There’s nothing better than enjoying an exquisite Afternoon Tea lounging in the opulent surroundings of a luxury hotel, but it’s not an affordable regular pastime for most of us! Have you ever thought about hosting your own Afternoon Tea party at home? Cosy, intimate and something a little bit different, great for getting your favourite people round and creating lovely memories. Here are our top tips for creating a fun and delicious DIY Afternoon Tea.
Mini brioche hotdogs
- 4 of your favourite sausages
- 4 Brioche Pasquier Brioche Rolls
- 200g shallots flour
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1tsp caraway seeds
- 1tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 50g tomato ketchup
- 1 teabag Twinings Lapsang Souchong
Finely chop the shallots and toss in seasoned flour. Fry the spices in olive oil for a minute then add the shallots. Fry for about 15 mins, stirring occasionally until crispy and browned. Make a shot of Twinings Lapsang Souchong by steeping the teabag in 60ml boiling water for 3 hours+. Once cooled, stir into tomato ketchup to make a smoky infused relish. Cook the sausages. Slice the brioche rolls and assemble the hotdogs, topping off with the fried onions and smoky ketchup. Cut each hotdog into three, and skewer with a cocktail stick to hold it together.
Smoked salmon & avocado on rye
- 1 avocado
- 100g smoked salmon
- rye bread
- a few cherry tomatoes
Mash the avocado with a squeeze of lime. Spoon onto a slice of rye bread and top with a slice of salmon. Halve the cherry tomatoes and add a half as garnish. Serve as an open sandwich.
So cute and such a fun ideate use brioche loaf to create canapé size pizzas! Thanks to Brioche Pasquier for this recipe, and you check out more recipes on their website.
- Sliced Brioche Pasquier Brioche Loaf
- tomato puree
- 4 slices honey roasted ham
- 75g grated cheddar cheese
- basil leaves
Using a cutter, cut circles out of your brioche slices. Spread a dollop of tomato puree on each circle, then add the ham and a sprinkle of cheese. Stick them in the oven at a low heat for 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
Ultimate egg mayo sandwich
- 4 boiled eggs
- 60g mayo
- half tsp mustard
- 1 spring onion, chopped
- salt & pepper
- 1/8 tsp paprika
- wholemeal or granary bread
Chop the boiled eggs and mix with the mayo, mustard and spring onion. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Make your sandwiches and cut into small rectangles or squares.
Scones, scones, scones
This is our favourite tried and tested scone recipe from BBC Good Food. So quick and simple, and works every time! Easy enough to make on the day so they are fresh and warm from the oven. Serve with clotted cream and the traditional strawberry jam. Or mix it up with a spicy ginger and rhubarb preserve or even a sweet lemon curd.
Oteas Strawberry and Cream cupcakes
- 110g softened butter
- 110g golden caster sugar
- 110g self-raising flour
- 2 large eggs
- half tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
For the frosting:
- 3 Oteas Strawberry and Cream tea bags
- 50ml milk
- 150g softened butter
- 300g icing sugar
Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy, then whisk in 2 large eggs. Add vanilla extract, flour and a pinch of salt, whisk until combined. Spoon the mixture into a 12 cupcake tray lined with cases. Bake for 15 mins in a preheated oven at 180C/160C fan/gas 4 until golden brown. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the frosting, infuse Oteas Strawberry and Cream tea bags in 50ml of warm milk for an hour. Whisk butter until soft and then whisk in icing sugar until smooth. Beat in the cooled milk. Spoon or pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.
Lemon Drizzle cake
We put a tea twist on our favourite lemon drizzle cake recipe from Mary Berry. To top of this glorious tray bake, we made a lemon & ginger frosting.
- 3 Clipper Organic Lemon & Ginger tea bags
- 125g sugar
- 60ml milk
To make the frosting, infuse Clipper Organic Lemon & Ginger tea bags in 60ml of warm milk for an hour. Whisk together the icing sugar and the cooled milk. Drizzle onto the cake.
This is the best part of our DIY Afternoon Tea, irresistible macarons from Brioche Pasquier. The ultimate crowd pleaser, this pack of 36 comes in a selection of Vanilla, Pistachio, Coffee, Raspberry, Lemon and Chocolate. Easy peasy and absolutely delicious!
