I missed The Great Comic Relief Bake Off when it was on TV but thankfully it was my work Christmas meal last night lots of colleagues were talking about it. Some people weren’t making any sense as they were laughing too much, so I thought I’d check it out on iPlayer. I’m halfway through the first episode and already I’ve learnt some very important things:
Paul Hollywood’s nickname for Mary Berry is ‘Bezza’
We have the same kitchen timer that they use on the programme
If puff pastry catches fire in the oven don’t use a fire blanket to put it out
I often ask for recommendations but in the two years of doing this blog I have only had one. Today I got my second, which is very exciting. The place in question is ‘The Chocolate Teapot Tearoom’ in Esher, Surrey. I have an address and not much else as I can’t find any internet mention of them, but hopefully I can check that one out soon.
If you have any other recommendations for me, let me know! You can leave me the details on the form here.
Maison Brilliant is a French cafe in Henley upon Thames which actually lists tea as one of the things it sells on it’s sign by the door. This is a good sign (that’s an intentionally bad joke) that the tea will actually be drinkable.
We had been here once before and the tea was amazing. We talked about it, I dreamt about it, and we went back to Henley just to drink the tea (and to see Quantum of Solace, but really that was just the hook I used to get BF to come along too). Last time I ordered Darjeeling and BF ordered Earl Grey French Blue and I was jealous as the French Blue was smooth and lucious. This time we both ordered Earl Grey French Blue.
It was smooth and lovely, but we only got one small pot between us that yielded a cup and some dregs each. When BF went to pay, he was charged £5 for the pot – £2.50 each. I would have contested this as the price on the menu was per pot, but Bond was almost ready to start so we left with me huffing in indignation. If you go, order two different teas as you get twice as much. This works in almost all cafes too: a pot of tea for two rarely gives the same amount of tea as two pots for one. Despite the shock of the price the tea was brilliant (see? I did it again). Maison Brilliant serves the celebrated French tea brand Mariage Freres and also sells it loose – though no Earl Grey French Blue left when we were there. My new tea dream is to go to the Mariage Freres cafe in Paris.
Leaf tea? Yes, in an infuser ball.
Milk jug? Yes and also the good lump sugar.
Cake? They sell patisserie but at £4.95 we didn’t sample any.
Go again? Yes, but I’d order two varieties of tea to get my money’s worth.