Lahloo Tea…

July 21, 2010

So I promised on Friday to tell you more about Lahloo tea, the reason I wanted to give it a whole post of its own is because it has such a great story, and as you know I adore independent companies and brands.

Bristol seem to have so many people doing great things with a passion of theirs, it really inspires me, Lahloo is one of those companies.

The brand is great and the product is just lovely, amazing tea!

Find out the lovely story on the Lahloo website here

The Lady behind Lahloo is all about bring real tea to everyone, as in proper tea leaves that you brew rather than dunking a teabag… making it a proper ritual again.

I love the branding, the different characters drinking the different teas are great…

I first brought Lahloo as presents for tea loving friends, as the packaging is so cute it makes the perfect ready-made gift…

Each tea comes in a vacuum sealed package with its name and a little description with a cute little Lahloo peg to keep it fresh.

At the Glassboat Summer Fayre I finally brought myself some.

I went for Rosey since I have a little rose obsession going on right now (perfume, actual roses in the garden, petals to decorate dessert -yes, etc etc)…

I definitely made the right choice, the tea has actual little rose buds in it!

So so cute, I loved it the moment I opened it.

Luckily it tastes good too, so rosey and fresh, quite light…

I love this tea, and am off to treat myself to another cup with a side of cake… you can buy yours at the website or at Bordeaux Quay’s deli, or at the multitude of events Kate takes her tea too, along with vintage Teacups and cakes!

I also want to add Congratulations as last night Lahloo Tea announced they had won 4 Gold Taste Awards for their tea, so well deserved!!

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!

This post is going back a while but after tea in London I remembered how good it was in Singapore

Last year I spent my birthday in Singapore, the shopping there is ridiculous… the mall below is called ION Orchard

The mall building is amazing, and was designed to look like a piece of fruit with the stalks and the seeds and the flesh represented by pillars and the glass.

Being on Orchard Avenue is like stepping into a magazine, everyone walking around was so stylish and gorgeous, and shops like Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Hermes (2 on this street!), Christian Dior… I could go on…


Inside ION there was a TWG tea salon, which was so pretty we stopped for afternoon tea for my Birthday…

The tea shop was in a little salon that when you stepped in you completely forgot you were in a mall, with teas lining the walls and all the most beautiful cakes on display, as well as beautiful teacups and teapots for sale, I still regret not buying some.

The clientale were mostly very smart business men and women having lunch, we were the only tourists.

I ordered a Chic afternoon tea, which was little toasted triangle sandwiches and mini scones.

Look at the teas in the picture below you can see the differences in colour, they treat it like wine here in how they match teas to food and advise you on what you might like. There are subtle differences in every tea… you could also have tea/champagne cocktails which came in big glasses with lots of ice and mint and looked amazing.

I was still feeling a little delicate from having food poisoning the few days before so I had to skip the cakes, but I did buy some macaroons for the plane journey home, I had a rose one and a passion fruit one and I think there was some chocolate ones in there but I cannot remember what else I picked it was so long ago. All I can say is that they were good!

And the menu for all the different teas is amazing, so so big, it was hard to choose until I saw a tea called Happy Birthday!
Below is a picture of the shelves holding all the blends… they have a few!

The Boy had one called Christmas Lights, as Singapore had decorated ready for Christmas already it seemed fitting, it was so yummy we had to bring some home and we are now down to rationing it as we have nearly run out.

A select number of TWG are available to buy through Harrods if you would like to try -I brought a few of the gift boxed teas home as the boxes hold beautiful teas that are decorated the same as the boxes they make great gifts for tea lovers

While browsing I have just found out they now sell the Happy Birthday Tea in England now… Woo hoo! I may well have to make a purchase to relive my birthday.

AND the amazing teapots I loved so much… a little out of my price range for a tea pot though!

This is a (rubbish) photo of the tea menu, I wanted you to see how massive it is this is double-sided as well!

There must be a thousand teas on there!

Another tea company that is a little more local is ATTIC; all the Tea in China. Based in Bristol this company specialise in Chinese tea and make beautiful flowering teas, I have brought these teas as gifts as they are beautifully packaged but have yet to make it to the tea shop… I hope to soon.

TWG also had flowers… I just love their names…

Well okay not in the park but overlooking Hyde Park at The Athenaeum Hotel in Mayfair.

The Hotel has a vertical garden on its walls, which even on a grey day looked amazing, I really want one in my garden. Check out Patrick Blanc’s website, he is the guy who did the hotel’s among many others… they really are beautiful.