Sherlock Holmes mini Xmas puds
As we’re well and truly in to the festive season, try these adorable Mini Puds, a perfect twist to a Christmas classic. The smoky flavour of Chash’s Sherlock Holmes tea combined with the booziness of the whisky and sweetness of the chocolate, come together to make a treat your guests will just love. This makes 20 mini puds so they can take a few home too!
- 1 christmas pudding
- 2 tbsp Chash The Fine Tea Co Sherlock Holmes Tea
- 25cl brandy
- 1 bar of milk chocolate
- 1 bar of white chocolate
- some glazed cherries
Sprinkle the Chash Sherlock Holmes tea into the brandy and leave to infuse overnight. Strain your tea-infused brandy into a mixing bowl and crumble in the Christmas pudding. Melt the milk chocolate and add into the bowl then mix together with your hands. Once combined into a wet dough, make into small evenly sized balls. Drizzle the melted white chocolate and pop a glazed cherry on each of the mini puds.
Earl Grey and Darjeeling are the quintessential Afternoon Tea teas, and pair well with many of the traditional Afternoon Tea desserts. However, for our DIY par-tea we went for the beautiful Finest Japanese Sencha from The Tea Makers of London which paired especially well with the Salmon & Avocado on Rye. We doubled up on the cake-ness with a dessert tea from Ahmad Tea. Their Strawberry Velvet Cake tea is a perfect complement to Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle cake, just sublime! As we all know, mint and chocolate work so well together, so it just had to be Clipper’s Organic Peppermint paired with a Brioche Pasquier chocolate macaron (or few!). We brewed up all our teas using ZeroWater filtered water so that we got the full beautiful flavours coming through.
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With Halloween just around the corner we decided to have a spooky little par-tea at National Tea Day HQ! What better time to get your creativi-tea on? We’re excited to share our top tips for creating a devilishly delicious and wicked Halloween par-tea of your own. Go on, pull out all the stops, frighten (and delight) your guests with these dishes to die for!
Almost as important as the food and tea, is a beautiful table setting. Create a gorgeous autumnal table as a backdrop for your terrifying treats and teas! Just a few simple decorations really helps to set the scene. We used:
- a carved pumpkin
- an assortment of mini pumpkins and squash
- red and golden autumn leaves collected from the local park
- a selection of chestnuts and walnuts scattered around the table
We were super excited to be joined by Disney’s Maleficent and Ursula for an extra touch of Halloween magic!! The English Ladies Company was kind enough to gift us their fantastically evil (and beautiful) figurines and teacups.
And of course we had the most mesmerising teas to sip for the occasion. We oo-ed and ah-ed as the stunning artisan flowering teas from The Tea Makers of London slowly unfurled in the glass teapot. We sat transfixed by Nazani Tea’s colour changing Mallow tisane, as it turned blue with a beautiful purple tinge. Otea’s Rooibus Vanilla was the perfect brew for an autumn afternoon, soothing and warming with a subtle creaminess from the vanilla. And finally Opus Raw Pu’er tea from TEASPEC paired so well with our Mummified lamb (see recipe below), with its light smoky floral aroma and fruity notes.
Check out our Halloween video for more recipes including Matcha White Chocolate Sauce!
Halloween Afternoon Tea
We put a Halloween twist on our Afternoon Tea by going for seasonal flavours and colours mixed with traditional favourites. Starting from the bottom up:
- Traditional sausage roll
- Spinach and feta pastry
- Cheese and onion mini muffins
- Pumpkin and sweet potato falafel sandwich
- Salmon with avocado & cream cheese sandwich
- Pecan and cinnamon sponge
- Honey and coconut cake
- Carrot cake
- Polenta cake with almonds
- Brownie with pecan nuts
- Lemon cake with hibiscus
- Scones with homemade blackcurrant jam and clotted cream
- cut figs and red grapes
We also cooked up a storm in the kitchen. Here come the spooky recipes that we came up with!
Pumpkins and Peppers with Green Tea and Jasmine rice
- 100g rice
- 2 x Clipper Organic Decaf Green Tea and Jasmine
- 50g goat cheese
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Toasted pine nuts
- Chopped chives
Boil the rice in 300ml of water for 10 minutes, once the water has nearly evaporated, turn down to simmer add in tea bags, salt and pepper and gently stir. Leave with a lid on a very low heat for 5 minutes and then remove tea bags carefully. Add goats cheese and chopped chives and stir in.
