Tag Archives: afternoon tea

Afternoon Tea Part 2- the posh kind!

And we’re back to tea. But the posh nosh one this time.  I think you have to have a balance of sweet and savoury.  And people usually expect a sandwich, a scone and some cake.  The combination and quantities are up to you.

Tea Menu:

A selection of open sandwiches, with a variety of toppings on a sourdough made from oak smoked flour

Parma ham and Rocket Macaron

Fruit Scone with Cream and Raspberry Jam

Pistachio and Rose Friands

Strawberry Meringues

and of course…. some Darjeeling Tea

Afternoon Tea

Some open sandwiches to start things off

I had decided to be a little adventurous with my second savoury option.  Macaron filled with parma ham, mascarpone cream and some rocket leaves.  The macaron could have been better, they tasted fine but lacked the obligatory “foot”.  So more practice is needed.  But they were really delicious.

Savoury Macaron

Savoury Macaron

My better half is the scone maker in our house, and my favourite is fruit.  Although herself prefers the chocolate ones, and Nigel likes the cherry.  Each to his own! But they have to be served with cream and some sort of jam.  I had made some raspberry jam last week so went with that.

Afternoon Tea Scones

Afternoon Tea Scones

And then the bit that everyone is dying for- the sweet stuff.  Of course as strawberries are bang in season, and meringues are just so good.  There’s nothing nicer. And they can be made in advance adn stored in a tin.  I was talking to a lady recently and she spoke of freezing her meringues when cooked.  I had never heard of this- and although I do freeze any extra egg whites, I have never actually frozen the meringue once it’s made.  

Strawberry and Cream Meringue Nests

Strawberry and Cream Meringue Nests

So the other little adventure was Pistachio Financiers.  OMG.  A revelation.  How I did not eat them all is beyond me. They are so light and easy to eat.  They are not messy, and can be finished off in a couple of dainty bites.  I will most definitely be making these again!  

Afternoon Tea

Pistachio Financiers


Afternoon Tea Part 1- the non posh kind

It’s a given thing in our house, that anyone around the farm at approximately 4 o’clock in the afternoon, heads to Alan’s house for “tea”.  This has been happening for as long as we are in Waterford (15+ years), and I’m sure it happened before then too.  And the tea consists of tea, with a maximum of 2 biscuits.  In fact that was my first foray into speaking Finnish.  My nieces and nephews would ask Liisa (my Finnish sis in law) how many biscuits they could have.  And to this day, she still will say “kaksi keksejä”, which means two biscuits!  But sometimes it involves cake…

Some rather untidy pear tart for afternoon tea

Some rather untidy pear tart for tea

The key ingredient of course, of any afternoon is the tea. I try to use looseleaf when making a pot.  And I’ve lots of teapots. Lots. But sometimes only a bag in a cup will do.  My favourite is Breakfast tea blend, but try to have Darjeeling later through the day. And I know it sounds ridiculously snobby to have a a favourite tea.  But people have favourite coffee don’t they???

Afternoon tea can be fun- but also glamorous, and is a very relaxing way to spend time with friends and family. Afternoon tea, is in the fact the new cocktail hour in many hotels.  At some stage I want to try the one served in the Ritz Hotel in London.  They have served this meal since 1906!! But at £52 per person it’s a bit steep.  The more up to date version in Claridge’s (who have only been serving it for 150 years)  is a more informal setting focuses more on the food.

 Making the Perfect cup of Afternoon tea:

Using fresh water (very important because of aeration) bring the kettle to the boil.

Immediately “scald” the pot, leaving the water in it for around 5 minutes.  

Empty this water out.

Add one teaspoon of loose leaf tea per person into the warmed pot. Reboil the kettle and add onto the tea. Leave for about 3 minutes, stir and serve.

Perfect!

  Time for tea

Darjeeling, as it happens, is a perfect flavour to have with a creamy pastry, so says the king of pastry, Eric Lanlard.  So who am I to disagree? Course now that he’s said that, I’ll have to try it.  Won’t I??

 

A day devoted to wine and afternoon tea

Some would say this was possibly a perfect day…. some might be right.  And if there wasn’t an exam looming Friday, and every meal involves picking my salad apart, they might be right.

WWW= Wine Wielding Wednesday

WWW= Wine Wielding Wednesday

This  mornings wine lecture involved two winemakers who came to our class to share their wine making stories, Maria from Alta Alella, spoke about Cava, and it’s production.  She was extremely passionate about her work, and the work they were planning to do into the future, developing their Natural wine line.

After coffee it was the turn of French Winemaker Nicolas from Beauregard Mirouze in Corbieres.  As that is the region where Nigel and I went grape picking, I was really interested both to see pictures of the area again, and also to taste the wine.

We heard about the journey of the vines through the year, and interesting for me, was the idea that the expression of the soil, through the vine, to the grape, to the wine, only comes about when the vine is 10 to 15 years old.  Also the ethos of the growers- doing today to the land what will be reaped in future generations is truly worthwhile.

Grangeot - White

Grangeot – White

"The Red"

“The Red”

There is a photo du jour each day on their blog, and today, at the cookery school we took the starring role..

Then this afternoon we turned to afternoon tea, when Rory, Pam and the team made us drool and salvate at the spectacle of deliciousness.  When words like unctuous and billowy texture were thrown around with abandon.  No samples left I’m afraid.  Only pictures..

Caramel and pecan cupcakes

Caramel and pecan cupcakes

 

Afternoon tea at it's best

Afternoon tea at it’s best