First Food Festival of 2016

Tasty food from Surrey Food Festival in Richmond

Tasty treats from Surrey Food Festival – tea, coffee, cakes, cookies and olive oil

I visited the Surrey Food Festival at Richmond’s Old Deer Park last weekend, and had a lovely time trying out lots of tasty food and drink in my local area and meeting some great people.

I met some fantastic artisan food providers, from the wonderfully meaty cuisine of Meat The Chef (chicken skin skin-on fries, anyone?), to Sussex oil and vinegar makers, Stratta, to the delightful team at tea and sweet treat makers, Brew and Bites, who tempted me with Persian sweet treats and their beautiful tea and coffee blends. I also found plenty of gluten and dairy free fare to taste and take home, thanks to Wholesome Bakes and online marketplace Free From Market. We even bought a few cheeky bottles of wine from The Vineking, which we were able to try out and taste at the festival and then, once we’d got expert advice from the wine experts on the stand, bring our favourites home with us.

So much good food and drink to take home
I returned with an impressive haul: herb flavoured olive oils from Stratta, Rosy Grey tea and Colombian coffee from Brew and Bites, gluten and dairy free cakes and cookies from Wholesome Bakes, and, of course, a cheeky Prosecco and Cabernet Sauvignon from local wine specialists, The Vineking.

Afternoon tea at home with treats from Surrey Food Festival

My own afternoon tea at home with tea and treats from the Surrey Food Festival and my new bespoke coasters from Individually Inspired

Time for tea
The obvious thing to do when I got home was to have my own special afternoon tea with my tasty treats, so I brewed up a refreshing and delicate pot of Rosy Grey, a blend of Ceylon black loose leaf tea, bergamot, rose petals and rose buds.

The tea is so pretty and smells divine – almost too good to drink! But drink it I did, and it was exactly what was needed after wandering around outside for a few hours and feeling a little tired after all the fresh air!

Paired with a gluten and dairy free raspberry cupcake and served on the lovely Tea with Rachael coasters that Individually Inspired made for me, it was the perfect time to take a moment and relax. I also had a good look through the show guide and the Taste Awards brochure for inspiration for other fabulous foodie finds!

Rosy Grey tea from Brew and Bites

Rosy Grey tea from Brew and Bites – looks and smells too pretty, but tastes just as good to drink!

I’ll be heading to Foodies Festival at Syon Park again next Bank Holiday weekend with some fellow foodie friends, so am looking forward to enjoying our VIP tickets and trying even more tasty treats!

Until next time, hope you also get to enjoy some fabulous food this Bank Holiday weekend – a whole extra day to take the time to sit back, relax, and have a good cup of tea! (And maybe a cake or two…!)

Enjoy,

Rachael xx

 

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

More tea? Don’t mind if I do!

teapotA lazy sunday afternoon meant it was time to try more of the tasty teas from my friends at Teavivre!  I chose a lovely strong black tea for my post-lunch brew, Teavivre’s Bailin Gongfu Black Tea.  A lunch of a hearty chicken sandwich and caramel cake bar called for a nice, malty cup of tea, and this pot of tea was just right for my relaxing afternoon cuppa.  A rich, earthy smell wafted as I brewed up a steaming pot in one of my favourite colourful teapots, and the tea has a soft, almost caramelised aftertaste.

Jasmine PearlsAs my evening cup of tea, I brewed up a little pot of Teavivre’s delightful Superfine Jasmine Downy Pearls Green Tea.  Jasmine Green Pearls tea is a firm favourite of a number of my fellow Secret Tea Society members, this is a truly relaxing and refreshing tea, with a lovely golden colour.  I just had to show it off in my little glass teapot!

On the subject of Jasmine Pearls tea, I recommend a rather naughty little poem – another favourite of the lovely ladies of the Secret Tea Society – by Britain’s Tea Poet, Elizabeth Darcy Jones, which can be found in her book, Distinguished Leaves.

On that literary and inspiring note, I will leave you to enjoy a nice cup of tea, too.  A good evening to one and all!

Rachael X

Enticing tea from Teavivre

The lovely people at Teavivre recently sent me a fantastic selection of top quality China teas, so I have been eager to try them all.  Today I was in the mood for a nice, strong black tea, so I put the blue teapot and one of the lovely teacups and saucers I received as Christmas gifts to good use and brewed up some Superfine Tan Yang Gong Fu Black Tea.  Teavivre Superfine black tea teapot and teacup

This delicious, earthy black tea is made up of pure tea buds and tea leaves, making it hearty and full of flavour.  At weekends, I usually have several cups of black tea in the morning and early afternoon, then change to something a bit lighter in the late afternoon and evening, so this was the perfect post-lunch brew.  I tried it both with and without milk, and both were crisp and refreshing.

Next, I plan to try their green and Oolong teas, then their other blends of black tea.  I love a bit of variety and am looking forward to the opportunity to use all my new teapots and steepers!