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

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Time for......a tea-riffic celebration....today we're three years old!

Hello there,

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

At Tea With Me and Friends towers we're in a great mood.....because today our little blog is three years old! Little did we think when we started writing the blog three years ago that it would prove so popular and we'd eat sooooo many scones in the coming years!

In the short time we've been writing, we have enjoyed so many different afternoon teas in so many tearooms and restaurants. We've consumed rather a lot of finger sandwiches (mostly crustless) and drank gallons of tea (without milk). We've also been lucky enough to meet some tea-riffic people along the wait.

Best of all we've been able to share our afternoon tea adventures with such a lovely group of like-minded people, who all enjoy a cup of tea and a piece of cake!

To celebrate today we thought we'd share some tea-riffic photos with you...

Are you drooling yet....

We'd like to thank everyone who has supported us over the years - we've really enjoyed sharing our afternoon tea stories and photos with you!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Time for Tea...Hotel Granduca Houston, Texas

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - we hope you're having a fab day!

Today we are joined on the blog by one of our lovely Facebook friends, Anita from Houston in Texas. Anita recently enjoyed a spot of afternoon tea with her daughter at Hotel Granduca Houston, Texas and we couldn't wait to hear all about it!

Anita enjoying a spot of afternoon tea at
Hotel Granduca Houston, Texas

Hotel Granduca Houston is a luxury hotel which first opened in 2016, the hotel is inspired by the life and history of Adalberto Malatesta, Granduca of Monfallito. Anita says she loves the ambiance of the hotel... it looks just like an Italian Villa. The hotel is full of fresh flowers and beautiful displays....

The afternoon tea is a traditional English afternoon tea with an Italian flair....including delicate savouries - open sandwiches and mini tarts....

Afternoon tea savouries - Hotel Granduca Houston, Texas

and beautiful patisserie....

Afternoon tea sweets, Hotel Granduca Houston, Texas

Anita said she loved the presentation of each course as they were placed in front of you.

The scones are served piping hot right out of the oven.....

Afternoon tea scones at
Hotel Granduca Houston, Texas

and were enjoyed with cream and jam.

Anita enjoyed the white orchid tea with her afternoon tea feast, drank from pretty floral teacups...

Anita reports that they enjoyed a really lovely afternoon tea at the Hotel Granduca Houston. If you'd like to find out more information about the hotel or this scrummy looking afternoon tea please visit their website.

We'd like to say a huge thank you to Anita for sharing her experience with us - all these scrummy photos had our mouths watering! 

If you've enjoyed an afternoon tea somewhere we'd love to hear all about it - leave us a comment on the blog or over on our Facebook page! We'd love you share your adventure with all our blog readers!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Friday, 24 June 2016

The Friday Review - Bluebird Tea, the Summer Collection 2016

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends! We've been a little quiet on the blog recently, but never fear...we're back with lots more tea and cake!

Today we have a lovely summer tea review for you....fitting with the beautiful summer weather we're having in the UK (hmmmm...this is a bit of a fib...it's currently very wet in Surrey!!).

Bluebird Tea - Red Velvet & Jelly & Ice Cream

Yes, you've read that correctly....part of the Bluebird Tea Summer collection is Jelly & Ice Cream! The whole range includes Jelly & Ice Cream, Sangria, Strawberry Split and Red Velvet - perfect for the summer months! I was lucky enough to be sent the red velvet and jelly & ice cream teas to try!

Let's start with the red velvet tea....

Bluebird Tea - Red Velvet

This tea combines Sri Lankan black tea, cocoa shells, white chocolate sprinkles, beetroot slices (yes beetroot slices) and pomegranate flowers. The blend is very pretty with flecks of white, red and yellow mingled with the dark tea leaves and cocoa shells. It smells amazing....just like cake!

Bluebird Tea - Red Velvet

Add your boiling water and you get a very attractive, ruby red tea which has a chocolate aroma. This tea can be enjoyed with or without milk....not surprisingly I opted for no milk.

The tea has a rich, bold flavour....again very reminiscent of a slice of cake. It's a warm, soothing tea, which would satisfy a sweet tooth without being overly sweet. It's an authentic flavour, not at all artificial. A lovely cuppa!

The second tea is a rooibos blend called Jelly & Ice Cream....

Bluebird Tea - Jelly & Ice Cream

This blend includes rooibos, vanilla, strawberries and elderberries.....and really smells like strawberries and cream when you open the packet! The aroma made my mouth water and made me smile....surely a sign of a great beverage!

Bluebird Tea - Jelly & Ice Cream

This blend can be enjoyed hot or cold - on this occasion I opted for hot. The tea is a pretty amber colour when brewed and smells just like strawberries! It's a really fun tea, which reminds me very much of jelly and ice-cream. The flavours are strawberry and vanilla, with creamy hints. 

I can't wait to try this as a cold drink!

