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

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Time for Tea....in Cuba??

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends! As some of you may know, Lorna and I took a little break last month, disappearing off to Cuba for a week of sunshine and beautiful beaches.....

Beautiful Cuba

 Now as you, wherever we travel we always try and find a new afternoon tea adventure to try and share....but this proved rather challenging in Cuba, where coffee is the preferred hot beverage (it is rather good coffee!).

We did find some food in our hotel which reminded us a little of afternoon tea, there were some savoury items which looked a bit like afternoon tea sandwiches....

Not a crust in sight on these cucumber open sandwiches....

.....We also found tomato open sandwiches!

We were delighted to find these crustless wonders.....but when we tried these tomato and cucumber delights, unfortunately they were a little dry on the edges and a little soggy in the middle! 

The sweet treats we found looked a lot more promising....

Sweet treats for Tea With Me and Friends.....

....not quite afternoon tea though!

There was plenty of choice when it came to sweet treats at our hotel buffet, all perfectly sized and very tasty! The raspberry cake and the chocolate and vanilla slice in the bottom photo were particularly good, with great flavours and textures. However, they were all more pudding than afternoon tea. 

So with no afternoon tea adventures to share with you, we have decided to give you a slightly different post which looks at something else that Cuba is very famous for.....a spot of rum!

Our Cuban holiday had a rum theme!

While in Cuba we might have tried a little bit of rum....in fact we might have enjoyed various rum based cocktails during our holiday! 

We drank rum in minty mojitos, which consisted of white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice), lime juice, sparkling water, and mint. We enjoyed it in refreshing daiquiris made of white rum, lime and simple syrup. And we drank it in creamy pina coladas, made with white rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice....

Pina Colada by the pool....

I think I enjoyed the lime daiquiris most as I found them rather refreshing in the Cuban heat. Lorna was rather partial to a Cuba Libre - white rum, lime and cola.

While in Havana we were taught how to drink dark rum correctly, swilling it around our mouths (this was an interesting experience that I'm not sure our mouths thanked us for) ....

Rum tasting in Cuba

We also visited the Havana Club museum in Havana, where we enjoyed a guided tour....

Havana Club Museum


As well as the history of Havana Club in Cuba and the rum making process, we also visited their rather impressive bar....


Havana Club Museum Bar

There was also a trip to the Floridita bar in Havana, which was once the regular haunt of Ernest Hemming and in 2012 was home to the world's largest Daiquiri..... 

World's largest daiquiri 
This giant cocktail was whipped up by Cuban mixologists at the club, and weighs in at an impressive 71 gallons! The cocktail was created as part of the celebrations honouring the 195th anniversary of El Floridita, and it took two waiters half an hour to fill the glass.

After a week in the sunshine I think it's safe to say that we left Cuba with a greater appreciation for all things rum! We hope you have enjoyed this slightly different post....pop back soon for more afternoon tea posts!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Time for Tea.....The Bentley

Hello there,

Welcome back to another fab guest post from Tea With Me and Friends. We always love hearing about the afternoon teas that you enjoy and we delighted when Nicci from Very Vintage Teas got in touch via our Facebook page to tell us about her recent adventure.....

The Bentley is a stones throw from Gloucester Road tube station in Kensington and the easy journey was even more pleasurable as the weather on the 31st October was one of the warmest on record!
We were welcomed into the opulent lobby and shown to the Peridot room where our champagne tea was to be served.  It was filled with natural light and was very welcoming.

Afternoon tea at The Bentley

We were given a chance to order tea (jasmine pearls for me, English breakfast for my friend) which arrived in time for it to sit while we awaited our champagne and afternoon tea. My only criticism of the tea was that it was not what I call ‘proper’ jasmine pearls, but in a bag. Despite this it was still a very good accompaniment to the champagne tea.

The sandwiches were an absolute delight! Cucumber and cream cheese, egg mayonnaise, tuna and cucumber, coronation chicken and smoked salmon blinis. Every component was super fresh and very tasty. There is much to be said for well-seasoned, simple food!

