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What goodies would you like to see


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All opinions/ideas welcome.

What goodies/specialties would you like to see or do you already enjoy at your local tea room like for lunch???

What would you like to see for Afternoon Tea?? Afternoon Tea being the one person serving on a little three tier tray with one tray of tea sandwiches, one tray of scones, cream & jam and one tray of desserts.

We can Americanize this a bit of course. I'm more into shabby chic and whimsy as opposed to tradition & formal. :biggrin: But tea parties for sure!

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All opinions/ideas welcome.

What goodies/specialties would you like to see or do you already enjoy at your local tea room like for lunch???

What would you like to see for Afternoon Tea?? Afternoon Tea being the one person serving on a little three tier tray with one tray of tea sandwiches, one tray of scones, cream & jam and one tray of desserts.

We can Americanize this a bit of course.  I'm more into shabby chic and whimsy as opposed to tradition & formal. :biggrin: But tea parties for sure!

Oooooh, what fun! Are you opening a tea room?

I think I would enjoy a mix of very traditional pastries with some way-out-there selections (if you think your market would tolerate them). For the traditional side, I would think cream puffs, eclairs, mini lemon meringue tarts, something gooey with pecans (maybe tassies?), a gorgeous mini fruit tart (either mixed fruits or all strawberry), perfect little chocolate truffles........

For the non-traditional side, I would think using exotic fruits like kumkwats, persimmons, and star fruit would be fun and visually exciting. And certainly something like an Earl Grey madeleine (I think there's a recipe in Paris Sweets) would be appropriate!

I'll post more as I think of them.

Edited by RuthWells (log)
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i've been to a few tea rooms/tea establishments, from dedicated tea rooms to b&bs. my cousin and i are collectors of antique clothing, and sometimes host period teas.

these are my thoughts as to what i would like out of a tea room:

1. tea cozys. or some way to keep the pot warm.

it's unfortunate that when i purchase a pot of tea, half winds up cooling to barely lukewarm (or less) because there's no tea cozy or hot plate.

2. offer non-dairy options.

there are a +lot+ of folks who can't or won't do dairy (including cheese). everything in a tea room is usually slathered in the stuff.

3. use artisanal or top-quality breads.

using industrial white bread for sandwiches is an experience that can be gotten at the grocery store.

4. offer some items that aren't so heavy on the carbs

i don't necessarily mean alchemical mixes of low carb weirdness. but perhaps some flours that are lower in carbs and also items that aren't so "bready.' if i'm hungry, eating a sandwich comprised of fluffy slices of bread and a layer of the most thinly sliced cucumbers is not going to cut it.

tea is not necessarily just about sweets or dainty eating. "high tea" was the meal served at around 5 or 6 o'clock, to work-a-day folks who sat on high stools (hence the name) and was more substantive fare. tea rooms can expand their businesses if they accomodate bigger appetites, because they're losing business if a group of people has to pass it by because one or two members are really hungry and won't find much there that's substantive.

5. if you offer loose teas, you must provide 2 pots and a tea leaf strainer.

a tea room i know delivers its loose tea in a pot to the table. that's fine for the very first cup, but by the second, all the tannins have leeched into the water in the pot, and the tea is bitter and off-tasting. after steeping loosely in the pot, all those leaves have to be removed. they can't sit there spoiling the rest of the tea.

EDITED TO ADD: or steep and strain the tea before it gets to the table, so there are no loose leaves floating in the pot.

6. serve both sweet and savory

7. no faux-victorian frills (no polyester lace trims, no wait staff dressed in modified, beribboned bridesmaids dresses). either make it authentic victorian or go for another meme.

8. the "sweets" should not all be very sweet.

some like their confections on the non-sweet side, to better appreciate the tea, or just out of taste.

9. things that would have enticing visual appeal, and be wonderful to indulge in while there....

a. all sorts of different kinds of truffles

b. a few showpiece pasteries and cakes (no oreo cookie cakes, please)

c. offerings with interesting new flavors and new combinations

d. seasonal offerings, to coordinate with holidays and times of the year

this is just off the top of my head.

