A virtual tea party

An invitation to tea. Image Su Leslie 2019Image: Su Leslie 2020

Those of you who pop round often will know how much I love food, and afternoon tea is no exception.

A couple of weeks ago when I posted An Agreeable Hour, my Comments section filled up with offers to join me in this rather civilised institution. One conversation with Del at Curls and Skirls really got me thinking, and led to the idea of hosting a virtual tea party once a month.

Naturally you’re all invited.

I’m not quite sure if how it’s going to work, but I’ll start, and we’ll see where it goes.

My afternoon tea

My tea palate isn’t particularly refined, so that’s a pot of English Breakfast Extra Strength you’re looking at. It’s loose tea, blended by local company Tea Total. They have a lovely shop near us where we can taste and smell the huge number of teas and tissanes they offer.

The cake is a gingery plum cake, from the BBC GoodFood website. It’s the first time I’ve made it and I actually managed to follow the recipe much closer than is usual for me (except to use fresh grated ginger in place of dried, and grated nutmeg because I didn’t have any mixed spice).

It’s incredibly easy to make; but does have lots of butter, sugar, eggs, milk and wheat flour. Not great for my vegan and gluten or refined-sugar free friends, but easy to give away the excess (it makes a BIG cake) to my neighbours who aren’t particularly amenable to my “hippy” offerings.

What kind of tea (or other beverage) would you have with this cake? Or would you prefer something a little less traditional in the sweet treat department?

Some “back in the day” musing

My first post-school “proper job” was at the local council. Working conditions there were, by today’s standards, exceptionally good. I mention this because our work day included fifteen minute breaks for morning and afternoon tea with biscuits provided (chocolate ones, if Leonie from Rates was allowed to shop for them).

Compared to the hastily grabbed mouthfuls of food my son and his girlfriend are forced to take in their break-free working days, morning and afternoon tea may seem unnecessary and indulgent. But in truth, it probably made us more productive. Not only for the well-being that social contact fostered, but because it was in the tea-room that we learned what was happening in the organisation, and that knowledge meant we could do our jobs better.

I’m not part of an organisation any more, and I doubt many modern companies have tea-breaks, but I still find that stopping mid-afternoon to step away from what I’m doing, make a cuppa and regroup helps focus my mind on the rest of the day?

Who else takes tea-breaks? Coffee? Is mid-afternoon a favoured time to meet friends for a cuppa?

The invitation

If you’d like to contribute a post of your own — a shot of your cuppa and/or whatever you’re having with it; a recipe, a few words about what you’re doing/reading/making. What’s making you happy or pissing you off — that would be great. I’ll update each of my posts with a ping-back to everyone’s in the same way as I do with The Changing Seasons.

#virtualteaparty for anyone on Instagram who wants to post images (or video?)

I’d love to be part of a global rolling tea party. Hopefully a few of you would too.

Brian at Bushboys World has joined the party; bringing some delicious treats and music.

Del at Curls and Skirls, my co-conspirator in this tea party project, has a biscuit to dunk in her cuppa.

Morning coffee and the thought of scones from Lois at On Pets and Prisoners

Aggie at Nomad is sharing her cuppa from her new home in London

Amanda at A Home by the Sea has brought a delicious honey spice cake — using a recipe from Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful. What a great, connected community we’re building.

Ju-Lyn joins uswith thoughts on her family’s tea-drinking preferences.

I can almost taste the Duba tea Manja describes in her lovely post about tastes and memories ‘Virtual cook, eat, repeat party.’


77 thoughts on “A virtual tea party

  1. I love tea and generally drink a pot a day. What type depends on how I feel and sometimes it’s not tea but a tisane. I have a number of teapots, cups, saucers, and mugs, but as it’s 1 am here and I should be sleeping (but can’t right now), I’ll have to join another time. 🥰☕️🍵


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A tea party – bushboys world

  3. Who doesn’t love a good cuppa and slice of cake. My favourite tea is Marco Polo by Mariage Frères which I drink black (hot and cold). I generally don’t eat cake with it though my beloved husband is currently working his way through his Christmas cake.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely idea, Su! A good friend down the hall and I spontaneously get together for afternoon tea a few times a week. Very informal and putting together whatever we have at the moment. I’ll have to do some thinking as to the photography. 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: rdp: nothing but tea | ….on pets and prisoners…..

  6. Thanks so much for the invitation to your virtual tea party. The cake sounds divine and I wish I was a tea drinker, but I’m not. I’ll just bring along one of the herbal blends I occasionally drink 🙂

    I too remember the ‘good old days’ when we had scheduled breaks during the day … in a non-unionized environment. We had a tea cart that came around the office twice a day offering tea, coffee, and assorted cookies. We did have a kitchen with self-service access to the same items, but it was so civilized to have the ‘tea lady’ come around. Ahhh – good times 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It all looks very civilised and that tea service looks just like one my mother had, white bone china with a silver trim. Unfortunately I loathe tea and am on a sugar-free, cake free diet. So I will join your virtual tea party virtually, if that’s OK. But I am sure there will be lots of fun and gossip…


  8. Pingback: A virtual tea party | Curls n Skirls

  9. Lovely idea, and your cake sounds delicious! I drink quite a lot of standard Indian tea, but we also have a vast range of tea from China, mostly green but some black. John is often given it when he visits the uni’s Chinese campus. However, his job has changed and he won’t be going so often so I might have to start buying my own China tea! Too focused on Becky’s light at the moment, but I’ll bear this idea in mind for future months.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: An invitation to tea – Nomad

  11. Pingback: ONE MORE SUNSET #16 – Marilyn Armstrong | Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

  12. What a good idea. I’m going to try the cake, it looks delicious and lets face it, a cake isn’t a cake without lots of butter and sugar.
    I agree about the the productivity benefits of regular breaks at work. There’s probably scientific evidence to back it up. I work for a council and still find out more in the tea room than from any other source. So in that respect, what a saving, not having to attend staff meetings 🙂 Some modern workplaces promote breaks, Vodafone has announced a 2pm finish on Fridays (productivity drops off after then it seems 🙂 ) and Finland is going the way of a 4 day working week. Maybe work/life balance is starting to trickle down at last.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh! What a marvellous idea for a new blog challenge/series!! At first I thought it would go in the lines of the Boston Tea Party, what with politics being what theyare these days! 😂
    But your virtual tea party is much better, I only wish we could have one in real life! 😄 A cuppa of strong English Breakfast tea sounds lovely and would you mind if I have two slices of that yummy looking cake?! 😁 We have a saying in German ‘ You can’t stand on one leg!’ and pretty much use it whenever we feel like second helpings. 😉
    I definitely am going to take part in this!! 😄
    I only got to enjoy breakfast and afternoon tea breaks when I was part of an archaeological team digging up remains of small mammals, fish and plants – which was really wonderful and very good for morale. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Virtual cook, eat, repeat party – Manja Mexi Mexcessive

  15. Pingback: Our Ritual of Tea – All things bright and beautiful

  16. Hi Su:that’s a beautiful tea set and that treat looks yummy. I love having tea. I went to the Queen Mary in Seattle last year for y birthday and it totally was the royal treatment. I love the British Royal Family. Kate Middleton Duchess Of Cambridge is my favorite royal. I want to go to London England so bad. I’ve never been there and I think my mom said that we are going.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: October’s Virtual Tea Party | Curls n Skirls

  18. Pingback: Challenge Host Interview Series: What’s on Your Bookshelf? – Marsha Ingrao – Always Write

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s