Catherine Felegi is the founder and author of the blog Tea Love, a blog dedicated to all things tea-related. You can find this post and others on her page, http://cafelegi.wordpress.com/.
The Summer Olympics started on July 27th in London. A show of strength, agility and general sportsmanship as people compete to show the world how powerful their country truly is.
So, in honor of the Olympics being held in London, I am going to do a feature on tea party items there! I have posted in the past how to conduct your own British tea ceremony. Now, we will focus on the menu for an afternoon tea.
If you take a trip to the Ritz London, a member of the Tea Council's Tea Guild, you'll find 17 different loose teas to choose from! Along with the tea, if you are willing to give a few extra dollars, you can get a glass of champagne to complement your meal. The meal portion traditionally consists of light sandwiches made out of salmon, ham and cucumber.
How about a cucumber sandwich? Beat together some unsalted butter, mint and lemon juice. Season it with some salt and paprika until everything is nice, smooth and creamy. Spread your concoction onto a slice of bread. Slice a cucumber very thinly, salt it and place the slices in a colander to drain. Throw two layers of your cucumbers onto the bread, seasoning it with some pepper along the way. Add another slice of bread, trim off the crust and cut it however you would like for your party. If you want to jazz up your presentation, put the sandwiches on a platter with mint sprigs and cucumbers for decoration.
Sometimes, it's nice to have something a bit meatier. How about a traditional ham sandwich? Cream together some butter, slices scallions and mustard in a bowl. Make sure to sample this and add salt and pepper to taste. Butter your bread and add thinly sliced ham and sprinkle some parmigiana cheese on top. Put your other slice of bread on top, cut it how you want and jazz it up with some sprigs of watercress.
The reason for the lightness of this particular meal is because it is usually served around 4:00 PM, usually too early for dinner but too late for lunch. Imagine how bad it would be to have a heavy pot roast or mac and cheese with a light tea and to then also have your dinner to eat (at that rate, probably closer to 9:00, 10:00!). So, light snacks with some tasty tea is perfect for this.
Not willing to travel to London for a spot of tea? There are plenty of places you can travel to, including Ana Beall's Tea Room in Westfield, New Jersey, or some high tea places in Manhattan (also child-friendly ones). If you're still searching around, you can make sure to visit some of the top tea houses in the world in honor of the Olympics.
So sit back, watch some of the games and make sure that you enjoy some tea! Maybe even drink one from each part of the world?