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

Friday, 29 July 2016

The Friday Review - Lemon & Orange Black Tea from Taylors of Harrogate

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - it's Friday....so it's time to share another cup of tea with you!

I travel with work quite a bit, staying overnight in various hotels. This has both its positives and negatives....one of the ups is that I get to try quite a few different teas on my travels! One of the first things I usually look for when I check into a new hotel is the tea tray (sad I know!), to see what delights there might be. Often it's a standard branded tea, nothing too exciting, but sometimes I discover something a little bit different. This was the case when I checked into my hotel in Darlington this week....the tea tray initially looked quite bog standard....

Bog standard tea tray hiding something rather lovely....

All the usual suspects were huddle together at the front....but tucked away near the back was something a bit more interesting....

Lemon and orange tea - Taylors of Harrogate

Yes, this is a lemon and orange tea....but its not a fruity tea...nope its a black tea. I was intrigued to try this one out. I was also impressed by the size of the mug -no tiny teacups at this hotel!

Taylors have combined black tea with the sweet, tangy flavour of citrus fruits for a tea that they say you can enjoy at any time of the day.

For the perfect cup they recommend that you use one tea bag. Add freshly boiled water and infuse for 3-5 minutes. The fruity flavour is best appreciated on its own, or can be sweetened with sugar or honey.

Lemon and Orange tea - Taylors of Harrogate

The flavour of the tea was lovely - zesty and refreshing. Not at all artificial or overpowering - you could taste that it was a black tea rather than a herbal infusion. 

If you fancy trying this tea for yourself you can buy it online from Betty's - take a peek here.

Thank you for popping by today,

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Time for.....some baking with jam!

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends!

Recently I went to the Hampton Court Flower with my mum, to swoon over the beautiful flowers. As well as the wonderful plants on display and on sale there is always a great selection of food sellers at the show. And this time I had the pleasure of meeting Louise and John from Louise's Larder and discovering their fabulous range of artisan jams, chutneys and cordials all homemade in Devon.

Lot's of jams and chutneys!

The range is all cooked in their cottage kitchen in Devon, where Louise uses traditional methods but with a fantastic blend of flavours. Her Rhubarb, Rose & Cardamom Jam and Gingered Fig & Rhubarb Chutney have both scooped top awards from food industry judges.

Louise and John from Louise's Larder

The jams include Apricot & Lavender, Plum, Orange & Star Anise, Raspberry & Violet and Rhubarb Rose & Cardamom. And the chutneys include Gingered Fig & Rhubarb, Pear & Plum  ad Spiced Tomato.

I tried the Raspberry and violet jam and loved it - the violet is subtle, but adds a wonderful flavour to the jam. As I talked to John we discussed how I could use the jam at home....the obvious thing being spread generously on toast....which I can confirm made a scrummy breakfast.....

Raspberry & Violet jam on toast from Louise's Larder

But then John suggested adding some to vodka to make my own cocktails at home...so I thought why not and when I got home I got my trusty cocktail shaker out....

I added a shot (or two) of vodka and dolloped in some jam, added in ice and gave it a good shake! I poured this into a glass, topped with a little lemonade and garnished with some raspberries....

It was really delicious (maybe a bit too delicious!) and refreshing. If John's reading this I'd like to thank him for this top tip!

The other thing I knew this jam would be good for was a spot of baking. I combined another big dollop of the jam to some vanilla cake batter and baked it in a fancy mould to make a pretty pudding....

Louise's Larder raspberry& violet jam baked into cake!

The violet and raspberry tasted wonderful with the vanilla sponge, light and delicate - a real treat!

Pop by the Louise's Larder website to see the full range of products on offer, you'll also find some gift items too. They also have a list of events that Louise will be at this year.

Thank you for popping by today,

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Time for Tea....Bailiffscourt Hotel, Climping

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends,

Today we have a rather special guest post for you.....as it's a post featuring my Aunty Chris (and use I am going to call her Aunty Chris throughout this post, because anything else would be weird!) and her Birthday afternoon tea! As a Birthday treat Aunty Chris was taken to Bailiffscourt Hotel in Climping, West Sussex, for a spot of afternoon tea......

Afternoon tea - Bailiffscourt Hotel

The hotel sounds amazing - it's made up of thirty-nine bedrooms in a series of charming houses and cottages, set in thirty acres leading to Climping beach. The buildings include a medieval-style house, thatched houses and cottages, a 13th century chapel and there is an outdoor swimming pool. Looking at their map you can see how extensive the grounds are...

Map of Bailiffscourt Hotel (from hotel website)

More importantly though, lets take a closer look at that afternoon tea which can be enjoyed in one of the lounges around our inner courtyard or if the sun is shining outside in the courtyard amongst the roses.