EDITED TO ADD:

10. tell the customers AHEAD of time if you're going to steep the tea in the back room or if you're going to deliver it to the table and let it steep there.

if you're going to time-steep the tea in the back and then serve, ask the individuals at the table how long they would like their tea steeped. tea drinkers can be +very+ +VERY+ particular about this (and it does make a difference)

cheers --

Edited by halloweencat (log)
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All opinions/ideas welcome.

What goodies/specialties would you like to see or do you already enjoy at your local tea room like for lunch???

What would you like to see for Afternoon Tea?? Afternoon Tea being the one person serving on a little three tier tray with one tray of tea sandwiches, one tray of scones, cream & jam and one tray of desserts.

We can Americanize this a bit of course.  I'm more into shabby chic and whimsy as opposed to tradition & formal. :biggrin: But tea parties for sure!

Nothing weird in the scones. No currents or raisens or lemon zest. Give a good honest scone.

Offer full-size tea sandwiches with something other than white bread.

Offer just cream tea as an option.

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8.  the "sweets" should not all be very sweet. 

some like their confections on the non-sweet side, to better appreciate the tea, or just out of taste.

I just had my first tea house experience last month and I have to second this. The pastry course was two snowflake-shaped sugar cookies sandwiching this gorgeous mound of whipped raspberry mousse/cream/something (with this thin coat of glaze and pink sparklies on the top cookie), a little dark chocolate cup filled with mint mousse and topped with this tiny sparkly little star -- no clue what it was made of, but it melted in the mouth, and then a buttery sort of bar. I loved the presence of the bar -- it had just a very stout, straightforward taste that was a great foil to the sweetness of the other desserts. It managed to somehow be hearty and delicate at the same time.

For the sandwiches, in addition to the traditional cucumber on white bread we had ham on a heartier wheat-type bread and a Waldorf chicken salad. Again, a great balance of different flavors and textures.

For me that balance and the variety of offerings in the three middle courses (we had both plain and sweet scones) was one of the most striking parts of the experience.

Edited for the "Oh and!":

If you're going non-traditional, you might think about including mini-cupcakes in the final dessert selection. I've been mad about cupcakes lately -- there are SO many different things you can do with them, and they're definitely whimsical and fun. (Er, well, I think that's a non-traditional choice anyway. Either way.)

Edited by rachel! (log)
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You need to check out a thread in our Vancouver forum. A few of the ladies have visited some of our local tearooms and posted pictures. This link starts you at the first tearoom picture. It is on page 5. You will also find pictures on pages 6 and 8. At least one of them links to the menu for the tearoom which may give you some ideas as well.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Nothing weird in the scones.  No currents or raisens or lemon zest.  Give a good honest scone.

My husband saw this post and said "are you crazy? No currants in scones! That's how wars are started!" (Forgive him, he's English....)

Here's a few things he like to see in a Teahouse that reminds him of home:

1) None of the plates and utensils should match.

2) Pasties, lots of pasties.

3) Sausage rolls and beans.

4) Scones must be accompanied by clotted cream and strawberry jam. Warm scones are a plus.

5) The selction of teas should include teas from the North of England (i.e. Yorkshire Gold). No tea bags.

6) All teapots should be dressed in tea cozys.

7) Offer a selection of tea sandwiches. Filling should be minimal.

8) Pork pie. Shepard's pie. Chicken pot pie.

9) Carry a selection of imported (from England) of Cadbury's chocolate and Walker's crisps.

10) Ploughman's lunch.

11) Cheese and crackers.

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halloweencat, not meant with ill-intention, but I do join my wife and daughter for tea on occasion and cannot imagine what sort of menu would encompass all the restrictions/requirements you have listed herein, especially as some of them seem to contradict. can you please be more specific as to what sort of items you are proposing?

