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Afternoon tea, afternoon delight

January 23, 2010

“If you are cold, tea will warm you.  If you are too heated, it will cool you.  If you are depressed, it will cheer you.  If you are excited, it will calm you.”
-William Gladstone

Are you happy it’s the weekend? 😀

Longtime readers know that I love tea and so for my birthday lunch, my mom, sister and I visited Aylesbury Tea Room in Leesburg, Va., after hearing a great recommendation from my dad.

Owned and operated by Brits, the place is charming and quaint with multiple rooms selling antiques and locally-made handicrafts.

For the tea itself, you can either get a simple cream tea (Yorkshire Tea served with a scone, clotted cream and strawberry preserves) or a full afternoon tea (tea sandwiches, a scone and a selection of biscuits and sweets).

I love that the children’s tea is for “Young Lords and Ladies.” Too cute!

The scones were my favorite part — they were honestly the size of my face and delicious. I meant to ask either for the recipe or the bakery they come from, but forgot.

And clotted cream is always too sinfully good to pass up. Try it and you’ll be surprised! It’s made from unpasteurized cow’s milk left in shallow pans for several hours as the cream rises to the surface. Trust me, it tastes better than it sounds. 😉

The perfect cuppa: strongly seeped black tea with a splash of milk and a sprinkle of sugar. Mmmm!

What I really liked about Aylesbury Tea Room was that it was simply decorated with an “English country house” vibe, not fancy-shmancy like some other places serving afternoon tea. You could imagine being at a friend’s house instead of a restaurant.

Being here made me miss living in England and of course, brought up the old urge to go back soon. Any Brits out there looking for an American writer? Actually, I’d do anything to get sponsored for a work visa and move back for a while!

The tea room and antique shop extends through three now-connected historic homes in downtown Leesburg. I’m not normally a big fan of antique stores but there were so many little nooks and crannies to explore and lots of cute items for sale.

I picked up an adorable tea cozy (a different pattern but the same style as the one in the picture below) that one of the employees sewed, as well as an antique silver tea-spoon and knife.

The hardest thing to walk away from? All the British food! Crunchies, McVities, just all the yummy English chocolates and sweets… England isn’t know for its food but it’s chocolate is a million times better than American.

Part of it is the different ingredient list for the same product. In Britain, a Cadbury bar has: milk, sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, vegetable fat and emulsifiers. The American version (made by Hershey) starts its ingredient list with sugar, as well as “lactose and the emulsifier soy lecithin, which keeps the cocoa butter from separating from the cocoa. The American product also lists ‘natural and artificial flavorings.'”

Clearly at 24, I’m old before my time. I have a couple of teapots packed away in the basement that I’m just itching to break out and put to use once I move! Washingtonians, if you (like me) love tea, definitely checkout the Aylesbury Tea Room. It would be a fun girls’ day out or family celebration — my friends will definitely be visiting sometime soon. 😀

Off to eat more yummy food at a lovely brunch in Bethesda. :love:

What’s your favorite kind of tea?

Examiner.com: Say goodbye to panda Tai Shan at National Zoo

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. coconutjo permalink
    January 23, 2010 10:22 am

    I just bought Earl Grey lavender tea by Revolution in the store the other day and I love it! I wish they had something like that tea room were I live. It looks great!

    • January 24, 2010 9:08 pm

      I love Earl Grey but have never seen it with lavender — sounds delicious! I’ll have to look out for it. 🙂

  2. January 23, 2010 12:30 pm

    I confess I do not know much about tea other than the good ol’ southern sweet tea that I drink. I have always wanted to know more about it so I think I have found the perfect person to talk to. 🙂
    We do have a great little tea room downtown “Victorian Tea Room” and they have great food. I love their scones as they have dried dates in them . Yum!
    Their little tea sandwiches are so yummy too even though some could be a little more “unique”.
    So fill me in on tea will ya?
    Email me anytime.

    • January 24, 2010 9:08 pm

      If you’re a newbie to black tea, I’d definitely recommend adding a splash of milk and a little sugar. It cuts the bitterness and makes it sweeter.

      Chai is also a fantastic, spicy blend. A cup of tea helps me relax and unwind at the end of the day. Or keeps me awake during a boring afternoon. 😉

  3. January 23, 2010 12:58 pm

    I like black and chai tea. I’ve tried to like green tea, but I just don’t. It tastes like grass to me.

  4. louisianagrown permalink
    January 23, 2010 2:25 pm

    I really haven’t had much experience with tea, but that clotted cream sounds amazing!

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