Posts Tagged ‘mary kate’

too adorable - A squadron of Bettys ganache bumble bee's

Too adorable – A squadron of Bettys ganache bumble bee’s

In an attempt to elevate the intellectual tenor of Mary Kate’s quite splendid tea blog, I thought  would broach the subject of a topic raised by Albert Einstein no less – the mysterious disappearance of bees. Einstein discussed his view that we all need to be very worried about the state of our planet if & when our bee populations start to dwindle.Not to mention the shortage of honey for adding to a lovely cup of Lapsang souchong.

Environmentalists have taken up this theme with the fall in bee numbers & quite honestly I do anticipate the disappearance of another group of bees quite imminently – fear not thought readers, these gorgeous edible bees are designed to disappear from the marvellous bakery that is Betty’s. China tea cup in hand with the bunting fluttering in the breeze I will be having my ganache bumble bee in the sunshine & with luck, I’ll be hearing the gentle buzz of real bees all summer long.

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The Elephant House Edinburgh - Birthplace of JK Rowlings Harry Potter

You could still easily walk past this rather unsuspecting cafe on the George IV bridge in Edinburgh – except that you are now hindered in your journey by those wishing to have their photographs taken outside…………

What I love about The Elephant House is that it has resisted turning its focus from saving elephants to the subject that has made it famous globally – and just in case you are unaware, this is the cafe that JK Rowling found warmth and inspiration when she was initially writing the tale of the now famous wizard – it is now known as the birthplace of Harry Potter .

I failed to resist the wonderful looking (and tasting) elephant shortbread, with a square of millionaires shortbread  sufficient to satiate any sweet tooth. What I adored most though was the choice of a large pot of leaf tea that tasted divine  – I opted for assam but there was a quite wonderful choice of other tea leaves. A nice touch are the Harry Potter fans scribbles  in the ladies which are a quite splendid tribute to the influence JK Rowlings books have had. It is well worth a visit to this quite unique venue.

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For those of you having a slight panic now you that you have officially missed booking the last table available in a 20 mile radius, I would suggest you have quite the opposite response. That you have narrowly escaped being jammed into a venue with a crowd of others is marvellous good fortune . My dears, why would you wish to inflict this on your beloved when, with a little imaginative help from Tea with Mary Kate, you can create your very own perfect Valentine’s treat.

Good old British tea, scrummy cakes, and Best Indian, Ceylon, Darjeeling and Lapsang Tea – who could wish for more!

We all need to belong, to connect, to be interested in each other. Enchanting Valentine’s Afternoon Tea allows the time for exploration of those needsSumptuous tea, with cake & jam & honey feels like a real treat, and evokes another era when you dusted off your best crockery. Tea with Mary Kate is all about inspiration for seemingly ordinary events, and turning them into wonderful connecting experiences. Enchanting afternoon tea gives us the opportunity to do just that, with a wonderful intrinsic ceremony to the event, and time to love generously.

Gorgeous Vintage Valentine's Afternoon Tea


1.) Start to create your afternoon tea by gathering together some lovely vintage tea cups and a gorgeous white table cloth – the mere act of laying this out will already put you way ahead in the venue stakes.

2.) Choose a rather romantic film as the inspiration to base your menu and your valentine’s tea on. Two of my personal favourites are “The Quiet Man” and “Brief Encounter” but of course, do feel free to be as creative as you wish here with your own choices.

3.) Create a menu that includes a selection of gorgeous sandwiches, and of course something sweet. For those not up to baking, quite frankly, you can buy it all in. The only stipulation here, and my dears, I do insist on this one – serve only proper loose leaf tea.

If you feel you may fall short of interesting and alternative idea’s for a valentines conversation, then look no further than Thoughtful musing on Valentine’s day and A valentine’s tea to fall in love with

Tea with Mary Kate seeks to encourage you on a journey of  Tea, to take time for Tea, and the ceremony and aesthetic of tea, as a way to reconnect and recharge your energies.

I concede afternoon tea could be considered an indulgence. Time is precious though, and dare I say it, tea time is an important time for you – for quiet and contemplation, an escape from this hectic, fast paced world, while you move through the familiar ritual of the tea ceremony that you can make perfectly just for you, taking time to savour it completely. Tea with Mary Kate’s perfect solution is to create your very own gorgeous, and rather romantic valentine’s afternoon tea. And if you wish to share that with a significant other in your life, so be it.

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Always on the look out for practical and beautiful tea related items,  Tea with Mary Kate just loves Charlotte Farmer’s gorgeous “time for tea” tea towel and her splendid Blog de lottie– just the thing to keep you going when you are drying all those vintage tea cups after a marvellous afternoon tea. The only thing is that it looks almost too lovely to use!