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graphicguru, hi :)

what items contradict? basically, i'm suggesting a menu that covers a lot of the traditional bases (scones, tea sandwiches, some heartier fare as might be served for high tea, clotted cream, jams and marmelades, etc.) but includes some offerings (like the non-dairy items or the items that are less bread-intense) that modern diners, with their varied diets, would appreciate. an inclusive menu, rather than an exclusive one.

cheers --

Edited by halloweencat (log)
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Would every day have to be Brittish tea room day?

How about mixing things up and one or two days a week do s japanese tea room day with japanese teas, sweets and such, likewise Chinese, and Indian

Then you can do monthly coffee and cake days ala France, Germany, or Italy

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I missed proper afternoon teas soooooo much when I lived in the US!

Firstly - please ensure you offer a proper scone. Not one of those random triangular weird scone wanna-be things that were served in places like starbucks and sadly, most of my local bakeries when i lived in CA. That's not a scone. That's like a rock cake but with strange flavours. It's very very wrong. I prefer the plain scone - but currants and sultanas also rock my world. And the date scone - also good. For a touch of Australian fabulous-ness that might be too strange for an American palate - the pumpkin scone.

All scones must come with butter - and plain scones only should have the clotted cream/ strawberry jam option.

I would like to sea more properly made 'plain cakes' included in an afternoon tea selection. Plain gingerbread - derbyshire seed cake - orange cake - victoria sponges are nice and more filling - sometimes the uber-gooey patisserie selection that is offered as the top tier is just too sickly. Blaach...

Another way to mix it up - and echoing chefette's suggestion - is to offer an Asian style high tea. I've visited cafe's in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand that not only offer the whole scone cake colonial fabulousness experience - but supplement it with local snacks. It ROCKS! A meal where I can drink champagne, eat strawberries, crab sandwiches and pakoras, samosas, noodles and indonesian style layer cake is just. well. it's just perfect.

Tea cosies! yes to the cosy! Find a vintage pattern and get some friends to knit up gorgeous mis-matched ones for your establishment.

Most of my local tea rooms here in Hampshire offer light lunches as well - they tend towards the filled baked spud and sandwich. Too much lunch and it's a cafe - not a tea room! remember that!

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loose tea is a must! i agree with an above poster that mentions either straining the tea before serving, offering two pots, or perhaps a removable strainer in the tea pot. i have been to a few wonderful afternoon tea spots, but almost every one had the tea straight in the pot, and the whole thing gets too bitter.

having a wide variety of pretty tea cups and saucers (all different patters) and tea pots would add a nice, fun touch.

a random suggestion would be to make sure your tables are large enough for everyone to sit with a tea pot, trays, and plates. i've been to more than one place where the tables are too small and we hardly had room for all of our tea accessories. not very comfortable!

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....

Firstly - please ensure you offer a proper scone.  Not one of those random triangular weird scone wanna-be things that were served in places like starbucks and sadly, most of my local bakeries when i lived in CA.  That's not a scone.  That's like a rock cake but with strange flavours.  It's very very wrong.  I prefer the plain scone - but currants and sultanas also rock my world.  And the date scone - also good.  For a touch of Australian fabulous-ness that might be too strange for an American palate - the pumpkin scone.

.....

Portia, what is the definition of a proper scone?

The pumpkin scone recipe in your post looks good but... I would end up adding a mix of spices as you would to a pumpkin pie -- cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice... Perhaps some pecans...

I don't want to sell "triangular weird scone wanna-be things" :blink: -- I want to sell scones!

Cheryl, The Sweet Side
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Oooooh, what fun! Are you opening a tea room?

Yes I already did :raz: fools rush in where angels fear to tread & all that good stuff. I finally found a great employee--I'm deliriously happy--now I can do some marketing. A friend of the family so kindly brought in his whole office one day for lunch--my waitress had called in that day--I still am stressing over that one--it's great though. I'm LOVING it.

