Quite by accident, I picked up a box of Brew Tea Co’s Earl Grey at the Fenwick’s food hall in Newcastle. I was expecting a breakfast brew and in my haste i had picked up the wrong box.
I opened the bag inside and was taken aback by the strong fragrance of bergamot. It was then when I realised the mistake!
Finally i read the box properly. The tea is described as Sri Lankan black tea with bergamot oil with an addition of orange peel and calendula petals.
In the bag, the bergamot is strong, almost overpowering, with a large leaf tea with the orange peel and petals mixed in.
Brewed (black) the bergamot becomes muted and with its more subtle tones it makes the tea a superb, light tea ideal for the afternoon with a light snack or biscuits.
Find out more at their website: www.brewteacompany.co.uk
A few days ago, a fellow tea connoisseur went to the Quilliam Brothers Tea House for lunch. We had heard many good things about the tea house, and enjoyed their tea but never got round to visiting for lunch.
We were seated at a quirky spot under the stairs in the basement on cushions at a low table – we were asked if we wanted to wait for a table, but as time is precious in a short lunch, we accepted. We weren’t put off the basement either – it is bright and airy like the upstairs with sketches and paintings on the walls decorating the exposed brick walls.
After getting comfortable, we were offered the extensive tea menu and food menu. We placed our order shortly after and waited for our food and tea.
Our tea soon arrived in a pot ready to drink having been brewed for the required time. I had chosen the first flush Darjeeling which was a light and delicate brew, along with a mustard, chive and cheese scone, then a moist and tasty carrot cake with decent chunks of grated carrot and nice sweet icing on top.
Micheal says “I ordered the halloumi and roast veg salad which was very good – the halloumi was nice and crispy so had the desirable chewy texture I was looking for, the roast veg had a nice bite and balsamic dressing was not too overpowering and the addition of iceberg lettuce added a nice crispiness to the salad. The bread was properly toasted and rubbed with garlic. I also selected a nice green tea which was rather good.”
Our experience of the Quilliam Brothers Tea House was excellent – the tea and food was very good and reasonably priced and the service friendly and quick. It was with stiff legs and full stomachs we had to reluctantly go back to work.
1, Eldon Place, Claremont Buildings, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE1 7RD
Related articles: Quillam Brothers Himalayan Blend
For lunch, a colleague and I went to Mrs Pumphrey’s Curious Leaves Tea Bar located on Alley One within Newcastle’s famous Grainger Market. The tea bar has been open for a couple of weeks and is a spin off from Pumphrey’s who have the Pumphrey’s Brewing Emporium located in the Arcade section of the market.
Contained within a relatively small unit, there is a bar with a few stools, behind which are shelves with dozens of urns of containing many of Pumphrey’s teas – both leaf and bag. If you don’t feel up to perching on the high stools, there are couple of cosy tables and chairs.
Perched on a bar stool I took a few moments to mull over the menu listing all of the different blends of tea. The assistant was kind enough to let me smell a couple of teas to aid selection. Eventually I settled on a blend I had not tried before – Nilgiri tea. To complete my usual ‘afternoon tea’ experience I added a cheese scone and carrot cake.
The Brew Arrives
The tea arrived brewing in a glass infuser pot, class cup and saucer which was accompanied by a timer set for 4 minutes brewing time. The tea was good malty blend typical of a black tea with a mild strength. The scone was quite good and the carrot cake was the best I have had for a long time.
We enjoyed our lunch at Curious Leaves and will return.
Afternoon tea is a British Institution much like Marks and Sparks. My wife and I often go to M&S at Metro Center for a tasty afternoon tea when out shopping and the good thing is that it is often on promotion!
It comes with a choice of sandwiches (we usually pick egg or blt), a pair of scones (Devon, cheese or fruit), more than enough proper clotted cream, a little jar of strawberry jam, and occasionally a strawberry tart. The food is presented on a three tier stand which is atypical of afternoon tea.
The scones and sandwiches are rather good and the tea, M&S’s own Gold Blend, is nice, strong and malty, and goes well with the sandwiches and scones.
I like M&S’s cafés – they are clean and bright with friendly and cheerful staff. It is always good quality and value for money too.
Tucked away in Newcastle’s Grainger Market; the Pet Lamb Patisserie claims to keep ‘your sweet tooth satisfied’. Well I can confirm that there is no false advertising there!
The girls bake fresh cakes, brownies and cupcakes every day and their little shop always smells delightful from the next batch baking in the oven.
Earlier in the week; I purchased a pair of Nutella brownies for the Mrs and I. We enjoyed our little treat with a generous dollop of whipped cream and a steaming mug of my favorite brew and found that our sweet tooth was well and truly satisfied.
I think I will be down of Friday to discover what Valentines treats they have!
Find out more from their website: petlambpatisserie.com
Nestled amongst the charity and discount shops of Clayton Street in Newcastle, the Scrumpy Willow is small establishment with a menu that includes range of good food including vegan and vegetarian dishes.
It is rare to find such a haven away from the bustling streets. Chocked full of period features, the cafe spans two floors and has artwork from students at Newcastle University on the walls. Upstairs, you can watch the world go by through the large ceiling height windows.
Today; I had fair-trade tea, a cheese scone and spiced chocolate cake.
I enjoyed my brief visit to the Scrumpy Willow. The food was good and reasonably priced. The staff were pleasant and provided good service.
Find out more about the Scrumpy Willow and their regular events calendar at their website; scrumpywillow.com.
Brewed to a mahogany colour, the Ringtons Northumbrian Blend is a strong tea with a deep malty flavour. This is an ideal breakfast brew and will be perfect with a full English, although I enjoy it anytime of the day.
It is also ideal with pancakes! It is now tradition that I make a large pot of this hearty tea to enjoy while I am busy making pancakes for the family.