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

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Christmas tea at home...featuring The Tea Chest

Hello there,

We hope you are well and are looking forward to the festive season! Have you put your tree up yet - we have!

Last weekend Lorna and I enjoyed a Christmas afternoon tea feast at home with our friends. As regular readers know.....Lorna and I usually bake our own afternoon tea treats when we enjoy a spot of tea at home. This time Lorna kept up the tradition.....but I have been so busy at work that I ran out of time to bake and decided to rely on shop bought goodies instead! I know - shock horror!

Another new addition to the afternoon tea feast were the actual teas we drank during with the food. We were lucky enough to be sent some brand new teas to showcase from Tea Chest , the bespoke blend tea subscription company. The guys at Tea Chest kindly put together two brand new Christmas blends for us to try! But more about that later....lets start with some of the sweet treats.....

Christmas afternoon tea with Tea With Me and Friends

Our feast included a selection of Christmas inspired sandwiches, spiced scones, chocolate cookie Christmas puds, mini mince pies, pieces of stollen, mini gingerbread men and of course Christmas cake. Quite a selection!

The sandwich fillings included traditional afternoon tea fillings such as egg mayonnaise as well as more Christmassey fillings such as turkey and cranberry sauce. Lorna even parted with tradition slightly and built a tower of sandwiches....

Lorna's sandwich tower!

We also added an extra savoury element to the spread from the Sainsbury's Taste the Difference range in the form of vol au vents....

First of the shop bought treats - vol au vent cases from Sainsbury's

These all butter cases were simply divine - bite sized and so buttery! I filled them with prawns and topped with a little paprika....

Prawn vol-au-vents - very retro!

These proved to be very popular, I'll definitely buy the cases again.

Lorna's Christmas scones were also a triumph...she took her basic scone recipe and added some Christmassey spices. I'm not sure what she added, but they smelt and tasted wonderful....

Afternoon tea scones with a Christmas twist

....especially when covered in clotted cream....

Scones served the Tea With Me and Friends way!

When it came to the sweet treats we enjoyed during the feast, there were a mixture of shop bought and homemade treats on offer. Fresh from the shelves of Sainsbury's came mini mince pies and stollen bites....

More shop bought treats from Sainsbury's

Unfortunately we were slightly more disappointed with these shop bought items.

 The mini mince pies were ok, but the bigger version of them avaliable in the shops is much better (maybe because there is more of them??). The stollen bites I didn't enjoy at all....I'm usually a big stollen fan but there was something a little odd about the texture.

The homemade treats were much more pleasing...with Becca making the most scrummy chocolate cookies which looked like Christmas puddings. 

These were rich and dense and the white chocolate topping complimented the biscuit really well....plus they looked super cute....

Becca's chocolate cookie Christmas puddings - amazing!

Lorna made the most gorgeous mini gingerbread men...and ladies. They were bite sized and flavoured well with ginger, plus Lorna decorated them with icing which made them really cute. 

She also made a mini Christmas cake by taking a shop bought fruit cake and wrapping it with marzipan and icing...

Lorna's gingerbread men and women

As we enjoyed our Christmas feast we watched Christmas movies and drank the Christmas tea sent to us by Tea Chest.....

Tea from Tea Chest
Santa's Sleigh and Christmas Pudding blends

The blends were called Santa's Sleigh and Christmas Pudding.

Santa's Sleigh is a smokey black tea, based on the original black tea that was carried on caravans from China to St Petersburg. This tea is smokey, just like Santa would be after making all his trips down chimneys on Christmas Eve. The tea is enjoyable, it has a light smokey taste - not too over powering. We enjoyed it black without any milk or sugar.

The Christmas Pudding blend is a combination of black tea, festive spices, real fruit pieces, vanilla and rose essences. This tea can be enjoyed with or without milk and it is recommended that you add a little sugar to bring out the flavours. This tea wasn't as popular with our guests, as the rose is a little strong in flavour, but we liked the idea of the tea.

Christmas tea blends from Tea Chest

To find out more about Tea Chest and the tea subscriptions they offer, which are delivered directly to your door please visit their website.

A tea delivery from Tea Chest - fits through the letterbox!

We've enjoyed sharing our Christmas afternoon tea with you....we hope you've enjoyed drooling over the photos! We'd like to thank Tea Chest for sharing their new blends with us - its always exciting to try new teas!

If you enjoy a Christmas afternoon tea this festive season we'd love to hear all about it - let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Christmas afternoon tea stand
Tea With Me and Friends

Thank you for popping by today,

Rachel & Lorna

Tea With Me and Friends at Christmas!

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