Yeah and now I'm legal for CAKES too :biggrin::laugh::biggrin:

I think I would enjoy a mix of very traditional pastries with some way-out-there selections (if you think your market would tolerate them). For the traditional side, I would think cream puffs, eclairs, mini lemon meringue tarts, something gooey with pecans (maybe tassies?), a gorgeous mini fruit tart (either mixed fruits or all strawberry), perfect little chocolate truffles........

For the non-traditional side, I would think using exotic fruits like kumkwats, persimmons, and star fruit would be fun and visually exciting. And certainly something like an Earl Grey madeleine (I think there's a recipe in Paris Sweets) would be appropriate!

I'll post more as I think of them.

Earl Grey madeleine??? who knew??!! Thank you so much for all the great ideas. When I get my basic menu as ramped up as it's gonna get, I'll be back for some insight as to how to do the exotic fruit dealies.

i've been to a few tea rooms/tea establishments, from dedicated tea rooms to b&bs. my cousin and i are collectors of antique clothing, and sometimes host period teas.

these are my thoughts as to what i would like out of a tea room:

1. tea cozys. or some way to keep the pot warm.

it's unfortunate that when i purchase a pot of tea, half winds up cooling to barely lukewarm (or less) because there's no tea cozy or hot plate.

Ah yeah, I am a product of a strictly coffee drinking world. I would have never thought about this until I got a complaint--I had to go look them up online to see what they are to give you a for instance as to how clueless about tea that I am. But I'm learning. I fell in love with some thirty dollar cozies--hahaha--so I found some ceramic things you set the pot ont that have a tea light inside that do the same thing and I'll be able to keep them nice & clean. Going forward I'll probably do better to make some cozies.

2. offer non-dairy options.

there are a +lot+ of folks who can't or won't do dairy (including cheese). everything in a tea room is usually slathered in the stuff.

3. use artisanal or top-quality breads.

using industrial white bread for sandwiches is an experience that can be gotten at the grocery store.

4. offer some items that aren't so heavy on the carbs

i don't necessarily mean alchemical mixes of low carb weirdness. but perhaps some flours that are lower in carbs and also items that aren't so "bready.' if i'm hungry, eating a sandwich comprised of fluffy slices of bread and a layer of the most thinly sliced cucumbers is not going to cut it.

tea is not necessarily just about sweets or dainty eating. "high tea" was the meal served at around 5 or 6 o'clock, to work-a-day folks who sat on high stools (hence the name) and was more substantive fare. tea rooms can expand their businesses if they accomodate bigger appetites, because they're losing business if a group of people has to pass it by because one or two members are really hungry and won't find much there that's substantive.

You are right on about the cheese thing. I've been mindful to try & not cheese everything out, but it is a struggle.

Yeah, I'm gonna do a chicken apple walnut salald mini cream puff sandwich, a couple of the white cucumber things because for the simple reason the first one I ever had was last week when I tried it out--so just for nostalgia and for anyone else who's never had them--plus mine rocks--I make it out of my cheese :laugh::rolleyes: dip

Now I never thought of artisanal breads but I did want to make some breads myself to use. What I'm doing is refining and refining my menu, keeping the same items but making each item better. Gonna keep it simple, and consistently good.

Yeah, I'm on low carbs myself, so I've been mindful of that too--great point.

HalloweenCat, thank you so much for your excellent & long reply. You either affirmed some of my own musings or enlightened me entirely and I can't thank you enough. Oh and yes, I'm keeping some heartier fare on the menus also for just the reasons you stated--you are right on!! Oh and nothing traditional really. I'm into whimsy, and comfort and peaceful, sit and chat--my plan is for the tearoom to break even and the cakes to take me over the top.

Nothing weird in the scones. No currents or raisens or lemon zest. Give a good honest scone.

Offer full-size tea sandwiches with something other than white bread.

Offer just cream tea as an option.

Ok, umm, cream tea is exactly what??? The cream & sugar already is added to the pot???? Or they put the cream & sugar in their cup themselves, then pour the tea??? I have the half & half little dooeys you use for coffee will that work???

