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Tea with Sir Hugh

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Last week I had tea with Sir Hugh and his lovely wife Gaynor in one of their favorite haunts in London - a uniquely British experience.

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This is a very good restaurant, says Sir Hugh with his eyes staring in mid air, obviously relishing some gastronomic memory. For lunch you need to book, he adds curtly, concluding the argument. And indeed while not all London restaurants requiring a booking are good, all good restaurants do need advance booking.

We are at the Wolseley, a spectacular 1920 building that looks like as much as a church, a bank or a posh S&M club. Originally built in the 1920s as a grand showroom for Wolseley cars, it was soon bought by Barclays and remained a bank until 2003 when two bright restaurateurs turned it into one of the most stunning architectures I've eaten in. Sir Hugh Leggatt is in London only a few weeks a year and rarely leave the vicinity of St. James's, a minuscule elite enclave bang in the center of London just off Piccadilly Circus. Most people don't actually know St. James because the few shops in this district only sell art, the sort you see in museums.

And that was Sir Hugh's specialty - selling Great Masters and defending Britain's cultural heritage. We speak about George de la Tour and Caravaggio, two of my favorite painters. Sir Hugh happens to have sold several paintings by Caravaggio to American museums. In every exhibition there are always three fakes, he says.

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You can have tea in many places in central London, from the stuffy affair in palaces with jacket and tie mandatory, to neo punk organic places. But they always tend to include, besides tea, sandwiches, pastry and scones. The sandwiches are done with some crumb-bread sliced in rectangles. We have smoked salmon, ham with English mustard, a sort of ode to crustless pizza, cheddar and finally my all-time favorite, the cucumber sandwich, a refreshing classic that makes me think of a play I studied in school:

Lady Bracknell: I’m sorry if we are a little late, Algernon, but I was obliged to call on dear Lady Harbury. I hadn’t been there since her poor husband’s death. I never saw a woman so altered; she looks quite twenty years younger. And now I’ll have a cup of tea, and one of those nice cucumber sandwiches you promised me.
Algernon: [Picking up empty plate in horror.] Good heavens! Lane! Why are there no cucumber sandwiches? I ordered them specially.
Lane: [Gravely.] There were no cucumbers in the market this morning, sir. I went down twice.
Algernon: No cucumbers!
Lane: No, sir. Not even for ready money.
Algernon: That will do, Lane, thank you.
Lane: Thank you, sir. [Goes out.]
Algernon: I am greatly distressed, Aunt Augusta, about there being no cucumbers, not even for ready money.

The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde (1895)

This demonstrates that for a century, cucumber sandwiches have been the cement of British upper class.

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The top tray is garnished with warm scones, a rather good British pastry that never really took on abroad, are eaten with strawberry jam and clotted cream. I decline the clotted cream - a bad move:

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But Francois, how can you not like clotted cream?

That's it - a faux-pas - my goose is cooked. Oh but I love clotted cream, I reply, helping me of a giant spoonful that nearly makes the scone topple, it's just that the strawberry jam was so perfect I wanted to taste it alone.

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Clotted cream is an English specialty, originally from Cornwall. You make clotted cream by filling a giant pot with cream and gently evaporate the water over a low fire until the cream thickens and takes the ivory patina of the Elgin Marbles, one of Sir Hugh's favorite works of art.

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I hope you like this place, says Lady Gaynor, then she adds: We came here last year with Princess Alexandra. I say I love the place, but who is Princess Alexandra, wondering if that might be some local pop star. She is one of the Queen's cousins, she explains with a courteous smile. Royal credentials are mostly lost on us Swiss, but I later googled the distinguished lady and retrieved her full name: Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra Helen Elizabeth Olga Christabel of Kent, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy, Royal Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order. Sounds to me like the real thing.

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I'm having the Wolseley Afternoon Blend, a rather bland mixture of Darjeelings I suspect. Sir Hugh lets me have some of his Earl Grey, a much better choice.

