Thursday, October 28, 2021

Tea Party--Lori Rader Day

DEBORAH CROMBIE:  It is always an enormous treat to have award-winning author Lori Rader-Day visit us on Jungle Red (except for the fact that I think Lori was trying to torture me to death with this post!) And TREAT is the operative word here, as you will see. (You might want to prepare yourself by making a cuppa, because otherwise you will have to get up and make a pot or two once you start reading--and drooling over these photos...)

 



It’s tea time somewhere

By Lori Rader-Day

 

In 1997 I went innocently to England to visit a friend, packing my soda addiction and bringing back a tea habit. Tea for breakfast. Tea in the afternoon. Tea for a pick-me-up, a nice cuppa tea when I arrived back home from errands or at any new stage of the day, really, always served “white” with milk.

 

Do you know how much easier it is to get Dr. Pepper in England than it is to get a proper brew, English breakfast, with milk, once I was back in America? Even at, say, a mystery conference? But sometimes it’s difficult to get a good cup of tea even in England. Even at, say, Agatha Christie’s house.

Researching my new novel Death at Greenway, I was able to visit Christie’s beloved holiday home Greenway twice, once staying three nights in the house as the guest of the National Trust, thanks to a connection made by Sophie Hannah. (Was it wonderful? Oh, yes, and absolutely essential for the book’s verisimilitude.) But we had no access to kitchen or kettle. England gave me a tea jones and then wouldn’t provide it until 10 a.m. when my husband and I were the first customers at the café when the staff and volunteers opened up. We made our breakfast from the cream tea menu. “Cream tea” means scones and is less a meal than an excuse to have a conveyance of clotted cream and jam to one’s mouth. Pure decadence.

 


I love tea: just “builder’s” black tea. Not green. Not cinnamon. Not mint. Not herbal, which is just flowers floating in water, or Earl Grey, which tastes like a sweater. Researching an English story in England, I had the chance to have every variation of the tea meals served there: a “bad” cup of tea that was still refreshing in Paignton, weary from travel. A wonderful cream tea in Soar to make up for backtracking to retrieve coats left behind at the inn where the sea crashed against the coast, a place that also worked itself into the book.

 

  

I have had tea up and down the countryside of England in the name of research, from South Devon down near Dartmouth and the Channel where Greenway is situated to the famous Bettys Teashop when I attended Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Festival, colloquially known as “Harrogate” for the town in the north where it takes place each year.

 

 

But can I get posh for a moment? What I truly love is afternoon tea.

 

Afternoon tea is the one you’re thinking of, ladies in hats. Perhaps you have called it high tea before and now never will again, OK? High tea is supper, fish and chips and such in a pub, not fancy at all, not necessarily featuring tea, the drink. It is called that perhaps because one eats high tea up at the table, while afternoon tea is taken in comfortable, low chairs in the room where visitors linger. (You can learn more about the socioeconomic history of the differences here.)

Afternoon tea is a delight, a special occasion. We have no real American equivalent to afternoon tea. A snack? Is there any precision, any pomp or history to a snack?

Shall I be mother and serve you the three tiers of afternoon tea?


Along with your actual tea, we have on the bottom tier some tiny sandwiches, perhaps egg salad or cucumber and butter? Savory bites here are welcome, as we’ll get to many sweet options soon. My friend and author Mary Anne Mohanraj hosted a tea party launch for Death at Greenway in her English garden and served all the above plus what she calls “ribbon sandwiches,” with three layers, one each of beets, carrots, and spinach. (Recipe and description here but also check out her Patreon subscriptions and cookbook.) I don’t even like beets but love ribbon sandwiches.

 





But save room because on the second tier we have scones, served with clotted cream and jam or lemon curd, and we can argue over which is applied first later. The important thing is to get your scone loaded with both cream and jam and heading toward your mouth.

