Monday, July 26, 2010

In praise of tea!

One of the things I've appreciated most about my time in England has been my favorite meal--tea. A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to do a TV program on the virtues of tea and why it was such a perfect meal. I was filmed hosting a ladies tea party (nerve wracking as a huge camera was pointed at me as I poured tea into china cups and took bites of cucumber sandwiches.)

The point I made is that tea is the ideal meal at which to entertain. The food is all there on the table. The only requirement of the hostess is to fill cups and pass plates around when necessary. And I love delicious small bites--smoked salmon sandwiches, cucumber, egg and cress. Then come the scones, fresh baked and served with jam and clotted cream (which I have been sampling frequetly during the past weeks) and finally a selection of cakes or a big cake like a victoria sponge.  It's a great excuse for relaxing mid afternoon and chatting around the table. It's a great meal for Moms too, as the little girls can have their own tea table and play at being grown up.

I flew to France today, so that's the end of my tea parties for a while. But I certainly had some memorable ones. One family member had made tiny tarts with wild strawberries, and goosberry flan with cream. Another tea with a nephew was on his cottage lawn--take a look at the photo!


  1. I love tea, but rarely take the time to make it an occasion. Maybe I should begin a new tradition.

  2. All those teatime treats sound so wonderful!

  3. When my daughter was in grade school we would have tea when she came home from school instead of the American tradition of milk and cookies. She loved the ceremony of preparing it and I think it set the stage for some wonderful conversations. Unfortunately, now that she's a teenager, our lives our much more hectic, but when she wants some one-on-one time with mom, she always asks for tea. I love that!

  4. I love tea. I think that is why I enjoy reading Laura Child's Teashop Mystery series.