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We once were invited to a party by Margaret Thatcher, explains Sir Hugh. She said she wanted to honor the people that were really important in Britain. There were two of us from the Arts world, and all the rest were policemen, in uniform! We all laugh.

Then the headwaitress comes to the table and says in an apologetic tone: I am so sorry, Lady Leggatt, but we have a no photography policy. Then, turning towards me with a kind smile, she adds softly: I hope you managed to grab what you wanted.

The Wolseley
www.thewolseley.com
160 Piccadilly Street
London
+44 (0) 20 7499 6996
Eating cucumber sandwiches in a converted bank set in a bankrupt car maker's showroom is a poetic Zeitgeist experience.

Published 11/03/2009
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104 Comments

  • #1
  • Comment by Jay
  • on: 11/03/2009
Bonjour Francois,

say, youve talked about posting more videos soon,
will we see them here on your site or on vimeo?

Greetings and thanks for all the great posts and effort,

jay from Germany
  • FX's answer→ Jay, all my videos will be referred to from FXcuisine.com, sometimes I can post them on Vimeo but if I exceed the weekly quota they might go on Exposure room. Anyway, I'll send you a notification when a new article is posted here - photo or video - so you wont' miss any!

  • #3
  • Comment by Wandering Taoist
  • on: 11/03/2009
Both text and pictures ooze Britishness, lovely. Just lovely. I'm off to make some good tea.
  • FX's answer→ Thanks and glad you liked it!

  • #5
  • Comment by Kya
  • on: 11/03/2009
I hope I look as good as Lady Gaynor when I am her age! And I was shocked to read you passed on the cream. Considering some of the eats that have been featured here, I didn't think that was possible =P
  • FX's answer→ I only passed on the cream for one mouthful  - or rather tried to!  

  • #7
  • Comment by LB
  • on: 11/03/2009
Passing on the clotted cream was certainly a dreadful faux pas, FX old boy, but thankfully you were with company able to handle it tactfully.
The scone is truly one of the lords of pastry, delicious, versatile, adaptable and simple to produce. A must with jam and cream, though perfectly acceptable with butter. The plain version can just as easily be savoury as sweet.
  • FX's answer→ Ah yes, for a minute there I thought my goose was cooked!

FX you missed the best part of your tea: clotted cream is only made by one or two artisans working on farms in Cornwall rather in the manner of the Swiss cheesemakers you have shown us. But actually, forget the scones, it is best eaten in miniscule amounts with a teaspoon and the best English wildflower honey you can find - Thunder and Lightning, a REAL English treat

Joanna
  • FX's answer→ Yes I did have the clotted cream, it was made plain to me that tradition does not condone unclotted scones. It is quite good in fact. But Sir Hugh's favorite is brandy butter.

  • #11
  • Comment by Rosa
  • on: 11/03/2009
There's nothing better than a good cuppa cha with scones, cakes and sandwiches!!!

Cheers,

Rosa
  • FX's answer→ Well I can think of a couple things here in Switzerland, but in London I believe that statement holds true!

Oh no, scones without clotted cream!! You'll have to rectify it next time :) I've had various a'noon teas in London but never at the Wolseley, a situation which I'll have to rectify next time.
  • FX's answer→ Oh but I had the clotted cream all right, just didn't want to adulterate the fine strawberry jam!

  • #15
  • Comment by mariliafig
  • on: 11/03/2009
Oh, my God!!!! Fantastic.
  • FX's answer→ Glad you liked my piece!

The narration in this blog is so British, as if you managed to adapt the narration to the settings and the food - loved it!
  • FX's answer→ Thanks - more is on the way!

"The top tray is garnished with warm scones, a rather good British pastry that never really took on abroad"

Actually, scones are quite popular in Sweden. It's one of the first things we learn to make, alongside the Swedish chocolate balls. It always puzzled me why no Germans seemed to know what scones were, since it's so awesomely delicious.
  • FX's answer→ And I suppose Hamlet took them to Elseneur castle in Denmark too!

