Ballet and (lots of) Tea

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about whether or not I should try to set myself a blogging schedule.  I know a lot of people like to publish certain posts on certain days of the week and this clearly works well for them.  I’m not entirely sure that I’m at the point where this is particularly feasible for me.  Some weeks I’m incredibly busy studying, which means I would find sticking to a rigid schedule quite difficult and possibly prohibitive in terms of creativity.

I’d be very interested to hear how others manage this dilemma!

I do however, like the idea of posting regular ’round-ups’ of the things I have been doing over the week.  I suppose they’ll be the blogging version of catching up with a friend and telling them what I’ve been doing in the week! So with that in mind, here’s a short round-up of what I’ve been up to this weekend…

Yesterday, I went to see the Bolshoi Ballet performance of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.  Cineworld is showing a number of the Bolshoi 2014/15 performances in their cinemas and they are well worth going to see.  I love the ballet and I find myself utterly mesmerised by the dancing and the music.  Stunning!

swan lake ballet

I finished off my long weekend with a trip out for afternoon tea with some of the people who work in the same building as me.  We went to a lovely village tea room and had their afternoon tea.  I’m afraid I didn’t get any pictures of the food as we were all chatting and I thought that pulling a camera out would be a little rude! We had some lovely sandwiches, scones, cake and an enormous pot of tea!

afternoon tea flowers

Table decoration in vintage pink glass vase

afternoon tea

Lovely mis-matched vintage tea service

ootd

My outfit for afternoon tea
Horse shoe belt: £1.95 from a local charity shop
Houndstooth leggings: Primark
Long sleeve black top: Store 21

How to make the perfect cup of tea (in my opinion)

Before I start this post, I just want to point out a couple of things:

1.  I have never written a ‘how to…’ post before so this could all go horribly wrong – especially as I’m trying to take pictures and make tea singlehandedly

2.  This is how I make my tea – I am aware that there are other ways to make it but this is how I like to do it…please don’t get cross if it’s not your preferred method of tea making 🙂

Right, that’s out the way so I’ll begin…

My first rule of successful tea-making is to always use fresh water in the kettle.  If you are worried about wasting the water already in the kettle you can use it to water plants (if it is cold) or to fill the washing up bowl (if it is hot).  Freshly drawn water makes a better brew.  I’m sure it’s got something to do with molecules, but I’m an Arts student so please don’t ask me for the scientific explanation because I’ll just look blankly at you!

Use fresh water in your kettle

Use fresh water in your kettle

Whilst the water is boiling, warm the teapot.  You can do this with a bit of the water from the kettle.  Swill it round the pot so that it is nice and warm.  This is also the time to select your tea.  I have a teapot with a built-in strainer, bought from a charity shop a while ago, which has a plunger like a cafetière and is great for leaf tea.  Otherwise, the traditional tea strainer can be used.  Today, I’m being lazy and using a tea bag.  The tea I am drinking today is one of Waitrose’s own brand Ceylon teas – a nice refreshing brew in the afternoon.

Nicely warmed teapot

Nicely warmed teapot

Pour the boiling water on your tea bag and leave to brew for around 3-4 minutes depending on taste.  I don’t drink milk in my tea, so I tend to leave my tea bag in for around 2 mins, stir and remove.  If you like your tea really strong, you can of course leave the teabag in the pot.  Choose a pretty cup and saucer – the one I am using today is made by Booths, England and is the ‘Dragon’ pattern.

Pour tea in pretty cup

Pour tea in pretty cup

Obviously, you can add sugar, milk or a lemon slice at this point.  Some people swear by milk in first and others say tea in first, but again that’s personal taste.

In my book, an afternoon tea needs a little yummy treat to accompany it.  As I don’t have any cake, I’m raiding the biscuit barrel.

Nice variety of biscuits to choose from

Nice variety of biscuits to choose from

If you want to do a traditional tea and cake, you can buy trio sets, which are comprised of a cup and saucer and a side plate for your cake.  As I’m just going for a biscuit, I’ve just wedged it on the side of the saucer (let’s face it, it’s not going to sit there for long).

Tea and biscuit

Tea and gluten-free lemon shortcake (Waitrose own brand)

The next part is quite controversial…I am a dunker and proud of it!  Obviously, don’t dunk for too long otherwise you get crumbly bits in your tea, which is not fun.  Also, some biscuits do not dunk well so this can be trial and error (Garibaldi biscuits tend to disintegrate in nano seconds, whereas a digestive has a good dunking consistency).

To dunk or not to dunk?

To dunk or not to dunk?

Sit down and enjoy.  Et voila – the perfect afternoon cuppa!

Tea, cake and sparkly things!

Today I went to one of Judy’s Vintage Fairs in Leamington Spa.  The venue – The Assembly in Leamington – was perfect as the building was quirky and nearby parking was easy to find and reasonably priced.

There was a range of vintage clothes and jewellery stalls, a lovely tea room upstairs and a beauty salon housed in an amazing vintage caravan/trailer.

Yummy tea and cakes

atea atea2

After the tea break, I got down to the serious business of shopping!  I got a lovely tweed blazer for the bargain price of £10, but my star buys today were these lovely pieces of jewellery from Ring O’ Roses:

My Little Pony (adjustable ring)

mylittle pony

Cameo Brooch

cameo

I also picked up this cute little Mona Lisa cameo from another stall:

mona lisa

With an entrance fee of just £2, I really would recommend visiting one of these fairs.  To see the upcoming fairs and dates, click here.