Care to join me for a cuppa?

virtual tea invitation feb2020 Afternoon tea, al fresco. Raw chocolate peppermint slice, with lemon balm and peppermint tea.  Image: Su Leslie 2020

The cold has lingered longer than expected, so despite putting in the hard yards reading recipe books and magazines, I wasn’t up to baking for our afternoon tea.

Instead, I nipped out and bought some raw chocolate peppermint slice. Dairy and gluten-free, it’s made with nuts and coconut oil and cacao, with a little coconut sugar for sweetness.

A bit creamy, quite minty and delicious, it’s kind on my recovering immune system. And did I mention it’s delicious?

I’ve been thinking a lot about my eating habits style preferences lately. I know friends and family would like me to just “come out” as a vegetarian, or a vegan, or gluten-free, dairy-free — a label they could get their heads around. But the truth is; apart from baked beans, cooked avocado (yes, I’ve actually been served that), pizza with sweetcorn and/or pineapple, and anything swimming in salad cream — I’ll eat pretty much anything.

And if someone else has cooked it for me, I’ll say thank you and find something — however small — that I can truthfully praise.

I’m trying to find a way to explain that my food preference are really a food philosophy. I want to “do good”; for my physical and mental health, for my bank balance, for small businesses, and for the environment. That means I eat home-grown where I can, buy as much as possible from local, preferably organic growers, avoid foods and manufacturers I believe to be harmful or unethical … and a bunch more considerations I won’t bore you with but which make trips to the supermarket time-consuming, frustrating and really difficult without my strong glasses to read the small print.

I know that’s a roundabout way of selling you on the raw vegan mint slice, but it really is delicious.

And the drinks …

Despite the dry weather, my herb garden is thriving, so I’ve harvested some mint and lemon balm to brew our cuppa. There’s raw honey from my friend Duncan’s bees to sweeten it, and some local lemons if you’d like to add a slice.

But if you’d prefer, I can make you some builders’ tea (old-school with milk and sugar if that takes your fancy).  Or there’s some Sencha green tea if you’d like something lighter that’s not mint! Both of these come from my local tea shop.

So pull up a chair and let’s put the world to rights over afternoon tea.

The invitation

I was so pleased to get positive feedback on my last tea party, that I’m going to continue to post once a month — mid-week, mid-month probably — at least for the rest of 2020.

I’d love to read your thoughts on the food, the drinks, whatever I’m rambling about. A few words about what you’re doing/reading/making. What’s making you happy or pissing you off?  Your comments make blogging so much more interesting.

And if you’d like to contribute a post of your own — great. Maybe a shot of your cuppa and/or whatever you’re having with it, A recipe?

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.

#virtualteaparty2020 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 Bushboy’s World has polished the silverware and provided some music.

Del at Curls n Skirls has brought some delicious “traditional bread and butter sandwiches, hot buttered toast, and maybe a few raspberry jam sandwiches, .. and a fresh Raisin Spice cake.” Yum!

Sue at Words Visual enjoyed tea (or coffee) with friends. And it was obviously delicious — judging by the empty plates and cups.

Anabel at Glasgow Gallivanter has shared not only a rather sumptuous cream tea (in a beautiful wee cafe), but shared her thoughts on eating ethically and well too.

Manja at Manja Mexi Mexcessive brings us a cornucopia of tea (and coffee)-drinking images.

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

87 thoughts on “Care to join me for a cuppa?

  1. What a delightful post (and tea), Su! Sorry, though, that your still not feeling back to your usual self. Labels. Worth looking at closely if on food and good not to stick on people. We did vegan for a year and oddly enough I missed cheese much more than meat. There are some delicious faux meats, but are their ingredients really healthier? Often they have almost the same fat/etc. profile as real meat.

    I, like you, try to eat organic/local/and so for as much as possible. In the US, the Environmental Working Group has a list that comes out each year of the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen, the 12 you would be well off to buy organic and the 15 that are quite safe when grown conventionally. You can get the app for your smart phone so you can easily check when at the store. I like to buy at the farmer’s market when it’s open but often there’s local produce in the store, too. Lots of stores have organic and/or local, making it easier, although if you don’t have much money, it’s still hard to eat like that.