I just loved the wit in this post. You are toooo funny. By the way, we made bigoli again yesterday, this time using your recipe - half semolina, half regular flour. It came out much better and we had great fun.
  • FX's answer→ Linda, glad you had fun - more on the same tone is coming soon! The drier you'll make the bigoli dough, the better they will hold together. I'm happy to see you made some progress already!

  • #23
  • Comment by Michael
  • on: 11/03/2009
Well, I hope that beyond the lack of cucumber sandwiches and the interruption in photography, it was a good time. But actually, in the Western New York area around the Great Lakes, scones are sold by a few locally run bakeries. Usually in raisin or blueberry, they are quite the treat with some good tea.
  • FX's answer→ Yes I had a jolly good time of course, and contrary to the play here they did have cucumber sandwiched aplenty.

  • #25
  • Comment by Hirm
  • on: 11/03/2009
Hello Francois,

Oh, gosh...I envy you, Francois!  There are numerous places that serve British"-style" afternon tea here in the U.S. but always many tiny little bits are different: how tea is brewed, how scones are made, what ambience tea salons have, and so forth.  I love Britishness in your photos.  So beautiful.  Thanks for sharing.

Hirm
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Hirm, but there are so many 100% homebrewn culinary delights in the US, real barbecue, pulled pork sandwiches, 12-hour brisket, a bowl of red - nothing to envy really!

  • #27
  • Comment by Shiladitya
  • on: 11/03/2009

Thanks once again Francois !

Kudos for yet another superb article that reports first hand
on a very quintessentially British (though sadly declining in popularity) gastronomic ritual .
Keep up the good work , as always !!
  • FX's answer→ Thanks, I am glad you liked it!

  • #29
  • Comment by lindsey
  • on: 11/03/2009
Love the photography with this one. I'm so glad you grabbed what you did before the headwaitress issued her apology.

I am always happy to eat moist homemade biscuits (U.S. biscuits, rather like scones, really) with strawberry jam along side my black tea. The Brits reading will cry sacrilege!
  • FX's answer→ Lindsey, oh yes in such places you'd better snap away with a wide lens, high ISO and no flash until they come stopping you. Curious how the British are slowly growing intolerant of photographers in public places - you'd think they assume every person with a camera is a perverted Taliban paparazzo. I suppose.

  • #31
  • Comment by Paul Mckenna
  • on: 11/03/2009
After the faux pas with the heart stopping clotted cream did you bring up soaking stilton cheese with good port wine ?

Lovely report of the ritual of afternoon tea. The cake stand. The teapot. The strainer.

Paul
  • FX's answer→ Well I have been told that Stilton with Port has now made it to the list of cultural faux pas too, it's all slowly sinking in!

  • #33
  • Comment by Nan
  • on: 11/03/2009
Hello Francois,

What fun!  Love High Tea in London whenever I visit.  I'll look up the Wolseley next visit. The pix are wonderful, as always.
Nan
  • FX's answer→ Thanks and hang on for the next articles - I have a whole London serie ready!

  • #35
  • Comment by JOhn Kessell
  • on: 11/03/2009
I have been eating cucumber sandwiches for about as long as I can remember and they are second only to cotton wool sandwiches in lack of taste! Whoever invented them must have been hard up for something to put between two bits of bread!  I do love the clotted cream and strawberry jam on a good scone though!
  • FX's answer→ John, I think the cucumber sandwich are lovely in their bland way, with the juicy cucumber contrasting with the buttered bread, a world of softness in your mouth. Sure many places use shit bread and crap butter, you can't really hide poor ingredients in such a simple concoction.

