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

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Time for....some Tea Pairing Tips!

Hello there, welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends!

We love a tasty Chinese meal when we're not eating afternoon tea and so today we thought we'd share with you some Tea Pairing Tips with Dim Sum at Royal China

Drinking tea with dim sum is essential in Chinese cultures - with tea being equally as important as the dishes you are eating.  Each tea has its own unique taste and aroma, so it is important to pair the dishes with the correct teas to experience the full flavours of the cuisine.

Royal China Club offers a vast tea menu of 40 different teas, all stored in a traditional Chinese tea chest. With such a huge variety of teas on offer, it can be difficult to choose the most suitable for your dim sum feast.

The tea experts at Royal China Group have provided their top tips on which teas to order with dim sum to make the most of the oriental flavours.

Dim Sum Dish: Prawn dumpling

Pairing: Light dishes pairs well with Jasmine tea, allowing you to taste the full floral flavours of the tea.

Dim Sum Dish: Scallop dumplings or Lobster dim sum
Pairing: It’s best to pair these dim sum dishes with a tea darker in colour and with a stronger flavour such as Oolong Tea, which also has a more complex aroma.

Dim Sum Dish: Chilli dumplings

Pairing: Pu-erh tea is best paired with chilli dumplings as it is strong tea which pairs well with the chilli flavours and it helps you to digest oilier foods.

Dim Sum Dish: Honey roast pork puffs

Pairing: Keemun tea is a full-bodied black tea, best sipped with pastry dishes and dark meat. It should not be paired with very sweet desserts.

Dim Sum Dish: Chicken Buns or Fruit
Pairing: Green tea pairs best with milder ingredients such as chicken. It also matches well with fruit desserts such as Royal China’s Almond beancurd with fruit cocktail.

The Royal China Group consists of six of London’s most authentic and prestigious Chinese restaurants, including the luxurious and critically-acclaimed Royal China Club. Based in prime areas of London, the restaurants are centrally located on Baker Street, as well as in Bayswater, Fulham, Harrow-on-the-Hill and Canary Wharf.

The Royal China restaurants offer traditional Hong Kong Chinese dishes, while the Royal China Club provides and exclusive experience combining European ingredients within the authentic Chinese cuisine.

Is your mouth watering now? What other meals do you enjoy pairing tea with?

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Time for.....a special Children's Afternoon tea at The Langham

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends.....today we are featuring an afternoon tea adventure especially designed for the smaller members of the family....  the Langham's Children's Afternoon Tea which features a Hamley's teddy bear for each young diner!

Created by the tea-riffic Cherish Finden, Executive Pastry Chef at The Langham, together with Chris King, Executive Chef of The Langham, the Afternoon Tea is fun and colourful and sure to make young diners smile....

Children's Afternoon Tea -The Langham

The afternoon tea, which is designed especially for children aged 12 years and under, includes a choice of children’s tea, hot chocolate, smoothies or fresh fruit juice accompanied by jigsaw sandwiches.

Then comes the cakes and pastries, which I am particularly jealous of....
Carousel Cup Cake Swirl
Cookie Monster Macaron
Maltesers Chocolate Mousse
Langham Cold Chocolate

Children's Afternoon Tea -The Langham

Just look at that cute Cookie Monster!

For more inforamtion about this afternoon tea adventure and how to book visit the Palm Court website.

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel and Lorna

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Time for Tea .....The Tea Shop Around the Corner, Farnborough

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends!

Recently a lovely lady on Twitter recommended that I visit The Tea Shop Around the Corner in Farnborough for a spot of tea and cake. Since I'm based in Farnham, a short drive away I decided I should definitely make the trip.

The Tea Shop Around The Corner, Farnborough

It was a Wednesday lunchtime when I popped by, and I was surprised at how busy it was on a weekday. The tea shop is fairly modern, with wooden chairs and tables. But vintage china is used to serve the cakes etc. Food is ordered at the main counter and once ready the waitresses bring it over to you.

The tea shop has a good menu, including lots of breakfast items and sandwiches, as well as a counter full of cakes and scones! As I had not booked in advance I couldn't enjoy the full afternoon tea experience....so I opted for a cream tea and a piece of rocky road cake.....

Cream tea - Tea Shop Around The Corner, Farnborough

The scone was huge, but it was served cold. However, it was well baked and tasty, it was served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. The rocky road was amazing - a huge slab of cake! It was gooey and crunchy all at the same time and full of treats like marshmallow, cherries and biscuits. The pot of tea gave me about three cups of tea.

Afternoon tea scone - Tea Shop Around The Corner, Farnborough

Rocky Road Cake - Tea Shop Around The Corner, Farnborough

This feast cost me under £7.00, which I thought was great value as everything was fresh and tasty. The service was also fast and friendly, even when the tea shop got quite busy.

Cream tea & Cake - Tea Shop Around The Corner, Farnborough

 I'd definitely like to pop back and try their full afternoon tea feast which costs £14.95 per person and includes all the traditional items. For more about The Tea Shop Around the Corner visit their Facebook page.

