Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Tea & Scones

 Royal Wedding Tea Party
for One

Oh, the Pomp and Circumstance..

Fairy tales do come true when the girl next door can marry her Prince!

Katherine Middleton was breathtakingly beautiful and Prince William certainly was Prince Charming!  I stayed up all night to watch The Royal Wedding live and I'm so glad I did!

I've been enjoying all the Royal Wedding coverage drinking my Twinings Royal Wedding Tea in my Union Jack tea mug with Savoy Scones.

This was my first time making Savoy Scones.  Here are a few of my tips from following the Savoy Scone recipe:

Savoy Scone Tips:

The secret to making thick British-style scones is
to not over mix your dough and
roll out the scone dough to 3/4" thickness. 

 For proper looking scones,
stamp out 2 1/2 " rounds with a pastry cutter.

Transfer scones to a baking sheet and
brush tops with an egg wash.

Let the scones rest for 15 minutes before baking.
Be patient and do not skip this part!

Enjoy your fresh baked scones
with clotted cream and jam.

The Savoy Scone recipe will certainly be one of my "go-to"
tea party recipes now. 

You can find the recipe here with American measurements
and find the UK version in Taking Tea at the Savoy.

(In the photos:  Hand Knit Tea Cosy, Emma Bridgewater Union Jack 1/2 Pint Mug & Spode Jane Seymour Plate.)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Baking Day!

Tea & Scones

With the Royal Wedding now just hours away...
today is Baking Day.

I'm making Savoy Scones to enjoy with my "cuppa"
of Twinings Royal Wedding Commermorative Blend.

I'll be smothering my scones with Scottish Strawberry Preserves with Champagne and
Mock Clotted Cream.  Real clotted cream is tricky to find here in the States, so here is a recipe for mock clotted cream:

Mock Clotted Cream
Serves 4 to 6

1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 T. confectioner's sugar

One hour before serving, pour the heavy cream into a bowl and whip until soft peaks form.  Whisk in the sour cream and sugar.  Continue to beat until the mixture is very thick.

Place in the refrigerator and chill until serving time. 

And, yes, I'll be in my jammies since the USA West Coast TV coverage
begins at 1:00 AM.

I may just stay up all night drinking tea
in my Emma Bridgewater Union Jack mug!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Royal Wedding Dress Rehearsal

Twinings Royal Wedding 
Commemorative Blend

The Royal Wedding is just days away now.  In fact, dress rehearsals begin tomorrow at Westminster Abbey. 

I'm having a bit of a dress rehearsal myself trying out my Royal Wedding tea
that I had shipped from England.

Royal Tea Dress Rehearsal

I'll be celebrating the Royal Wedding in style with Twinings Royal Wedding Commemorative Blend.  It's a special edition White Earl Grey with Rose Petal Tea blended exclusively to commemorate the
Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. 

To enjoy this tea, Twinings recommends:

Use one teabag per person and pour on boiling water, leave to brew for no more than 1 minute (or you will loose its delicate flavor).  It's perfect without milk but the Queen won't mind if you prefer to add a splash of milk.

I've sampled the tea both with and with out milk and do prefer it without milk.  I'm so glad I had a dress rehearsal so I am properly ready for the big day now!

I plan on enjoying my Royal Wedding tea with scones
(smothered with Scottish Strawberry Perserve with Champagne )
when I watch the Royal Wedding in my pajamas.  How about you?

(In the photos: Vintage Spode Jewell china.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

 The Tale of Peter Rabbit

"I am sorry to say that Peter was not well during the evening.

His mother put him to bed, and made some camomile tea:
and she gave a dose of it to Peter!"

I can't help but think of Beatrix Potter's
adorable Peter Rabbit at Easter time.

Hilltop Farm Garden Gate
(I took this photo when we visited Beatrix Potter's
Hilltop Farm in The Lake District, England)

As the tale goes, mischievous Peter squeezed under the garden gate to Mr. McGregor's garden and ate too many vegetables that gave him an upset tummy.  That is why his mother gave him camomile tea.

Chamomile herbal tea is soothing for an upset stomach and calming as well. 

Peter Rabbit

Since it's Easter week my Peter Rabbit figurine and friends are out for tea. 

I hope you enjoy fresh baked scones or hot cross buns with tea this Easter week.

And if you're ever travelling in The Lake District, be sure to visit Hilltop Farm and have afternoon tea at  nearby Sharrow Bay Hotel on Lake Ullswater.

***If you are interested in the life of Beatrix Potter, you might enjoy my 2009 post about her on my knitting blog.  She was a woman way ahead of her time.  I admire her so much.

