Teatime at Home

Pick up one of stylish Aussie cook Donna Hay’s chocolate cupcake kits (including vanilla cupcake mix, cases, sprinkles and spatula), £15, from selected Sainsbury’s stores, 0800 636 262)

Order a tin of sweetly decorated biscuits, with a fashion or festive twist, to share with friends from biscuiteers.com

Pick up a copy of the Susannah Blake’s Cupcakes (Ryland Peters Small) to create something spectacular for your guests

Organic, rare and specialist teas are all the rage. Check out the new following hip brands of tea: jacksonsofpicadilly.co.uk, rareteacompany.com, pukkaherbs.com, dragonfly-teas.com, teapigs.co.uk and clipper-teas.com.

Making a perfect brew (according to the Tea Council, tea.co.uk):

  • Use a good quality loose leaf or bagged tea, stored in an air-tight container at room temperature
  • Always use freshly drawn boiling water (to draw the best flavour out of the tea the water must contain oxygen which is reduced if the water is boiled more than once)
  • Use 1 tea bag or 1 rounded teaspoon of loose tea for each cup to be served
  • Warm cups or mugs with a swirl of hot water (and discard) before pouring the tea
  • Allow the tea to brew for the recommended time and/or according to taste before pouring
  • Brewing tea from a bag in a mug? milk in last is best

Tea Time at Pret a Portea (Right)

Top Spots for a Teatime Treat

Claridges, London (claridges.co.uk): luxuriate in the hotel’s fine Deco surroundings with celebs aplenty to keep the people watching (and cake tasting) a highly entertaining experience

Prét-à-Portea at The Berkeley Hotel, London (the-berkeley.co.uk): the ultimate afternoon tea for anyone with a passion for fashion (each season’s collection is inspired by the latest hits of the catwalk, from Anya Hindmarch bags and Zac Posen dresses to Jimmy Choo boots)

Tea Palace, London (teapalace.com): with hundreds of fine, rare and exclusive teas to try and the best finger sandwiches and home-made crumpets in town, this is the spot for resting weary feet after trawling the chic boutiques of Notting Hill’s Westbourne Grove

Betty’s, Harrogate (bettys.co.uk): famous for its fat rascal cakes and strong Yorkshire tea, this is one tea-time institution not to be missed

Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath (royalcrescent.co.uk): luxuriate in true ‘Jane Austen’ Regency style at this elegant hotel

The Midland, Manchester (qhotels.co.uk): WAGs central, the perfect spot for catching up on the latest gossip

Peacocks, Cambridgeshire (peacockstearoom.co.uk): we love the idea of wiling away the afternoon with the 2007 Tea Guild award-winning Peacock’s New Pink Perfection (including pink rosé champagne, rose tea and delicate finger sandwiches)

July 27th, 2009

Posted In: Food and Drink

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