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

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

The Wednesday Tea Review - T2 Southern Sunrise

Hello there!

Happy Wednesday! We hope you're having a good week!

Welcome back to another tea review from the T2 tea party box! This week we're sampling a flavoured fruit tisane from the range called Southern Sunrise....


This blend includes hibiscus, lemongrass and grapefruit and is inspired by the Australian summertime. It's a tisane designed to invigorate, with a wonderful aroma and sunny colour to the liquor. 

First disclosure ….I have no idea why I have included a fake pineapple in the photo...there is no pineapple in this drink! Maybe I just wanted to make the photo more summery?? The teacup I have used is another one from the T2 collection - I love this cup and use it all the time!

As you can see the tisane has a gorgeous yellow colour once brewed and the aroma as its brewing is so summery....that alone should lift your spirits!


The flavour is really interesting as the lemongrass really comes through, making it not an overly sweet brew. Once again I tasted the tea both hot and cold and I think I preferred it as a cold drink - it was very refreshing, perfect on a hot day.

I think you could drink this tea at any time in the day - first thing it's a bright and zingy hot drink, but drinking it cold in the afternoon would be very refreshing.

Have you tried this T2 blend - if so we'd love you hear your thoughts! 

Thank you for popping by today and don't forget to pop back next Wednesday to see which drink we'll be trying next!

Rachel

Sunday, 3 February 2019

The Sunday Chocolate Review - Montezuma's Black Forest Gateau

Hello there!

Another Sunday.....another chocolate review!

Last week we took you to New York, this week we're heading to Germany for Montezuma's Black Forest Gateau pudding bar! Black Forest Gateau originated in Germany (and the real deal is so so good), but became popular in Britain in the 1970s when families would enjoy a pudding of chocolate sponge, cherries and lashings of whipped cream. Montezuma celebrates this pudding within their Great British pudding bars (which also includes Eton Mess and Treacle Tart).


Unlike Godiva who we featured last week, Montezuma is a relatively new chocolate brand, starting its production in 2000. This is a small British family business of self-taught chocolatiers, who wanted to reinvigorate the British chocolate making industry. 

This chocolate bar is nice and simple and features only two things......dark chocolate and cherries! Two of my favourite things - I love making cakes inspired by black forest gateau so I was really looking forward to trying to this bar!


Slightly more robust than the Godiva chocolate from last week, this chocolate had a really good snap when you tried to break it.  I was pleased to see the cherries throughout the bar - this was both aesthetically pleasing (the pink against the dark chocolate) and also meant that the bar had a good chance of tasting of cherries!

The dark chocolate is rich and bold, something I really like in a dark chocolate and its really well balanced with the cherry flavour. Its quite reminiscent of black forest gateau….the only thing missing is the cream! The cherry flavour is authentic and doesn't taste artificial. 

All in all I really enjoyed this bar of chocolate and would probably by it again. I found this bar in the sweet aisle of my local supermarket, it was on offer at about £2.00 for the bar. Because its a rich chocolate you can't gobble lots in one sitting (I tried) and therefore it will last you a little while (unless you are sharing....but I wouldn't recommend that!).

Have you tried this chocolate bar or any of the others in the pudding range? We'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for popping by today and don't forget to pop back next Sunday for another chocolate review!

Rachel 

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

The Wednesday Tea Review - T2 Creme Brulee

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - we hope you're well today!

Before Christmas I treated myself to "A Tea Party for Twenty" from T2 teas....but then I completely forgot to review the teas! Whoops! The box is a festive collection which includes twenty teas and tisanes from the T2 range. T2 is an Australian tea company who create innovative blends using real tea leaves (blends include banana bake and raspberry rush as well as a range of breakfast blends from around the world and more traditional teas) they have a real passion for tea and their shops are a pure delight to visit....which is where I found this pretty little box....


Inside the box...…just look at all those teas....


As there is only one Christmas tea in the collection I've decided to still feature these teas on the blog as you'll still be able to buy them in a T2 shop or on their website if you fancied trying them yourself.

I decided to start with one of the flavoured black teas - Crème Brulee. 


This is a black tea flavoured with a hazelnut praline flavour. It's supposed to be a decadent sweet treat - vanilla, hazelnuts and caramel flavours blended with a black tea. Enjoyed either with a dash of milk or black.

I decided to drink my tea black (as I usually enjoy tea without milk), and I followed the brewing instructions using boiling water and leaving the tea to brew for approx. three minutes.


Did I mention that T2 also have an amazing range of tea cups? This one was a gift from a friend, but I love all their china - worth popping into store just to marvel at the different colours and patterns!

Back to the tea....this is definitely a sweet treat...if you have a sweet crazing but want to avoid the calories this tea could provide the answer! You can taste the vanilla and the hazelnuts, which blend well with the black tea. 

