“What is high tea?’
    “Yes, well, it’s tea, you know,with cocoa and scones and eggs if you’ve got hens, and bacon if you’ve killed a pig, and marmalade and Bovril and kippers, and you have it late for tea, about six.”

Yes!! It is smashing! And lately it has become a lovely way to spend an afternoon at many Tea Rooms, Inns, and Hotels in the nation. It includes tea, of course, but also finger sandwiches, small cakes, scones, and other small delicacies.

It can be extravagent…

    like this one at the Ritz Hotel.
    {Image from NYT}

The treats are served on a three tiered stand – sandwiches on the top, scones in the middle, sweets on the bottom. And LOTS of tea!!

But a casual tea at home in the afternoon is just as much fun.

    “There are few hours in life more enjoyable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”
      ~~Henry James~~

The Duchess of Bedford is credited as the creator of afternoon teatime. Because the noon meal had become skimpier, the Duchess suffered from “a sinking feeling”
at about four o’clock in the afternoon. She asked for a small meal – a pot of tea and some cakes or sandwiches to be served to hold her until the evening meal.
Afternoon Tea was born.

So for AfternoonTea at The Ortigo Tea Room I offer:

Scotch Eggs
Cucumber Sandwiches
Banana Tea Loaf


Crumpets are not the same as English Muffins. For crumpets, the holes are on the outside. They are made completely made on a griddle and incredibly easy. Eat them fresh.

    6.11 ounces/173 grams (1 2/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
    8.04 ounces/2.28 grams (2 cups) unbleached bread flour
    .07 ounce/2 grams (3/4 teaspoon) cream of tartar
    .56 ounce/17 grams (1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon) fine sea salt or kosher salt
    15.63 ounces/443 grams (2 cups) room temperature water (70 to 78°F), plus more if necessary
    .22 ounce/7 grams (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
    .06 ounce/2 grams (1/2 teaspoon) sugar
    .06 ounce/2 grams (1/2teaspoon) baking soda
    4.78 ounces/136 grams (2/3cup) room temperature milk (70°F to 78°F)
    Unsalted butter, for greasing the cake rings

Place the all-purpose flour, bread flour, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir to combine.
Whisk together the water, yeast, and sugar in a medium bowl and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Pour the water mixture into the flour mixture and mix on low speed to combine.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Dissolve the baking soda in the milk, and then pour the milk mixture into the bowl with the batter. Stir gently to combine. The batter should now be the consistency of pancake batter. If it’s too stiff, your crumpets won’t have enough of those characteristic bubbles and holes, so, if necessary, add more water, a tablespoon at a time, to reach the right consistency.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Grease several 4-inch cake rings with butter.
Place the cake rings in the skillet and pour some batter into each ring so they’re three-quarters full. Cook until holes begin to form on the surface, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the rings, flip the crumpets, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until nicely toasted.
Serve immediately with butter.
For longer storage, freeze in a zipper-lock plastic bag for up to 1 month. To defrost, place on the countertop for 15 to 30 minutes, and reheat in the oven at 350°F for 5 minutes before serving. {From Daniel Leader Simply Great Breads}.
These were sooo good. And so simple to make. They are more ‘spongy’ than English Muffins but just as good with melted butter or jam or both.

Besides the crumpets we also had…

    Scotch Eggs

While these are often served whole at tea they can also be sliced. They make great a finger food.

    8 small hard-boiled eggs, shells removed
    2 pounds sausage meat
    1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
    1 tablespoon mace
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 beaten eggs
    Oil for deep frying

Dust the hard-boiled eggs lightly with a little flour and set them aside.
Roll out the sausage meat on a flat surface with a pastry roller. Mix the breadcrumbs with the mace, salt and pepper and put them in a shallow dish.
Take each hard-boiled egg and dip it into the beaten egg, then put it on the sausage meat and, using your fingers, wrap the meat over the egg until it is entirely covered. Be generous with the meat—it should be at least i/g-inch thick around the egg.
Once the egg is covered, roll it in the breadcrumb mixture and smooth it back into shape so that it still resembles an egg. When all the eggs have been wrapped this way, heat the oil and deep fry the eggs until they are golden brawn.
Allow the eggs to cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving. {From Jane Garmey Great British Cooking}.
You can use any type of sausage you like. I used just a basic bulk sausage. Make sure you fry them enough to get the sausage done all the way though, so don’t try to fry them quickly

For something sweet, try….

    Banana Tea Loaf


    2 1/2 cups flour
    2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon allspice
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    8 tablespoons sugar
    4 ounces butter
    1 tablespoon honey
    1 cup white raisins
    4 medium-sized ripe bananas, mashed
    2 eggs
    Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 350°.
Mix the flour, baking powder, allspice, salt and sugar in a bowl.
Cut the butter into small pieces and add it and all the remain¬ing ingredients.
Mix well with an electric beater or by hand and turn the mixture into a greased 9-inch loaf pan.
Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Turn the oven down to 300° and bake for an additional 1/2 hour.
Remove from the oven and allow the loaf to cool slightly before turning it onto a rack to cool fully.
Cut into slices and serve with butter.{From Jane Garmey Great British Cooking}.

I used mini loaf pans and baked for a few minutes less, but it depends on your oven.

If you want to add a little elegance to your tea you can also serve Cucumber Sandwiches.

Simply remove crusts from your bread. Cut into quarters and spread with butter. Place a slice of cucumber on each quarter and top with a garnish of your choice. Salmon, is always nice or just a small slice of grape tomato.

Enjoying tea is always nice on a day when it is cold and blustery outside, or any day with your friends.

In case you haven’t guessed, our destination for July’s My Kitchen My World was Great Britain.


Great Britain includes England {Crumpets}, Scotland {Scotch Eggs}, Wales, and Ireland. For more great dishes from GB please visit for the round up.