“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” Henry James
Make your summer even better by making this refreshing Pimm’s Mint Iced Tea
4 Earl Grey tea bags
20g pack mint
100g caster sugar
juice 2 large oranges, plus slices to serve
juice 2 lemons, plus slices to serve
400ml Pimm’s No 1
a few sliced strawberries and plenty of ice, to serve
Put the tea bags and half the mint into a large jug, then pour over 1.2 litres boiling water from the kettle. Leave to infuse for 10 mins, then remove the bags and stir in the sugar. Once cool, remove the mint, add the orange juice, lemon juice and Pimm’s, and chill thoroughly. Can be made up to a day ahead.
Serve over plenty of ice, with slices of orange, lemon and strawberry, and remaining mint sprigs.
Boil the kettle and put the tea bags in a jug. Pour over 500ml boiling water and leave to steep for 5 mins. Meanwhile, put 100g blueberries in a jug, add the sugar and lightly crush with the end of a rolling pin or a potato masher. Remove the tea bags from the water, pour the tea over the blueberries and top up with another 300ml cold water or to taste. Chill until cold.
To serve, pour over ice, garnish with fresh mint, a lemon slice and a blueberry or two.
A Yummy favourite! The cake needs to be still warm when the topping is added so that it absorbs the lemon syrup easily, leaving the sugar on top to create a crunchy layer. Do allow the cake to cool a little though – if it is too hot the syrup will tend to run straight through.
Preparation time: about 10 minutes Cooking time: about 35-40 minutes
Cuts into about 30 squares
A traybake or roasting tin 30 x 23 x 4 cm (12 x 9 x 1 ½ inches)
225g (8 oz) butter , softened
225g (8 oz) caster sugar
275g (10 oz) self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons milk
finely grated rind of 2 lemons
175g (6 oz) granulated sugar
juice of 2 lemons
Cut a rectangle of non-stick baking parchment to fit the base and sides of a traybake tin or roasting tin, 30 x 23 x 4 cm (12 x 9 x 1 ½ inches). Grease the tin and then line with the paper, pushing it neatly into the corners of the tin. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3.
Measure all the ingredients for the traybake into a large bowl and beat well for about 2 minutes until well blended, an electric mixer is best for this but of course you can also beat by hand with a wooden spoon. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin, scraping the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula to remove all of the mixture. Level the top gently with the back of the spatula.
Bake in the middle of the pre-heated oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the traybake springs back when pressed lightly with a finger in the centre and is beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
Allow the traybake to cool in the tin for a few minutes then lift the traybake out of the tin still in the lining paper. Carefully remove the paper and put the traybake onto a wire rack placed over a tray (to catch drips of the topping).
To make the crunchy topping, mix the lemon juice and granulated sugar in a small bowl to give a runny consistency. Spoon this mixture evenly over the traybake whilst it is still just warm. Cut into about squares when cold.
We are getting so excited about the Queen’s birthday celebrations this weekend and have so many things to do in preparation for our street party! So have a look every day this week at our daily ideas for our delicious cakes, naughty cocktails and refreshing soft drinks, decorating ideas, funny facts and more….we’ve dusted off our large enamel tea pot and have got a bit of a red, white and blue thing going on. Let’s hope the sun keeps shining!
BVT Fun Fact: Did you know that Elizabeth II has a way to go before she overtakes the record of the world’s longest serving monarch? King Sobhuza II ruled Swaziland for an incredible 82 years from 10.12.1899 to 21.08.1982
I must admit to not having had a completely dry January but even still tea has been a much needed alternative to alcohol in the rather gloomy days after the Christmas festivities. Now the weather is wet and windy again there is all the more reason to keep drinking tea. A hot cup of tea will help to keep those winter blues at bay and help fight those sniffles which everyone seems to have. So find a good book, make sure the tissues are to hand and make that cup of tea !
Our Sencha Green, Rooibos and Earl Grey tea bags are now on offer at £2 a 25 bag packet. Even better, there is a further 20% discount when you buy 6 x 25 bag packet.
It is worth a visit on all kinds of levels but all tea enthusiasts should know that one of the exhibits is a ton of tea.
Ai has chosen the Pur Er blend of tea as it is drunk by ordinary Chinese citizens across the country. The tea leaves have been dried and compressed into a block form which is the traditional means of preserving and transporting tea.
However, this block is a metre square cube, which would dwarf the tea bricks which would be usually made and used. This ton of tea shows Ai Weiwei’s aesthetic and political concerns, making reference to globalization and to the fact that maybe all the tea in China will not be enough to provide for its burgeoning population?
It’s that Chelsea Flower Show time of year and as a dedicated tea person I was immediately drawn to the sight of a giant tea pot suspended in the air above over-sized cups, cupcakes and biscuits all decorated with thousands of flowers. This, on further investigation proved to be Interflora’s exhibit, ‘Time for Tea’.
We especially like the two toned flowers which make the swirl of butter-cream and the giant jammy dodger. It was inspired by our nation’s love of a nice cup of tea which surely must be matched by our similar pre-occupation with flowers and all things to do with gardening which makes this a very quintessentially British creation.
Make sure you head to the Grand Pavilion where this exhibit will be displayed until Saturday 23rd May.