Saturday, January 23, 2016

Tovolo TeaGo and Hotel Room Tea

I haven't written about tea technology in some time. I thought I had all the gadgetry I needed, until a friend gave me this Tovolo TeaGo as a holiday gift.  It's great for travel. You can pack loose leaf tea in the stick and when you are ready, make tea. When done brewing, press the plunger to extract liquid and cap it to keep it dry.  It's a useful and clever implement!  It can be a little difficult to get those pressed leaves out, but as I discovered, a chopstick works very well.  

I used my TeaGo yesterday, for a few minutes of peace in my hotel room before packing to leave London.  I appreciate that this hotel has a window seat, where I enjoyed the tea with a leftover scone. Tea helps me savor the moments. 

If you have a Tovolo TeaGo, what do you think about it?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Tea on a Yacht (London)

Well, I enjoyed something yesterday that I had never dreamed. I had afternoon tea on a yacht. I'm in London for a work trip, at the Excel convention center. It's quite far outside of downtown London and I wasn't sure I would find much extra curricular fun.  How wrong I was!  There are lots of hotels out this way that serve afternoon tea, and a really cool museum I will write about soon. 

I had read about the Sunborn Yacht Hotel and its tea service before I arrived.  It seemed nearby and I was trying to figure out the train system to get myself there. Imagine my surprise when I went for a walk and discovered the yacht was moored literally next door to the convention center! Oh, lucky me!

It's not what I think of as a yacht.  It's very large. The picture above shows the lobby entry. The staff is exceptional. When I called to make a reservation, the restaurant hostess took me on as a special case - I was calling outside the 48 hours notice and I was a party of one (they typically require two). She spoke with the chef and called me back - I would be very welcome.  

The restaurant uses Tea Forte served on a pretty white tray.  Here you can see not only the tea service but also the view from my table. I saw the Thames and skyscrapers of London.

Scones: Fruit scones with jam and a giant vat of Devonshire cream (below), of which I did my best to consume.

Sandwiches: Cucumber with creme fraiche on rosemary white bread, grated hen eggs with chive mayo on wholemeal bread, honey roasted ham with salted butter and mustard on onion bread and smoked salmon with cream cheese on walnut date bread. I believe it was black walnut, a special flavor.

Desserts: Berry macaron, cream filled tuile cup and chocolate cup with espresso bean

I was dining alone and didn't have any of my normal friends with me - a book or my journal. Instead, I sat and appreciated the view.  Below you can see a gondola that goes across the Thames. I hope I work this show again next year!  :-)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

"White" Tea in Britain

Hello!  I'm in London for a work trip and stopped at a popular coffee shop (Pret) yesterday. I asked for an English Breakfast tea. No question of whether I take milk - the tea came out "white" as it was called.  I love how tea transforms itself across cultures!

I spent the weekend prior in Paris, so I'll post some photos of that soon.  And I'm finding ways to sneak in afternoon tea because that is a MUST do!