Friday, January 18, 2008

Scones at the Chesterfield Hotel, London

Tea In My Cup from the Tea Palace



I primarily drink black tea or blends of black tea. I also enjoy white tea and some Oolongs. I usually avoid green tea due memories of being required to drink the the frothy kind (Matcha?) on visits to Japan, but that is another story, and I keep promising myself to try different green teas. I avoid herbal infusions because of allergies to several herbs and flowers, especially rose hips.

The tea in my cup today is "Afternoon at the Palace" a loose-leaf blend of Darjeeling and China black teas I purchased in March, 2007 at The Tea Palace in London. http://www.teapalace.co.uk/ According to the description on the pretty purple tin, it has a refreshing light, aromatic taste and is the perfect accompaniment to sweet afternoon treats. I have been drinking this tea the past few afternoons to avoid eating sweet treats! Maybe I would have been better off not reading that part of the description because now all I can think of is sweet treats to enjoy with my tea.

The cup I am drinking from today is actually a bone china mug. my husband and I purchased two of these in 1995 at a little shop in the quaint village of Broadway in the Cotswolds. We experienced our first English Cream Tea on that trip. A " cream tea" includes freshly baked scones served with clotted cream and strawberry jam with a pot of tea. Ahh, clotted cream, there is nothing like it here in the U.S. Clotted cream is a golden rich heavy cream so think that one can stand a spoon in it. The proper way to eat a cream tea is debatable depending on the area of England. Most people split the scone in half, spread the clotted cream across the scone, like butter, and the strawberry jam on top of the cream. In other areas, the jam is spread on the scone before the clotted cream. A gentleman tearoom owner in Bourton-on-the -Water corrected us on the way we spread our cream and jam. His wife came out the the kitchen and corrected him. They were from opposite ends of England, therefore the difference in their methods of scone-eating. In my opinion, scones with clotted cream and jam is a delicious treat either way. So delicious, in fact, that we traveled back to England four times since 1995 for more of the cream tea experience! So much for not thinking about eating sweet treats.... I'm on the way back to the teapot to pour another cup of tea.
 

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