  • #37
  • Comment by Betty
  • on: 12/03/2009
I've had tea at the Wolseley and while the atmosphere is outstanding my tea was underwhelming also. Next time you're in London you've got to try The Orangery at Kensington Palace. It's exquisite, and their scones are exceptional.
  • FX's answer→ Ah yes Betty, I think black tea served in a restaurant, for the true tea lover, is very rarely overwhelming. But the decor! The company! The thrill of the experience straight out of a 19th century play - all this trumps the taste.

  • #39
  • Comment by Heather
  • on: 12/03/2009
Yes- I have been to the Wolseley too - just the once - for lunch back in January 2008. I was blown away by the ambience of the place.
Incidentally, scones HAVE taken off in other parts of the world. In Austrlia we bake and eat them regularly. They are always listed as "Devonshire Tea" in most good coffee shops and cafes. Queensland, the state where I come from, is famous for its Pumpkin Scones.
Brilliant article!
  • FX's answer→ Heather, I am intrigued by the Queen's Land Pumpkin Scones, they must be less dry than those I had. Lunch at the Wolseley must be quite good from what Sir Hugh said!

  • #41
  • Comment by Ouroboros
  • on: 12/03/2009
Good to see you back at full force, FX!  I was wondering if you had just thrown down your cameras and passport and said, "To hell with it!"

All in all, good article.  I have a problem wrapping my head around the whole English 'tea' ritual, as it strikes me as a bit of an old aristocratic and imperial holdover from times long gone.  It's pretty and elegant (in this case), but ultimately unnecessary, in my humble opinion.  But, to each their own, of course.  

Just wanted to chime in on your triumphant return!

O
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Ouro, well for a while I did put down (delicately) my stills camera to concentrate on the video camera, but now I'm back with both. The English tea is a meal, a social occasion, a tourist sight, an institution and a chance to have some fun in a spectacular setting. It's important to see this from several angles, at the end of the day it can mean what you put in it.

  • #43
  • Comment by babyg
  • on: 12/03/2009
I do miss having scones! They're pretty big in Australia, you can get them at any cafe or bakery, often served as devonshire tea, with tea or coffee. I'm struggling to find similar in the USA! They have biscuits, but usually I've only had them with some sort of southern cuisine. Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places? I'm craving a good scone!
  • FX's answer→ Scones - well we are sort of spoilt with pastries of a higher order here, the scone, to one used to French pastries, is a bit dry and boring. But don't repeat this!

  • #45
  • Comment by Melit
  • on: 12/03/2009
    Greetings from California!!Hi Mr.FX,thank heavens I stumbled upon your lovely,interesting and educational site.Your photography is also impressive and stories funny.
   For sure,I will be sleeping late to read your archive
and try your recipes.
   Thank you very much for sharing.
   God Bless!!!
  • FX's answer→ Thank you!

  • #47
  • Comment by parshu.narayanan
  • on: 12/03/2009
I've read countless Enid Blytons in my schooldays and have always wondered what the scones the Famous Five and others ate looked like - it's a lovely photo essay - PG Wodehouse meets Enid Blyton.
  • FX's answer→ Yes I also read those novels at school, told my teacher once that they were a bit repetitive though! I also visited three of the top Indian restaurants in the capital (Tamarind, Veraswami and the Cinnamon Club) but no pictures since restaurant reviews rarely make for a good article unless the restaurant is particularly bad!

  • #49
  • Comment by Meramarina
  • on: 12/03/2009
Keeping company with the créme de la créme, are you now - a stealth photographer, no less, and yet, somehow, still cool as a cucumber?  Thus does the Great Reader Rebellion of 2009 come to an end . . . or are you just TEAsing us?
  • FX's answer→ Yes, FX the pap is not around the corner just yet but the Rebellion had to be dealt with in the harshest possible way - two articles in two days, unheard of until now!

  • #51
  • Comment by Cez
  • on: 12/03/2009
Those are the most beautiful scones I have ever seen! Thanks for sharing!
  • FX's answer→ And they were warm, hence the silverware on top!

  • #53
  • Comment by chef4cook
  • on: 12/03/2009
Bloody interesting article Francois! Thanks again for the insight.
  • FX's answer→ Wasn't this an interesting insight into that institution as it lives on today? Glad you enjoyed it!

  • #55
  • Comment by Deborah
  • on: 12/03/2009
What a pretty lady. She looks like a lot of fun, too. I love the Wolseley...
  • FX's answer→ And she is a lot of fun! I really want to go back for lunch, such a grand place and soooo much less stuffy than the Ritz next door.

  • #57
  • Comment by Annie Nielsen
  • on: 12/03/2009
Oh, Francois

The tea looks delicious!  My first afternoon tea was at the Ritz Hotel.  It was a special treat on my budget London trip with my best friend.  It was total worth the GBP 30 that we each paid.  In my humble opinion, the Ritz Tea has the best strawberry jam in the world and I have yet to find a brand that is comparable.

We're (me & the husband this time) off to London at the end of April and we're going to have afternoon tea at The Berkeley.  Can't wait.  How was the weather during your trip?
  • FX's answer→ Annie, this must have been quite an experience - memorable! For us guys it's a bit difficult as most people do not travel with a suit and one is needed for the Ritz. Weather was great, better than Switzerland in fact!

  • #59
  • Comment by Johanne
  • on: 12/03/2009
It always makes me smile when I see tea enjoyed with all the bourgeois garnishes of upper class society. The sandwiches, the little desserts and the scones of course are all so wonderful! I'm no Anglophile, but I am in love with 'tea parties' as it were. Happy to see some pictures from a place so elusive, thanks!
  • FX's answer→ Yes I agree, now the type of pastries served for tea in posh places in London are pretty much set, scones, sandwiches, etc... but at home you could make all sorts of other pastries closer to current tastes.

  • #61
  • Comment by Sally Paulson
  • on: 12/03/2009
Loved the pictures etc. about tea with Sir Hugh and wife.  Tea  --  hot and poured from a silver teapot into a 'frail' china cup(with saucer, please) is just the best treat of all.  
  • FX's answer→ Thanks and glad you liked the tableware too!

  • #63
  • Comment by James
  • on: 13/03/2009
Love your site FX, I've only come across it recently, but you have some very interesting and informative articles and superb photos.  I lived and worked near Sakai for a year and seeing your knife article brought it all back to me.

Glad to see you over here in England, I have to say that the Wolseley was a great choice to sample the traditional English afternoon tea; only surpassed (in my humble opinion) by the experience at Reid's Palace hotel in Funchal, Madeira.  The Orange Pekoe tea was fantastic, the cakes, scones and sandwiches (cucumber included of course) delicious, though my clotted cream portion didn't have any of the crust with it.

One thing I should mention is that it wasn't a Barclays bank before it became the Wolseley in 2003.  Previous to that it was a restauarnt called China House, an over-priced, uninspiring chinese venue.
  • FX's answer→ James I would love to visit Madeira, and if I ever do I'll make sure to include a visit to Reid's Palace! As for the Wolseley, I can confirm it was a Barclay's bank *after* being a car showroom, but I didn't know that it became a Chinese restaurants ont he way to becoming "The Wolseley".

  • #65
  • Comment by don siranni
  • on: 13/03/2009
Francois,thanks for taking me with you on yet another journey.Whenever you start to get in clever mood,I see I need to reread the article several times to catch it all.Photos,as always need to be studied to fully appreciate-as art for commoners.
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Don, sometimes I can only grab a couple snapshots in available light so I have to improve the package with more text. More on this later!

  • #67
  • Comment by alysO
  • on: 13/03/2009
"The top tray is garnished with warm scones, a rather good British pastry that never really took on abroad"

Certainly a staple in all of the parts of Canada that I have lived. And, very good with a wide variety of jams and jellies ... and clotted cream.
:-)
  • FX's answer→ Alys, I meant this tongue-in-cheekly to indicate that these were (in my eyes!) one of those foods that are popular in a country for cultural and historical reasons but that really don't have much for themselves culinary wise.

  • #69
  • Comment by Donna Young
  • on: 13/03/2009
Francois, that tea looked so delicious (and rather than pompous, looked like a jolly, good time)! I wish I was there, alas, and in order to console myself, I may have to go to tea at the St. Regis Hotel (Astor Court) in New York City. Their tea is quite amazing too (sometimes including some lovely notes from a harpist or a classical guitarist). All best, Donna
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Donna, indeed sometimes these teas are really stuffy and the whole thing feels like the Egyptian Mummy room at the British Museum, and this one was especially enjoyable since it was anything but stuffy!

  • #71
  • Comment by Rosa
  • on: 13/03/2009
How glorious but if the tea was under done it can be ghastly. In NZ I often make Pumkin and date scones they are truly yummy. Love your articles. Rosa
  • FX's answer→ Thanks, yes teas that come in tea pots witout a mesh or sock inside always become oversteeped in the later cups - there is no escaping that!

  • #73
  • Comment by lapin-rouge
  • on: 13/03/2009
Very, very fine article - you have captured the escence of Britishness & are well on the way to becoming an honory Englishman yourself!

I look forward to your next step (perhaps the opposite end of British culture) - the Pub ?

Cheers!
  • FX's answer→ Lapin rouge, you read my mind, next week will be an article about the pub!

  • #75
  • Comment by Free
  • on: 14/03/2009
This reminds me of Agatha Christie  (Hotel bertram) so British!
  • FX's answer→ Yes it does!

  • #77
  • Comment by Lyra
  • on: 15/03/2009
"a posh S&M club" eh FX? I like your style:) I'm sorry you ended up with bland tea! The best I ever had was in Darjeeling itself, at a tea merchant's shop. If I was food blogging then it would have made a great post!
  • FX's answer→ Oh but I have all the tea in China at home, rarely every drink tea outside of my home since it's never reall as good. Someday I'll tell you all about it in an article!

Looks like you had a great time in London Francois! I hope you made it to my favourite restaurant, Simpsons on the Strand (downstairs for the best Roast Beef!)
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Mike, yes a lovely time I had! No time for roast beef though, I only ate Indian.

  • #81
  • Comment by Mami
  • on: 16/03/2009
So, you were in London last week.  Lovely article on traditional afternoon tea.  Wolseley is a good restaurant and I always enjoy having meals there.   Afternoon tea is something I haven't had a chance to try it - kind of thing, you need to have time to enjoy.  I must try one afternoon before I leave London!  where else did you dine at while your stay in London?!
  • FX's answer→ Mami, I visited Tamarind, Veraswami and the Cinnamon Club, three of the finest Indian restaurants in town. My fave is Tamarind.

  • #83
  • Comment by Laura D.
  • on: 17/03/2009
Scones are widely available in, well, my part of the U.S. anyway (Chicago).  Some are good, some are really horrible, but they're quite easy to make, so I usually eat them only at home.  That way I can be sure they'll be the best.  I do need a source for good real (not UHT) clotted cream though.

To Ouro: saying English tea is unnecessary is like saying the backyard barbecue is unnecessary, or cookies at Christmas are unnecessary...you could just eat gruel every day alone in your cell, too, but what kind of life would that be?

Francois, taking photographs in public has become something of a no-no here in Chicago, too.  I want to believe that it's low-rung officials exerting their petty power, but it's widespread from retail shops to public libraries to train stations that my husband and I are told photos are not allowed. Hmph!

Finally--could you ask for a better photographic subject than Lady Gaynor?  Her expressions are fantastic, and she's so obviously full of life.  I'd love to have tea with her.
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Laura, we are on the same page I think! I've had many run-ins with shopkeepers when taking pictures, sometimes they can be really rude. One told me once in Paris, 'I could call the poooolice and they'll come and confiscate your camera', to which he received a snappy 'You go to that'. Some people are just silly.

