After several visits to London, spending afternoons at high tea remain some of my favorite memories. There’s something so comforting about sitting down for several hours to enjoy tea, sandwiches, sweets and conversations. It’s exciting to see that nowadays you don’t have to go across the pond to enjoy a proper English tea – and after this week, I hope that we’ve inspired you to recreate the same experience at home! Just don’t forget these few essentials . . .
When it comes to cocktails, it doesn’t get more British than a Pimm’s Cup. This classic liqueur-based cocktail is built to cool you down on a scorching summer day. Perhaps, while your watching a few rounds of Wimbledon, or even celebrating the Queen’s birthday. Me? I enjoyed a few while tossing my dog Grizzly the tennis ball. Talk about working up a sweat! A few sips revealed subtle herbal and vegetal notes, followed swiftly by spikes of lemon and ginger. Traditionally the Pimm’s Cup gets a cucumber garnish. I opted to spin a ribbon of cucumber around the inside of the glass, as well as adding a little cucumber syrup into the mix. Trust me, try it once and you’ll be craving them as much as Grizzly craves his tennis ball.
Tea sandwiches have always seemed inexplicably sophisticated to me. All you have to do is just pair a couple ingredients with ordinary white bread and you have delicate finger sandwiches. Instead of using two slices of bread, I decided to leave these sandwiches open-faced, making for an even more beautiful spread. The combination of ingredients are endless, but these are just some of my favorites. Simply use good quality butter and the rest is simple.
1 loaf of sliced white bread
1 english cucumber
several slices of prosciutto
1 bunch of watercress
1/3 cup of mayonnaise
sea or kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1 stick of good quality salted butter, softened at room temperature
It’s time to celebrate . . . British style! As we approach Saturday’s ceremony of Trooping the Colour, in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday (different from her real birthday) we’ve got a few special treats for you this week from across the pond. Personally, when I think England I think tea. My wife’s family is British, and naturally tea is part of our daily lives. So when I had a chance to pay a visit to Crown & Crumpet Tea Stop Cafe in San Francisco, I didn’t hesitate one second. There’s something special about sitting down for a good cup of tea. Maybe it’s the formality of it all: the tea pot, the cup and saucer, the quaint finger foods and decadent sweets, the vibrant colors and elaborate decor. Crown & Crumpet delivers on all of these aspects and more, like Blue Bottle Coffee and a stunning vintage tea cup clock. I’m also really excited to hear they’re close to finishing a new event space upstairs. Think tea + crafting, oh yeah!!
I’m consistently impressed by how many talented people are out there photographing and writing about food and drinks. Seriously. It’s inspiring to say the least, and it makes Fridays all the more fun for me.
I’ve come across a few different Girl Scout cookie donut recipes – I know, such a good idea, right? However, this recent recipe for Grain Free Samoa Donuts by Jenni Hulet ofTheUrban Poser, guest posting for PaleOMG, is probably the most delectable I’ve seen. That coconut caramel sure looks hard to beat.
I recently had the opportunity to visit a working goat farm, just an hour outside of San Francisco, in the quaint coastal town of Pescadero. Harley Farms regularly hosts family-friendly tours that are both fun and informative. And when it comes to the cheese, it’s as fresh and farm-to-table as it gets. One minute you’ll find yourself walking amongst the herd in the middle of a picturesque field, and the next minute you’re inside stuffing your face with a dozen cheeses, trying not to look like you forgot to eat breakfast that morning (okay, maybe that was just me). Did I mention they also host seasonal five-course dinners in their restored Victorian hayloft? A few takeaways for me: First, it was great to see both children and adults learning about their food in a such a tangible way – following the milk all the way from goat to dairy. Second, this was some of the most outrageously delicious cheese I have ever tasted. Honestly, this stuff was magical. I ended up taking home several kinds for dinner that night, and they all disappeared in a matter of minutes. If you live or are traveling to the SF Bay Area I highly recommend checking out the tour, but if not, no need to worry. It turns out you can also purchase their cheese online . . . Yum!