English Cream Tea!
From a passion for indulging in afternoon tea – to launching www.englishcreamtea.com!
As a child, our family would treasure the opportunity to have cakes and sandwiches around the fireside together. Bliss! Then, when I married Roger – er, 33 years ago (I must have been a child bride!) – our hobby was going to gorgeous hotels and enjoying the afternoon tea experience. We’ve done that ever since and wherever we are in the world, we book a high tea at the best hotel we can find. Well, it’s cheaper than dinner but still an amazing treat. Also, I don’t drink alcohol – so the evening drinks/meal scenario isn’t quite such a draw for me! Bring on the tea instead!
Anyway, apart from a passion for EATING this delight – I love to bake too – especially ‘treats’ like cakes and scones. In fact, I’m a huge believer in treats. We all need them – not too many (spoiled!) but just enough. Roald Dahl was a great believer in them too. Yay for Roald. So, I adore being involved in creating special occasions and making people feel treasured. What better way than to home-prepare something indulgent for them. It’s a form of love.
It occurred to me though, that lots of people can’t access gorgeous afternoon tea at a beautiful hotel. They may be elderly and the travel is too inconvenient, for example. How about if the afternoon tea could come to them? Hmm. I mean the whole thing – the tiny cocktail sandwiches (including smoked salmon…and cucumber with cream cheese…oh and there must be egg mayonnaise with cress…but you can’t leave out cheddar and pickle….) and then lots of little tempting cake bites….and definitely plump scones with luscious clotted cream and Tiptree jam. Mmmm.
Well, did I mention that hubby and I have run a catering co. for 30 years already? So…with that expertise behind us, the whole ‘afternoon tea in a box delivered to your door’ idea, seemed too good an idea to ignore. Thus, I set about perfecting recipes include an amazing melt-in-the-mouth secret recipe that I invented for scones! I had a panel of local friends who did the taste tests and 11 recipes later – I’d cracked it! Gorgeous.
Hubby and I also set about creating some beautiful packaging… something that would be a treat to receive – a stylish outer for the delicious inners! Additionally I contacted a most wonderful graphic designer and expert in branding: Carol French. (Aside: if you need to design or redesign your co. or product, look no further!) SO.. in no time at all, we had a product to be proud of – gorgeous hamper-boxes that can be delivered to your door, filled with English Cream Tea for four. Already, just two weeks later after launch, I have a gluten-free option and we’re working on an English Picnic Box and other lovely ideas. Perfect for gifts, treats, business meetings, eating on journeys, impressing American and Japanese visitors, enjoying at Proms in the Park, Wimbledon and outdoor events – and all other occasions in-between!
So here I am – Auntie Janey or plain Jane Malyon – and I’m now an ambassador for that taste of England – afternoon tea or English Cream Tea. And why not! I think we could end wars over afternoon tea. All that passing of the cream and the plates… it brings out the sociable, polite, well-mannered and civilised sides in all of us! Who could fight when there’s a warm scone and clotted cream to enjoy! Similarly, it’s the perfect way to keep the communication going between parents and youngsters. You can’t but help smile, listen, talk and be in rapport over a cuppa and delicious nibbles. With us all leading such frantic lives and not even sitting at the table together for dinner very often – afternoon tea is the answer.
That’s it, therefore! That’s the solution to world peace and family harmony: a delightful scone! And mine, I do have to boast, are especially delightful!