    At any rate, I’d love to join you for tea. Your herbal tea sounds delicious as does the sencha. Sometimes I’m in the mood for something strong, but I take no milk or sugar with any of it. Not sure if I’ll have a post to link, as I’m out of time and no time for tea at this time of evening, but perhaps later in the week? We’ll see.



    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Janet. I am feeling better tonight than I have for about a week. Despite the humidity T and I had a long walk this evening and it was lovely.

      I found myself nodding in agreement with so much of your comment. I can happily skip meat – or treat it as a garnish – but I love cheeses!! I’m not into faux meat — mainly because I actually like vegetables and grains and legumes and I think fake meats just perpetuate a belief that meat is the star of a dish.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A lovely idea Su, I often think it would be fantastic to have a get together with my favourite bloggers. But they are all over the world. So a virtual tea party in this day and age is a great alternative. At the moment we are into finding out about “ikigai” I have mentioned it in a recent post. I rather like the philosophy, similar to Buddhism and many other eastern cultures of living in the moment. That slice sounds so yummy. I am not too fussy about food, the one constant is not eating red meat and chicken only once a month and mainly vegetarian with the addition of fish. I’m trying to limit challenges etc. but I will definitely pop over to see how the get together goes. Hope you are soon fully recovered.🤗💕

    Liked by 3 people

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  4. Your raw chocolate mint slice looks yummy, you do present food well! My neighbour has a raw chocolate company, which makes chocolate ‘pies’, dairy free, gluten free etc but I can’t eat them. They act like a laxative! Just as well really! We went veggie for a year, tried vegan but I like cheese too much and a lot of replacement milks aren’t great for the environment either. We’re low carb at the moment so back on meat and chicken and fish. Vegan menus seem very high in carbs, and I’m not convinced by meat replacements. I’ll pass on the tea (coffee for me☕), but it’s been nice chatting with you 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh dear; shame about the raw chocolate. When I was at high school “sharing” laxative chocolate was considered a huge joke. Aren’t kids cruel!

      I used to be strictly vegetarian, then pescatarian. Now I really can’t be doing with labels at all.

      I occasionally feel like eating meat, and find that a very small portion is perfectly fine. I love cheeses and find them by far the most difficult animal product to give up.

      I’m also not a fan of plant-based milks — almond milk seems like a real environmental nightmare — nor replacement meats. I do eat (and like) tofu, but generally if I’m eating plant-based it’s as curries, stir-fries or salads; not pretend-meat burgers or “steaks.” 🤨


  5. oooo – a global tea party!! What a lovely idea.

    It’s 7:30 am and I’m currently having my first (ok, only) coffee of the day and it’s delicious. It’s a bold roast, freshly ground, called Kicking Horse … with a splash of cream. Give or take 30 minutes I’ll be primed for the day 😏

    Hope your’s is a good one!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Lois. I really believe that we eat with our eyes first, and I try to make food appetising.
      And if I’m honest, it’s a great excuse to scour thrift shops for pretty cutlery and crockery 😉


    • Hope you feel better soon. Have the meds helped your cough?

      Sweet food that’s variously gluten-free, dairy-free, raw, vegan, etc have become really common here, and the Web seems awash with recipes. I made a chocolate, raspberry slice recently that used buckwheat as the base, chia-seeds to “set” the raspberries into jam, and coconut oil to set the chocolate. It has to be stored in the fridge, but tastes fabulous.


  6. That mint slice looks fantastic Su and contains the two magic ingredients: chocolate and coconut 🙂

    I’m a life-long veggie so the current fad for veganism here is easy for me. Though I got extremely grumpy when my local Caffe Nero recently switched normal croissants for vegan raspberry ones. I’d be up for trying a vegan one, sure, but not with sodding raspberry jam in it – I would prefer to add my own extras thank you 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    • How bizarre! I prefer to get my food plain and add extras too.

