A refreshing Earl Grey in the afternoon

I recently won a lovely selection of teas from JollyBrew. The packaging is stylish and contemporary and the tea leaves look great. They smell absolutely delicious, too, so I have been looking forward to savouring and trying each one, reviewing them individually.

A very elegant Earl Grey

The elegantly packaged JollyBrew Teas

The very elegant JollyBrew Teas

On a Sunday afternoon, you can never go wrong with a nice pot of Earl Grey. The very appropriately titled “Elegant Earl Grey” from JollyBrew is a beautifully scented blend of black tea leaves, bergamot and cornflowers.

 

 

Elegant Earl Grey

The Elegant Earl Grey from JollyBrew

The little blue cornflowers glinted invitingly at me as I opened up the tin and had a good sniff of the revitalising scent. I made up a pot in one of my favourite modern teapots, my medium sized glass teapot from La Cafetière. I thought it was only right to serve this most refined of teas in a suitably elegant china teacup and saucer, rather than my usual cosy mugs, so I pulled out my pretty blue and white striped cup and saucer that was a Christmas gift from The Secret Tea Society in 2013.

A pot of Earl Grey

Elegant Earl Grey in one of my favourite teapots

I was delighted with the tea. It’s refreshing either with or without milk, with a clear, crisp taste. The scent was uplifting and just what I needed to pick me up in the afternoon.

Regular readers of my blog will know that I particularly enjoy a good Earl Grey, and love trying new blends and brands. This delicious tea from JollyBrew is highly recommended and gets a big thumbs up from me!

An elegant cup of Earl Grey

A suitably refined cup and saucer

Next, I will be tasting the Proper Peppermint – the perfect post-dinner pick me up!

Until next time – enjoy your afternoon tea break!

Rachael X

Tea at Tiffany’s – a bite of the Big Apple in Surrey

Twinings Tea, Audrey and Cat!

Tea at Tiffany’s – actually the very lovely Warren House!

New York is my all-time favourite city and my ‘happy place’, but I love my home in leafy Surrey, too.

A classic representation of New York, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is also one of my all-time favourite films. When I was last in New York, back in June last year, I bought a number of books inspired by both this iconic Audrey Hepburn film and the mythical status of Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue – “Fifth Avenue, 3AM” and “Summer at Tiffany’s”. It’s making me long to go back to the amazing NYC again! More on my amazing trip to the Big Apple soon…

My Holly Golightly looks

My Holly Golightly-inspired outfit – and Cat!

 

My lovely friends at The Secret Tea Society, also huge fans of both Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Audrey Hepburn, recreated the magic of the film and paid homage to the wonderful Audrey in a Breakfast at Tiffany’s-themed afternoon tea, right here in lovely Surrey!

Lovely, peaceful garden

The stunning secret grotto garden!

I was so excited to put on my little black dress (a cute little number from Anna Sui, bought especially for the occasion and based on the outfit that Holly Golightly wears when she visits Sing Sing); my black patent kitten heel Jimmy Choos (appropriately purchased in Saks Fifth Avenue during my visit last June) and some fabulous jewellery (a very sparkly choker-style necklace bought for me by one of my lovely Sisters-in-Law a few years ago) for this most elegant of teas! I even put my hair up in a bouffant bun!

Taking with me Cat (not my real cat, but a very lifelike soft toy!) and raincoat in reference to the iconic final scene of the movie, I headed over to the stunning Warren House, the venue for our special event. Greeted warmly by the lovely lady at reception and our tea sommelier for the afternoon, I headed into the stylish sitting room reserved just for the ladies of the Secret Tea Society. The sun beamed through the windows and the French doors were open onto a secret grotto – an adorable cobbled garden and fountain, which led to the statuesque grounds, where other happy guests were enjoying sumptuous afternoon teas.

Choosing our Twinings loose leaf tea

Choosing our Twinings loose leaf tea at Warren House – spoiled for choice!

After a glass of Champagne and catching up with the fabulous Secret Tea ladies, we sat down to play a few games – a prize for the best representation of Audrey Hepburn/Holly Golightly (my lovely table-mate, Clare, won with her striking Holly Golightly party look!) and a quiz to see who knew the most fun facts about the film (my table won, naturally!) Our prize was a copy of the film and, of course, some delicious tea, from Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company.

Lovely afternoon tea at Warren House

Delicious teatime treats at Warren House

Next, we chose our Twinings loose-leaf tea – I decided to try both the Darjeeling and Assam – two of my favourites and full of flavour!

 

Then we were delighted to see the fantastic spread appear before our eyes – delicate, flavourful sandwiches, dainty, melt-in-the-mouth scones, the most amazing mini cinnamon loaves, tempting cakes and sweet treats. After stuffing ourselves happily with as much as we could manage, there was stll plenty left to take doggy bags home!

The Tiffany's-inspired decorations I took home

Some of the lovely Tiffany’s-inspired decorations

We also each took home some of the beautiful decorations that our “Hostess With the Mostest”, Founder of the Secret Tea Society, Claire Worrell, had lovingly made: Tiffany-blue-green pom-poms, ladylike table flowers adorned with Tiffany-style ribbon and pearl decorations, matching feathers and shiny butterflies! I have mine proudly on display next to my Tiffany-coloured heart chalkboard in the kitchen.

What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon! I had such a good time, and it was tremendous fun not only seeing all my lovely Secret Tea friends again, but seeing everyone in their fabulous outfits. I also cannot recommend Warren House and the incredible team there highly enough.

Both an afternoon and an Afternoon Tea to remember! X

Rachael’s Adventures in Tealand – Part One

What fantastic tea adventures I have had recently!

Tea in the sunshine

My first tea adventure came in the form of drinking lots of tea in sunny Rhodes, where we stayed at the wonderful Elysium Resort and Spa again this year.  As well as regular tea-time in the sunshine and in our beach suite, we ordered their Afternoon Tea on our balcony – a rather impressive sunny tea-time, and one to remember!

We enjoyed a savoury course of smoked turkey served in canape spoons rather than bread; and a yummy combination of mini cakes, chocolate mousse and fresh fruit mini-tarts.  It was quite a novelty having afternoon tea in the blazing heat of Greece, and felt very civilised on our balcony overlooking the idyllic bay.

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

Then there was the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party with the lovely ladies ofThe Secret Tea Society at the Sanderson!

The Mad Hatter’s Tea has been remixed and is a real feast for the eyes (and stomach!)  We started our tea in style with a refreshing glass of Laurent Perrier Champagne, followed by a plethora of Wonderland-inspired treats, including a selection of unusual dessert-themed tea blends – apple pie, strawberries and cream and mint choc chip, in beautiful decorative bottles.  I particularly enjoyed the apple pie tea, which was full of cinnamon and so comforting – like Christmas in a teapot!

The sandwiches were delicious – all rolled up in rainbow colours – as were the mixture of sweet and savoury scones.  There followed mushroom and carrot-shaped marshmallows, “Drink Me” fruit custard, and gooey cakes, including a dark chocolate tea cup filled with green tea mousse! Tea and chocolate – a fabulous combination!

We had a wonderful afternoon of good company, gossip, good food and of course, lots of tea!  I think my favourite element of the Mad Hatter’s Tea was the china – the plates and teacups are stunning and such clever designs.  I really want the “Tea” teacup to add to my collection!

More fun adventures in Tealand to follow, so until next time…enjoy your tea break!

Rachael X