 And we’re not even finished. Consider the top tier: tiny teacakes, perhaps some fondant involved, the sort of thing many contestants on Great British Bake-Off never perfect. Also biscuits, pâtisserie—there are no absolute rules to what might appear on the tray, and that’s part of the fun, to see what each host chooses to serve their guests. Like the mango trifle Mary Anne prepared for our launch party…

  

(You can find some recipes and ideas for hosting your very own afternoon tea here.)

The top tier are sweets, the likes of which makes most of us think of Paree, dessert after what has essentially been a meal of dessert. Maybe it’s too much?

Well, perhaps just one. If you insist. You’ve gone to all this trouble. It would be rude not to.

And of course we’ll finish off the pot of tea to wash it down. Afternoon tea is an event lasting as long as the tea and conversation flow. The whole point of afternoon tea is that the small bites don’t get in the way of talking. It’s a treat to be shared with friends, something special for visitors.

 


England and its people have been so generous with sharing their country, history, and pleasures with me throughout the process of researching and writing Death at Greenway and now? Well, sometimes afternoon tea is served with champagne when the occasion calls for celebration. I’m raising my glass in your direction. Thank you, my lover (as they say to good friends in Devon), and cheers!

 

 

Photos of the Serendib House Death at Greenway tea party launch were taken by John Thomas Bychowski. Poisoned portrait and tea cup stack photos were taken by Justin Barbin Photography. All other photos are courtesy of the author or her friends.

Lori Rader-Day is the Edgar Award- and Agatha Award-nominated and Anthony Award- and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author of The Lucky One and Under a Dark Sky. She lives in Chicago, where she co-chairs the Midwest Mystery Conference and teaches creative writing at Northwestern University. Her newest book, Death at Greenway, is based on a little-known moment in history, when a group of London children were evacuated from the Blitz during World War II to Agatha Christie’s holiday estate. Visit her at www.LoriRaderDay.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 



 

DEBS: When you've finished swooning over the goodies above, can I just add that Lori's book is delicious as well? It is so atmospheric and gripping and just creepy enough to make you want to curl up under a rug (that's British for a throw) with your very own cup of English Breakfast. Or maybe even Earl Grey. (I like Earl Grey but  Lori's description made me snort. I totally get it. And I agree about all the other tea flavors. Just no.)

READERS, tell us about your favorite afternoon tea experiences? And who has visited Greenway?
 

96 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your new book, Lori . . . I’m looking forward to reading it.

    All this tea talk is wonderful . . . . and now I’m ready for some tea and maybe a scone to go with it. [And visiting Greenway sounds like a perfectly marvelous idea.]

    Afternoon tea experiences? The women’s group at our church has a tea every September . . . sandwiches and scones and sweets and tea . . . it’s absolutely lovely . . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Joan! That church tea sounds divine! Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  2. I'm salivating - for both the tea goodies and the book! Congratulations. And I'm mad jealous of all your England travels. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. P.S. After reading this, I am now off to make myself a cuppa! (I'm a tea fiend. It's all I drink, except for water... and wine!)

      Delete
    2. Hi, Ellen! I LOVE England and have been so lucky to be there several times. I miss it... I might need to go for an afternoon tea here in Chicago to feel like I'm there!

      Delete
  3. Lori, welcome to Jungle Reds! I remember reading your blog when you were a debutante author along with Gigi Pandian. Your Greenaway novel sounds fascinating~

    Always loved afternoon tea. You can get afternoon tea anywhere in England. I remember when my family stopped at a tea cafe on High street (Main street?) in the UK. In the USA, you have to search for a place that serves afternoon tea. I remember having scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam (preserves?).

    Yum!

    Diana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strawberry preserves would be very traditional and SO GOOD. I was a Deb along with Lisa Alber--have you read her books, set in Ireland?

      Delete
    2. Yes, I remember Lisa Alber was another Deb author and yes, I have her books set in Ireland, I also met you and Lisa at my first mystery conference near DC.

      Diana

      Delete
    3. Malice Domestic, near and dear to our hearts...