A full size tea sandwich??? Not cut into little triangles??? Not with the afternoon tea though, right. Just as a lunch item.

Thank you, booklovingbabe, you've given me much to think about!

8.  the "sweets" should not all be very sweet. 

some like their confections on the non-sweet side, to better appreciate the tea, or just out of taste.

I just had my first tea house experience last month and I have to second this. The pastry course was two snowflake-shaped sugar cookies sandwiching this gorgeous mound of whipped raspberry mousse/cream/something (with this thin coat of glaze and pink sparklies on the top cookie), a little dark chocolate cup filled with mint mousse and topped with this tiny sparkly little star -- no clue what it was made of, but it melted in the mouth, and then a buttery sort of bar. I loved the presence of the bar -- it had just a very stout, straightforward taste that was a great foil to the sweetness of the other desserts. It managed to somehow be hearty and delicate at the same time.

For the sandwiches, in addition to the traditional cucumber on white bread we had ham on a heartier wheat-type bread and a Waldorf chicken salad. Again, a great balance of different flavors and textures.

For me that balance and the variety of offerings in the three middle courses (we had both plain and sweet scones) was one of the most striking parts of the experience.

Edited for the "Oh and!":

If you're going non-traditional, you might think about including mini-cupcakes in the final dessert selection. I've been mad about cupcakes lately -- there are SO many different things you can do with them, and they're definitely whimsical and fun. (Er, well, I think that's a non-traditional choice anyway. Either way.)

Mini cupcakes would be a lot easier than freakin' petit fours. Geez I'd a never thought of plain 'proper' scones --I just thought of the fruity ones. Hmm, need to make both. Thank you, Rachel! for seconding halloweencat's thoughts and for your insights.

More ideas: traditional shortbread and non-traditional French macarons.

I've never made a macaron (that I can remember) so I really need to. Thanks

You need to check out a thread in our Vancouver forum. A few of the ladies have visited some of our local tearooms and posted pictures. This link starts you at the first tearoom picture. It is on page 5. You will also find pictures on pages 6 and 8. At least one of them links to the menu for the tearoom which may give you some ideas as well.

Thank you, CanadianBakin'!!! Great stuff!!! Thanks so much.

Nothing weird in the scones.  No currents or raisens or lemon zest.  Give a good honest scone.

My husband saw this post and said "are you crazy? No currants in scones! That's how wars are started!" (Forgive him, he's English....)

Here's a few things he like to see in a Teahouse that reminds him of home:

1) None of the plates and utensils should match.

2) Pasties, lots of pasties.

3) Sausage rolls and beans.

4) Scones must be accompanied by clotted cream and strawberry jam. Warm scones are a plus.

5) The selction of teas should include teas from the North of England (i.e. Yorkshire Gold). No tea bags.

6) All teapots should be dressed in tea cozys.

7) Offer a selection of tea sandwiches. Filling should be minimal.

8) Pork pie. Shepard's pie. Chicken pot pie.

9) Carry a selection of imported (from England) of Cadbury's chocolate and Walker's crisps.

10) Ploughman's lunch.

11) Cheese and crackers.

Well, I'm glad to hear shepard's pie--I love it! I totally had chicken pot pie on my first draft menu. Now it's evolved into an artichoke chicken thing (YES with cheese, halloweencat!!!) served on a big fat cream puff. The whole clotted cream thing is very very British and equally unamerican and the word clotted is generally not associated with food at all. I do want to have it but I'm still in the valley of decision on that detail. No problem on none of the serveware matching :laugh:

Umm, I'm starting off with tea bags. I'll acquire some loose teas as I go along here but remember what a neophyte I am. I'm just going with the flow. Hey at least I got a selection. I have plans to do better there. I tell you what happened though, I was all, 'oh yeah I gotta get loose tea of course'--my friend who goes to England constantly, blew it forever when she told me that they use teabags in the teapot infuser dealies in England hahaha :laugh: Busted!

halloweencat, not meant with ill-intention, but I do join my wife and daughter for tea on occasion and cannot imagine what sort of menu would encompass all the restrictions/requirements you have listed herein, especially as some of them seem to contradict. can you please be more specific as to what sort of items you are proposing?

