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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