      Delete
  4. I'm a coffee addict who also loves tea. I just don't fix tea very often. The few actual afternoon teas I've had were an absolute delight, an experience that brings out the giddy in me. Debs, the tea held at The London Tea Room in St. Louis for A Bitter Feast was so much fun. Lesa Holstine and I drove to St. Louis and spent the night to attend this tea in October two years ago. Another lovely tea involved Debs, too. This one was at Bouchercon where Debs interviewed the Todds while guests sipped on teas and ate the delicious tier plated goodies. When I finally get to England, I plan on having afternoon teas as many times as I can.

    Lori, I love the pictures of your tea, and your shoes are just fabulous. I loved Death at Greenway, and I know it's going to be up for lots of awards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy, I meant to add in the post that I COVET Lori's shoes!

      Delete
    2. Hi, Kathy!! I love how you and Lesa make a point to get in all the literary offerings of your area. You'd have to go if there was tea, for sure! Thank you!! Fingers crossed!

      Delete
  5. LORI: Congratulations on your Death at Greenway book and the great tea parties you have experienced.

    I will never forget my first afternoon tea in London, England. I was traveling solo across Europe at age of 19 and made arrived in London in July 1985. I went to one of those fancy London hotels for that tea. My mom drank Red Rose tea (orange pekoe bagged tea) at home and I was primarily a coffee drinker so I took the server's suggestion and had my first pot of Darjeeling loose leaf tea. Heaven!

    And as you described. I had the three-tiered serving stand with assorted mini sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and an array of mini tarts and other sweets. Delish!

    Sadly since the 1990s, I have developed a food allergy and can no longer drink any black tea. I get queasy and then usually throw up 10-15 minutes later. A waste of good tea and any treats eaten.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LORI: I forgot to mention in my original post that I adore your teapot/teacup shoes. And that mango trifle looks so yummy!

      Delete
    2. Allergic to TEA. The horror. I'm glad you got to experience it before that developed, though.

      Delete
    3. And thank you! These shoes are so silly and yet...I love them. That mango trifle was SO GOOD.

      Delete
    4. LORI: Doctor figured it was the tannins in the black tea. Same problem with drinking some red wine. I was able to drink tea and wine for @15 years, then pow...allergies!

      Delete
    5. No tea and no red wine would make Lori a very unhappy girl. I'm sure you've found other treats you can have. I hope...

      Delete
  6. Congrats on the book, Lori! I can’t wait to read it. My husband is English so all the tea talk hits home. I like to say the first thing he showed me how to do when we were dating is make a proper cup of English tea- and then decided to keep me when I succeeded- ha ha! My favorite afternoon tea ritual is making a pot with my oldest daughter when she gets home from school. We sit and chat about her day. She is off to college ( or Uni, as they say in England) next fall so I’m cherishing this last year of daily cuppas with her!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm not much of a tea drinker, although I have it in the house. But the John Greenleaf Whitter Home Museum, where I am a member and former docent (it's down the street), hosts a Victorian tea in the garden every summer. We have the tiered serving dishes and members go all out preparing dainties to serve. We set the tables with pink tablecloths, and ladies and gentlemen show up in their finest hats. It's a great time.

    I haven't been to England in way too long, but I do remember a delightful tea with scones, jam, and clotted cream.

    I finished Death at Greenway a couple of days ago and offer my heartiest congratulations on the story, Lori! I loved it, deeply.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you, Edith. I love it deeply, too---now that's DONE. I need to develop a hat habit, right? I should be a LADY.

      Delete
  8. Lori, welcome to the Reds! I love this post and cannot wait to read your book...

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a great post and enticing pictures.
    Congratulations on Death at Greenway, it will certainly be a good read with a cup of tea.
    My best afternoon tea was in Bath.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DANIELLE: I loved visiting Bath but did not have tea there. Do you remember the place?

      Delete
    2. It's traditional in Bath to have tea at Sally Lunn's Tearoom, so maybe there?

