Friday 31 July 2009

Review: Mudchute Kitchen, Isle of Dogs

Mudchute park farm docklandsI recently had a trip to Greenwich and decided to make a day of it by going on the Thames Clipper. Even though it may not be as quick as the tube I just love cruising down the Thames, listening to an audiobook so I can keep my head up and enjoy the sights. But I always find Greenwich a bit of a disappointment when it comes to food: I'm sure there are good restaurants there but I can never seem to find them. So as it was a nice day I suggested we go under the foot tunnel to the Mudchute Kitchen cafe in the city farm there: I'd heard good things about their cakes and figured the lunch was probably pretty good too.

Sunday 26 July 2009

Review: Rex Whistler Restaurant, Tate Britain, Pimlico

Rex Whistler Tate Britain afternoon tea
There's something just not right about missing out on afternoon tea on a Sunday, it's like not drinking at least a few glasses of Pimms in the summer - plain wrong. So earlier today when things were looking a bit grim on the cake/biscuit front at home (the rock buns were long gone) my other half and I made the bold decision to strike out and try a new afternoon tea venue . We are lucky enough to live within 10 minutes walk of Tate Britain so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to pop there, have some tea, and if there was time whizz around an exhibition - although obviously tea was the priority.

Monday 20 July 2009

Rock Bun Recipe

Rock buns cakesMuch as I love going out for tea there's plenty of pleasure to be had in creating a lovely afternoon tea at home. With that in mind I thought it was about time I let you in on one of my favourite recipes. As you're probably aware by now I am quite a scone fan, but I find they're hardly worth bothering with if you haven't got great jam and clotted cream to go with them. An easier option is the good old Rock Bun (no sniggering from our US readers) - or Rock Cake if you prefer. They are a bit similar to a scone in flavour but can be served just as they are. Better still they can be made with the kind of ingredients you might well already have in your kitchen.

Saturday 18 July 2009

Review: Le Chandelier, East Dulwich

Le Chandelier East Dulwich interiorOne of the unexpected benefits of writing this blog has been the increasingly frequent requests from friends to join them for afternoon tea. Not wishing to be rude, I have felt obliged to accept. The most recent outing was to a place I'd never heard of in East Dulwich called Le Chandelier. As soon as I arrived I had a suspicion it was going to be my kind of place. The decor is what I suppose we generally refer to as shabby chic: lovely wooden floors; a mixture of tables and chairs; and, of course, lots of chandeliers. It was clearly a favourite spot for the local yummy mummies but thankfully they seemed to contain themselves and their offspring in the back room and my friend, who had already arrived, had grabbed us a table in the front.

Monday 13 July 2009

My Cornish Sweetheart

Cornish cream tea Newquay I think my love affair with afternoon tea began when I was eleven or twelve during a family holiday to Cornwall. We spent an entire month in St Ives lazing on the beach, jumping in the surf and, most importantly, indulging in traditional Cornish Cream Teas. So when a family wedding took me back down to Cornwall last weekend it seemed like the perfect opportunity to rekindle my first love. I was a bit pushed for time over the weekend but just before heading home I found myself with an hour to spare and grabbed my chance. The wonderful thing about Cornwall is that while in, for instance, London, one may need to seek out the afternoon tea, reading reviews, booking tables, travelling across town, etc. in Cornwall signs advertising cream teas are everywhere. I was staying in Newquay and decided to pop into Nile's Bakery on the main street; it was apparently established in 1955 and looked homely and fairly traditional.

Monday 6 July 2009

A Rare Treat?

Rare Tea by post tins White Emperor's BreakfastI was recently shocked and embarrassed to discover that not only was there a mail order tea company I hadn't heard of but that it had actually won the award for best online retailer in the UK's Observer Food Monthly Magazine. Suitably ashamed I decided I needed to check out the Rare Tea Company forthwith.