Friday, August 31, 2012

Tea Cup Thursday

I love this cup and saucer which I purchased in a local tea shop last year( now sadly gone). I fell in love the moment I saw it. It conjured up visions of Scotland, one of my favorite places.
The gold trim is such a lovely accent.
I've waited all summer to make this post. I had to wait til the thistles were in bloom.
The plate is so beautiful. The painted thistles are just lovely!
Thistles are really difficult to pick! They are full of the most prickly thorns. A true statement of Scotland...beautiful but strong. 

As you can see, it's Sheltonian china made in Staffordshire England. It's bone china and is new, not vintage.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Don't forget to enter for our giveaway. The drawing is soon.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Third Afternoon Tea

We spent the morning traveling to Oxford to see my niece Jenni. She is doing a summer study abroad. We got there early and had what they called "Breakfast Baps" which are a sort of roll. I'm holding a diet coke which has a commemorate can made just for the Olympics. We had a wonderful time seeing Oxford. It is such an ancient city...very Harry Potteresque (is that a word?) It was a lovely visit, but we left before the tea rooms were open.  We traveled back to London and tried our luck at finding another afternoon tea venue.
Had to share this funny advertisement we saw in Paddington Station. Did you guess it?  McDonald's of course!
After visiting Oxford, we came back to London and found out that the number one rated hotel afternoon tea was right next door to our hotel. The Athenaeum has a famous afternoon tea and I so hoped we could go without having a reservation. We were very fortunate and were seated right away. This was the tea menu. It is very unusual as it resembles two wooden planks with petri dishes embedded in it. It shows you a sampling of each tea on the menu. I couldn't wait to start this experience!
We were so fortunate to have Afternoon Tea at the Athenaeum without reservations. Luckily for us someone didn't show up so we were treated to a splendid afternoon. First we had pink champaigne. So lovely! Then sandwiches were delivered to our table. There were about eight different fillings. When we had finished our sandwiches, they came around with more. The service was impeccable.
Here are the scones and crumpets!
See how the little tea pots had paper covers to keep you from burning your fingers!
The table was set so beautifully!
Of course it was beautiful bone china! Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo of the dessert cart which concluded the tea. I suppose I was over whelmed by then! It had an amazing selection of cakes, pies, and puddings. You made your choice and the waiter set it on your table. What a fantastic experience If you are ever on Piccadilly, you must, must, must have afternoon tea at the Athnaeum!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tea Cup Thursday - The Second Afternoon in London

My tea cup for this week will be the Spode cup my husband Andy is holding in our new favorite tea room.
I met my friend Jenni in Hampstead. We all took the Overground to Kew Gardens to visit the foremost tea room near London.
While waiting for Jenni, I slipped into a bookshop and purchase Bake for Britain. Now I can make Spotted Dick! Ha Ha!
Here is my childhood friend and me in front of our destination...The Maids of Honour Tea Room across the street from Kew Gardens.
The Maids of Honour Tart has been a part of their history for almost three hundred years! Henry the Eighth was the first to use the term for a delicious tart that Ann Boleyn and her other "Maids of Honour" were eating He was so happy with the tarts that the recipe was kept secret and locked in a tin box. By the 18th century the recipe was disclosed to a nearby bakery and became a featured recipe. They still serve it today and we had the privilege of ordering them!!
Scones with strawberry jam, clotted cream and lemon curd.
Yummy! And I love their Spode dishware.
How cute is their delivery truck!! Too bad they can't cross the pond!!
Doesn't every tea room have a fireplace?
A lovely little outside terrace.
This is the picture on the menu. This lovely tea room, truly in the English tradition, has been in the Newens family since 1850.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Afternoon of the first day in London

We had a lovely tea at The Orangery and had to visit the shops at Kensington Palace. I found this great set of CDs with lovely music. I loved the photo on the package because, as you can see, I have the tea cup. It's part of the Historic Royal Palaces charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace as well as Kensington and Kew Palaces. They receive no funding from the government or Crown.
After tea at Kensington Palace we made our pilgrimage to Fortnum and Mason on Picadilly.
Looking down from the second floor! Kind of like a Disneyland for tea lovers!!
What a fun store! Lions and Unicorns floating in the air with musical notes and instruments!
Here is the Jubilee blend tea. So delicious!
This swivel tea strainer is all the rage here! I used it at the Orangery and was hooked. I wanted to pick up a few of them but Fortnum & Mason only had the silver plated ones, so I just got one. I love it!
I picked up this book about tea. It's wonderful as it includes their history as tea merchants, explanations of various types of teas and many yummy recipes. Stay tuned for more about the tearooms of London!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tea Cup Thursday

Please forgive me, I don't have a specific tea cup for today but I will start describing my wonderful trip to London to see tea rooms. We weren't there long but did manage to fit in a tea experience each day. On the first morning we started in Hyde Park on our way to Kensington Palace. There were many "diversions" in the park with all the Olympic activities beginning. It took us twice as long to get to our destination but what a wonderful sight when we finally got to Round Pond and saw the palace (along with the swans).
We trekked through Hyde Park to get to our destination...Kensington Palace. I always love to see this statue of Queen Victoria. It depicts her as quite young and pretty!
We made our first tea room stop at the Orangery at Kensington Palace. It was a very nice way to begin.
I do so enjoy myself when in London!!
This is how our table was set. More about the swivel tea strainers later!
Yummy!! Victoria Sponge Cake!! A favorite of Queen Victoria.
This is a view of the gardens in front of Kensington Palace. So lovely!