(In the photos:  Royal Winton Old Cottage tea cup and Richmond plate, vintage Beswick Peter Rabbit figurine and Wedgwood Peter Rabbit tea caddy.) 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Royal-Tea Memorabilia

King George VI Coronation Mug

Thanks to the upcoming Royal Wedding...
there's a lot of buzz over British Royal Commemorative china again.

I might even snag a William & Kate Royal Wedding mug when I visit The Potteries
(Stoke-on-Trent, England ) next month. 

Commemorative china and Royal souvenirs honoring coronations and royal events have been collectible for years. 

Check out this neat article The Queen of Royal Memorabila from the UK newspaper, The Times.  I loved it!

Princess Elizabeth

I spotted a fantastic 1937 King George VI Coronation Mug (top photo) today at
Folsom's Antique Peddlers Fair. 

The British antique dealer was quite lovely allowing me to photograph it.  She couldn't wait to come over and turn it around to point out the mug's backside with the adorable HRH Princess Elizabeth on it. 

I loved the movie The King's Speech and it was so neat to see an actual 
commemorative mug from his reign today!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


A Royal Wedding Tea

I've got my fascinator and Union Jack tea mug...
I'm ready for a Royal Wedding Tea Party...
How about you?

Well then, we better get to planning. 

British Tea Books

We've got just over 2 weeks to plan a lovely Royal Wedding Tea Party. 

Now is a perfect time to pull out any British tea books you may have for menu inspiration, ideas and recipes.  A few of my favorites are The London Ritz Book of Afternoon Tea and Taking Tea at the Savoy

From Taking Tea at the Savoy:

Think of afternoon tea and what comes to mind?  Ladies in smart hats, floral tea dresses, and white gloves, sipping Earl Grey from bone china cups, little finger poised in mid-air, then daintily cutting off a piece of fruit tart with a silver cake fork or delicately eating a cucumber sandwich, crusts removed....

Feeling inspired?  Let's talk about the menu!

The Savoy

The Savoy is one of London's great hotels for afternoon tea

My husband and I honeymooned at The Savoy ten years ago. I love my little tea book souvenir, Taking Tea at the Savoy.

I think Savoy Scones are perfect for a Royal Wedding Tea menu. 
Chef Anton Edelmann's scone recipe is not only in Taking Tea at the Savoy but also here when he was a guest on The Martha Stewart Show.

For perfect scones both Chef Anton Edelmann and Britain's Delia Smith have this tip:

 for perfect English scones, dough should never be rolled out to anything less 3/4" (2cm).  Hmm, so that is why scones in England always have more height than American scones!

Tea at The Ritz

Besides tea and scones,  A Royal Wedding Tea menu should include cucumber sandwiches,  traditional finger sandwiches, a few sweet treats and, of course, strawberry jam and clotted cream for the scones.

I've never had tea at The Ritz London due to its strict formal dress code (gentlemen must wear a jacket & tie) but I have sneaked a peak at the gorgeous Palm Court Tearoom inside.  A nice gentleman even gave me an Afternoon Tea Menu.  Feel free to use this Afternoon Tea Menu as a guide for planning your Royal Wedding Tea menu.

Lastly, don't forget to bring out your best china and your favorite pot of tea.  I'm thinking a lovely Earl Grey or commemorative Royal Wedding Blend is just what the Royal Couple ordered!

Good luck planning your Royal Wedding Tea Party.

Remember you can even treat yourself to a "tea party for one" while you watch the Royal Wedding in your pajamas, like me.  Just don't forget to wear your fascinator...
Kate would like that!

(In the photos:  Emma Bridgewater Blue Toast & Marmalade Tea Pot and Union Jack mug, Fascinator by August from Nordstrom, and assorted tea books.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Cottage Tea

 Anne Hathaway's Cottage

I love English cottages, gardens and tea! 

I've been thinking a lot about England lately preparing for our trip "across the pond" next month.  Whenever we visit England, I try to take an afternoon tea break everyday. 

One year while visiting Anne Hathaway's Cottage in Stratford-Upon-Avon, I had my tea break at The Cottage Restaurant & Tea Gardens. 

 The Cottage Restaurant
& Tea Gardens

The Cottage Restaurant & Tea Gardens is a perfect place for a tea break.   I loved it's conservatory building and it's just a "hop and a skip" away from Anne Hathaway's Cottage. 

 A Welcoming Sign

This adorable "Open sign" caught me eye
and hearkened me in for a cream tea!

Freshly Baked Scones

Tea & scones
always taste better in England! 

Cream Tea Break

The Cottage Restaurant is a small family-run little place  
but huge on friendly hospitality and tasty scones!  It's a perfect stop for a cream tea break.

And...I loved that they had Liberty of London fabric table cloths!

If you visit Anne Hathaway's Cottage be sure to "take time for tea" and have a tea break at
The Cottage Restaurant & Tea Gardens.   The tea menu is available all day.