I suppose I ought to eat or drink something or other, but the great

question is what?


I’m a sucker for a proper English “high” tea, and wish I lived in a society civilized enough to take time for an elegant meal in the middle of the afternoon. When she was still young enough to play pretend games, I was always trying to get my tomboy daughter to have tea parties, but she was more interested in hot wheels and building elaborate cities out of blocks--both of which are swell but don’t involve food (and there were no prop cookies at my tea parties).  



So with a bit of thought and a cup of PG Tips, this was the menu I came up with:



Roast Beef, horseradish crème fraiche and watercress on pumpernickel

Irish cheddar and tomato chutney on whole grain

Herbed egg salad on Pullman white

Radish on buttered French bread with sea salt and parsley

Curried chicken salad with Marcona almonds on fennel raisin bread

Ham and cucumber with chive Dijon butter on rye



Polenta cookies with lemon and golden raisins

Pain d'amande

Orange madeleines dipped in chocolate


Baked Treats

Currant buttermilk scones with butter or clotted cream and jam (strawberry & kumquat ginger)

Cranberry orange bread

Lemon squares

Zucchini cake with ginger and hazelnuts



Holiday punch

Tea and Coffee


Sounds pretty good, right?  Delicious fun woulda been had by all, no? Notice the past conditional or whatever that tense I just used mighta been? Because the father-to-be’s boss (the bossfather?) co-opted the location of the party (to be fair, it was great to have it in his spacious home) and then the menu, suddenly we were having chili, spicy peel-and-eat-shrimp, guacamole, and clam dip.  No comment.




Do you ever sit down for afternoon tea?  What are your favorite things to pair with it?


Although Carolyn Grifel has been cooking, baking, and devouring cookbooks since she was old enough to read, it took her four decades to finally devote herself to professional cooking. She received a degree from The French Culinary Institute in 2009, while working at Epicurious.com. Since graduating she’s been a chef for Sweet Deliverance, as well as the executive chef at the historic TA Ranch in Buffalo, Wyoming. She’s currently a private chef for a family of four in NYC, and the enchanted mother of a 10-year-old named Stella.

0 Kudos
by on ‎12-24-2010 12:18 AM

Yes. Chicken salad sandwiches, watercress sandwiches, shaved cold roast beef on toasted bagettes with sharp cheese spread, almond cookies.....  And there was a mind blowing tea I went to with a table laden with candies flowers that were used instead of sugar cubes.


The south still does tea, though it's a 4oclock thing usually for us.

by BN Editor Kristin_Z on ‎12-27-2010 08:35 PM

Whoa. Orange madeleines dipped in chocolate?! I am so sad you didn't make those. 

by Carolyn_Grifel on ‎01-03-2011 01:17 PM

TB--another reason to love the South...


Kristin--haha, I'll get you next time!



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