Tea

Cream tea in the beautiful Richmond Park, at Pembroke Lodge

If you’re looking for a nice day out, surrounded by trees, uncut grassy fields, woven paths AND a classic cream tea, look no further than Pembroke Lodge. The Grade II listed Georgian mansion (that’s property talk for buildings considered nationally important, with extra legal protection) in the beautiful and vast Richmond Park in the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames, is a local favourite for a catch-up in serene surroundings.

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Diptyque-inspired afternoon tea at Hotel Café Royal

On a cold November night, when we entered the hallway of Hotel Café Royal, it was not only the warmth that greeted us as we came in, but the pleasant, enrapturing scent of Paris perfumer Diptyque candles. I can’t recall whether it was the smell of Feu de Bois (Wood Fire), Noisetier (Hazel Tree), Verveine (Lemon Verbena), or one of their dozens of other aromas, but whatever delicious combination chosen, it certainly set the mood for the afternoon tea that was to come.

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A Winter Wonderland afternoon tea at The Chesterfield, Mayfair

It’s December now, and Christmas is near. As if there weren’t enough things reminding us of the fact already (think Regent Street Christmas lights, Costa Coffee Christmas cups, and Christmas songs playing on the radio), The Chesterfield in Mayfair is offering a Winter Wonderland afternoon tea as well. What a great way to get you feeling festive, and if anything, to sprinkle in some fun and delicious creativity in the form of Christmas tree and Yule log shaped sweet treats.

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Posttea Advent Calendar

Peaches & Cream tea (day 6)

Last year I did something crazy and ordered an advent calendar for myself. And it wasn’t just an ordinary chocolate one, but one that I could enjoy in a cup every day. An avid tea drinker as I am, always keen to try new varieties and blends, the Posttea Christmas calendar was a daily package of joy.

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A fun-spooky Halloween afternoon tea at the Royal Lancaster London

We all do something special at Halloween, or most of us anyway. I can be a bit of a party pooper when it comes to the full dress-yourself-up charade, and may prefer a quiet night in with some friends rather than dancing the night away with more than a 100 strangers. However, I still buy into the whole extravaganza around it, and enjoy a spiced up, special occasion version of a very classic thing – in this case the British afternoon tea. (more…)

‘Napolitea’ – an Italian version of a classic British afternoon tea

As you may have already read about in previous posts, I’m a bit of a stickler for innovative afternoon teas with a playful twist, be this a Charlie-and-the-Chocolate-factory themed adventure, a retro-style afternoon tea indulgence, or a Spanish-tapas-infused tea time extravaganza. Much like the latter, the afternoon tea with an Italian twist offered at Il Pampero takes the virtues of another cuisine’s bite-sized foods and seamlessly integrates it into a British tradition. Fusion, if done right, can yield the best results. After all, traditions are nothing other than the best fusions celebrated and eternalized.

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Aqua Shard for a London-view afternoon tea

When my friend, who was in town for a week, asked me if I wanted to try out the Aqua Shard afternoon tea, of course I was in. The Shard, a now iconic 95-storey London skyscraper shaped like a shard of broken glass (hence the name), boasts no less than five different afternoon teas in four separate establishments. I haven’t yet tried the one at Oblix Restaurant (32nd floor), nor the one at GONG, Shangri-La Hotel (52nd floor). But I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying the highly recommendable afternoon teas offered at TING, Shangri-La Hotel (35th floor). Check out my review here to find out more about their English and Asian Inspired Afternoon Teas. Today, however, let the limelight shine on the contemporary British Afternoon Tea one can revel in at Aqua Shard.

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A tale of extravagance and style at sketch, afternoon tea London

sketch, with a lower-case, becomes a world of wonders as soon as you enter the building. It invites you to let go of your adult worries, and become a child yet again, immersed in the rustling leaves of a dense jungle, and the glamour of a grand tearoom entirely dressed in pink, with men in boiler suits, a tea master, and the caviar man at your service. The hopscotch greeting you at the floor of the entrance hall is only a hint at what’s to come. Be prepared for not just tea and food, but for an enveloping experience that includes everything from quirkiness in decoration to pure style in performance.

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Swedish Fika – a concept, not a coffee: fika at Vete-Katten, Stockholm & Güntherska, Uppsala

Fika at Güntherska, Uppsala

For me the most amazing and exciting thing about travelling is – you can probably guess – food. But it’s not just the food itself that gets me all worked up, it’s also the culture around it. Because if you try to separate the food from the culture, it’s like taking a tree, removing it from its soil and environment, and then planting it somewhere else – it’s probably still going to grow, but not in the same way. Sometimes separation can result in entirely new cultures around the food. Sometimes it’s nice to not just appropriate the food but also parts of the culture. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Swedish fika at least once during a regular working day? Wouldn’t you love to regularly fika?

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