Afternoon tea sandwiches - The Bentley

The teeny-tiny scones were warm, light and very fresh. The perfect size to pop into ones mouth in one go! These were served with a generous amount of clotted cream (I can’t bear to scrimp on cream) and a delightful blackcurrant jam. I can imagine this would not have been to everyone's taste as it hits a little sharp on the palette but I love tangy, zingy jams so was pleasantly surprised.

Afternoon tea scones - The Bentley

An afternoon tea is surprisingly filling but we soldiered on to the tiered stand of sweet treats. This consisted of delectable little bites in the form of chocolate nut brownie, cream filled choux bun, mini victoria sponge, passionfruit and white chocolate layer sponge, raspberry layer sponge and a strawberry mousse. These really were gorgeous little pops of flavour that were beautiful to admire on the stand too. Good food really does encompass all the senses! 

Afternoon tea sweets - The Bentley

Afternoon tea at The Bentley is not just for special occasions. Go on, treat yourself…

Nicci


Don't those sweets look scrummy! Afternoon tea at The Bentley is available daily between 3pm-6pm and costs £25.00 per person, or £35.00 per person if you fancy a glass of bubbles with your tea. To find out more about afternoon tea at The Bentley please visit their website.

A huge thank you to Nicci for sharing her afternoon tea adventure with us! To find out more about Nicci visit her on Facebook! If you've enjoyed an afternoon tea recently and have some scrummy photos we'd love to hear from you!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Tried and Tested....Homemade Cold Brewed Tea with a little help from Whittard

Hello there,

Welcome back to another tried and tested tea article from Tea With Me and Friends. Recently I was invited to try out the Cold Brew T Bottle from Whittard which has been designed to make cold brewed loose leaf tea to be enjoyed at home.

Cold brewing at home!

Having not tried cold brewed tea before I was rather intrigued by the end results. On reading more about the process I found out that a cold, slow infusion produces a brew with reduced tannins and therefore a smoother, less bitter taste. Perfect for summer picnics, but also enjoyable with meals at anytime during the year as the tea tends to be really refreshing.

The Whittard Cold Brew T Bottle makes the whole process of cold brewing at home incredibly simple, with five simple steps....

1) Add 15g (5-7 teaspoons) of your favourite loose leaf tea to the bottle (fruit and herbal infusions are not suitable for use with cold brew)

2) Fill the bottle to the mark with cold water.

3) Add the lid/spout

4) Let the tea brew in the fridge for 3-6 hours

5) Serve and enjoy 

As well as the bottle Whittard also sent me some Mango & Bergamot loose leaf tea to try as a cold brew. This was a blend that I haven't tried before, but have become a huge fan of. It's a naturally sweet green tea, blended with mango and a hint of bergamot. 

Cold Brew T Bottle - Whittard

I followed the simple instructions above, putting 6 teaspoons of the leaves into my bottle before adding cold water. I then left the bottle in the fridge for about four hours to infuse before trying the brew. There is a clever filter in the lid which allows you to pour directly from the bottle into your teacup of choice.

The Whittard Cold Brew T Bottle

Not really knowing what to expect from a cold tea brew (and not being a huge fan of iced coffee) I was pleasantly surprised by the end results. The tea was a bright, clear green-yellow colour when poured out of the bottle, and no tea leaves made it into the cup. The flavour of the Mango & Bergamot blend was clear and smooth and very refreshing...definitely something I would drink again.

I am looking forward to trying more tea varieties from my cupboard in the future.




The bottle itself is elegant in design and sits neatly in my fridge. I think this would make a lovely present for the tea-lover in your life who already has lots of tea accessories and is looking for something a little different.

To find out more about the Cold Brew T Bottle visit the Whittard website. I'd like to thank Whittard for sending me the Cold Brew T Bottle. Please note that although I have received this product all opinions expressed are my own.

Do you have a favourite tea gadget that you think we should know about? Is your infuser the best? We'd love to hear about how you blend your teas at home and whether you've tried a cold brew before!

Thanks for popping by today,
Rachel