Time for Tea - just the tea towel to do your vintage tea cups - by Charlotte Farmer

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When Miss Kate Cranston asked Renie Mackintosh to design the now famous Willow Tea rooms, the marvellous Scottish tea tradition was firmly established. Tea with Mary Kate has taken the inspiration for this tea from that heritage and Scotland’s most famous poet, Robert Burn’s, to create this Burn’s night tea.

Burns night is all about celebrating Robert Burn’s life and works.

Robert Burns Night Tea

Choose your favourite Robert Burn’s poem and add a few lines for inspiration to your tea menu – finish it off with beautiful tartan ribbon to contrast with the crisp white table linen. My favourite lines are from “to a mouse”:

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!

I love the line “best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley” as quite honestly my dears, that so captures life!

Burn's Night Tea

Burn’s Night Tea

Vegetarian haggis with miniature nepes & tatties

Smoked Salmon on wholemeal bread

A generous portion of clottie dumpling served in vintage tea cups

A strong Scottish leaf Tea – Taylors of Harrogate

A traditional Clootie dumpling - Perfect for Burn's night Tea - from Clootie.co.uk

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Paper Tea Cup - Edinburgh international book festival

I stumbled across this story recently and adored it! Imagine the surprise and interest when several creative paper objects, made out of books, appeared as if by magic overnight at the Edinburgh literary festival –  my dears of course my absolute favourite is the paper tea cup. The quite marvellous thing is that the identity of who ever created this wonderful tea cup still remains a mystery – how splendid! Not quite practical but definitely beautiful – Tea with Mary Kate just loves it!

Do have a look at the paper tea cup creation in full from the Edinburgh international book festival nothing beats a nice cup of tea. Has anyone confessed yet?

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A Tea with Mary Kate Future Tea Trends Prediction for 2012 is the Tea Dance

With the gaining momentum for afternoon tea, and our increasing interest in dancing, what more sublime a combination is there than the tea dance. Amazing locations, vintage frocks and enchanting music. It is an invitation to step back to another era – a time of beautiful china cups, convivial conversation, and beautiful dancing – quite a wonderful a combination.

Future Trends in Tea - The Tea Dance

Imagine being whirled around the dance floor, with a wonderful afternoon tea waiting to be served in the wings – well, my dears, you’ll need something to keep your strength up! And what’s more, it is virtually guilt free! All that energy expended dancing quite marvellously redresses the balance of that sumptuous afternoon tea. Tea with Mary Kate is predicting the tea dance as a healthy future trend in tea if ever there was one.

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Take a New Year Cup of Kindness, my dear,  for the sake of Auld Lang Syne

New year is always a time of reflection. In the famous tune, Auld Lang Syne, composed in 1799 by Robert Burns, it asks us to remember, to think about our memories and recall past events. Burn’s makes such an evocative request, it cannot fail to provoke a strong emotional response. Scotlands nostalgic pipers echo the past, their sound seems to reach almost through time itself.

This New Years Eve Afternoon Tea party is inspired by Auld Lang Syne. It is old fashioned and drawn from traditional Scottish fare. It is quite deliberately comforting, as this time of year can be hard – for those who are on their own, who are facing difficulties, or past memories that end of year events prompt a return anew. It is a time also of opportunity, of renewal, a perfect time to turn over a new leaf.

Take a Cup of Kindness - Scottish New Year Tea Party

A Traditional New Tears Eve Afternoon Tea Menu

As you will be familiar, Tea with Mary Kate is a fan of leaf tea – oh, I hear you cry, all that mess and fiddling – but friends, that is the point, to take time, to make the act of making tea a pleasurable one, and frankly, one that gives a much better brew. The leaf Tea for our new years eve tea party is a strong Scottish Blend, malty and full bodied. Crisp white linen adorns the table, candle light and beautiful tartan ribbons, tied on menus, around cake stands and vintage china. The fire is roaring, and all is right with the world.

New Years Eve Tea Party Menu

Tea Cups of hot Scotch Broth

Traditional steak pie filled tea cups, draped with pastry

Smoked Salmon sandwiches on wholemeal bread

Black Bun

Lavender Shortbread – served with sparklers

Traditional Scottish Black Bun - New Year Tea Party - from Delicious Magazine

Time is fleeting. Tea with Mary Kate wishes that this new year’s eve is one where you choose to take time to reflect. May it be a time of contentment and happiness for you – have a memorable New Year.

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Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea Party Celebration fit for a Queen!

It is official – Tea with Mary Kate is now very excited about the marriage of Prince William to Catherine Middleton. Quite honestly, how can anyone not be?!

To create the very best Wedding Day Party, Tea with Mary Kate has sought out a few quintessionally British favourite essentials – things that will guarantee any event is transported into a rather splendid Royal Wedding Celebration:

Union Jack Bunting – A sight to behold on Regent Street

There is nothing like bunting to signal party. Already in Regent Street, the Union Jack bunting is fluttering resplendent in the breeze as the spring blossom drifts like confetti from trees, all in splendid anticipation of the Royal Wedding. Not that the weather will need to be perfect – the only way that the British will be deterred from being outdoors on such an occasion will be a force 10 gale!

