The Mad Hatter's Tea Party, Illustration from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
The Mad Hatter's...
John Tenniel
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High Tea




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 “Afternoon tea is probably the simplest fashion in which to exercise
hospitality. Pretty cups and saucers are among the possessions of which
the young housekeeper has a generous store and they will make an
attractive array on the afternoon tea table.”

~ Catherine Terhune Herrick

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High Tea
High Tea
Art Print

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Silver Tray with Biscuits and Tea
Silver Tray with...
Alena Hrbkova
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Tea Time
Tea Time
Joyce Combs
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Tea Plant
Tea Plant
Giclee Print

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High Tea in Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
High Tea in Stanley Park,
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Connie Ricca
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Stonewall Kitchen, LLC
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Afternoon Tea at the Butchart Gardens, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
Afternoon Tea at the Butchart Gardens, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
Photographic Print

Ricca, Connie
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La Belle Cuisine


“[T]ea… will always be the favourite drink of the intellectual.”

~ Thomas De Quincey, 'Confessions of an English Opium Eater'


The inspiration for this feature comes from several marvelous afternoons spent lingering over High Tea at Le Salon in the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans.
Am I prejudiced? Well, perhaps just a tad, as my son (Chef Keegan) was Executive Pastry Chef at the Windsor Court at the time. (This means I expect an extra truffle
or two...) And I must admit I find myself faced with a very tough decision: Do I opt
for Mother's Day Brunch or High Tea? How about both?

“Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.”
~ Henry Fielding,'Love in Several Masques'


Tea for Two

The Silver Palate
Good Times Cookbook

by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins with Sarah Leah Chase
Workman Publishing Co., Inc., 1985


“We love the British custom of afternoon tea – it is a most respectable excuse
for a daytime rendezvous. Stealing away early from a day of hard work can
spice this formal ceremony with a dash of intrigue. The setting should be
intimate, centered around a Victorian windowseat, antique pastry wagon,
or intricate wrought-iron garden bench. The tea should be steeped in a
delicate china pot and accompanied by tea sandwiches and lacy cookies…”

How to Make a Proper Cup of Tea

"The best tea is brewed in a pot with loose tea rather than tea bags. Begin by
filling a kettle with fresh cold tap water [use bottled water if you prefer], and
set it on the stove to boil. As the water nears the boil, pour a little into the
teapot and swirl it around to warm the pot, then discard the water. Add the
tea leaves to the pot, allowing one heaping teaspoon per cup plus one extra
for the pot. Immediately pour boiling water over the tea, stir, and cover. Let
it steep for 5 to 7 minutes.
Pour the tea through a fine strainer into the teacups, and offer cold milk,
lemon slices, and sugar or honey. Sip thoughtfully and enjoy a brief Mad
Hatter respite in Wonderland.”


Tea Sandwiches

"Tea sandwiches should be made on very thinly sliced, very fresh white or
wheat bread, cut into 1-inch triangles, rounds, hearts, or flowers. They
must be made as close to serving time as possible to avoid sogginess.
All ingredients must be either thinly sliced or finely chopped for these
dainty, bite-size morsels. Some of our favorite combinations are:"

Sweet butter, a thin slice of cucumber, a whole mint leaf,
served open-face on white bread rounds.

Sweet butter, watercress leaves, a thin slice of cucumber,
sprinkling of salt and pepper, served as a closed sandwich
on white bread rounds.
Sweet butter, thin radish slices, a spoonful of caviar, served
open-face on wheat rounds.

Whipped cream cheese, smoked salmon, a sprig of dill, served
open-face on white bread rounds.

Basil-Parmesan mayonnaise, a thin slice of seeded tomato,
served as a closed sandwich on white bread rounds.
Chicken liver pâté, a thin slice of Bermuda onion, sandwiched
between two wheat bread rounds.

Finely shredded chicken meat, minced carrots, golden raisins
mixed with mayonnaise and curry powder, sandwiched
between two white bread diamonds.
Whipped cream cheese mixed with finely crumbled crisp bacon,
topped with an arugula leaf and served as a closed sandwich
on white bread rounds.
Softened chèvre and orange marmalade sandwiched between
cut-out hearts of wheat bread.


Some Favorite Teas

Earl Grey: Oil of bergamot makes in complex and fragrant.
Russian Black: Brew it strong and serve it with a slice of lemon.
Japanese Green Tea: Sencha is the one to try; it's delicate, clean,
and grassy, with health benefits to boot.
Lapsang Souchong: A Chinese tea with a distinctive smoky taste.
Pure Darjeeleng: An Indian black tea with delicate perfume.
Considered the Champagne of teas.
Vervain/Verveine: My [Rozanne Gold's] all-time favorite.
It has notes of rosemary and butterscotch.
Mint Tea: Try the German brand Pompadour, and embellish it
with chopped mint.
Rosehip: Beautiful red color, lemony flavor, and a great
source of vitamin C.

…and More Tea Sandwiches

  • Mix cream cheese with chutney and grated orange peel [zest].
    Spread between slices of date nut bread.

  • Mince purchased [or your favorite] chicken salad; add finely
    chopped water chestnuts and cilantro. Spread between slices
    of whole wheat bread.

  • Add curry powder, chopped golden raisins, and chopped chives to
    your favorite tuna salad. Spread between thin slices of pumpernickel.

