You all know I love Lahloo Tea… and it’s Pantry so I won’t go on too much in this post (but seriously have you been yet?)

But I do love them even more after they invited me to their new menu tasting evening…

 

Until recently I pretty much always had the same thing at the Pantry, sometimes wavering to try a new cake, but on my last trip for my God-daughters birthday we all had afternoon tea and it was great, of course. It’s quite different to the normal sandwiches and scones combo so is great if you’ve been there done that.

On this evening they had made cocktails with their tea… my Husband drank bloody mary’s made with their Smoky tea all night…

While I drank rum punch made with White Whisper tea (I think!), delicious. They also served a non-alcoholic cocktail made with Snow Jewel tea.

 

We sat and mingled and the lovely Lahloo lady’s brought round bits and pieces to try.

Our favourite; the rarebit with tomato jam. We ate quite a few of these.

 

A lovely courgette and Homewoods Cheese frittata.

Another one of my favourite, why I didn’t eat more of these I don’t know… homemade jammy dodgers. 100 times better than the ‘real’ thing.

 

Rose and pistachio marshmallows. You should all know how I feel about anything rose by now. (Love)

And so you can see how lovely the set afternoon tea is here is the spread from my Go-daughters birthday…

Artichoke Mousse, Herb Pancake filled with Homewood Cheese’s Ewe’s (such a great idea) and Old Spot Sausage Roll with the tomato jam again. These are the don dadda of sausage rolls. I ate lots of these on both occasions.

 And the sweet stuff! A mini Raspberry and Earl Grey Tart, Lemon Posset (a favourite of mine) with a Matcha biscuit and more of those perfectly soft marshmallows.

All little bites and perfectly formed, and all incorporating their amazing tea. You will leave satisfied not stuffed to the brim.

Their tea menu will be changing monthly, and I will be going back in August for their Matcha menu for sure, it my new obsession.

Lahloo Pantry – Clifton Village, Bristol

Once again thank you for the invitation, any time you need more menus tasted I’ll be there in a flash!

Bishopston Tea Party

May 3, 2011

So it is back to work for most after a long weekend, I have been off for 11 days but coming back was not that painful, am eager to get back to a routine, and very much need to get back to the gym as my time off mostly consisted of being very very naughty indeed.

One of those days was an amazing afternoon tea, thrown by Danielle at The Resting Chef at her house in Bishopston. I have still to make one of her supper clubs so was thrilled to be free for her tea… it is my most favourite thing.

Danielle went IN. She made enough to feed an army… it was all delicious too, I cannot tell you how stuffed I was when I left!

We arrived to ice tea from Lahloo Tea.

With a beautiful table of Cornish ware and cakes… and more!

The cheese scones ruled the day for me, I think I ate at least 4!

See… so much food!

There were also finger sandwiches and a whole selection of tea from Lahloo, plus the fresh coffee kept coming which for me was much-needed that day!

Big thanks to Danielle from myself and the Boy who very much enjoyed the treats I brought home for him.

Danielle hosts supper clubs regularly, check her blog and subscribe for more details.

Bristol Lido

April 5, 2011

One of the best presents I got for my birthday, November 12th just FYI ;), was a voucher for afternoon tea (my most favourite meal ever) at the Bristol Lido from my girlfriends…

We waited until now to use so we could swim without getting frostbite.

The Lido is my new favourite spot so I had to share…

I love the exterior… this is the pool and spa entrance.

This is the bar and restaurant entrance. So retro!

The Lido was first opened in 1849, and remained a public swimming bath until 1990 when it closed. The current owners,the wonderful Glass Boat Company,bought the building after it was saved from demolition, the whole site was owned by a housing company that wanted to build flats on the site. Fortunately local people campaigned against this and the site was awarded Grade II status. The Glass Boat Company re-opened the site after much refurnishing in 2008. Read more here.

This is the lovely bar, with a view of the pool and a huge selection of tapas and cakes at the end.

I love the relaxed vibe of this place on this sunny saturday, with many people wandering around in their fluffy robes.

This is the upper end of the pool with an outdoor seating area, and the jacuzzi!

Such a lovely spot for a coffee in-between lengths…

This is the kitchen jutting out over the seating wafting beautiful smells to make you hungry after all your exercise. It worked with us!

There is also a sauna and a steam room.

The pool is heated but not to a very hot temperature, which I loved even though it was a shock when you first get in, it was so fresh and meant you had to keep moving.

More retro-ness, love this!

This is the bar, downstairs and the restaurant, upstairs with the lovely view of the pool.

The jacuzzi, we spent a lot of time in here!

They do have a spa as well, which I will indulge in next time, see details here

This is the waiting room, with lovely orange water, the indoor changing rooms are also lovely, with showers and luxury bath products for all to use, upstairs there is also a boudoir room with hairdryers and straighteners!

Amazing, especially since most people will want to go to the restaurant after their swim with their hair done rather than dripping wet. It’s the details like this that made me love this place.

Love the signs from the old Lido dotted around.

The upstairs restaurant, I LOVE these chairs!

Theres a big window into the kitchen, you can see the wood-fired oven.

So our deal included a swim and use of facilities from 12-3 then afternoon tea, with a glass of Prosecco…

We were served smoked salmon and cream cheese on some amazing sourdough bread with our Prosecco… and lots of it!

One in the group doesn’t eat salmon and was offered some tapas instead, which was also amazing… we got stuck in!

Spanish omelette, humous and butternut squash with goats cheese… YUM!

They use Lahloo tea here :)

Then the most enormous scones arrived!

They were so lovely, mine do not compare.

I do clotted cream then jam, it just looks better, who does it the other way around?

Highly recommended, I really want to go back and have dinner, they have such a good reputation plus if the standard of the afternoon tea was any indicator it will be sooooo good.

The afternoon tea and swim is £30 details here they also do other packages where you can swim and eat. If you haven’t been yet (I am very upset I left it this long) then go, it really is worth it.

This is waaaay to easy not to bake every weekend, imagine… banana bread with chocolate hot from the oven with real butter, coffee and the weekend papers. Heaven.

You need;

75g unsalted butter, softened
4 ripe bananas
200g soft brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
170g flour, I used buckwheat but plain works too

Preheat the oven to 180c

Grease a 30 x 23 cm bread tin.

Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl.
Mix in the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract.
Add the bicarbonate of soda and salt and finally mix in the flour.
(I then added really dark chocolate nibs)
 

Pour into the prepared tin.

Bake for 1 hour, remove and cool on a wire rack.

So good!

It is a good breakfast, if you leave out the chocolate even better kept me full for hours.

Cheese Scones…

January 13, 2011

So I don’t know about anyone else but I try to be good in January, after over-eating for pretty much the whole of December it’s almost easy, because I am craving vegetables!

However it’s not so easy when there is an abundance of left over mince pies, chocolates and cheese in the house! We had some amazing cheddar given to us by the Boy’s Dad in a hamper and although we had eaten most of it (by we I mean I) there was still a good chunk left this week and I was nibbling too much… it had to go!

So I made cheese scones, okay they are just as bad but this way I could offload some at work to my very lucky colleagues…

You need;
500g plain/wholemeal flour (I used a mix)
3 tsp baking powder
large pinch salt
black pepper
large sprinkle cayenne pepper (optional)
250g strong cheddar cheese, grated
15ml vegetable oil
125ml milk
olive oil for brushing

Sift flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper into a large bowl.
Add the cheese and mix through the flour mixture. Crack lots of black pepper into the mix if you like.

Beat the egg and milk together in a separate bowl and add the oil.
The oil replaces the butter that usually gets used to rub into the flour.
By using the oil its slightly better for you and easier, however if you prefer butter (I do) then use 45g soft cubed butter

Pour the milk/egg/oil mixture into the flour mixture and using a metal spoon, mix the dough until it clumps together, but is not too dry.
If too dry, splash a bit more milk in to use up the flour.

Press the dough out on a flat clean floured surface until it is about 5mm thick, then fold it over on top of itself (this gives the finished scones the natural “break” to cut open), flatten it again, using the palm of your hand. 
You can use a rolling pin but as it is heavy it may prevent the scones from rising.

Cut out your scones out  and place them on a baking tray, then brush with your best olive oil and crack more black pepper over the top…

Pop them in the oven at 180c for 10-15 minutes or until risen and a nice golden brown…

They should be a little oozy and goey! Serve with some leftover Christmas chutney…

Or my favourite (not in keeping with the January goodness I was chatting about before) is hot from the oven with butter on… I had to taste them after all.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

The same week that we went blackberry picking there was a charity afternoon tea organised at my office, so I said I would donate 10 scones thinking I would use my blackberries up this way…

This blog post over at http://cannelle-vanille.blogspot.com/ inspired me… however mine are not gluten-free.

The recipe yielded so much more than I thought it would, maybe the blackberries stretched it out… I made quite a mess and used every tray we have to cook them all.

I made some normal size and some mini ones…

You need;
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder (or cream of tartare, this makes them really light and fluffy)
1tsp bicarb soda
pinch salt
50g butter
25g caster sugar
125ml whole milk (plus extra for brushing)
1 egg
plus I used about 250g blackberries (maybe a little more)

1. Grease two baking sheets.
Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt into a bowl. Cut the butter into small chunks and add them to the flour and rub the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
Add the sugar and milk.
2. Use a blunt knife to mix everything to make a soft dough. Add your blackberries.
3. Sprinkle an area of your work surface with flour and put the dough onto it. Roll it out until the dough is about 2cm thick – it might make only 2 or 3 scones but believe me, it’s worth it. You will need flour on your rolling-pin as well as the blackberries make it quite sticky.
4. Cut circles from the dough with the cutter. Squeeze the scraps into a ball and roll them out again. Cut more circles until you have run out.
5. Put the circles onto the baking sheets, leaving no space between each one. Brush the tops with a little milk and the egg yolk mixed together.
6. Bake the scones for 7-10 minutes on the top shelf of the oven. They will rise and turn golden. Lift them onto a wire rack to cool.

A great excuse to get my cake stand out…

Biggie thought they looked delicious…

I had enough to take 15 into work, plus one extra for each of my team (mini ones) and even another 10 for the Boy to take to his work!

I am using fruit in scones more often, they were yummy, so soft and the fruit had all caramelised on the outside and gone all gloopy inside.

I ate mine plain with some coffee in the morning, they didn’t even need anything on top!

This is another cheesecake from the cake tasting that didn’t make the cut for the wedding. It is however very tasty and quite simple to make and HUGE!

I will definitely be making this again for friends. Please do use real vanilla pods if you can it makes such a difference to the taste.
I love that the base included oats as well as biscuits which gave it a different flavour and made the base really crumbly. Also the zest in the cheese part of the cake is amazing, makes it taste so fresh!

ingredients;
150g butter, plus more for greasing
200g digestive biscuits
100g rolled oats
1 vanilla pod (or 1 tsp essence)
600g cream cheese (full fat)
1 lemon
1 orange
300ml double cream
to top:
100g caster sugar
500g raspberries

1 23cm springform tin

1. Grease the tin with some butter and line the bottom with greaseproof paper

2. Blend your biscuits until they are fine crumbs (or smash them with a rolling-pin in a bowl)

3. Toast the oats in a pan until they are golden brown, cube the butter and add to the pan with the digestive crumbs, stir until combined and then add to the tin smoothing out with a metal spoon, then pop it in the fridge to set (at least 1 hour)

4. Put all the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl , add the vanilla seeds (cut the pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds) or essence, then add the caster sugar, the zest from the orange and lemon zest plus the juice from the lemon. Blend until smooth.

5. In another bowl whisk the double cream until you have soft peaks then add to the cream cheese mixture in 2 halves folding in gently. Then add to your base and chill in the fridge for at least another hour.

To serve; mix the raspberries and sugar in a bowl, scrunching them together until well mixed.
Ease the cheesecake out of the tin and on to a serving plate and pour the raspberries over the top.

Do not try to work out the calorie content, it’s probably better not to know!