Have you got a favourite local tea room? Why not tell us all about it!

Thanks for popping by today,

Friday, 12 August 2016

The Friday Review - Grey's Teas Part 3 - The Assam edition

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - we hope you're enjoying Afternoon Tea Week 2016!

Today we bring you our third and final look at Grey's Teas, this time focusing on a selection of Assam Teas.

Let's start by taking a look at Assam Dikom....

Grey's Teas - Assam Dikom

The Dikom tea garden is based in the south-east of the Assam region in India’s north east, Dikom is considered one of Assam’s best tea estates. The tea produced is a bold, no nonsense traditional tea.

When brewed for five minutes you have a beautiful rich coloured tea with a bright, slightly malty flavour. A well rounded cuppa.....

Grey's Teas- Assam Dikom

Next we have the Assam Harmutty Second Flush.....

Grey's Teas - Assam Harmutty Second Flush

The Harmutty garden was established in 1870 and located in the Brahmaputra valley. The tea is usually picked in May, and has a wonderfully inviting aromatic aroma. 

A nice tea fact for you - this is a clonal tea....which means that the tea bushes which these leaves are picked from are cloned from the root-stock of the original tea plants native to Assam! 

This tea should be brewed for about four minutes and can be drunk with or without milk....we opted for without milk....

Grey's Teas - Assam Harmutty Second Flush

This tea when brewed is a lovely dark amber colour.

This is a lovely bold and rich tea with a slightly malty flavour. 

Finally we have the Assam Tonganagaon 2nd Flush....which also happens to be my favourite of the three....

Grey's Teas - Assam Tonganagaon 2nd Flush

This tea is produced by a small garden, from the Tinsukia district of Assam, in limited quantities, 

The tea is a golden amber colour when brewed for four minutes....

Grey's Teas - Assam Tonganagaon 2nd Flush

This tea has a bold flavour, which is malty but also slightly spicy...and its this delicious warmth that I love about it. A great cup of tea to start the day off with!

We hope you've enjoyed our look at Grey's Teas -there are plenty more teas to see over on the Grey's Teas website. We'd like to thank Grey's Teas for sending us the tea samples to try - please remember this hasn't affected our taste buds and all opinions expressed here are our own.

Thank you for popping by today,

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Afternoon Tea News - The Blackpool Tower Ballroom Afternoon Tea

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - today we're back with a little afternoon tea news for you......

The Blackpool Tower has launched a beautiful summer afternoon tea in the sophisticated setting of its famous Ballroom. Home to the stars’ favourite spectacular dance floor and dating back to 1894, the Ballroom features spectacular architecture. Its elegant charm makes it the perfect location for a very British afternoon tea......

Afternoon Tea - Blackpool Tower Ballroom

The tea-riffic menu features a vari-tea of sandwiches on malted and wheat grain bread, including salmon flakes with cucumber and cream cheese, and chopped egg mayonnaise with sliced egg and salad cress.

Next comes the fresh fruit scone with Clotted Cream and strawberry preserve, followed by a selection of delicious fruit tartlets and dainty cakes. Enjoy with with a hot coffee or Twining’s fruit or breakfast tea.

Take a step back in time and watch the dancers gliding across the dancefloor during your tea, or try out your own Latin and Ballroom moves.

To find out more about this afternoon tea visit the Blackpool Tower website where you can also book online .

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Monday, 8 August 2016

It's Afternoon Tea Week!

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends, we're a bit excited today because it's the beginning of Afternoon Tea Week 2016! 

Afternoon Tea Week runs from 8th - 14th August this year and is a celebration of one of the nation’s favourite traditions. Whether enjoyed in a 5-star hotel, in a local tearoom, or as a home baked treat we know how much everyone loves a spot of afternoon tea and this week is the perfect opportunity to indulge! Pop by the Afternoon Tea Week website to see all the special events, exclusive offers, and competitions.

Some of the offers you can enjoy this week include 2 for 1 Champagne Afternoon Tea at Amba Hotel Marble Arch, 25% off Afternoon Tea in Oblix Lounge at The Shard, 25% off Birdcage Afternoon Tea at The Park Lane Hotel and 25% Afternoon Tea in Mirror Room at Rosewood London to name just a few!

In addition to celebrate Afternoon Tea Week Buyagift.com are offering Tea With Me and Friends readers an exclusive discount of 20% off all afternoon teas on the Buyagift.com website from 8th- 14th August, off some already discounted prices, simply enter AFTERNOONTEAPR at the checkout!

If you enjoy an afternoon tea adventure this week we'd love to hear all about it - leave us a comment or send us a Tweet!

Thanks for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Time for Tea....Le Meridien Piccadilly

Hello there fellow afternoon tea lovers,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends, where today we're sharing with you a not so tea-riffic afternoon tea adventure we recently had.

On a trip into London with mum I decided to treat her to an afternoon tea before the show we were seeing. I looked around and discovered the Jungle Afternoon tea at Le Meridien Piccadilly via the Bookable Table website. The tea was launched in March to celebrate the release of Disney’s new film interpretation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. The tea looked rather cool, with tiger bread sandwiches, fruit kebabs and animal print cookies, we were both looking forward to it.

