28 December 2012

Twinings: A Visit

This was not my first time at Twinings shop on the Strand.  It won't be my last, if I can help it.

Most of the time, when I encounter Twinings tea, it's in the grocery store, with rare exception in bagged form, and with a small variety on offer.  In my early tea buying days, this was the 'fancy' tea, since it looked kind of royal and was inevitably better than the Lipton or store brands.  Since then, I've discovered so many different and amazing brands and blends that I only once in a while buy Twinings, and that's usually one of those black tea variety packs for the office.  In my London visit, I also bought a bagged tea, but it was in a pretty tin and was Lavender Earl Grey, which I don't think I'd tried before.  It is nice, I'm glad to report.

The only loose tea I'd seen previously in Twinings was the occasional tin that surprised me in Trade Fair or even Key Food, but it is never a constant.  I'm glad to see that London's shop has a decent variety of loose teas, and a tasting table!

The Lavender and Rose teas blends are proudly displayed to your right as you enter...you can also pick up individual tea bags to make your own little sampler.

The shop is also a museum of sorts.  Twinings is rightly proud of their history.  Oh the many types of tins and teapots!  I'm gorgeous-ed out.
Cats and tea..forever together.
This teapot is kind of funny: early gift captioning I guess.  It kind of reminds me of when Dwight from the Office gives Michael a Jersey with 'From Dwight' on the back. 
Stuff I could use in my tea lovers' collection.
Try some First Flush Darjeeling!  Mark was knowledgeable, and helpful.  He suggested I visit the Museum of London: yet another destination for my 'Next-Time' list!
Til next time!
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18 December 2012

Camellia's Tea House


At the end of every London trip, I find out about a spot, usually a tea spot, that sounds wonderful.  Of course at that point there's no time to get to said spot, so I sigh and file it away for next time.

This happened to me in 2010, when Bonnie and I went to Carnaby Street and found this little multi-level shopping level right off the street, in Kingly Court.  Tucked away on the top floor was a full-on tea room that I'd known nothing about.  Oh no!  But I knew, of course, that I'd do my best to get back to London, and on Day 2 of this most recent trip, I took afternoon tea at Camellia's Tea House - great name, by the way.  Puts you right in the mood for tea.

It was 17.50 (that's British currency) for the full service, which is extremely reasonable for London.  When I say service I mean you do order at the counter, pub-like, but they bring everything to your table.  That's a mercy, and not just to me: their china is quite pretty.  I ordered the 'Pain Free Monthly Tea', which the girl behind the counter was dubious about.  She didn't think it tasted very good.  I insisted, for sadly obvious reasons, and then I was asked to pick my cake  I couldn't help but go for the gold, so I picked the Victoria Sponge.  

It was reasonably busy, as it was lunchtime, but not crowded.  My table was next to an unfortunate painting of some colonial maharajan situation, but my view as you can see was of the other tea-takers.   I was pleased to see that my sandwiches were devoid of tomatoes, and there were three different types.  The scones were perfectly British, and generous with cream and jam.  The tea, or really herbal infusion, was pleasant, not bad by any means.  I don't know if it did the trick, though, as I started to feel ill again before I was able to get to the cake, and had to exit much quicker than I'd have liked.  I did try the cake later on, and it was good, so I'm sure it was amazing when it was fresh. 

It was a real pity that my health wasn't what I'd have liked it to be, because I feel like I couldn't take in the tea room as well as I should have.  Photography was discouraged for the shopping area, but it was mostly bit old canisters of tea that needed to be smelled to be appreciated anyway.  They did look promising.   I'll be sure to try to make it back again - next time!

When I was feeling a tiny bit better, I was able to walk off the calories via Regent Street.  I particularly liked this shop, full of tartan goodness.
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14 December 2012

How Old Am I?

After over a month's absence from blogging, I'm back with pictures from my very recent trip to London!  I went by myself this time, which was both good, since I could wander madly without censure, and bad, since it tends to get lonely at the end of the day. It was a good trip all in all, though, even if I took fewer pictures than I thought (about 350, which I think is even less than last time...shame!)  I thought I'd kick off by showing the snaps I took of shop names and other things that made me laugh like an eight-year-old.

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