For more information about the Bluebird Teas pop by their website

Bluebird Teas - The Summer Collection 2016

I'd like to thank the team at Bluebird Teas for sending us these teas to try - it's always great to sample new and exciting blends. Please remember that this hasn't effected our taste buds though, and all opinions expressed in this post are our own.

Have you tried any of the summer collection yet - we'd love to hear what you think. Get in touch and leave us a comment below with your favourite!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Time for....some reading....Eric Lanlard Afternoon Tea - Part 2

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - we hope you're having a great day!

Remember at the beginning of the month we shared with you the fab new afternoon tea book from Eric Lanlard and the biscuit bakes we tried from the book.....well today we're back with some savoury offerings!

Eric's book covers everything you'd need to create your own afternoon tea at home, from individual recipes to how to create an afternoon tea menu. This weekend we have a family party and I offered to make some savoury canapes, having picked some recipes from Eric's book.

I opted to make:

Pear, Roquefort and walnut tarts
Brie and red onion marmalade Gruyere eclairs
Tartes flambees

Yes.....I like cheese!!

The recipes in Eric's book are simple and easy to follow, and I am fairly pleased with how each savoury treat turned out...

I particularly liked the brie and red onion marmalade eclairs, which were crisp and smooth all at the same time. The onion marmalade is very tasty and simple to make. The ingredients all work so well together - imagine creamy brie, peppery rocket and sweet onions all on a crisp base.....amazing!

I'm not entirely sure what happened with my pear and blue cheese tarts.....they kind of exploded out of the cases and made a bit of a mess. They tasted good though, and I love that the walnuts look like brains! 

As my bakes were for a family party....I made quite a few....

The recipes were very easy to double.

If you fancy trying some of the recipes for yourself, Afternoon Tea is available to buy now.....don't forget to let us know how you get on!

Thank you for popping by today.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Time for Tea.....The Arch

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - today we have another new afternoon tea to share with you! Last weekend Becca and I went to The Arch near Marble Arch to try their new Royal Afternoon Tea which celebrates the Queen's 90th Birthday.

The Arch is a family run hotel, located just off Oxford Street near Marble Arch. We enjoyed our afternoon tea in Hunter 486, which was comfortable and stylish. Jing Tea is served at The Arch, there is a great selection to pick from. The china has been especially selected for this afternoon tea.....its so pretty!!

The afternoon tea menu itself is very traditional, very befitting of a Royal Afternoon Tea......

Afternoon tea - The Arch, London

The savoury selection includes a Rare roast beef, horseradish, watercress and crispy shallots open sandwich, a Honey baked ham and piccalilli finger sandwich, an Egg mayonnaise and mustard cress finger sandwich, Stilton cheese straws and Chicken liver parfait served with brioche fingers and a spiced fig chutney. A great selection of savouries - something for everyone!

Afternoon tea savouries - The Arch, London

The sandwiches were all fresh and tasty, although there could have been a little more egg mayonnaise filling. We both really enjoyed the cheese straws, but Becca's favourite was the chicken liver parfait.

Next we enjoyed the scones - we were served a plain and a fruit scone each, served with strawberry jam and clotted cream. Becca is allergic to Strawberries (shocking I know) and so the staff brought out some apricot jam. We were impressed with how the hotel dealt with Becca's food allergies considering there were a lot of strawberries on the menu and I had forgotten to notify the hotel before we arrived.

The scones were big and very tasty - light and fluffy inside, not at all claggy. Now remember that I said Becca really liked the chicken liver parfait.....well she liked it that much that she also enjoyed it on one of her scones! Apparently it tasted really good.....

Scones dressed the Becca way....with chicken liver parfait

Finally we started on the cake selection which included Battenberg cake, a Strawberry and pistachio tart (or raspberry and pistachio for Becca), Macaroons, an Eton mess and a Chocolate orange tea cake.....

Afternoon tea cakes - The Arch, London

My favourite cake was the Battenburg cake - despite the purple colouring instead of the traditional pink. I also enjoyed the chocolate and orange tea cake, although the consistency was a little sticky. This was a good selection of sweet treats, catering for lots of different tastes. Each piece was a generous portion.

All in all this was a lovely afternoon tea - everything was fresh and the flavours were well balanced. We weren't offered additional items, but at £25.00 per person and with really generous portion sizes we had a filling afternoon tea. If like the Queen you are celebrating, you can add a glass of champagne to the afternoon tea - £38.00 per person.

See ...... I told you it was pretty china......

Afternoon tea scones - The Arch, London

The staff at the hotel are all very friendly and knowledgeable about the afternoon tea.

We'd like to thank The Arch for inviting us to try their new afternoon tea. But please remember that this has not affected our taste buds and all opinions expressed in this blog post are our own.

If you'd like to experience this afternoon tea for yourself, its available until the 10th July 2016. For more information pop by their website.

Thank you for popping by today,