Tea is served on modern, pretty china and includes all the usual elements....

afternoon tea sandwiches- Bailiffscourt Hotel

Aunty Chris particularly enjoyed the sandwiches, which were crustless and cut into traditional fingers. The fillings were traditional too with salmon, cucumber, ham and egg on offer. The afternoon tea included as many sandwiches as you wanted.

At the bottom of the cake stand were the scones, which were served warm with clotted cream, lemon curd and strawberry preserve...

Afternoon tea scones - Bailiffscourt Hotel

Finally there was the cake selection at the top of the cake stand....

Afternoon tea cakes - Bailiffscourt Hotel

Tea was served in huge teapots - so no fear of running out.....and pouring your tea will count towards your exercise routine (always a bonus!)....

Aunty Chris working out her arm muscles!

All in all it was a lovely afternoon tea. Aunty Chris' favourite bits were the sandwiches and the scones, she also liked the oldie worldy surroundings. 

Afternoon tea at Bailiffscourt Hotel starts at just £25 per person, to find out more please visit their website.

I'd like to thank Aunty Chris for sending me her photos and sharing her afternoon tea adventure with us. I'd also like to wish her a tea-riffic Birthday!

If you'd like to share an afternoon tea with us please get in touch- leave a comment here or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.

Thank you for popping by today,

Friday, 22 July 2016

The Friday Review -Grey's Teas -Part 2

Hello there,

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

Last week we took at first look at Grey's Teas and the range they have on offer for tea lovers, today we're going to take a look at another selection of their teas.

First off let's take a look at "Good Afternoon" a Chinese and Indian tea blend......

This tea can be enjoyed with or without milk - as you'd expect, I enjoyed it without. Once brewed the tea is a pretty light amber colour - very welcoming....

The tea has a really light smokey aroma and flavour - not at all overpowering, but you can definitely pick up a slight smokey hint. Its a light and refreshing tea, which I thoroughly enjoyed with a piece of cake one afternoon!

Next lets take a look at Tian Mu Qing Ding a Chinese green tea.....

This is a green tea from China’s Zhejiang Province, which is grown high in the mists of the picturesque sub-tropical Tian Mu mountain. The tea is picked for only two weeks each spring.

To brew this tea, use one teaspoon per cup with freshly boiled water that has cooled to around 80 C. and infuse for three minutes......

This tea is a lovely pale golden colour when brewed, and has a light, smooth taste to it. Anyone who believes green tea is bitter should try this tea! There is even a hint of sweetness to the tea - again not overpowering in any way but definitely noticeable.

We hope you've enjoyed part two of our review of Grey's Teas - pop back next week to see the trio of Assam teas that we've sampled! Once again we'd like to thank Grey's Teas for sending us these teas to sample, but please remember that this has not effected our taste buds and all opinions expressed here are our own.

If you'd like to find out more about Grey's Teas please pop by their website.

Thank you for popping by today,

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Afternoon Tea News - Cotswold House Hotel & Spa

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends.

Today we've got some afternoon tea news from Cotswold House Hotel & Spa, who is stepping into the summer season with the launch of a decadent afternoon tea in partnership with Twinings, to coincide with the hotel’s re-launch.

In the heart of the Cotswolds, the Grade II listed hotel is idyllically located in Chipping Campden, one of the UK’s most picturesque market towns. Boasting sumptuous rooms and suites, some of which have a private garden and hot-tub, a bustling bistro and fine dining restaurant, as well as a secret spa reached down a meandering path through the hotel’s glorious gardens; the hotel offers a quintessential British boutique experience to guests and locals alike.

In celebration of a truly British tradition, Cotswold House Hotel & Spa’s new afternoon tea menu has been created in partnership with Twinings. Teatime at Cotswold House now comes complete with a menu of loose leaf teas, which can be touched, smelt, tasted and even paired with different courses to offer an enhanced afternoon tea experience. Unique teas on the menu include a Nutty Chocolate Assam, an Elderflower and Blossom Darjeeling and a Rosy Fig White Tea.

Enjoyed in the sumptuous surrounds of the hotel’s restaurant or spectacular gardens, the Cotswold House Full Afternoon Tea is served as an indulgent array of freshly baked scones complete with clotted cream and strawberry jam, homemade cakes, fancies and a selection of finger sandwiches; for £21.50 per person. To add a touch of sparkle, afternoon tea can be taken with a glass of prosecco for £26.50 per person or a glass of champagne for £30 per person. For a lighter bite, a Cream Tea of scones, clotted cream and jam can also be enjoyed with Twining’s selection of teas for £8.50 per person.

For further information about this new afternoon tea please visit Cotswold House Hotel & Spa website. If you sample this afternoon tea we'd love to hear all about it - drop us a line....or better still a photo or two!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna