I am craving afternoon tea outside in the garden but it’s still not patio weather! So a friend and I took ourselves to Rosie Daikin’s “Butter Tea Room” on Arbutus Street for afternoon tea! So, I simply have to blog about a favourite thing of mine: celebrating afternoon tea on a beautiful day in the garden. I can’t resist an invitation to tea in the garden; can you? So I will be inviting myself to my garden and asking a few friends to enjoy afternoon tea with me soon! How could they resist; well-chilled Prosecco, a scrumptious selection of little crustless sandwiches, homemade currant scones with clotted cream and lovely strawberry or raspberry jam and instead of different little pastries I’ll opt to make a spectacular homemade Victoria Sponge filled with lemon curd-whipped cream and fresh berries. I am so ready!
What the heck is it about those yummy little sandwiches anyhow? I know…it’s the tasty fillings…so many to choose from…which one to choose…maybe I’ll have one of each! Don’t forget to save room for the little pastries or cake!
You might like to join in the fun in your own garden or patio! Perhaps you are looking for some ideas for fillings for your little sandwiches…and if you have never tried homemade scones slathered with clotted cream and strawberry jam, then you haven’t lived, they are divine!
You could serve tea but hey it’s a celebration so some bubbles may be in order!
**For my currant scone recipe, click here.
**For a recipe for making a Victoria Sponge, click here.
Fancy Sandwich Tips:
- It’s best to search out a bakery that makes the square loaves of bread as they will probably need some notice ahead of time. I like to use both white and whole-wheat bread.
- Your butter should be very soft.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper to place the prepared sandwiches on. You should be able to stack them 3 sandwiches high if need be. One thing that absolutely needs to be done is you must cover the prepared sandwiches with more wax paper and then cover the whole thing with a damp tea towel. The sandwiches should be chilled for at least one hour to make it easier to remove the crusts. My husband calls the trimmed crusts “gourmet crusts!”
- Once the sandwiches are trimmed and cut into triangles, keep them covered until you are ready to assemble the tea tray or the 3 tiered stand you are using one.
Note: I usually cut my sandwiches into triangles because I make pinwheels, round double decker and round open face sandwiches and these add the visual interest that is so appealing on a sandwich tray. If you are not making these then feel free to cut them into fingers or squares or triangles which will make the tray look more interesting. If you have space add something pretty for a garnish…perhaps a rose or other flower and a few leaves.
For the Sweeties:
If you like to bake, then make a few different squares or tarts (lemon curd would be wonderful), scones would be awesome too. Or perhaps you might just want to bake a sponge cake and fill it as I did instead of different squares and tarts.
Clotted cream is available in a few places, such as Whole Foods but in a pinch I have used homemade crème fraiche or purchased Devon cream.
**To make homemade crème fraiche, click here.
**If you are ever in Oak Bay in Victoria, give the White Heather Tea Room a call and make arrangements to have afternoon tea with them. The location is not at impressive as the Empress Hotel but the tea is really, really good!