      Delete
    3. I love Bath! I didn't include a picture but I've had tea there, too, and had a Bath bun!! So yummy.

      Delete
    4. Grace, it may be at the place Debs mentioned. I don’t remember the name, it was while I was exiting the Roman Baths.

      Delete
  10. Lori, first, I loved DEATH AT GREENWAY and I love those shoes. Just fabulous.

    I am a tea person all the way. Black, please. English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, Earl Grey (like Debs, I chuckled at your description), Oolong, Darjeeling...I could go on. Herbal is okay if I don't want the caffeine, but no green. In fact, I have a huge mug of English Breakfast at hand now. Couldn't start the day without it. (I never got into milk, but a spoonful of honey when I have a sore throat is amazing.)

    My SinC chapter did a Christmas Tea one year. So posh. I'll spend all afternoon with scones, little sandwiches and tea any time you ask.

    But here I'm going to show my ignorance: Will someone please tell me what clotted cream is exactly? I had a vision in my head and seeing these pictures now I'm sure I'm wrong. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's thick cream, so thick that it is almost, but not quite, butter.

      Delete
    2. Here's a good article on clotted cream. https://www.finedininglovers.com/article/what-is-clotted-cream

      Clotted cream is made from heating unpasteurized cream until it separates and "clots." You don't see it in the US because of federal regulations banning raw milk.

      Delete
    3. It's so weird and delicious, and absolutely necessary on a scone with jam. Everything balances out that way.

      Delete
    4. And thank you, Liz!! I'm so glad you loved the book!

      Delete
    5. Ha! Turns out I wasn't that far off. Thanks for the confirmation.

      Delete
  11. My morning tea is steeping as I type. My mother used to serve tea with our after-school snack. We'd all sit around the coffee table and sip as we told her about our day. I've been a tea-lover ever since, including the hard slog through college where they served some kind of hot beverage out of the coffee machines they called "tea." It would do in a pinch. Like you, Lori, I like simple black tea--no flavors, no herbals, just a bit of sugar.

    For those of you who prefer to get your tea rant from Dame Maggie Smith, there's this: https://youtu.be/rG-rMpQT-GQ

    Your book sounds wonderful, Lori. Congratulations! With the streak you've been on, it's sure to be another winner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just watched that movie last week, Gigi. Thanks for the reminder!

      Delete
    2. That is a hilarious scene!

      Delete
    3. Hi, Gigi!! You'll especially like to know that there's a Gigi in the book... two, actually, but that's spoiling things a little bit.

      Delete
    4. That's fun! "Gigi" used to be a name for poodles. Now it's a name for grandmothers. I, of course, think it's a name for super-cool women of any age. Right?

      Delete
    5. It's a special name to the book...

      Delete
  12. I am in total agreement on the matter of tea: give me Builders only, with milk, of course, and send the herbal horrors to someone else! As for scones and clotted cream, yes! And I'll ways have room for lemon curd: yum!

    I remember afternoon tea at my grandmother's house, and also my aunt's house: Granny's was quieter with more emphasis on conversation, Aunt Vivian's was rollicking with lots of cake and biscuits on offer. Scrumptious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the idea of a family tea, rollicking and otherwise. Thank you so much for commenting!

      Delete
  13. I'm half way through Death at Greenway and, no surprise,loving it. In fact we have had a loose plan to visit Cornwall when we can travel again and now have a new idea about an outing. Yes, yes, yes, to tea, the real deal, dark and caffeinated. Breakfast ( I espec like Taylor's), PG Tips, Darjeeling, yes. Earl Grey, too. None of that colored water,non-caffeinated stuff. And lament the difficulty of getting anything like that in US. Even in NY. Starbucks has actually been an improvement. I've been in Brit Isles a bunch of times, first early, cheap travels after grad school, then family there for 4 years, then work meetings. (Lucky me) Had tea in lots of lovely homey tea shops and finally- on vacation time attached to a company-paid work trip- took myself out to a bangup, full on tea at the Ritz. Must admit I loved every single fantasy-come-true, overdone, caloric minute and have done something like it a few times since- Edinburgh and Lake Louise Canada, too. It might be my favorite meal. (PS Love those slippers. Must discuss with my family why no one has found them for me. With holidays ahead, etc) In other words...thanks to Lori and Reds for a lovely start to this day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Triss!! Thank you so much! Those slippers are from Talbot's, and I think you should send a link to your family to make extra sure, with your size very clearly stated.