I wouldn't drink this as a morning cuppa as it's too sweet, but it work perfectly as a guilt free afternoon treat. It also tastes good once its gone cold (I've got an awful habit of leaving cups of tea and coffee all around the house and finding them hours later!) - it was actually more refreshing once it had gone cold and I could imagine drinking it cold on a hot summer afternoon!

Have you tried this tea? If so we'd love to hear your thoughts....did you enjoy it black or did you try it with milk as well?

Thank you for popping by today....pop back next Wednesday to see which T2 tea we'll be trying next!

Rachel

Sunday, 27 January 2019

The Sunday Chocolate Review - Godiva New York

Hello there,

Hope you've had a tea-riffic day!

We've decided to start a new feature on the blog.....one that is very dear to my heart! If you didn't already know I'm a bit of a chocolate fiend....I love the stuff, but I can be a bit picky (for example I hate the chocolate that Easter eggs are made from). There are so many different varieties and flavours of chocolate available now that it can be hard to know what to try next.....so we're taking the hard work out of it for you....any excuse to try new chocolates!

Our first feature is the limited edition chocolate from Godiva - their New York Apple and Salted Caramel chocolate. This is a blend of milk chocolate, apple and salted caramel and is supposed to take you on a flavour journey to America's Big Apple!
If you haven't heard of them before, Godiva are a luxury Belgian chocolate brand that has been making chocolate since 1926 (so they must be pretty good by now!). They now have stores in more than 80 countries worldwide and are quite famous for their fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate (which I am yet to try).

First off....the packaging is so pretty, both inside and out! If you're a sucker for packing like I am, then you will find this very pleasing! The illustrations are very sweet. They also have a London version, which is inspired by Eton Mess.....I've opted not to try that one as it has white chocolate as a base which I'm not really a fan of. 


The gold foil makes this feel like a luxurious bar of chocolate. However, I didn't have to go into a Godiva store to buy it.....I found it in the sweet aisle of my local supermarket, it cost me just over £2.00.

This chocolate bar includes Godiva's milk chocolate, apple pieces, caramel pieces and additional apple flavourings. The milk chocolate is so smooth and creamy, a really lovely chocolate....it's blended with pieces of salted caramel which are quite chunky in size and what can only be described as a bizarre apple flavour.

Its definitely an apple flavour, reminiscent of sharp green apples, but possibly slightly artificial. Its not unpleasant and it blends well with the chocolate and caramel flavours, but its just a bit bizarre!


As you can see from the photo the chocolate bar itself is slim and delicate and the fillings a good size - its nice to see good pieces of caramel throughout the bar!

Another slightly bizarre point is as you eat the chocolate, the apple pieces rehydrate themselves and you find yourself with real apple in your mouth after the chocolate has vanished.....do you think this counts as one of my five a day??

All in all a pleasant bar of chocolate, but it didn't leave me jumping for joy nor did it really remind me of my trip to New York. I'd eat it again if someone gave it to me, but probably wouldn't rush out to buy it!

Have you tried this chocolate bar - what did you think of it, we'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for popping by today, pop back next Sunday for another chocolate review!

Rachel 

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Time for....some Danish Baked Goods!

Hello there!

Happy Sunday! Hope you're feeling tea-riffic today!

So....I walk passed Ole & Steen on Haymarket rather frequently, but I'm always on my way somewhere else and have never popped in despite the scrummy looking window displays! If you've not discovered Ole & Steen before, its a Danish bakery who has been handmaking their breads and cakes for 20 years, with eight sites across London.

They open from early to late and no matter what time of day, they always have something tempting in their windows. When walking passed at about 9:30pm one Saturday night we spotted the following in the windows...



So many pastries and cakes....I had to go in! 

I was surprised at how busy it was at night time, but discovered that they offer an all day menu as well as the sweet treats you can see above. You can enjoy a range of Focaccias, sandwiches and stews during the day and into the evening.

As it's bakery, Ole & Steen offer a take away service a well as the eat in option....so you know what happened next....yes treats were purchased!


I decided a cinnamon swirl would be perfect for my Sunday morning treat the next day and I'm so pleased that I finally bought something from Ole & Steen! 

This Danish pastry swirl is crafted with cinnamon, marzipan and a vanilla custard. Considering I ate mine the day after I bought it, I was very impressed. The delicious pastry was still crisp and fresh and the inside was velvety and scrumptious! You couldn't taste the marzipan, but it added a wonderful texture to the swirl. The swirl was flavoured with the perfect amount of cinnamon and it went really well with my morning coffee.

The inside of the swirl....



At £3 per swirl it is a treat, but the quality of the bake was brilliant (even the next day) and the size was generous….


I'll definitely be heading back to try more treats out as this swirl was delicious! 

Do you have a favourite bakery or a favourite baked treat? We'd love to hear about them!

Thanks for popping by today,
Rachel