Slice the top of the pumpkin and pepper off, scoop out the content of the base and line with olive oil and salt, fill generously with the filling, put the tops back on, drizzle with olive oil and bake. The pumpkin will need 45 minutes and the pepper only 30 minutes at 180c. Top with toasted pine nuts to serve.
3 Cheese Pumpkin
- 1 pumpkin
- 100g Camembert
- 75g Roquefort
- 75g Goats Cheese
Remove the top of the pumpkin and scoop out the contents. Fill the pumpkin with camembert, roquefort and goats cheese (use more or less cheese depending on size of your pumpkin). Add a splash of white wine. But on the lid, cover the pumpkin in silver foil and bake at 170c for 40 minutes.
- 1 sachet of TEASPEC raw pu’er
- 300g Prawns
- 60ml Water
- 30ml Soy sauce
- 15ml Fish sauce
- Teaspoon of date syrup
- Half a chilli
- Quarter of a lime
Brew the tea sachet in 60ml of water for 3 hours+. The idea is to create a an intense liqueur that can be diluted with other flavours. Mix all ingredients (apart from prawns) with 30ml of the brewed tea and stir. Cook the prawns. Drizzle the pu’er liqueur over the prawns or use as a dip.
- 2 Aubergines
- Olive oil
- Toasted pine nuts
Slice aubergines and score them. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes on 175c. Top with sage and toasted pine nuts to serve.
- 6 lamb sausages
- Puff pastry sheet
- Garnish: olives, tomatoes and sage
Separate the sausages if not already. Lay puff pastry onto a floured board and cut into strips. Wrap a strip around each sausage like a bandage. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 180c. Serve with garnish.
- 6g The Tea Makers of London Matcha tea
- 250g White chocolate
- 2 tablespoons of pouring cream
- 2 x Meringues
- Handful of Blackberries
For the meringue: either home made or ready made will work here. Quite simply sandwich 2 meringues with blackberries and centralise on a plate. Sprinkle matcha powder over for effect.
In a separate bowl whisk 4 grams of matcha with 75ml of water until smooth. Melt the white chocolate and add two tablespoons of cream to loosen the mixture. Combine the matcha tea and chocolate mix, whisk thoroughly and pour over the meringue.
Honestly, we were so impressed at how everything came together, you should of seen the chaos back of house ☺
So there you go, we dare you to replicate the entire par-tea…tea can be so exciting and seasonal so be inspired this autumn by exploring new delicious tea experiences starting with Halloween. Sign up to our news letter for blogs and more tas-tea news below.
Enjoy! Have a thoroughly wicked Halloween everyone!
Meet Patti, our new OOH (out of home) Tea Transformation Lead! Patti joined us 2 months ago and has hit the ground running, visiting hotels, cafes and restaurants to get the low down on the state of the out of home tea experience. Coming from a fashion background, we asked her to sum up her experiences jumping into the tea world, and to share her initial findings with us.
Over to you, Patti…
This summer I found myself at a crossroads. After a career in the high pressured and dizzying world of fashion, I wanted a change. But, first I needed some “me time” which started with a cup of tea. With that first sip, I contemplated my career and a job that I no longer found fulfilling. I considered why, after countless days in exclusive venues of New York, Milan, Rome and Paris, I had lost my passion.
First I needed some “me time” which started with a cup of tea. With that first sip, I contemplated my career.
Facing an unhappy reality is never an easy task, but the warm tea soothed not only my body but my soul. Taking time to reflect, I realised that I needed a new challenge. I’ve never been afraid to take on a new risk. After all, I relocated to amazing London from another country and taught myself a new language. So, when I had the opportunity to join National Tea Day, I didn’t think twice about the fact that I was not only changing careers, but also industries.
there’s more to tea than I thought!
Over the past two months I have launched myself into this new tasty challenge, and am delighted to introduce myself as Patti, your new tea guide! In this series of blogs I’m excited to share with you my thoughts, observations and learnings about the tea experience in my new role as OOH (Out of Home) Tea Transformation Lead with National Tea Day.
I’m excited to share with you my thoughts, observations and learnings about the tea experience.
Truthfully, I had little expectations during my first month in the business. I was totally unaware of the tea making process, having never really considered all that goes into a cuppa – the tea type, the water temperature, the brewing time. And I’m not sure what I actually expected goes into a traditional Afternoon Tea, outside of my personal experiences (which were embarrassingly limited). In my opinion, Afternoon Tea is about quality time with friends and family and of course the experience. It’s been a steep but fascinating learning curve for me. I realise that from a business perspective, visions of tea plantations were the extent of my thoughts, but it’s a long journey from leaf to lip.
