussel Sprout flavoured tea, which is actually a green tea blend.

To achieve the brussels sprouts flavour that many people love, Sainsburys have blended Green Tea with lemon peel, granulated brussels sprouts and sweet blackberry leaves. Yes......there are Brussel sprouts in the tea bags!!

Shall we see what Jim thought of this tea.....and just remember that Jim is a BIG Brussels sprout fan. This is Jim before he drinks the tea, I think the aroma might have just hit his nostrils....

…..and this is Jim after he has tried the tea....

Now this is the part of the blog where I need to apologise for what you are about to read next....I am sorry if anyone is offended by the language. When I asked Jim and Lorna for their thoughts on this tea the word "fart" was used rather a lot! 

Jim though the tea smelt of vegetables, but tasted of fart (originally I wasn't sure how Jim could be so certain of this), and there was more nose curling as this tea was sampled. Lorna gave me a slightly different description, describing the tea as tasting like green tea with "a hint of fartballs"......yes fartballs! Again, neither of them will be drinking this tea again!

Now with such glowing reviews of both teas I decided (for some unknown reason) that I needed to try them for myself as well. Just to ensure Jim and Lorna were not misleading in their thoughts....

As you can see the teas look normal enough..... but unfortunately I have to agree with Jim and Lorna's descriptions. 

The pigs in blankets tea is very smoky, and it does taste a bit meaty. I didn't find it the most pleasant tea and agree with Lorna that the sage doesn't really match the Lapsong Souchang.

As for the Brussles Sprout tea.....well Jim and Lorna were right.....all I can say is farts! 

Will we be buying these festive teas again? As you can probably guess....that will be a strong "no" from all at Tea With Me and Friends towers! If after reading this blog post you are inspired to try these teas for yourself, you can buy them from Sainsburys for £1.00 for 20 teabags.

We hope you've enjoyed this Christmas Cheer blog post....if you do try these teas we'd love to hear your thoughts too. Don't forget to pop back soon and see what other Christmas drinks we've been trying!

Thanks for popping by today,
Rachel, Lorna and Jim

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Time for Tea....Mary Poppins at Aqua Shard

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends!

There is one afternoon tea that we'd love to try, but its hard to get a reservation on the weekend because it's so popular. With a certain film due out in December I'm sure it's going to get even more popular....

Yes, its the Mary Poppins inspired tea currently being served at Aqua Shard. 
How cute is that cake stand?

Inspired by the Mary Poppins books by P.L Travers, this afternoon tea was launched at the same time as the books were re-launched by Harper Collins. 

Luckily, fellow afternoon tea lover Rachel was treated to the Mary Poppins afternoon tea as part of her recent Birthday celebrations and has shared her experience with us.

Just take a look at the gorgeous crockery....those plates are lovely...

The afternoon tea kicks off with a selection of quintessentially British finger sandwiches:
Cackleberry egg & black truffle sandwich
Ms Kirkham's cheddar, Branston pickle & English mustard ploughman's sandwich
Dingley Dell honey roast ham, mustard mayonnaise & Norfolk rocket cress sandwich
Dressed Devon crab, cucumber & coriander served on a brioche roll
Mini crumpet served warm with Scottish smoked salmon & cream cheese

The crab brioche rolls sound divine!

After guests enjoy homemade scones with clotted cream and either cherry or plum jam they can enjoy the homemade cakes and sweet treats....
'Strike me pink' sponge
Fairground candy floss
Mrs Corry's gingerbread star
Mary's chocolate & cherry hat
The 'back to front zoo' golden syrup tart

Rachel said she enjoyed the experience, all the food was scrummy!

I'd still love to try this afternoon tea for myself - I love the sound of both the sweet and savoury elements. If you happen to enjoy the champagne afternoon tea, you are also offered "medicine" with your champagne in the form of three homemade liqueurs (rum punch, strawberry or lime) which sound scrummy!

To find out more about the Mary Poppins afternoon tea pop by the Aqua Shard website.

A big thank you to Rachel for sharing her afternoon tea photos with us. If you enjoy an afternoon tea we'd love to see your photos too - leave us a message on our Facebook page!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Christmas Cheer - Christmas Creme Brulee from Starbucks


Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends and our first Christmas Cheer blog post!

I went for a mooch around Farnham on Sunday (I do love a mooch around the shops!) and ducked into Starbucks to avoid a shower. Instead of my usual black coffee I decided to sample one of the Christmas blends, Starbucks have several different options mostly latte blends such as Gingerbread Latte or Toffee Nut Latte.

I opted for the Christmas Crème Brulee Latte and a Salted Caramel Christmas tree....

Let's start with the coffee, if I'm honest I wouldn't normally pick a latte, but I was tempted by this one with it's vanilla and caramel flavours. 

The blurb on the Startbucks website describes it as....."Rich Crème Brulee Sauce is mixed with creamy eggnog milk, poured over our Espresso Roast and finished with a Christmas Brulee topping for a festive take on the traditional Crème Brulee."

It did indeed taste rich and creamy, with a nice caramel finish. But I couldn't have drank more than the small cup I had, it's quite a sweet coffee too!

In the photo below you can see the Christmas Brulee topping....

The salted caramel Christmas tree is a rice crispy and pretzel treat which is decorated with golden balls and white chocolate stars. It looks very pretty and is a good sized portion (you might even want to cut it in half and share it with someone). 

I'm glad this was a salted caramel treat as the salt cut through the sweetness nicely. I also liked the addition of pretzel pieces in with the rice cripsys as it gave the treat another texture. 

All in all a nice sweet treat.....maybe a little too sweet with the flavoured coffee as well....I hit a bit of a sugar high as I was walking back along the main street!

Have you enjoyed a Christmas Crème Brulee from Starbucks? If so what did you think?

Thank you for popping by today, we hope you enjoyed our first Christmas Cheer post! Look out for more posts over the coming weeks!

Rachel & Lorna