On arrival at The Terrace, where the afternoon tea is served, there was no one at the front desk to greet us, in fact it took about five minutes of looking around for someone to finally show us to our table. When we were seated I showed the waiter our reservation and he told me that the Jungle Tea is for children and therefore we couldn't have it - we would have to have the (more expensive) traditional afternoon tea. I challenged that the Bookable Table website did not mention this, but this didn't seem to matter.

We weren't asked whether we had any dietary requirements and on reflection no one asked my name, so I'm not sure what happened to our actual reservation. Eventually our afternoon tea was brought over to our table on a modern stand, along with our tea, but I can't tell you what was on the stand as this was not explained to us....it looked pretty though....

Afternoon tea - Le Meridien Piccadilly

As the waitress disappeared off it soon became apparent that there was no extras with this tea - what you see is what you get (including the pot of tea). 

Let's start at the bottom of the stand with the sandwiches....

Afternoon tea sandwiches - Le Meridien Piccadilly

As the sandwich fillings were not described to us we had to guess....one was an egg sandwich on tomato bread which I enjoyed, there was also an average poached salmon sandwich and a chicken and mushroom sandwich (which I didn't like). Finally there was a pepper and olive sandwich which neither mum nor I touched.

The sandwiches were cold as if they had just come from a fridge, and the texture wasn't particularly fresh. They were cut into finger sandwiches, but not all the crusts were removed.....

Controversial crust left on!

Moving on from the sandwiches we moved up to the scones - we had two each, one fruit and one plain. Served with cream and jam in little pots.

The scones were claggy, the plain one being a little better than the fruit one.

Scones - Le Meridien Piccadilly

Although the cream and jam were served in these cute little glass jars, there were no spoons on the table to serve them. I had to find a waitress and request the spoons!

From here we moved to the top tier of the stand, the cakes and pastries, which all looked wonderful......

Afternoon tea pastries - Le Meridien Piccadilly

Again, we had no idea what each cake was and therefore had to guess. 

On the far left we had a fairly tasteless macaroon - the texture was good, but it tasted of nothing. Next to that we had an almond pastry ball, filled with pink mousse- the pastry was very tasty. At the end we had some kind of pistachio and strawberry cake - possibly an Opera Cake.....this had a rather lovely coconut marshmallow attached to side (probably the best bit of all the sweets!)....

Finally, and just out of sight in the photo, we had two chocolate domes which sat on sable biscuits. 

At no point during the tea did anyone come and ask us whether we were enjoying our afternoon tea. In fact there seemed to be a shortage of staff during our whole experience. 

When we finally got the bill, we were told that the price of the Jungle afternoon tea had been honoured and we weren't expected to pay the price of the traditional afternoon tea which was more expensive. However, it wasn't until we were leaving that someone actually apologised for the confusion in our reservation.

To say we were disappointed with the whole experience is a bit of an understatement really. The Terrace itself lacked any atmosphere, there was no service to speak of and the food wasn't brilliant either. 

It's not often that we experience such a poor overall afternoon tea. If anyone has tried the Jungle Afternoon tea we'd love to know what it was like!

Thank you for popping by today,

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Time for Tea.....Cole's Bazaar and Snackery, Isle of Wight

Hello there,

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

Joe and I recently spent a weekend away on the Isle of Wight, and as you can imagine......finding a scrummy scone was on the top of our "to do"list. Well, ok.....it wasn't really on the top of Joe's list, but he humoured me and let me hunt out a new scone spot!

Little did I know that we were staying in the next town to a "scone zone"....

The Scone Zone!
Cole's Bazaar & Snackery, Shanklin - Isle of Wight

As we walked along the seafront at Shanklin we came across this sign outside Cole's Bazaar and Snackery. To be honest, the name "snackery" had first caught our eye....but then I saw the board! 

As well as plain and savoury scones, the board included banana, lemon, cherry, apricot and apple scones (to name a few). Each one paired with clotted cream and a spread or preserve.

I opted for the banana scone, served with clotted cream and chocolate spread! 

Banana scone - Cole's Bazaar & Snackery - Isle of Wight

For £3.75 I got a good size scone, which was served warm. A portion of butter, a portion of clotted cream and a portion of chocolate spread. And of course.....a pot of tea! I was really impressed with the price of this cream tea - the portion sizes were great and the service really quick.

As you can tell from the photo above, we were really lucky with the weather and I got to enjoy my scone in the sunshine overlooking the sea.

Banana scone with clotted cream and chocolate spread
Isle of Wight

The scone was really fresh and tasty, I loved the banana flavour which was sweet and subtle.  The banana went really well with the clotted cream and chocolate spread.

All the scones are homemade, with natural ingredients.

I really wish we were staying on the Isle of Wight longer, I would have loved to try all the different scones on offer! I suppose at least I have a very good reason to visit again!

What's the most unusual scone you have tried? I think banana is definitely the most exotic scone I've sampled so far!

Thank you for popping by today,