Halloweencat and I were actually on the same page for the food items. Umm, I'm kinda combining a bit of high tea (meat) with the afternoon tea nomenclature, but I'm serving from 11 till 2 ish anyways so...I'm making it up as I go :raz:

graphicguru, hi :)

what items contradict? basically, i'm suggesting a menu that covers a lot of the traditional bases (scones, tea sandwiches, some heartier fare as might be served for high tea, clotted cream, jams and marmelades, etc.) but includes some offerings (like the non-dairy items or the items that are less bread-intense) that modern diners, with their varied diets, would appreciate. an inclusive menu, rather than an exclusive one.

cheers --

Yeah good idea--plus I will have a sugar free desert and I already have a fat free one.

Would every day have to be Brittish tea room day?

How about mixing things up and one or two days a week do s japanese tea room day with japanese teas, sweets and such, likewise Chinese, and Indian

Then you can do monthly coffee and cake days ala France, Germany, or Italy

Thank you, Chefette, great idea! It's not really gonna be totally British everyday though, its whatever I want every day. Americanized as well as K8icanized. :raz:

I missed proper afternoon teas soooooo much when I lived in the US!

Firstly - please ensure you offer a proper scone. Not one of those random triangular weird scone wanna-be things that were served in places like starbucks and sadly, most of my local bakeries when i lived in CA. That's not a scone. That's like a rock cake but with strange flavours. It's very very wrong. I prefer the plain scone - but currants and sultanas also rock my world. And the date scone - also good. For a touch of Australian fabulous-ness that might be too strange for an American palate - the pumpkin scone.

All scones must come with butter - and plain scones only should have the clotted cream/ strawberry jam option.

I would like to sea more properly made 'plain cakes' included in an afternoon tea selection. Plain gingerbread - derbyshire seed cake - orange cake - victoria sponges are nice and more filling - sometimes the uber-gooey patisserie selection that is offered as the top tier is just too sickly. Blaach...

Another way to mix it up - and echoing chefette's suggestion - is to offer an Asian style high tea. I've visited cafe's in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand that not only offer the whole scone cake colonial fabulousness experience - but supplement it with local snacks. It ROCKS! A meal where I can drink champagne, eat strawberries, crab sandwiches and pakoras, samosas, noodles and indonesian style layer cake is just. well. it's just perfect.

Tea cosies! yes to the cosy! Find a vintage pattern and get some friends to knit up gorgeous mis-matched ones for your establishment.

Most of my local tea rooms here in Hampshire offer light lunches as well - they tend towards the filled baked spud and sandwich. Too much lunch and it's a cafe - not a tea room! remember that!

Yeah, umm, I'm a bit of a cafe/tea room--leaning more toward tea roomy--but ultimately its all just a huge front for my cake addiction (that I have wanted my own cakery forever)

make sure the tea cozys can be washed.

a stained tea cozy is fairly off-putting, in a restaraunt setting.

i'd vote for a quilted tea cozy (perhaps stuffed with something that retains heat well), which is likely to retain far more head than a knitted one.

cheers --

loose tea is a must! i agree with an above poster that mentions either straining the tea before serving, offering two pots, or perhaps a removable strainer in the tea pot. i have been to a few wonderful afternoon tea spots, but almost every one had the tea straight in the pot, and the whole thing gets too bitter.

having a wide variety of pretty tea cups and saucers (all different patters) and tea pots would add a nice, fun touch.

a random suggestion would be to make sure your tables are large enough for everyone to sit with a tea pot, trays, and plates. i've been to more than one place where the tables are too small and we hardly had room for all of our tea accessories. not very comfortable!

Large enough tables--yes yes-- and I want to get a nice settee too--going forward I can get an additional room & do it all in little couches & settees with tables for tea. Thank you for your ideas.

....