      Delete
  14. Tea and me, go way back. As a kid, it was coffee with Breakfast -- yes mooching sips from Dad started early, and Red Rose Tea at night. So many Canadians winter in Florida, that Canadian teas are found in most grocery stores; to my delight.

    I love tea in a forms and in all seasons except for Southern Sweet Tea. Might as well dye sugar syrup orange and be done with it. On Nome Street we have created our own house blend, a cinniamon orange flavored black tea. The base black tea is imported from Sri Lanka. Like the best wine lovers, I am always searching for the right terroir.

    Tea and Agatha Christie? What could be more British? I am looking forward to what will be a great read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of my daughters brought back an assortment of teas from Sri Lanka. It was fun to try all the different types, all black.

      Delete
    2. What I didn't mention in my original post, is I used to sell tea. We buy from an enlightened vendor who insists on Fair trade policies.

      Delete
    3. I love that you're such a tea fiend, Coralee. Hope you love the book!

      Delete
  15. Lori, welcome to JRW and congratulations on your new book. Everyone loves it so it's going onto my TBR list right now! Love your photos and your description of Earl Grey is spot on. It's like drinking soap.

    I have always liked tea. I remember my dad making it for me when I was little, very sweet, very strong. My husband did not like tea at all until our honeymoon. We were taking a horseback trek up across the Continental Divide into Assiniboine National Park in July 1981 when we were hit with snow and sleet during the final miles up to the lodge where we were to stay. When we arrived, they served strong, hot black tea and he became an instant fan.

    I do love a low tea and I also love reading about it. Rhys's character, Georgie Rannoch is a frequent guest of her majesty for tea and her descriptions of those events are fabulous and funny. In fact, many of Rhys's characters get to have tea and some of them send me straight to my kitchen to brew a cup and seek out something yummy. Does tea figure in your new book?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JUDY: I am the same as you and Lori re: Earl Grey (when I could drink it). I also can't stand eating cilantro.

      Delete
    2. Tea figures in British life, so yes, tea figures in the book in that way, that the characters are always seeking it out! Thanks for putting DAG on your TBR!

      Delete
  16. I was not a tea drinker until I visited the British Isles, then I was converted. The loveliest tea experience I had was a cream tea at the Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath.

    I am looking forward to reading Death at Greenway ~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Britain has a way of turning us into tea drinkers for life! Thank you, Celia!

      Delete
  17. Tea is such a special drink - it's comforting, and soothing, traditional and has more caffeine than coffee! And now I'm hungry!

    By the way, thanks for the shout out for Old Peculier. I first heard of it in Martha Grimes books, found it in a restaurant in North Miami and fell in love with it. Hard to find now, but worth it when you can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think I like the actual beer, too thick for me, but I loved the conference! Thanks, Kait!

      Delete
  18. Lori, you're speaking my language when it comes to tea. Well, except I take mine black with sugar. These days, kids start on coffee-ish milkshake drinks while in high school, but when I was growing up, you had to wait til you went away to college. Well, I did, and I hated it. So I used Coke for my caffeine needs - until I went to London for my junior year. Coke was available, of course, but tea was everywhere, and cheap to boot.

    Of course, for an American abroad, it's a few months of tea heaven and then decades of trying to get something besides a bag of shavings dunked in warm water in one of those nasty little tin pots. Thankfully, I can get PG Tips at my local store now, so I can at least have a good builders tea at home. And after years of pooh-poohing herbal teas, I've discovered several fruity ones I like very much, which is a blessing on cold winter nights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do like a fruity one from Harney & Sons, the Fruits d'alsace tea, but that's what I make into iced tea in the summer! My favorite builder's is Yorkshire Gold or Red. But I also keep PG Tips around.

