Wednesday, 29 February 2012


Afternoon Tea should be more than a monthly/birthday treat - it should be a daily treat! If ever you needed a reason for Afternoon Tea, then here is the perfect reason...

Whether you splash out and visit somewhere for Afternoon Tea, or create it yourself, here is the ideal reason to give.... Because! Who can argue with that!

I'm not suggesting you start all out baking choux pastry (unless of course you want to), jam tarts are always a great success with homemade Afternoon Tea, as well as butterfly cakes. Scones are a must - no Afternoon Tea feels complete without scones, and they're seriously easy to make!

So what cakes are your favourite for Afternoon Tea, post your favourites below?

Monday, 27 February 2012

Tea and Roses

No Afternoon Tea tasting this week.... but that doesn't stop me enjoying some of the refinery that comes along with Afternoon Tea.

Obviously the cakes are a massive part of the enjoyment of afternoon tea, but if, like me, you have quite a few tea pots (probably more than you can use at anyone time!) you can always put them to good use... as a vase....

And these little beauties are my favourite tea cups in my "afternoon tea stash" of crockery...

I'm quite convinced they make tea taste even nicer!!! It's like triangle sandwiches taste better than rectangle ones, and square chunky carrots taste better than round sliced carrots! Or is that just me!!

If you have any recommendations for alternative shaped sandwiches, carrots, or anything else - let me know!! And if you've experienced any fantastic afternoon tea's in the Northwest please get in touch.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Afternoon Tea Experience

You don't blog for months, and then 2 blogs come along in the same week!!!!

After yesterdays blog introducing the Afternoon Tea Experience I've been asked a few times what I am basing my scoring on, so here's a bit of an insight in to the complicated world of Afternoon Tea....

A.T.E: Afternoon Tea Experience
The scores are based on 3 simple rules:
1. Quality of the tea & cakes
2. Cake stand? 2 Tiers, 3 Tiers? Or no stand
3. The ability to pretend you're Hyacinth Bucket (the fine china, the teapot and strainer.... you get the picture)

And that is my definition of the Afternoon Tea Experience.
Afternoon Tea was 'created' by Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who became peckish in the afternoon, she was given a selection of sandwiches and cakes and so Afternoon Tea was born. This is a somewhat condensed version, if you would like a much detailed version please visit

The Duchess started inviting her rich buddies round and it became a bit of a thing, and that is how I like to imagine the Afternoon Tea Experience - as though I'm sat with the Duchess of Bedford, in the 'drawing room' and scoffing some rather delicious sandwiches and cakes!!

T.R.T.T: Tea Room Taste Test
This is as simple as it sounds - the scores are based on how delicious the cakes and sandwiches are. But also the quantity - Quality and Quantity are very important in scoring of the TRTT!

So if you know of any gems of a Tea Room, and think they should shout about it - let me know and I'll shout about it for them!!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

It's all about Afternoon Tea

Well, it's a month since the last blog - I'm so rubbish!!! After much list-making, soul searching, and cake baking I thought it best to blog about something I'm REALLY passionate about, and that is..... Afternoon Tea!!

I love the teapot, the leaf strainer, the debate of milk in first or not, the cake stands, the sponge cake - you name it, if it's part of the ritual of Afternoon Tea I will LOVE it!

Since last October I've taken it upon myself to test different establishments in the Northwest of England and their Afternoon Tea offering! All in the name of helping the people of the UK pick the best places to visit. There's nothing worse than looking forward to your Afternoon Tea, to find that the cakes are dry, there's no tea cups, only mugs and the sandwiches are a bit soggy!!

It is my aim, through this blog, to help and assist you in choosing the right place for your Afternoon Tea. Some people like the cake stands, with patisserie and scones, while others like the sandwich and victoria sponge cake option. It all depends on what your aim is - is it a gift to someone, a treat to yourself, or just somewhere to stop off during a day trip!

From this day forward I pledge my allegiance to report on all manner of Afternoon Tea stops..... The first being Two Birds Tea Room at Heskin Hall -
This is a great place to visit, with a brilliant butchers, and small farm shop. Heskin Hall offers different craft stalls, art gallery, antiques and the Two Birds Tea Room. So, what better place to start with the Tea Room Taste Test....
The Afternoon Tea offering is a pot of tea (made with tea bags, so no strainer needed), 2 triangle sandwiches (which I think are about the size of 1 slice of bread cut in half) along with some salad and crisps and a slice of cake of your choice. I was joined by my Taste Tester (my mum!) and we tried the lemon drizzle cake and victoria sponge cake. We couldn't fault the taste of the sandwiches or the cakes, it just lacked "Afternoon Tea Tradition". There was an option of scones with jam and cream instead of the cakes, but no cake stand. If you want a delicious lunch with lovely sponge cake then this is the place to visit, but if it's the Afternoon Tea Experience you want - for example if you're treating someone for a prezzie - then maybe buy them something from one of the fantastic shops that are with Heskin Hall!!

A.T.E. (Afternoon Tea Experience) 1/5
T.R.T.T. (Tea Room Taste Test) 4/5 (I'm greedy so would've liked more sandwiches!!)

So there you have my first Tea Room Taste Taste - long may it continue :D