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Tea Time

Tea Class in Madrid

March was a very busy month in the tea world for me.  I arrived back into London from North American Tea Championships in Las Vegas at the beginning of the month and set off a few days later to Spain to join my Argentinean friend Victoria Bisogno.  Throughout the rest of the month, I was then involved in training days for several big companies and ended the month in Blackpool at a catering conference where I was speaking to groups of Food and Beverage managers about how important it is to offer good quality tea in restaurants, coffee bars, snack bars etc.

My visit to Teahouse Emporium, Czech-style tearoom in Bath

A few years ago, Lenka Eckertova from the Czech Republic and her English husband Tim Stoneham came to my tea masterclass in London and when we asked them why they had joined the class, they told us that they was planning to open a tearoom in Bath. In due course I heard from Lenka that the tea room was open, that is was called ‘Oxalis’ and would I please visit any time that I was in Bath. We kept in touch, Lenka sent me photos of the interior of the shop and she started selling copies of my Tea Classified alongside all the other stock of teas, herbals, flavoured teas and tea wares. But I didn't manage to fit in a visit.

Passionate Tea Movement

London Tea and Coffee Festival

Here in London we have a long way to go to catch up with the tea festivals in other parts of the world, but my friend Yael Rose has hosted two small tea and coffee festivals this year that have set the ball rolling. For a year or so, Yael has been organizing weekly food and drink festivals in the open square at the back of The Festival Hall at Southbank - our cultural complex by the River Thames where concert halls, lecture rooms, art galleries, libraries, restaurants, bars and cafes bring all sorts of people together in a buzzy, energetic, happy atmosphere. The events focus on wine and cheese, coffee and chocolate, organic food, ‘free from’ foods, foods from other countries, etc, and now tea has been added to the list.

The Trend for ‘Vintage’ British Tea-Times

The 40s are back in Britain!  And it’s not just fashion and hair-dos that are influenced by the latest in retro.  Several recently-opened tea rooms in and around London are styled to take us back to those days of austerity, the ‘new look’ of fashion on a shoe-string, post-war glamour, lively jazz and big band music, bright red lipstick and coiffures that wind hair up into elaborate ‘victory rolls’. Walking into these quirky but charming tea rooms is like stepping back into Grandma’s parlour!

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