Monday, 21 December 2015

Fortnum and Mason Afternoon Tea

Hi everyone!  I thought you'd like to see a couple of piccies from our Christmas trip to London!  We don't live far away but don't often take time for extreme tourism like we do when we go on holiday. We thought Festive Afternoon Tea at Fortnum and Mason would be just to the ticket to get into the Christmas spirit, but couldn't miss a few other sights too...

This it our space-age room at The Hub by The Premier Inn at Covent Garden.  It was just what we needed for a night away and you couldn't ask for a more central location!

Christmas at Covent Garden

Our next stop was at Hyde Park for Winter Wonderland, also known as Christmas on steroids! 

Off to get the tube at Knightsbridge... Harvey Nichols

Later in the evening, we visited Somerset House to watch people having a blast Ice Skating! I'm pretty sure it's still on for a while longer but book ahead to get a place, or you'll end up watching like us!

Fortnum and Mason have a tea lodge at Somerset House, which explains the themed Christmas tree! 

There were only midday slots left for Fortnum and Mason Afternoon Tea so off we went after a very small breakfast!  

It was a lovely atmosphere at the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon with Christmas music being played on the piano; a relaxing escape from all the hustle and bustle.

We tried a ceylon afternoon tea blend and a lapsang souchong!

This was Festive Afternoon Tea, with lovely finger sandwiches, scones with blueberry jam and lemon curd and a choice of sweets, some of which had festive gold leaf decorations.  I had the gluten-free option and it was all delicious and we were especially impressed by their own brand of jam with whole blueberries.

There was even a cake trolley for those who could fit even more in (not me)!!

I do love a goodie bag and was beyond excited to be given this 2015 bauble with Christmas tea inside!  We then had a nice wander around the department store...

The Milliners... love it!!!

I found my butterfly motif eau de nil teacup range!

Tea shop!

Fortnum and Mason are famous for their Christmas window displays.

Back out on Regent Street we found a Japanese tea shop with Matcha cakes for sale.

Finally back through Trafalgar Square before going home to decorate our own tree..!

Happy Christmas everyone and thank you for visiting my blog.  I wish you all the best for 2016! xx

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Tea Street Shop on Etsy!!

Hello Tea Lovers!

As you know, i've been writing this tea blog for a few years now, and having spent way too much time looking at crafts on Pinterest, I've decided to make some tea products myself!  My TeaStreetShop can be found here, so please check it out!

The Masala Chai jars are packed full of flavour and are as authentic to India as possible using real spice pieces instead of powdered spices.  This is an extremely healthy brew with super spices ginger and cinnamon to name just a few.  You can also experiment by adding your own strong black tea, such as Assam, or herbal Rooibos.

My second handmade item is Masala Chai Christmas Baubles; a great Christmas gift!  Using the same herbal blend as the jars, i've also added a strong Assam tea to this one.  However, I think this is different to other 'Chai Teas' out there that are usually made up of black teas with spice flavourings and maybe a couple of pieces of ginger (a bit sad in my opinion).  

The great thing about both of these tea blends, is that you brew them in a saucepan and let the delicious aroma drift through your home.  That's definitely a two-in-one deal for Christmas in my book!

Enjoy!! xx

Sunday, 29 November 2015

'The Tea Planter's Wife' by Dinah Jefferies

I've just finished a novel called 'The Tea Planter's Wife', which is a number one Sunday Times bestselling drama set in a tea plantation in Sri Lanka.  I was drawn to it to see if I would learn anything about tea growing while enjoying a nice story!

It's advertised on Amazon as:

Dinah Jefferies' unforgettable new novel, The Tea Planter's Wife is a haunting, tender portrait of a woman forced to choose between her duty as a wife and her instinct as a mother...
Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper steps off a steamer in Ceylon full of optimism, eager to join her new husband. But the man who greets her at the tea plantation is not the same one she fell in love with in London.
Distant and brooding, Laurence spends long days wrapped up in his work, leaving his young bride to explore the plantation alone. It's a place filled with clues to the past - locked doors, a yellowed wedding dress in a dusty trunk, an overgrown grave hidden in the grounds, far too small for an adult...
Gwen soon falls pregnant and her husband is overjoyed, but she has little time to celebrate. In the delivery room the new mother is faced with a terrible choice, one she knows no one in her upper class set will understand - least of all Laurence. Forced to bury a secret at the heart of her marriage, Gwen is more isolated than ever. When the time comes, how will her husband ever understand what she has done?
The Tea Planter's Wife is a story of guilt, betrayal and untold secrets vividly and entrancingly set in colonial era Ceylon.

I really enjoyed this book and have added it to my Amazon shopping widget down on the right of this page.  I liked that it touched upon a tea plantation's landscape and climate, the plucking and processing methods of producing tea, as well as the treatment of the people  involved in the running of this business, all the while giving us a great story.  

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Savill Garden Restaurant Windsor

I love Autumn when the sun's out; it's crisp and bright and the colours are starting to turn rusty at the tips.  Last week, we headed to the Savill Garden restaurant in the classic car for a cup of tea and a stroll down to Virginia Water, which is just round the corner.

I do love a tea bar, especially when it stocks Jing Teawhich i've blogged about several times.

We shared a Jing Chai Tea as they gave us an extra pot of water to re-infuse the leaves and we grabbed a jug of milk.

Although I could taste the spices, they were more of a complimentary flavour to the ceylon black tea, rather than having a 100% spicey punch, like some herbal versions.

Savill Gardens themselves are next to the restaurant, but we went for a wander down by the lake instead as it's so beautiful.

I highly recommend a wander here...