We were seated in the Garden room, which is on a lower ground floor level along the side of the hotel, the vertical garden reaches down to the window so we had a view of the “garden”, it seems to be a wall with little pockets for the plants

The room is all muted tones and we felt so relaxed the moment we sat down, in our own little enclave…

The hotel has won awards for its Afternoon Tea, and as soon as we were sat we were handed the tea menu, which was wooden and held tea leaves from each blend…

I went for a peach green tea, as part of afternoon tea you have unlimited tea but I stuck to this one as it was so yummy

Then the finger sandwiches arrived… we had two servings of avocado wraps, ham and tomato relish, smoked salmon and cream cheese, egg and of course cucumber

Then mini scones, we had one plain one fruit with a plum jam, strawberry jam and clotted cream scooped like ice cream

Despite everything being mini we were quite full at this stage and had to take a break before the dessert trolley was brought to us… which was very pink and girlie, and we were allowed 3 picks from the trolley

It was so hard to choose, they even had marshmallows and candy canes and lots of cupcakes…

I picked a mini chocolate cake with vanilla filling, a champagne jelly which had flecks of lavender and a strawberry mousse

Hayley picked a piece of chocolate banana cake, a chocolate covered strawberry and a mini praline tart…

We were then offered crumpets and tea cakes but had to give up as we could not eat anymore!

Also have to mention there were no toilets but a ladies powder room with Ren hand wash and lotion and a bay window and 2 dressing tables… nice touch, girls love a pretty bathroom!

So a recipe for you… has to be scones right? They are easy! If you have never made them give it a go… takes roughly half an hour in total.

Scones

225g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
50g butter, cubed
30g caster sugar
1 egg
115ml full fat milk

for the glaze
1 egg yolk
1 tsp caster sugar

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 220C and lightly dust a baking tray with flour
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the cubes of butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles very fine crumbs, then stir in the sugar

Step 2
Beat the whole egg and milk together and mix into the flour using a round ended knife. Do not overwork the mixture or it will become too tough.
Make the mixture into a big ball and pop onto a lightly floured work surface.
Form into a rough ball and roll it out, try t aim for a 2cm thickness.

Step 3
Cut as many scones as you can using a round fluted cutter of about 5cm dipped in flour, then keep re-rolling the dough and cutting until you run out (should be roughly 8-10 scones) Then put these on the baking tray, mix the glaze (1 egg yolk, 1 tsp caster sugar and 1 tsp water) and brush over the tops of the scones.

Step 4
Bake for 12 minutes until they become golden and have risen (if using a fan check after 8-10 minutes) then transfer to a wire rack to cool… eat whilst still warm with jam and cream! (these will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container)

I have made scones using this recipe and they are so good! Make and enjoy!

The Baby Shower

June 11, 2010

So my first ever post is about my friend Michele’s baby shower.
 
Michele is married to one of my best friends Jon and their son Phoenix is my godson.
They are amazing hosts and their parties are famous, although not as wild as they used to be now they are a Mum and Dad!
 
Michele is pregnant with a baby girl so threw a very girly baby shower…
 
 
 
 
Drinks were served in their amazing sun lounge decked out with pink bunting…
 
 
…and one of my absolute favourite flowers, Peonies…
 
 

…with vintage china tea cups…
 
 

 
 
… and cupcakes from another friends of ours Nikki, you can find them here; Country Cupcakes based in Bath and started from her kitchen these cupcakes are delicious and look amazing!
 
  
 
Plus a proper afternoon tea of finger sandwiches, Vol Au Von’s, mini eclairs and more cakes
 
 
Afternoon tea is possibly my favourite meal ever, add peach Bellini’s and you have a party!

 
 
My contribution was a courgette cake from Nigella Lawson’s ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ book filled with lime curd but not iced, I think it’s better this way… almost feels like a healthy treat rather than being naughty with icing that gives me tooth ache!
  
 
 Flora’s Famous Courgette Cake
250g (2 or 3) courgettes weighed before grating 2 large eggs (or 3 medium)
125ml vegetable oil
150g caster sugar
225g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 x 23 cm sandwich tins, greased and lined
 
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/350F/180C
 
Wipe courgettes with kitchen towel then grate with the coarse side of an ordinary grater. When you’ve grated them, turn them into a sieve over the sink to remove excess water.
 
Put eggs, oil and sugar in a bowl and beat until creamy.
Sieve in flour, bicarb and baking powder and continue to beat until well combined.Now stir in the grated courgette
Pour the mixture into the tins and bake for about 30 minutes, or until slightly browned and firm to the touch.
Leave in their tins for 5-10 minutes then turn out and let cool on the rack until your filling is ready. Lime Curd Filling
 
75g caster sugar
75g unsalted butter
3 large eggs
125ml lime juice (about 4 limes)
zest of 1 lime
 
to make about 350ml
Melt the butter in a saucepan, than add all other ingredients and whisk together on a gentle heat
Let it cool before filling the cake

 

…sweetiesa little nod to Alice in Wonderland with some old school