  • Mash Stilton cheese with cream cheese, chopped smoked almonds,
    and a few tablespoons of Port. Spread on brown bread. Cut into fingers.

  • One of my [Rozanne Gold’s] favorites: Mix grated sharp Cheddar cheese, purchased chopped pimientos, and mayonnaise. Spread on
    slices of whole wheat bread and top with slices of white.

  • Make a favorite of James Beard’s: Spread white bread with mayonnaise. Add paper-thin slices of sweet onion. Top each with another bread slice and cut sandwiches into 1 1/2-inch rounds. Spread edge with mayonnaise, then roll in finely chopped parsley.

  • A classic: Mix softened cream cheese with chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives and crushed toasted walnuts. Use white or brown bread.

  • Use any of the following mascarpone-based sweet fillings on crustless white bread: mascarpone, Nutella, and powdered sugar; mascarpone, strawberry jam, orange marmalade and rum extract; or mascarpone, pecans, and honey.

[Courtesy of Rozanne Gold, in 'Tea Party with a Twist',
Bon Appetit April 2003]



Gingerbread Bundt Cake with
Lemon Glaze

Best of Gourmet 1996:
Featuring the Flavors of England, Ireland, & Scotland

From the Editors of Gourmet Magazine, © 1996, Condé Nast Books


For cake
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter,
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 large eggs
1 cup unsulfured molasses

For glaze
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Make cake:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 3-quart Bundt pan
or 13- by 9-inch baking pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess flour.
Sift brown sugar into a bowl and whisk in flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Add butter and yogurt and with an electric mixer beat on
low speed until dry ingredients are moistened. Beat mixture on high speed
3 minutes.
In another bowl whisk together eggs and molasses until combined. Add
egg mixture to flour mixture in 3 batches, beating on high speed 30 seconds after each addition.
Pour batter into pan and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a tester
comes out clean. If using a Bundt pan, cool cake in pan on a rack 10
minutes and turn out onto rack to cool completely. If using 13-by 9-inch
pan, cool cake completely in pan on a rack.
Make glaze when cake is cool:  In a small saucepan simmer glaze ingredients, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Cool
glaze to warm and brush over cooled cake.


Fancy Sandwich Cake
Best of Gourmet 1996;
Featuring the Flavors of England, Ireland, & Scotland

From the Editors of Gourmet Magazine, © 1996, Condé Nast Books


For cake
4 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup clarified butter (procedure follows),
melted and cooled to lukewarm
2/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted onto
a piece of wax paper
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup apricot preserves
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons warm water
1/3 cup blanched whole almonds,
toasted and chopped
Garnish: candied violets, if desired

Make cake:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom of a buttered
8 1/2-inch springform pan with a round of wax paper. Butter paper and
dust pan with flour, knocking out excess flour.
In a metal bowl whisk together eggs and sugar. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk mixture until warm and sugar is dissolved. Remove bowl from pan and beat mixture with a hand-held electric mixer
on medium speed 10 to 15 minutes, or until tripled in volume and cooled.
In a bowl combine vanilla and butter. Sift flour and salt in batches into
egg mixture, gently folding after each addition until just combined. Stir
one-fourth of batter into butter mixture and fold butter mixture quickly
into remaining batter.
Pour batter into pan, smoothing top, and bake in middle of oven about
30 to 35 minutes. or until top is golden and a tester comes out clean.
Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Remove side of pan and invert
cake onto rack. Remove paper carefully and cool cake completely. Cake
may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped in plastic wrap, at
room temperature.
In a food processor or blender purée preserves.
In a small saucepan simmer 1/2 cup apricot purée over moderately low
heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 5
minutes, and cool slightly.
Cut cake in half horizontally and spread 1/2 cup uncooked apricot purée between layers. Brush top and side of cake with warm apricot purée and
let stand until coating dries slightly, about 30 minutes.
Transfer cake to a serving plate and slide 3-inch-wide strips of wax
paper under edge to catch drips of icing. In a small bowl stir together
confectioners’ sugar, butter, and warm water until smooth and spread
icing over top and side of cake. Let cake stand until icing is slightly set,
about 5 minutes, and gently press almonds onto side of cake.
Remove wax paper strips and garnish top of cake with candied violets.
Let cake stand at room temperature until icing is completely set, about
30 minutes. Cake may be made 1 day ahead and kept, covered loosely,
in a cool, dry place.

To Clarify Butter

Unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

In a heavy saucepan melt butter over low heat. Remove pan from heat
and let butter stand 3 minutes. Skim froth and strain butter through a
sieve lined with a double thickness of rinsed and squeezed cheesecloth
into a bowl, discarding milky solids in bottom of pan. Pour clarified butter
into a jar or crock and chill, covered. Clarified butter keeps, covered and chilled, indefinitely. When clarified, butter loses about one fourth its
original volume.

High Tea continued... Tea Cakes!


Featured Archive Recipes:
Classic English Scones
Buttermilk Almond Scones
Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies
Gigi's Date and Walnut Loaf
Lemon Bars Deluxe
East 62nd Street Lemon Cake
Garden District Fresh Fruit with Lemon Curd
Rich Gingerbread with Candied
Ginger and Lemon Glaze

Tea Bread (Bara Brith)
Teatime Honey Cake
Warm Lemon Pecan Tea Cake
Williamsburg Orange-Sherry Cake
Herb Teas

More Lagniappe Recipes!
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