      Delete
  19. Oh, and thinking of flavored (or flavoured) teas - I had a friend once who referred to Constant Comment as "Constant Torment." I have come to agree with her.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Lori, I have Death at Greenway downloaded onto my tablet, and just waiting for some uninterrupted time to devour it whole! Loved your interview with Catriona.

    A friend who has spent many years visiting a family estate in England (near Stratford) has hosted afternoon teas here in Cincinnati (Doscher's candy shop in Newtown where they make French Chew and a big portion of the candy canes sold in the US), and at a tea shop about an hour away from Phoenix. I'm pretty sure I remember Rhys saying she's been there. There's another tea shop here, the Bonbonnerie. They are more famous as a bakery, but their teas are lovely. Lori, next time you're in Cincinnati, my treat.

    On a visit to London an English friend and her sister took me around the city for the day. After visiting the Carnaby Street exhibit and lunch at the V&A, we went to Harrod's, then Liberty, and had a proper cream tea in Liberty's quirky tea shop. Strawberry jam and clotted cream on scones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yummm. I would love to have tea with you in Cincinnati!! Or anywhere, really. Hoping we're in the same place again soon.

      Delete
  21. For those of you bemoaning the lack of good tea in America, I've ordered tea for years from The English Tea Store. I like their store brands although they do carry others. I buy loose tea and use T-sacs (paper filter bags that can then be composted.) When I'm in London I always try to bring tea home from Whittard's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Deb, me too. Everything a tea drinker needs, fast delivery, huge choices,reasonable prices, great little pottery teapots. One of my favorite online stores.

      Delete
    2. They sell clotted cream in a jar! And Eccles cakes. What a great resource.

      Delete
    3. Here's the link! https://www.englishteastore.com/

      Delete
    4. Click, click, 15 things in your basket...

      Delete
    5. I order my loose tea (using a diffuser in my cup) from Arbor Teas. They have great Fair Trade and organic teas and AMAZING service!

      Delete
  22. Afternoon tea at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC with my Mom is my favorite afternoon tea memory. It was posh. It was marvelous. It was everything this Texas girl imagined it would be. I grew up drinking Lipton black tea and it's still my favorite. Again, being a Texas girl, I like my iced tea too & for that I like vanilla almond tea from Republic of Tea. My daughter, granddaughter & I had a delightful afternoon tea together at Milagros, a tea room here in our little east Texas town. It was a good experience too because my granddaughter was ten years old & excited about learning about afternoon tea. Death at Greenway is now a must-read for me as I am an Anglophile!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Linda! I won't try to wrest your Lipton from you but just TRY PG Tips once, or Yorkshirt Gold (you can order it online very easily, or if you have a World Market, you can find it there). The Waldorf Astoria!! That's a goal right there. Thanks for commenting! I hope you love Death at Greenway!

      Delete
  23. Lori, you are truly evil. Best tea experience, a steaming hot cuppa of builder's tea at the Ferry station in Stranrear, having come across in a freezing ferry night crossing from Belfast..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I AM evil. And also I want some clotted cream now, don't you? Tea is always best completely scalding when you're nearly frozen.

      Delete
  24. Just finished my second cuppa for the day: Irish Breakfast to start, always. Earl Grey (I chuckled at Lori's description too!), Darjeeling, Oolong, maybe a lightly spiced something for the afternoon.

    And I remember my self-imposed duty to make sure Lori had real milk for her tea each morning she taught for us at the Antioch Writer's Workshop. ;-)

    Death at Greenway is at the top of my TBR stack!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm SUCH a prima donna... thank you for that, Cynthia. It's the best way to start a day and you had me starting at 8 am every day!!