In my opinion, Afternoon Tea is about quality time with friends and family and of course the experience.
my findings on the tea experience…
So here’s what I found out about tea in my first month – people will go out for coffee, but not tea. Why? Because baristas have perfected the coffee brew and lost the art of brewing tea. The trend of hospitality in the UK has been so coffee focused, that we’ve lost our national identity. However, all is not lost! I have found so many great tea brewers here in London and the rest of the UK, and I know there are so many more to be discovered. In general the best tea brewers consider the type of tea, water temperature and brewing time. I’ve learnt that while teas can be robust, they are best treated with respect for their nature. For example some teas express themselves best at a cooler brewing temperature.
So here’s what I found out about tea in my first month – people will go out for coffee, but not tea. Why?
I’ve noticed that venues are evolving and developing their tea experiences by offering a wider variety of teas at a higher quality. I’ve also noticed that the most well rounded venues are aware of the story of tea and offer environmentally friendly brands.
I am very much looking forward to taking you on this journey with me. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share with you my personal experience with how tea is perceived by venues, what type of occasions need more focus in hospitality, overview on trends in the afternoon tea experiences and how my work as OOH tea transformation will contribute to the hospitality sector in next 12 months.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the tea experience out of home, whether you’re a hospitality professional, tea supplier or a customer. Please get in touch with me! – firstname.lastname@example.org
Take some inspiration from our archives!
With Afternoon Tea Week upon us, we at National Tea Day think it’s a perfect time to brush up on your tea techniques – how to brew and what to pair to enjoy a perfect afternoon tea experience.
Are you looking for something caffeinated or herbalicious? Tea doesn’t always have to be an indulgent occasion, but can be just as delicious with a healthier twist.
An increasingly prominent trend on London’s culinary landscape is the emergence of tea pairing menus. Much as you would pair wine with different dishes, the same is done with tea for an enhanced culinary experience.
Create your perfect afternoon tea party at home, an afternoon tea that is unique, healthier and better for you all round. To help you do just this, we have picked four pairing selections that we think are inspiring and just sublime in taste!
Elderflower Herbal Tea from Nazani Tea paired with fruit scone with clotted cream but no preserve.
Jasmine Silver Needle Tea from The Teamakers of London paired with seared scallops on cucumber salsa crostini’s.
Sencha ( kombucha ) from Mighty Brew paired with dark chocolate tart with raspberries.
Lemongrass, Apple and Hibiscus Tea from Oteas paired with spiced guacamole and pan-fried pepper and aubergine focaccia.
Now, let’s talk tea! Brewing a perfect cup of tea starts with a good choice of water. Too often, tap water contains impurities that impact the flavour of your tea.
Water is best freshly filtered and should not be re-boiled because this diminishes the oxygen content. National Tea Day recommend using filtered water, to bring out the best flavours of your tea. For good leaf tea, the water should be below boiling. This is because the amino acids (which produce the tea’s flavour) dissolve at lower temperatures than tannin.
Many households use a regular filter, but there are more sophisticated water filters on the market for those with specific water problems or a desire for genuinely excellent water. We like ZeroWater filters because they take out all of the unwanted nasties as opposed to others on the market.
Now you have the perfect water, please remember just as the flavours of the teas are different the temperature at which they are brewed is also different.
Some teas should be brewed at 100°c , 80°c or even 60°c. For instance, the Apple and Hibiscus Tea should be brewed at a temperature of 100°c. The reason why tea should be brewed in a different temperature is due to the processing of the different teas. For example, white tea isn’t as oxidised and therefore requires lower temperature water to optimise the flavour.
If you’re a real stickler and want to get it exactly right:
- White is best at 70°c and green at 80°c.
- Black and Oolong teas, use water around 80°c to 90°c.
- Herbal Infusions use 100°c water, and 70°c for Chamomile.
Our pairing selections require brewing between 80°c -100°c but let’s not forget about kombucha, which is the cold fermented tea with many health benefits.
- Elderflower Herbal Tea – brew at 80°c
- Jasmine Silver Needle Tea – brew at 80°c
- Sencha (kombucha) – no brewing required
- Apple & Hibiscus Tea – brew at 100°c
But remember that the temperature is only a part of the brewing story. Indeed, time is the significant factor of bringing a true flavour to your tea. Too often in our hectic world, people are in a rush and don’t allow for proper tea steeping not to mention having some me-time with a cup of tea. Just as each tea responds to a different temperature, they also respond to time.
- For black tea, the steeping time really differs with preference. If you want to drink the tea on its own then 45 seconds to a minute is ideal. However, if you want to build the strong tannin flavours, you may want to leave it for 2-3 minutes.
- Green teas should be steeped for 1 – 2 minutes for the first infusion.
- White tea is the purest and most delicate of all teas. It needs longer brewing time than other teas. Please allow to steep for 1-3 minutes.
- Infusions “herbal teas” come from many different types of plants. Tisane has the most elegant flavours, please allow to steep for 3-8 minutes.
The perfect cup of tea goes beyond the flavours and provide many natural health benefits, and with National Tea Day’s recommendations, you can have a perfect cup of tea. Follow our social media for more tea exper-teas.
So there you go folks, happy afternoon tea week, do enjoy in style! For more inspiration stay tuned to @nationalteaday.
author: Patrycja Pykalo
In a bid to discover the nation’s dream celebrity guests for Afternoon Tea, National Tea Day polled over 1,000 avid tea lovers nationwide. Respondents chose one guest from each of the five categories which were Royal guest, International Superstar, Homegrown star, Comedian, Conversationalist. Celebrities included both the living and the dearly departed.
After weeks of anticipation, the results are in! The nations’s ideal Celebri-Tea Party guests are Prince Harry, Marilyn Monroe, Idris Elba, Graham Norton and Sir David Attenborough.
Having recently become a first time Dad, it comes as no surprise that Prince Harry is our favourite Royal taking 26% of the Royal vote.
Marilyn continues to hold a special place in our hearts with almost a third (30%) of the International superstar vote.
Mary Berry was pipped at the post by Idris Elba who won by just 1 vote in the Homegrown star category.
It was a close run race in the Comedian category also, with Graham Norton taking a quarter of the votes and Catherine Tate a close runner up at 22%.
And finally in the Conversationalist category, Sir David Attenborough smashed it out of the park with almost half of the votes (48%).
*Bleep Bleep Bleep Bleep* You stare at the ceiling for 15 minutes dreading leaving the cosy warmth of your duvet. Then quickly into the shower and out the door.
If you’re not a morning person like me, then this is probably just what your morning rush to work looks like. By the time you’ve made yourself look far more awake than you feel, there isn’t really time for breakfast let alone a brew.
There are two solutions that might prevent you sacrificing your morning cuppa. Right, so imagine you’re in that Netflix film Bandersnatch now. You can either:
- Take your tea with you
- Get tea on the way
Both have their pros and their cons. But the real solution is having a reusable cup! With so many around nowadays it makes tea on the go so much easier, cheaper but most importantly better for the environment!
If you do have time in your morning routine to quickly flick the kettle on, then this is a cheap solution means you can have your tea just how you like it on your morning commute. There’s also nothing better than walking to work with your hands clutched around a warm cup of tea.
With Starbucks, Costa and other chains offering more and more variety, it’s becoming easier for tea-lovers like you and me to grab a morning brew on the way into work. As well as this, if you bring along your reusable cup you could save yourself anything from 25p-50p too. If there’s anything I love more than tea, it’s a bargain! If you do this regularly, you could not only pay off your pretty cup but you’re preventing single use cups polluting the environment too.
Did you know only 1% of the 7 million disposable cups we use DAILY in the U.K. end up being recycled?
With Frank Green, Keep Cup, Chilli Bottles and many more companies offering you total freedom to choose shape, style & size you can customise you cup to suit you. So there’s really no excuse! Just chuck one in your handbag or backpack and you’re good to go.
I mean, I’m not sure why people insist on calling them reusable “coffee” cups, because they’re just as useful for tea! Especially with companies such as T2 offering cups & accessories to make brewing on the go that little bit easier.
These are just a couple of their amazing Tea 2 Go products:
So, if your scatty in the mornings like me, want to help the environment or simply like a cup to compliment your outfit, we could all benefit from investing in a reusable cup or two.
It’ll not only make your life easier, save you some money and help the environment, but it’ll mean you can enjoy tea out and about and honestly, what’s better than all that?