Strawberry tea with the ladies

Yesterday I spent a lovely afternoon sipping tea and eating delicious goodies all in aid of Breast Cancer Care.

The lovely Scandilicious hosted the event at her flat for a gaggle of girlie food lovers (and a few boys for good measure).

We had strawberries, cherries and raspberries.

Pimms and a wide choice of Rare Tea Lady’s finest teas.

Sour cream chocolate cake, scones sweet and savoury.

And jams and clotted creams of course.

Lots of it had been donated by generous suppliers and much of it had been made by Scandilicious own demon baking hands.

And Alex had brought us some of her strawberry topped fairy cakes.

It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon chatting and drinking and eating.

And raising money for an important cause.

Why not hold your own Strawberry tea for Breast Cancer Care?

You can see Scandilicious own post with a list of the companies who kindly donated ingredients here.

Cream tea for one

Last week I made scones for the first time in years.

I made them because I wanted to have cream tea.

I wanted to have cream tea because I had some Roddas Clotted Cream.

And some of Humbers Homemade wonderful raspberry jam.

And some rather lovely Darjeeling First flush from Rare Tea Company.

Here it is:



As you can see I tried the cream and jam both ways up, cream first and jam first. 

The latter won. Because the other way up the jam overpowers the cream but with jam first you can taste both jam and cream in perfect harmony.

I might make scones a little more often.

Afternoon tea treat

It was just coming up to afternoon tea o’clock.

And I saw this tweet from @Roddas_Cream:

This week’s tip of the week was to put a dollop of clotted cream on top of a chocolate brownie – have you had yours yet?

And with a tub of Roddas very own clotted cream in the fridge and a Paul A Young brownie in the house how could I resist….


As you can see I didn’t.

Absolute heaven on a plate.

Thanks to both Roddas and Paul a Young whose products I acquired in goodie bags this week (what great week!).

Cooking with Tea

Last year one of the things I got up to when I went blogging AWOL was to attend the Tea Cookery workshop run by Pei of Teanamu. I’ve cooked with tea a little bit over the years using it to smoke duck, chicken, salmon and tomatoes (yes, tomatoes) and also to make a fruit cake that was one of my Grandma’s specialties where the dried fruits are soaked in tea overnight. All have always been delicious and the tea imparts a subtle yet rich flavour to both sweet and savoury dishes, so I was looking forward to learning more about using tea in cooking but not being much of a tea expert I didn’t realise the delights I was in for.

The location is lovely, Pei holds the workshops at his home and while Pei cooks, we watch and take notes, we eat delicious food over a leisurely two – three hours. Being invited into someone’s home to learn about food feels very special, more a meeting of friends than a food workshop. As Pei makes the dishes he explains about each one and we gather round the island worktop to watch and learn.

Pei uses a range of different teas to demonstrate the varying flavours and effects that tea can bring to cooking from the very delicate to the earthy. He stresses that the dishes he has created wouldn’t normally all be served at one meal as that would be considered an over emphasis on tea but there might be one course that contained tea in some form. Tasting the dishes I think that most people would be more than happy to eat a menu such as this and the different dishes with tea as a theme would create a talking point at a dinner, that is probably against all the ideas of balance that eastern philosophy has but in terms of taste to a western palate the dishes work in harmony.

Here’s the dishes we sampled:

Steamed Tofu in a Tuo Cha Konbu Broth

Tempura Vegetables with Shiso Sencha Green Tea Salt

Grilled Salmon with Lapsang Souchong Tea Rub with Matcha Noodles

Matcha Jelly and ding Dong Sorbet with Candied Azuki Beans

As you can see all the dishes were beautifully presented and all tasted amazing. Pei runs similar workshops (the recipes will vary with season) throughout the year. The food I ate and the teas we drank started me on an exploration of tea that is still progressing. I don’t think I had ever realised how different and how delicious tea can be.

With thanks to Pei for inviting me to attend the workshop as his guest.

Finding tea

I’ve never been much of tea drinker. That’s until a couple of weeks ago. I finally got round to getting a teapot to go with some teas I bought late last year, oh and of course I couldn’t resist popping a couple more teas in the shopping trolley as I clicked away on the internet.


So here they are: White Silver Tip from Rare Tea Co, Green Jasmine and Rosey White from Lahloo and Phoenix Eye Jasmine White from teanamu.

And a lovely For Life teapot and two cups which I got from Lahloo.

I haven’t decided which is my favourite tea yet but I can’t believe it took me all this time to find that there are wonderful delicate teas out there. I shan’t be giving up coffee any time soon but I am pleased to have added tea to my day.