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Monthly Archives: August 2015

  • The Perfect Afternoon Tea: The Tea

    lemon tea

    The most important part of the afternoon tea is, after all, the tea. It’s the glue that holds it all together (and washes it all down) – the perfect tea needs to work well with your sweet and savoury selection, without overwhelming the delicate flavours of your sponge or cucumber sandwiches.

    If you want to make sure all of your tea partiers have the perfect drink, it’s a good idea to offer a few options. You could even make some iced tea for arrival drinks and then offer earl grey, black tea, peppermint, or even lemon verbena tea when everybody’s ready to eat.

    Classic Choices

    Black tea is what people tend to expect with an afternoon tea. Our black tea is an English Breakfast style blend with a rich but crisp flavour.

    If you refer a dash of bergamot in your tea, we have an earl grey blend too. It’s entirely up to you!

    Iced Tea

    On a hot day, iced tea can really hit the spot. You can turn any of our blends into the perfect iced by brewing 4 teabags with 4 cups of water. All you need to do is stir 1 cup of water into 4 cups of cold water and then combine the two mixtures. Let it cool further and serve with ice.

    With a Twist

    Sometimes you want a little extra for your afternoon tea. Lemon tea is extremely refreshing (and has the added benefit of being good for you) while peppermint tea has a lovely aftertaste and helps with digestion. If you’d prefer to stick to black tea, you can add lemon instead of milk, or even raspberries to add another layer of flavour to your brew.

  • The Perfect Afternoon Tea: The Sandwiches

    afternoon tea cucumber sandwiches

    Finger sandwiches for your afternoon tea need to be small – only about 2-3 bites each – and crusts are definitely a no-no. I prefer long rectangles to triangles and bread needs to be thin to make sure the proportions work.

    According to, the top 10 afternoon tea sandwiches are:

    1. Smoked salmon and cream cheese
    2. Egg mayonnaise and cress
    3. Chicken and mayonnaise
    4. Cucumber and cream cheese
    5. Cheese and chutney
    6.  Ham and mustard
    7.  Prawn and mayonnaise
    8. Beef and horseradish
    9. Tuna and mayonnaise
    10. Roasted vegetables and cream cheese

    Cucumber Sandwiches

    Cucumber sandwiches are always associated with afternoon tea, and a lot of people can’t imagine why they’re so delicious. The key is in preparing them properly and enjoying the delicate taste. Sogginess is a sign of a bad cucumber sandwich and you may enjoy a bit of acidity (from vinegar or lemon juice) to give the sandwiches a kick.

    The Guardian has a great recipe for dainty finger sandwiches.

    Unusual Approaches

    afternoon tea with burgers

    As afternoon teas become ubiquitous, restaurants are looking for unusual approaches to the classic afternoon tea to stand out from the crowd. My favourites include mini hotdogs and burgers instead of sandwiches. They’re great for a winter afternoon tea or for a younger group.

    Palachinka’s blog has a fantastic recipe that involves booking the rolls and making the mini burgers yourself to get the perfect size. If you’re not quite up to that, you can always get the mini hamburger and roll selections from Waitrose.

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