We went to tea at The Drake a few weeks ago. It was…mediocre. Which really saddened me; I love a tea and wanted to share that love with Kevin so I was disappointed.
I started going to proper high teas as a child. I lived in London for 6 months not to mention have vacationed there many times, my 27th birthday was a tea downtown with my friends…so yea, I think I know my way around a good tea.
There’s also a logistical side of a tea that’s hard post-surgery. I don’t have stellar fine motor skills, so lots of spreading things, cutting things and handling fine china is tough.
I’m not a penny pincher, but many high teas are $60+ a person. It’s depressing to pay so much for a so-so experience.
Because of all this I decided I could probably organize a high tea better than most.
We’ll start, obviously, with the tea itself. Tea really should be it’s own post topic; there are so many ways to do it really proper. The down and dirty tip though are use loose leaf over bagged. If you’re using bagged tea yet calling it a high tea…oof.
I pretty quickly decided a high tea in summer needed iced tea. I made both plain, decaf English breakfast and a fun fruity herbal tea. And I stirred in a little edible glitter for some pizzaz!
I’m not a big sweet fan; I much prefer a more savory approach. My favorite English tea is at Fortnum & Mason, and one of the biggest reasons is you get to pick sweet or savory.
This plays out in the scones (pronounced like “gone” not “cone”); savory is more like zucchini or cheddar cheese biscuits, versus sweet like dried fruit, chocolate chip or just plain. Personally, I find the extras that are expected with sweeter scones (lemon curd, clotted cream and jam) to be too much….but some people love it! I think a big part of why places can justify the higher price point is that their spread includes all these scone extras. Especially for an at home tea, make it easier for yourself and go savory.
I’ll chat sandwiches and desserts on Thursday!