Firstly - please ensure you offer a proper scone.  Not one of those random triangular weird scone wanna-be things that were served in places like starbucks and sadly, most of my local bakeries when i lived in CA.  That's not a scone.  That's like a rock cake but with strange flavours.  It's very very wrong.  I prefer the plain scone - but currants and sultanas also rock my world.  And the date scone - also good.  For a touch of Australian fabulous-ness that might be too strange for an American palate - the pumpkin scone.

.....

Portia, what is the definition of a proper scone?

The pumpkin scone recipe in your post looks good but... I would end up adding a mix of spices as you would to a pumpkin pie -- cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice... Perhaps some pecans...

I don't want to sell "triangular weird scone wanna-be things" :blink: -- I want to sell scones!

Well I think the pumpkin thing is close to my idea of a weird triangular wannabe scone, doncha think??? I mean I would not hesitate to make it & serve it,but it seems to be in that class of 'unproper' sconelettes, that I frankly would truly enjoy.

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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All this talk of tea here and on the playground led me and my 4 year old guy to our local tea room. We had never been there before and it was quite nice. We had Cream Tea (i don't understand the name) which consisted of a pot of tea (strawberry green tea for me, mint chocolate for little), 4 freshly baked scones, strawberry preserves, lemon curd, and what she called Heavenshire cream. The cream tasted just like any clotted cream I've ever been served but it did have a prettier name. She offered us plain, apricot, or blueberry scones. We had plain and apricot. They arrived warm and soft in little heart shapes with scalloped edges.

The loose tea was nice because we were able to smell it when choosing. For reference, we paid $9 for the cream tea and an addtional $2 for the smaller pot of mint tea. The place is in Sebastopol, tucked into an Antique co-op. It's called Over Tea.

Good luck K8, it sounds like good fun and solid hard work.

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All this talk of tea here and on the playground led me and my 4 year old guy to our local tea room.  We had never been there before and it was quite nice.  We had Cream Tea (i don't understand the name) which consisted of a pot of tea (strawberry green tea for me, mint chocolate for little), 4 freshly baked scones, strawberry preserves, lemon curd, and what she called Heavenshire cream.  The cream tasted just like any clotted cream I've ever been served but it did have a prettier name.  She offered us plain, apricot, or blueberry scones.  We had plain and apricot.  They arrived warm and soft in little heart shapes with scalloped edges.

The loose tea was nice because we were able to smell it when choosing.  For reference, we paid $9 for the cream tea and an addtional $2 for the smaller pot of mint tea. The place is in Sebastopol, tucked into an Antique co-op.  It's called    Over Tea.

Good luck K8, it sounds like good fun and solid hard work.

Thank you, Trishiad. My cream stuff is called Bedford cream--ha! made that up too. I like the 'heavenshire' name, very very cool. So your cream tea and scones was $9. Hmm, see before my tea pots arrived, (they were wandering the East coast for a while :) I was charging $1.50 for all the drinks. Hmm, wonder if I shouldn't go to two bucks for a pot a tea, I've been thinking about it. Cozies & candles & pots oh my :)

Hey, maybe it's called 'cream tea' because you get the clotted cream with the scones ?? Maybe??

Yes, "arrived warm & soft"!! I am passionate about serving breads hot or at least very warm. I'm trying to figure out how to package my terra cotta pots or pieces of terra cotta pots and keep them heated ---oh yeah oh yeah what about saltillo tiles???????? I think that's how you spell it--those real pretty Mexican floor tiles--They would hold heat great to put under the scones --y'know wrap the warm tile in a little towel or something to keep the sconelettes warm??!! I read that that's why it's a three tier tray & the scones go on the top tier because of the little heater in there.