      Delete
  25. All this tea talk before breakfast, really.... Mom drank tea, Liptons, not coffee. She did not like it strong, in fact my uncle's former wife likened it to colored water, but at least she got the first cup out of the pot so it was nice and hot. A tea pot was on the table with dinner, every night, growing up. That was the only time she got her way and didn't have to make coffee for my dad. I can't get into tea at work, from the Keurig machine. (I didn't pick the way the office gets coffee....) I do like tea on cold weekend afternoons when I get to sit and just stop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Deana! Tea is good on the go go go, but it's best when you can sit and sip. Thanks so much for commenting!

      Delete
  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  27. My first afternoon tea is still my favorite. I was in London with my mother-in-law and we were having to rethink our trip. She was a travel agent and had planned flying into London, taking the train to Edinburgh, etc. Because of flooding the trains were not running out of London so we spent our entire trip there. One day she decided we would have afternoon tea and walked into the Ritz. Of course no table was available and reservations were full for the next few months. A very lovely man there suggested we try Brown's Hotel. We did and it was wonderful. I was absolutely tickled we were there, being a huge Melrose Plant/Richard Jury fan. Lori's description of Earl Grey tea is right on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes the accidental ways our travels go can turn out to be the best surprises. The cream tea we had because we forgot our jackets and had to go back was the best of the entire trip!

      Delete
  28. Tea is so necessary...at least for me.
    Why is it that places think they are SO posh when the only black tea they have is Earl Grey? I have tried numerous types and find them all undrinkable. Too perfumey. (?)
    I was recently in an airport and went looking for a coffee for my husband and a tea for me. The place I went (specializing in these beverages) offered me mint or chamomile! They did not have even a lonely Tetley tea bag on hand. What is this world coming to?
    And why is it that coffee drinkers get automatic refills, usually for free, readily offered, but tea drinkers get a pot of hot water when we ask for another tea, and it isn't usually offered, but must be requested. And they often charge for an additional tea bag!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And don't get me started on tepid water!!!

      Delete
    2. I think you and I are cut from the same tea towel, Libby!

      Delete
  29. What a marvelous post - and another great book to look forward to. Years and years (and years) ago I had a couple of extended business trips to Harrogate and this brought all those wonderful memories back. Bettys (not only tea and dessert but Welsh rarebit!), Old Peculiar, like drinking oatmeal. Great photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Drinking Oatmeal!!! Yes! So glad you loved the post!

      Delete
  30. You had me at scone with clotted cream. I order my tea from the UK and it's usually their most common brands - Yorkshire Gold or PG Tips. My fave memory of London was afternoon tea in the rose garden of our hotel. *sigh* Can't wait to read Death at Greenway! Congrats on your release and thanks for your delightful post.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh what torture waiting for the tea room to open! Too bad that no one brought you a tray as in all the period mysteries . . .

    ReplyDelete
  32. My brother got married in Ireland, and we spent a few days in the 300-year-old house where they had the ceremony. One of my favorite memories of that trip is coming in after a day of sight-seeing in the drizzling rain, chilled to the bone from the wind off the North Atlantic, and finding a roaring fire in the parlor and the host waiting to offer us a fresh pot of tea. That's my idea of heaven. I got hooked on Barry's tea there and still have a pot just about every day.

    I just got your book from the library and can't wait to dive in! It sounds wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you love it!! Ahhh, a roaring fire AND a pot of tea. That IS heaven!

      Delete
  33. Looking forward to reading Death at Greenway, currently waiting for it from my local library.

    And, THANK YOU for reinforcing the difference between afternoon tea and "high tea", so frequently misunderstood in the US.

    And, memorable tea experiences...sailing down the Thames from London on my first Viking Ocean cruise, where they serve afternoon tea every day :) Early afternoon tea with my mom in York, where some local lady sniffed "it's a bit early for tea", and at Liberty in London later in our trip. Just delightful!

    ReplyDelete
  34. It is always the right time for TEA.

    ReplyDelete