      I’ve had some fabulous vegan food, usually dishes from cultures that aren’t heavily meat or dairy-based. I’m not a fan of fake meat or vegan cheese, partly because they never quite replicate the original but mostly because they draw attention to the fact that the focus of that dish is the ingredient that’s absent. There are so many great recipes that focus on plants.


      • Same here. Hate fake meat and especially quorn. And the most popular Indian restaurant in Lancaster mystifies me with its popularity because the veggie dishes are obviously meat options with the meat left out, whereas our favourite place in nearby Preston is proper South Indian and totally veggie and the food is amazing.

        Liked by 1 person

        • So much veggie food in restaurants here is exactly the same; and they charge as much for a few slices of limp courgette as for a dish with meat!
          T and I watched an American documentary about high-performance athletes who are vegan — which was interesting, but when it talked about actual food, it all seemed to be alternatives to burgers and barbecue and mac’n’cheese. I had no idea macaroni cheese was such a huge thing in the States.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I had no idea either. I can get that for meat eaters wanting to reduce meat then the fake stuff is a good idea in moderation but it sadly shows a lack of imagination when there are such nice properly plant based meals out there .
            At least these days I can eat out easily – not so long ago most places would have a single grudging veggie option on the menu – usually lasagne or mushroom stroganoff, neither of which I like.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. And here’s me, late but not quite as it’s still Tuesday over here. Su, will bring over a bit of cake for you provided I can stir it up tonight. Was going to save some spice cake from last month, but. . . well, it was too good to stay frozen. What can I say… 😇
    Hang in there on your foody choices as they about match mine, minus the garden things as I don’t have one. (Meh!)
    All for now but more later, including a post. Fingers crossed. 😘

    Liked by 2 people

    • Got my post posted, and here’s the link:
      Your raw chocolate peppermint slice looks soo good! Trade you some of that for some spice cake. 😘
      I’m told there are good ethnic restaurants here (southeast U.S.), but I’ve yet to find them. I vividly remember all the glorious Indian restaurants in Silicon Valley. Agreed! The south Indian veggie items were wonderful! Not being a curry fan, I would always get matar paneer (hope that’s spelt properly), and a particular rice pudding… Namaste to all. 🙏🏼

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: let’s have ☕️ | Curls n Skirls

  9. I keep missing your Tuesday posts! I’m sorry to hear your cold has lasted longer than expected. It’s horrible when they linger! I hope you feel better soon. I’ve been consuming muffins with my tea. Victoria sponge muffins with jam in the middle. It is sweet and tart and very delicious!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. This is such a nice invitation that I’ve had it open and just looked at it all day. Sandy and The Sandy Chronicles has posted her Friendly Friday coffee conversations today and I think I’ll join both, if you don’t mind. I don’t know when though, busy weekend ahead. I love peppermint tea, and mint and chocolate is a favourite blend of tastes. Don’t mind if you do. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

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  13. I’m so sorry to hear that your cold still hangs on. (Btw I wrote a couple of comments in the past weeks to your posts but maybe they landed in spam?) Anyway, I really love your post, it has all I love in it: wonderful and.yummy food, deep thoughts and a beautiful picture on top! I couldn’t agree more on your food philosophy – I notice how I get more and more involved in thoughts like these too. And how annoying it is when other people don’t care about or simply don’t get it. And yes – NO to all the things you’ve mentioned you don’t eat. 😉
    I still think you should write your own cooking/baking book, including your own photos and I think that adding your thoughts about food and the philosophy involved would make it fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so sorry about the comments. I’ve checked my spam folders and have to confess the problem is just me being useless.

      I sort of lost my blogging mojo being sick and not taking photos, and I’ve not been very systematic getting back to it.

      I was having a little rant at the boy-child about his time-management skills (lack of) and realised I’m not that much better. I marvel at people who seem to make every hour productive and definitely need to know their secrets.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh dear! I’m trying to retreat a little from the blogging world and live a little more in the real one, but here you are with blandishments! And very tempting ones. And conversations I can’t resist reading on the way down. Darn it! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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