Last year I made a debut to a very British customs ‘Afternoon Tea’. The concept of it is similar to Cream Tea that I occasionally have, however, they are a little different. Basically Afternoon Tea is a mixture of lunch and tea time together which serves tea with some sandwiches and dessert. By knowing it is a traditional custom for upper class people, it is a little intimidating experience but it is becoming more popular among wider range of people these days.
I had another opportunity to try this high end custom (at a reasonable price) the other day. It was a farewell occasion with somebody who helped me out and is leaving the UK soon.
To be honest it is quite difficult to choose the venue. Of course if you want to spend lots of money for the best experience there is no problem. The top quality afternoon tea costs over £100 per head. However, if you want to find a venue for a great experience but reasonably priced, you have to do a lot of research.
I finally booked a table in a hotel, but I was worried if it was not as good as I hoped it would be. However, once we arrived at the hotel I got a good feeling. Although the restaurant is located on the ground floor, we were led to the Executive Lounge which is on their 14th floor. There were some other people having tea already but tables were placed with some distance so our conversation was not disturbed at all.
We settled at the table and not waiting that long, our tea arrived, followed by a three tiered cake stand.
I have been living in England for many years. During that time I have picked up several English customs such as having toast with Orange Marmalade and a MUG of Milk Tea for breakfast or Tea-time at 4:30 often with Earl Grey Tea. I also love Scones but it has to be with Clotted Cream and Raspberry Jam. However, I have never experienced having a set of Afternoon Tea in a Tea shop … until recently.
Last week I saw a friend of mine in Central London. We decided go to Patisserie Valerie for Afternoon Tea.
A little break from the still ongoing Report of food story in Japan.
When I go back to Japan I take some little gift to my family. I found it is quite hard to find something nice that the gift-receiver can enjoy and also not be too expensive… So now I always take some FOOD.
This time I took some Butter and Clotted Cream as well as some sweets. WHY Butter?? Well, you may find it strange but there has been a shortage of Butter in Japan for years! As soon as the Butter section shelves are filled in a supermarket, it empties very quickly. And they are much dearer in Japan. It is same for other dairy products such as cheese or fresh cream.
I like Clotted Cream. Of course I don’t have it regularly. It’s too rich but having it on Hot Cross Buns is a Must to have at Easter time. You normally don’t find it in Japan. This was not the first time I took Clotted Cream to my family. I know it is a little too fatty and high calories for my mother but having it once a year does no harm and I just wanted her to enjoy something she doesn’t usually have.
So I made Cranberry Scones to have with the Clotted Cream.