How light is clotted cream??? Lighter, less dense than yogurt??? (there's just got to be another word for 'clotted'--gotta check the thesaurus :rolleyes: )

Yes, umm, good fun, solid hard work--solid--I'm enjoying playing 'beached whale' on the couch today since I got home at 3!! I had my 'grand opening' last weekend amidst Memphis' iced street/winter weather advisory warnings hahaha. (why am I laughing?? :) Ahh yeah, we actually had people from out of town drive in--but nobody in Memphis was driving anywhere. I actually stayed closed for my grand opening--the antique mall I am located in had a huge sale going on too that also bombed. Hey, Murphy (of Murphy's law) is my brother!!!

Thank you.

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....

Firstly - please ensure you offer a proper scone.  Not one of those random triangular weird scone wanna-be things that were served in places like starbucks and sadly, most of my local bakeries when i lived in CA.  That's not a scone.  That's like a rock cake but with strange flavours.  It's very very wrong.  I prefer the plain scone - but currants and sultanas also rock my world.  And the date scone - also good.  For a touch of Australian fabulous-ness that might be too strange for an American palate - the pumpkin scone.

.....

Portia, what is the definition of a proper scone?

The pumpkin scone recipe in your post looks good but... I would end up adding a mix of spices as you would to a pumpkin pie -- cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice... Perhaps some pecans...

I don't want to sell "triangular weird scone wanna-be things" :blink: -- I want to sell scones!

Explaining food across continents can be a bit tricky. Scones look like the "biscuits" I've seen in pictures from the U.S. Round, that is. Pumpkin scones on the otherhand are a fairly moist dough so are "plopped" onto the baking sheet although these too can be cut out of a stiffer dough using a round scone cutter. Pumpkin scones are best without added spices IMHO but with cold butter in top.

Other tea fare can include hot crumpets, english muffins, toast (artisanal breads).

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How light is clotted cream??? Lighter, less dense than yogurt??? (there's just got to be another word for 'clotted'--gotta check the thesaurus  :rolleyes: )

Clotted cream is definitely more dense than yogurt, even Greek yogurt. It's a nice rich cream with a little sweetness to it. I just got to have that with my scones whenever we go to the local tea house. :wub:

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Explaining food across continents can be a bit tricky.  Scones look like the "biscuits" I've seen in pictures from the U.S.  Round, that is.  Pumpkin scones on the otherhand are a fairly moist dough so are "plopped" onto the baking sheet although these too can be cut out of a stiffer dough using a round scone cutter.  Pumpkin scones are best without added spices IMHO but with cold butter in top. 

Other tea fare can include hot crumpets, english muffins, toast (artisanal breads).

I agree on all counts, and please do not alter the pumpkin scones before trying them once. They are a very unusal article.

Palmiers could be nice way to go. What about fruit toast with ricotta and honey.

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i have never heard of "heavenshire cream" -- i believe what was probably said was "DEVONshire cream," which, iirc, is slightly different than clotted cream (i think there's some distinction made, if only for regionality).

k8memphis, i'm so glad that any of my comments were helpful. i'm so excited for you, and wish you every sucess! :)

cheers --

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My son's guitar teacher has started teaching out of the back of a tea-room which specializes in organic foods, herb teas etc. When classes are in progress, a folding screen is put up to block off the back tables.

They do the tea-cosy thing, and it's a great idea. That's partly because people often stay for quite long periods. Also, because the interior is woody and dark, the tea-cosies brighten things up! I have tea-cosies of my grandmother's which were double-layered - there was a thickly quilted inner layer, and an easily laundered embroidered or patched or appliqued starched loose outer cover over that.

The tea-shop encourages repeat business by providing big, wooden tables where people can spread out their papers, and attracts people with a bit of work to do, and also local community groups holding meetings.

I usually wait in the tea-shop while son has his lessons, working or chatting with the owner or other guitar students, so I know the entire menu by now! I notice that the owner concentrates mostly on variations of cheesecake and chiffon cake, which allows her to ring the seasonal changes while not taking customers too far out of their comfort zone or costing her too much effort. She also often offers a cube of something new she's trying along with my order, and invites comments, swaps recipes, etc. It's set up like a bar - she and her husband prepare tea and give change over a waist-high counter, and nip out to a galley-kitchen to prepare more complex items.

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