Sunday Moment #38

•  Pineapple & vanilla tea from Charbrew
•  Crispbread with cream cheese, jam and strawberries
•  Ticket for Matilda the Musical, which I saw a few weeks ago
Programme from the Cider vs Meat Feast where I got to enjoy the glorious sunshine on Saturday on the roof of the Queen of Hoxton (massive wigwam included)
•  Some pretty fabric that I got to use with my recently acquired sewing machine (thank you, mum!), on which I have been sewing away, including making some outfits for the teddy I will be giving to my nephew – who coincidentally decided he’s had enough of the womb this week and was born on Friday!

Tea Review: Chocca-Roo-Brew from Joe’s Tea Co

Name: Chocca-Roo-Brew  |  Type: Rooibos  |  Brand: Joe’s Tea Co  |  Form: Sachets  |  Price: £4.75 for 15 sachets (30g)

Ingredients: Rooibos, vanilla pods, chocolate chips, natural chocolate flavour, natural vanilla flavour

Looks really cool and London-ish. I actually first heard about Joe’s Tea Co while reading this article on the design of the packaging, which I found cool enough to hop over to Harvey Nichol’s to pick some up. Love the typography and the details, like the little framed window on the side and the map on the inside of the box.

Smells predominately of vanilla, with a bit of cocoa thrown in for good measure.

Tastes more chocolatey than it smells, though I wouldn’t necessarily call it a really strong chocolate flavour. You also still get a bit of vanilla and the sort of earthiness of the rooibos, but without the overwhelming rooibos flavour that it can sometimes have.

All in all it’s a smooth tea with a subtle but comforting chocolate and vanilla taste. Bit on the pricey side at £4.75 for a box of 15 sachets, so not on the top of the list of things I’m rushing to repurchase, but recommended if you like good quality, cool looking tea on your kitchen shelf. If you’re in London and are looking for something for a tea-lover in your life, this would be a great one – looks much cooler than your typical souvenir tins and tastes better too.

Sunday Moment #37

•  Salted Caramel black tea from David’s Tea
•  Yogurt, Raspberries & fancy black current jam
•  Ticket for Inside Llewyn Davis
•  The Little Book of Lunch
 (which my mum very kindly got me and which has led to me bringing in lots of lunch to work lately)

Sunday Moment #36

•  Sugar and Spice black tea from David’s Tea
•  Crispbread with apples and honey
•  Leaflet from the London Short Film Festival that I went to on Saturday
•  Ticket for the castle museum in Linz that I went to with my cousin on New Year’s day
•  Card from an awesome folky gig in a pub that I (fortunately) got dragged along to by my friend  Peter

Sunday Moment #35

•  Tea from my tea advent calendar (a lovely present from my aunt)
•  Christmas cookies from my cousin’s grandma
•  Tickets for Frozen and the Hobbit 2
•  Ticket for watching Love Actually with my friends Amy and Alan at the Prince Charles Cinema (with mulled wine and mince pies)
•  Paper crown and terrible joke from my Christmas cracker (that I got at our office Christmas meal)

P.S.: Hope you had a lovely Christmas and happy new year!

Sunday Moment #34

•  Lime Gelato infusion from David’s Tea
•  Gingerbread stars
•  Ticket for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode (which I saw in the cinema in 3D and it was brilliant)
•  Revolver from Cluedo (which I found in the Game of Life at the pub on Friday and which we swiftly used to replace the missing pistol from my Cluedo game played later that night)
•  My shoe (which I lost a few times while dancing at a ceilidh on Saturday)

Sunday Moment #33

•  Pistachio cream from David’s Tea
•  Pistachio chocolate from Regensburg (which I got as a little present from my aunt when I was home in Germany for my mum’s birthday last weekend)
•  Book about the best worst lonely hearts ads (which I got from my cousin and which is absolutely hilarious)
•  3D glasses (from seeing Gravity with my friend Peter on Saturday)

Sunday Moment #32

•  Apple, cinnamon & raisin black tea from Twinings
•  Crispbread with cream cheese and fancy-pants blackcurrant jam
•  Cinema ticket for Ender’s Game (which I saw while my uni friends Mark and Alan came to visit last weekend)
•  Candlestick and axe from Cluedo (which we ended up playing at four in the morning when we got home from the pub)
•  Map of the Science Museum (which we went to Monday)

Foodie Pen Pals: October 2013

Time for Foodie Pen Pals again! This time I got a parcel sent to me from the lovely Kim from the Netherlands, and I think this has been my favourite package that I’ve received so far! I unpacked this just after the clocks turned back last week and it suddenly got dark around four, and it felt like I had been sent a wonderful care package for the cold, rainy days of November.

The first thing I got were some crispy apple chips from her local farmer’s market – I may have eaten half the package already because they are seriously addicting. Then there were also some chocolate sprinkles that Kim told me were actually mostly eaten on toast (not arguing with that!) as well as some mints featuring the King’s name.

I also got some tea – appropriately named Herbst (or Autumn) storm, since London got some pretty stormy weather that day – which is tea with some warming spices and apple pieces. To go with it, she also packed some stroopwafels, which look amazing and I can’t wait to try them both.

Kim had asked me if there was anything specifically Dutch I would like, and I’ve always wanted to try Speculoos (which is a spread consisting of ground up biscuits essentially) but have never been able to find it anywhere… so Kim sent me a jar! And it’s delicious. She mentioned that it’s one of her favourite spreads, and I can see why. Thank you so much for introducing me to it, Kim! :)

Afternoon Tea at the Kensington Close Hotel

A few weeks ago, my friend and former uni housemate Eboni came to visit me for a few days as she’s moving from Iowa to Paris to work as an au-pair for a year! As she had never been to London, we tried to squeeze in a few stereotypically British experiences, including proper afternoon tea (I am happy to report that she’s also now officially a fan of fish and chips and addicted to the Great British Bake-Off).

We decided to opt for the Kensington Close Hotel as it offers a pretty good deal when you book online (£12.00 per person) and is quite convenient location-wise when you’re about and about doing touristy things anyway.

The interior isn’t quite as nice and stylish as the Ampersand Hotel, but you get to sit in an area near the bar with lots of comfy chairs and tables, and it felt fairly relaxed and quiet when we were there.

We ordered our tea and five minutes later were presented with two teapots and lots and lots of food! First up were the sandwiches, which were really classic looking finger sandwiches on white and wheat bread – starting out with an egg salad filling that was almost surprisingly good (I feel like egg can be a bit hit and miss sometimes, but these were great), ham with mustard, cucumber and cream cheese and finally smoked salmon. All found our approval.

Moving on to the scones, we got a very classic looking plain scone, a massive octagon shaped one with raisins and a sort of tear shaped scone with chocolate (and possibly hazelnut?) pieces in it. They were all three really tasty though we both only got through about a quarter of the raisin one as it was huge and we were getting dangerously full at that point.

Finally, we managed to battle our way through the sweets – a little cream & fruit tartlet, a chocolate eclair and a piece of carrot cake. My favorite was probably the carrot cake – not too dense, really tasty frosting and I loved the crunch on top. The tartlet was also really nice and tasted a lot more interesting than I suspected at first glance.

All in all I think the Kensington Close offers a really good deal – the price really only showed in that everything was maybe slightly less dainty and refined, and the tea selection isn’t huge and only includes tea bags – though you do get change your tea throughout if you want! But other than that I think the value is amazing – you get a whole lot of tasty food for a fantastic price while still having the quintessential British afternoon tea experience.