Having done some blogs for The English Manner, I thought I should be doing something on my own website! So here is the first of my Diary blogs. This is not really a diary of events, but more my thoughts and tips that I hope might be useful. Last week I did an Afternoon Tea Tutorial at The Corinthia Hotel in London for The English Manner. I am gluten free, so my tea is slightly different from the normal offering. The bread and cakes are usually fine, but the scones can be a disaster! However, my scone (which rhymes with gone) was really delicious on this occasion.
My clients were two lovely ladies from Latvia who wanted to sample a bit of ‘British life’ and learn about the history of afternoon tea as well as the correct way to brew the said beverage. Tea must be made with boiling water and is best served in a pot. The pot should be warmed before adding the leaves or bags, then the tea should be allowed to steep for at least four minutes. To get the most flavour loose tea is preferable as the leaves have room to expand, although tea bags are much better quality these days and I have to say, less fuss! It is correct etiquette to pour the tea in first because guests might not want any milk, or only a little, so it is always best to let them pour their own. This also dates back to the time when only bone china could resist cracking under boiling water, so those who couldn’t afford this expensive commodity poured the milk in first to avoid such a calamity. Cups should be held by the handle with definitely no pinkie extended, but if you feel the need, you can hug a mug!
Next time I will be talking about Dining Etiquette and how to be a happy eater.