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

Friday, 31 October 2014

Time for a little spooky tea....Ampersand Hotel

Hello there,

Happy Halloween!

Welcome back to another afternoon tea post from Tea With Me and Friends. Last weekend, Lorna and I celebrated Halloween a little early with a visit to the Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington.

Now, if you've popped by our blog before you'll know this isn't our first time to the Ampersand. This is our third or fourth visit to the hotel for a spot of afternoon tea, in fact we first visited this lovely boutique hotel for Halloween afternoon tea in 2013. We love the work of pastry chef Ji Sun Shin and couldn't resist going back to sample the Halloween tea again.....

Halloween afternoon tea
Ampersand Hotel

Now, all the afternoon teas served at the Ampersand follow a similar format of savouries (either open sandwiches or savoury gougeres) followed by scrummy white chocolate scones - however it's the sweet top tier of the afternoon tea stand where Ji Sun lets her imagination and creativity run wild and that's where I want to focus this post.....

Sweet treats - afternoon tea - Ampersand Hotel

Although this tea looks like similar to the Halloween tea that was served last year, there are some subtle differences this year which we all enjoyed.

The sweet treats include a cute orange pumpkin cake, a blackberry jelly skull on a sable breton, a red velvet cupcake and a raspberry, rose & redcurrant blood shot. 

I particularly enjoyed the jelly skull on the sable breton, the combination of the silky jelly on top of the sable breton was brilliant - especially if you chose to put the entire thing in your mouth in one go! The blackberry jelly has an amazing flavour too. Altogether a lovely treat!

You might have noticed this little cutie in the photo.....

I saved my orange pumpkin cake to last as it's so cute and I didn't want to cut it up straight away. Once you take the plunge and cut through the icing, you find a wonderful orange sponge cake inside - which is beautifully flavoured.

Slightly more alarming is the red velvet mini cake, complete with "glass" shard and eyeball....

The red velvet cake melts in the mouth, and is topped with a tangy drizzle of raspberry. Again it's the perfect size for popping into your mouth in one go if you are so inclined! 

Each time we visit the Ampersand we are amazed by the cakes and pastries created by Ji Sun, she creates items that look so pleasing to the eye, yet she never compromises taste. I had the pleasure of meeting Ji Sun earlier this year when she kindly answered some of my nosey afternoon tea questions....take a peek at the post to read more about how she creates her amazing afternoon teas.

Halloween afternoon tea - Ampersand Hotel

The Halloween afternoon tea costs £32.50 per person and is available until the 9th November 2014, to find out more visit the Ampersand website.

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Time to Tea....Singapore Heritage Afternoon Tea

Hello and welcome back to another guest post from Tea With Me and Friends.

This time we are featuring the afternoon tea adventures of Sarika from Pearlsbounce blog. Sarika joined us a little while ago to tell us all about the Birdcage afternoon tea at W Hotel in Singapore, this time she has something a little different to share with us......

Singapore Heritage Afternoon Tea

The recently re-vamped Clifford Pier at The Fullerton Bay Hotel hosts a wonderful Singaporean Heritage Afternoon Tea. Full of novel tea time treats that are spun off favourite Singaporean local flavours this Tea Time does not disappoint.

Singapore Heritage Afternoon Tea
The Fullerton Bay Hotel

Singaporean cookbook author, Shermay Lee, curates a selection of 8 savoury and 8 sweet items to reflect Singapore’s multifavoured culinary past and present. The little 'creations are handcrafted with a nod to traditional skills and are based on heirloom recipes handed down to Shermay from her late grandmother, Mrs Lee Chin Koon, author of the famous Mrs Lee’s Cookbook and widely recognized as the doyenne of Peranakan cuisine in Singapore.'

The Singapore Heritage Afternoon Tea
The Fullerton Bay Hotel

Like all Afternoon Tea rituals we commenced ours with a selection of brew and were thrilled by the local options. The deliciously sweet Teh Tarik being the most popular on our table I opted for the strongly brewed Moroccan Mint Tea.

Time for tea....

In good stead we kicked off with the 8 Savoury items which were topped up galore! Firm favourites were the nostalgic Kueh Pie Tee, Bak Kwa Jam Sandwich and Chilli Crab Bao. (for novel Singaporean eaters check the menu pic for the delicious details). 
Being a condiment connoisseur I was excited by the choice of asian dipping pots - sweet and savoury were both demolished. The fiery local red garlic chilli sauce was yumtastic when accompanied with the sweet and sticky Kurobuta Pork Kong Ba Bao and Nonya Chicken Curry Roti Jala Wrap.

Condiments at afternoon tea!
The Fullerton Bay Hotel

Afternoon tea
The Fullerton Bay Hotel

The Tropical scones were surprisingly crumbly and moist (not a norm in Singapore's humidity), and the Pineapple-Vanilla Jam and Kaya spread were very well paired. I would say a really good scone job done by Clifford Pier!

For those who have room - 8 Sweet Singaporean treats await you! The Hainanese Roti with Kaya got my attention first as did the Sugee Financier and Bandung Macaroon. The bright green Pandan Swiss Roll unfortunately didn't deliver for me - a bit dense which was a shame as I love Pandan!

Singapore Heritage Afternoon Tea
The Fullerton Bay Hotel

This is the Ultimate Tea for those who love to savour the culinary delights of Singapore or for those that want an intro into Singapore's long love affair of blended South East Asian cuisine. The Clifford Pier's colonial feel is a well suited venue for the Heritage Tea with its opulent deck and great views of the Singapore River.

For  more information about this afternoon tea please visit The Fullerton Bay Hotel website.

A big thank you again to Sarika for sharing her afternoon tea experience, those tropical scones sound wonderful. We do love hearing about afternoon teas in other countries and we can't wait to see where Sarika goes next!

If you have an afternoon tea that you'd like to share with us, please get in touch as we'd love to hear from you. All you need to do is send us some photos and your thoughts about the afternoon tea. Email us on teawithmeandfriends@gmail.com 

Thanks for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Afternoon Tea News....Aqua Shard

Hello there,

Welcome back to another afternoon tea news article from Tea With Me and Friends, today we are sharing some news from Aqua Shard in London.

To celebrate the release of the Paddington Movie in November Aqua Shard have a limited edition Paddington inspired afternoon tea on offer to guests dining between now and the 28th November. I have to say this is a rather cute looking themed tea....

Paddington themed afternoon tea - Aqua Shard
Photo from Aqua Shard

The tea includes a selection of sandwiches and scones (served with jam and of course marmalade!), then some wonderful sounding sweet treats:

Paddington praline cream bun
Orange marmalade macaroon
Traditional Battenburg
Chili & Chocolate London taxi

If you peer into the suitcase you'll be able to see the black taxis on the right - I think they look so cute! 

This tea is available for £34.50 per person with your choice of tea from the menu, or if you fancy a glass of bubbles with your tea it will be £45.00 per person. To find out more pop by the Aqua Shard website.

If you try this fab looking tea we'd love to hear all about it!

Thanks for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna