VALENTINES AFTERNOON TEA AT THE WALDORF ASTORIA, EDINBURGH…

tea cups

Another Hotel with a special ‘Valentine’s Afternoon Tea’, is The Caledonian, A Waldort Astoria Hotel in Edinburgh, http://www.thecaledonianedinburgh.com/

The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, has recently undergone a luxury re-launch following a £24 million investment and renovation programme to bring this landmark Scottish property into the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts portfolio.

‘The Caley’, as it is affectionately known among Edinburgh locals, has embodied the very best in Scottish hospitality for over a hundred years. Situated at the west end of Princes Street, this former Victorian railway hotel nestles in the shadow of the historic Edinburgh Castle, just two minutes’ walk from the designer stores and fashionable bars of George Street.

With two exquisite restaurants – The Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie de Luxe – luxurious bedrooms and the largest bathrooms of any hotel in Edinburgh, The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel is also a fully licensed venue for Edinburgh weddings and civil partnerships, providing a magical setting for your special day.

Bookings are essential but just to wet your appetite the menu is below.

Valentine’s Afternoon Tea

Finger sandwiches
Smoked ham an English mustard
Peeled cucumber and cream cheese
Scottish smoked salmon
Egg mayonnaise with mustard cress

Fresh scones
Freshly baked cherry and plain scones
clotted cream and strawberry jam

Fancies
Strawberry tart with raspberry cream
Rose water meringue
Strawberry and white chocolate macaroons
Rhubarb Jelly
Raspberry éclairs
Mini Battenberg
Vanilla cupcake

£27.00 per person Champagne Valentines Afternoon Tea £35.00 with a glass of Laurent Perrier Rose

CUP OF TEA…

tea tree

Cup of tea, http://www.cupoftea.uk.com/

Cup of Tea Ltd, is run by Simon and Christine Collins, in Somerset. They specialise in the sourcing and distribution of some of the world’s finest teas.

Their teas come from estates in China, India, Sri Lanka and the rest of the world, all are produced using orthodox methods. This means that only the finest handpicked leaves are considered good enough to find a place in their cups.

Their wide range of teas include green, black, white, oolongs, flavoured green, flavoured black, and fruit and herbal infusions. Each tea that they sell, they say, has been carefully sourced and selected on the merits of taste, authenticity and fair trade.

They also offer tea tasting workshops for you to taste a wide range of their products and increasing your knowledge of world teas. You can also find an extensive range of accessories from gift sets, books, thermometres and whisks. Some great ideas for valentines day for a true tea lover.

Tea Sign

FANCY A CHOCOLATE HAGGIS ?…

chocolatemoussewithf_92666_1x9

As is Scottish tradition, Edinburgh – based chocolate company ‘The Chocolate Tree’, will be honouring their national poet Robert Burns with a haggis, but this one will be made with chocolate, marzipan, hazelnuts, golden syrup and haggis spices, http://www.the-chocolate-tree.co.uk/

Now that’s what I called a haggis….

If your in Edinburgh then pop to their café at 123 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4EQ – 0131 228 3144 – The Chocolate Tree houses a world of organic chocolate delight, providing a shop and café where people can meet, take time out, indulge and enjoy life in its ornate, individual, comfortable and welcoming surroundings.

MY TOP FIVE KITCHEN GADGETS FOR UNDER A TENNER…

Auto Stir

The Auto Stirrer, is a no hands cordless food mixing gadget with a 3-speed battery and is safe to use with all types of pots and pans. It is ideal for stirring soups, sauces, milk based puddings, baby foods and numerous other applications. The Auto Stirrers heat resistant silicone feet and attached spatula can withstand temperatures up to 300c and on sale at Amazon for an amazing £6.99

Garlic Zoom

The Garlic Zoom is so simple to use and totally effective. Peel one or two cloves of garlic and insert through the top door, grip firmly and roll up and down your work surface or chopping board if your work surface may mark, a couple of rolls will result in small chunks of garlic, just keep going until the garlic is chooped as finely as required, keep going for a mush. Perfect every time at a very reasonable price of £6.95

Kitchen Table Cleaner

This is my absolute favourite – The pig table top vacuum cleaner – A Novelty table top vacuum cleaner. The fun and easy way to remove crumbs from the dinner table and at a perfect stocking filler price of only £4.79

Kitchen Utensil

If you’re tired of searching through the kitchen drawer for the correct utensil, or simply want to reduce clutter, the Uni-tool is for you. The ultimate in space-saving design, the Uni-tool is 5 essential utensils in 1 Slotted spoon,Turner,Cutting tool,Solid spoon and Spatula. The price is £6.35

Banana Slicer

And for the final one I just couldn’t resist this banana slicer – a brilliant stocking filler or Secret Santa gift 🙂 It slices a banana into evenly sized pieces in one easy action and is available like all the above at amazon for a snip at 75p

NICE CAKES…

Cake

nicecakes.co.uk is a wonderful website full of delicious ‘nice cakes’. It was my daughters birthday last week and I always try to find something a bit different (in the cake range) to send her for her birthday and came across this website.

The cake I sent her above arrived exactly as promised and she was thrilled to bits with it. She teaches keep fit in her spare time so I thought it was really appropriate. I would definitely recommend them.

WIN A FOOD LOVER’S NIGHT IN LONDON…

xmas home

Win a food lover’s night in London at Russell Norman’s Venetian restaurant ‘Polpo’, which is one of the latest places to eat in London.

You can also enjoy the dishes at home with his new cookery book ‘Polpo’ which features the restaurants finest dishes.

To celebrate the books launch ‘Delicious Magazine’ website are giving away a meal for two at ‘Polpo’, together with an overnight stay at the luxurious Bloomsbury Hotel.

Just head to ‘Delicious Magazine’s’ website, http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk and click on ‘promotions’.

KITCHEN BITCHING…

my new kitchen

KITCHEN BITCHING…

‘Kitchen Bitching’, is an online open forum of amateur cooks where they can bitch about their culinary woes and get hints and tips from other cooks.

They say ‘ All amateur cooks know the pain of a recipe that just won’t do as it’s told. Like a disobedient puppy it sulks, sticks, slides or sinks at that crucial moment just as your mother-in-law is rap-rapping on the door…..

Head to http://www.kitchenbitching.co.uk

SOME FACTS ON TEA…

flowering tea

Tea originated in China about 5000 years ago and it was discovered in 2735BC by one of the emperors of China.

Shleng Nung, was considered as a divine healer who always boiled his water. By accident he boiled a few leaves from a wild tea plant which had fallen into his pot and gave off a delightful scent and flavour.

Tea was not adopted in the UK until the 17th Century after the opening of the sea routes between China and Europe.

For a long time tea was used as a herbal medicine.

One of the top Chinese Tea Shops is The Canton Tea Co. They have a number of Chinese teas to choose from and offer a tasting pack which ha six different teas to try, four of the best teas in each category.

Until the mid-18th Century, the tax on tea was so high that it encouraged a thriving black market.

No duty was pain on tea smuggled into Britain and tea was so popular that big money could be made illegally.

More tea was smuggled into Britain than was imported legally.

In 1785 after demands for legitimate tea merchants, the government slashed the duty on tea and tea smuggling was wiped out overnight.

THE OAKS TEAROOM, Felixstowe, SUFFOLK…

tea cups

This buzzing tea room is run by husband and wife team, David and Sarah Huxley who opened their doors nine years ago. It had a modern feel, with new wood tables and chairs on a nice smooth wooden floor; the double glass frontage lets tons of light in which made the tea room light and fresh.

The menu was a variety of homemade produce, with the emphasis on fresh and locally sourced from home made vegetarian quiches to luscious cakes, salads and even milkshakes.

They do an amazing fresh fruit pavlova served with chantilly cream and homemade raspberry sauce.

The Oaks Tea Room 1-3 Crescent Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk, IP11 7BY , Telephone: 01394 273444