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Archive for the ‘Tea and Infusions’ Category

With Ascot coming up, I came across this image and couldn’t resist sharing.  

Watercress and cream cheese sandwiches are one of my favourite tea time treats.

This hat, designed by London Milliner Sean Barrett, was worn at last year’s Ladies Day at Ascot.  

 

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sarnies

Isn’t it lovely?

Stay cool, 

Myrtle. 

 

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Americans drink coffee.  The rest of the world drinks tea.  Well, it’s a bit of a generalization, but, tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, behind water.  Tea comes from the plant Camelia sinensis, a type of camelia native to China.  I won’t go into the history of tea today; suffice it to say, that I love tea, and drink a lot of it. 

There is an old Russian family brand of tea, Kusmi Tea, that I am particularly fond of.  The family Kousmichoff, relocated to Paris during the Russian Revolution. The company still sells Russian style tea, but has changed hands many times since from the original owners. One of my favourite blends of all time, is Russian Breakfast No 24.  It is a full bodied, delicious China blend that I love, cherish, and miss since coming to America.  I have not found it any stores here, so am looking into internet suppliers.  

Very nice tea indeed.

Very nice tea indeed.

The Russians take their tea very seriously, as do many countries. Having researched and drunk a lot of tea in my time, plus having enjoyed some exposure to Russians and their culture, being an avid admirer of the Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet companies, in addition to my curiosity from the films Tootsie and Manhattan, The Russian Tea Rooms, just six minutes and twenty-three seconds from Lincoln Centre and slightly to the left of Carnegie Hall, was a place I have always longed to go.  

So, Dear Reader, I went.

The Russian Tea Room, NYC

The Russian Tea Room, NYC

It was very special.  It has recently reopened, in 2006, due to changing hands, after some controversy about its viability.  But, I am happy to say, that it was open when we happened to be passing in March, so my companion and I decided to duck inside and see what we could see.  The decor is incredibly lavish, with lots of paintings, mirrors, flowers, and gold gilt on anything that stood still. It was just past midday when we called in, but, most of the tables were occupied with ladies, all in pairs, all drinking tea and eating tiny biscuits (not very sweet cookies) with cherry preserves.  It was lovely.  

I ordered the Darjeeling and my friend ordered the Formosa Oolong, at my recommendation.  Everything was served in silver pots, very elegant, but not particularly practical for the Oolong, which was slightly over steeped.  Never mind. I love Oolong, even when over done, so I asked for some extra hot water, and drank hers, while she drank mine. The tiny biscuits and jam were very good. Very good indeed. 

We had only popped in for a bit of refreshment, as we were on our way to meet up with family at Macy’s.  The tea is very good quality, although it was bagged, anathema for a true tea lover. Still, we enjoyed ourselves, the atmosphere was wonderful, the service was friendly and good, and we walked out feeling rather special.  

I recommend a visit, if only for a posh cup of tea and a biscuit with syrupy, cherry jam.  

Off to make myself a cuppa, 

Myrtle.

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