Royal wedding Bunting Regent Street - Mirror Newspaper

Tea and Royal Wedding Inspired Biscuits

Biscuiteers ask a very simple question – why send flowers when you can send biscuits instead? To celebrate the wedding of the decade, rather marvelously, they have created a limited-edition tin fit for a future king. It’s a veritable fanfare of regal-inspired treats: bejewelled crowns (his and hers), the royal glass coach, Union Flags, exquisite sparkly heels, a beautiful designer wedding dress, the world famous engagement ring and even a fabulous three tiered commemorative wedding cake!

Well, I could not agree more, with this gorgeous selection of Royal Wedding inspired treats, all that is needed is a rather nice cup of tea.

royal wedding tin

Biscuiteers Royal wedding biscuits - A real tea time treat

A Gorgeous Cup of Tea in a Vintage Tea Cup

With Prince William’s current role in the RAF, I am transported back to the recent London Blitz remembrance, a time of bravery and nostalgia. Henrietta Lovells Royal air force tea is just the right tea for the occasion. It is a gorgeous, distinctive, uniquely British blend of Indian Darjeeling and Malawi tea with an old fashioned full bodied leaf taste that is just perfect for creating a flavour to remember the Royal Wedding day celebrations.

Even better, tea from these 2 boutique estates is created using sustainable practices, and is hand crafted and not industrially processed. The tea even smells distinctively old fashioned in a wonderfully nostalgic way that instantly transported me back to my grandmother’s kitchen. I could not resist the Rare Tea company’s striking packaging with the distinctive RAF logo.

Henrietta Lovell's Royal Airforce tea - Perfect for Royal Wedding Afternoon tea celebrations

Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea – Picnic in the Park

As Afternoon Tea is such a wonderfully British treat, Tea with Mary Kate’s idea’s to inspire a Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea is just the perfect way to celebrate. I have created an afternoon tea around the old fashioned custom of “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”, a splendid tradition to bring together the brides past and her future.

Burleigh china for Prince William & Kate Middleton's Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea party

Emma Bridgewater butter dishes and tea pots emblazoned with the union Jack are just the perfect crockery for a Royal Wedding day Tea. Better still though, I adore the specially commissioned William and Kate Royal Wedding tea pot with images of Westminster Abbey, just perfect for brewing a lovely cup of tea.

Tea time treat for William & Kate - Emma Bridgewater Royal Wedding Tea Pot

Create a Traditional Royal Wedding Picnic

Hampers filled to bursting with treats. Some of my favorites include trifles in vintage blue, white & gold cups with custard, strawberries and fresh cream, freshly baked scones, with homemade plum jam.

Scones fit for a Queen! Royal Tea time treat to celebrate Kate & Williams Wedding Day

What are your favourite things for how will you be celebrating the Royal Wedding Day?

There is an intrinsic ceremony to taking time for tea, and tea is such a quintessentially British ceremony, it is at the very heart of how to create the very best Royal Wedding day celebration. Tea creates such a nurturing, intimate environment, and we all need to belong, to connect, to be interested in each other. Afternoon Tea feels like a real treat, and evokes another era when interactions were precious. My wish for this post it that it reminds us that this is still so. Tea with Mary Kate wishes you a wonderful Royal Wedding Day however you celebrate it.

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Beyond the health benefits of drinking tea

Indulge me, I know you will be converts already to the health benefits of tea. Indeed, while no other reason is required for the wonderful experience of drinking tea than it is a comforting, calming pleasure, alongside that unavoidable fact that there is a fantastic diversity of flavours to tantalise the taste buds –  I think there is another  addition to the health benefits of drinking tea. As well as inner health, what about the outer benefits?

The Beauty of Tea

The Beauty of Tea - Miss Retro's Blog

Let’s start with the conventional – Beautiful Skin Tea!

A rather lovely blend from Neal’s Yard Remedies. I make no apology of my blazon support for this quintessentially British Institution. Pioneers in natural therapies when most were focused on the chemical & synthetic, its vision was to bring the apothecary back to life – I love the fact that Neal’s Yard wanted to connect with the knowledge of the past – & it is really resonating now more then ever. Drink your way to beautiful skin indeed!

Neal's Yard remedies Beautiful Skin Tea

The Beauty of White Tea – A healthful alternative to Drinking it!

White tea is the precious newest part bud, packed with high quality of antioxidants which can mop up free radicles that damage & ages skin. The lovely part here is that is all smells gorgeous too. My favourites include organic eye make up remover, White tea eye gel, but there is also a white tea enriching facial mask that looks rather tempting. I do think this an alternative for the tea industry of the future. What do you think?

Neal's Yard White tea products - The alternative to Drinking Tea!

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