  • #85
  • Comment by James
  • on: 19/03/2009
Maybe you should try this Earl Grey Bravo from Adagio tea, adagio.com

Tried many brands of Earl Grey and was very disappointed till I found this from Adagio...

As always, love your photographs and sense of humor.
  • FX's answer→ As Earl Grey go I like Rè di Sicilia made with essence of Sicilian bergamot. Rather good, for a perfumed tea that is.

  • #87
  • Comment by julia pantax
  • on: 20/03/2009
Good morning
Ireally enjoy your recipes and travels around the world but this time there was a big mistake u made with the British Lord, the Elgin marbles is a trick of the British to hold still the Parthenon Marbles of the stolen treausures by  the British Lord Elgin who paid the Turkish occupiers to steal the heritage of Greek eople.

Thank you for listening and u check the thousand of European people who support the return of the stolen tresures by the British including the Parthenon Marbles.

Best Rgds
Julia
  • FX's answer→ Well Julia this one "Lord" would argue that English cultural treasures are mostly in American museums nowadays. But I understand the way you feel!

  • #89
  • Comment by Joe Marfice
  • on: 03/04/2009
British scones are a lovely pastry, I'll agree. When they are made in America, they are invariably sweetened to the point of being merely dried-out small cakes.

English "dessert": cheeses, (unsweetened) clotted creams
American dessert: cheesecake with chocolate, super-sweetened fake "whipped cream"

I miss English restaurants.
  • FX's answer→ Yes these are one of these pastries that can be delightful when served fresh and perfectly made, or horrible if not!

  • #91
  • Comment by quinn
  • on: 05/04/2009
I thought the image of the fragmented marbles was meant to convey the chaos that ensues when one declines the clotted cream...

So glad I discovered your site today!

  • FX's answer→ Oh no, there is much more to it. Why would I mention these particular marbles in an article about tea? Hmmm - perhaps a roman à clé? So far nobody found the key I'm afraid.

  • #93
  • Comment by Lin
  • on: 08/09/2009
Excellent! Merci pour cet article plein d'humour et délicieux a lire!
  • #94
  • Comment by Jenna
  • on: 11/12/2009
I've just discovered your blog (goggled up terrine de foie gras recipes, and your video came up as one of the sites).  I adore High Tea, and your article has made me decide that I must do High Tea at the Wolesley during this holiday season.  I'm another scone lover who thinks they are pure bliss (when they are good - there are, unfortunately, too many horrors which call themselves scones which give true English scones a very bad name).

Love your humour and passion, and I will eagerly follow this blog in the future.

Incidently, Lady Sir Hugh is a stunning, stylish, and elegant woman and now my ideal of what I'd like to look like at her age!
  • FX's answer→ Hello Jenna, glad you liked my piece. I passed on your comments to Lady Gaynor and she says you are too good, it was my camera that was flattering. She is like this!

  • #96
  • Comment by John Pellino
  • on: 15/12/2009
That mouths-agape-"clotted cream" look was much like the look I got in Edinburgh when I asked my host for scotch on the rocks.  
  • FX's answer→ Yes, asking for a scotch on the rocks in Edinburgh is a good way to get deep fried!

  • #98
  • Comment by Joseph
  • on: 17/07/2010
I love afternoon tea; the Savoy is a good place for it.  In more modest tea shops on may order "cream tea", which brings it down to the essentials; tea, scones, clotted cream, and good jam.  I also love estate teas, which I learned about in Germany, not the U.K.  Why does the grand and useless English tea ceremony never include outstanding tea?  Are they afraid it will overshadow the cucumber sandwiches?
  • FX's answer→ Yes it is quite a surprise how little known the really fine teas are in England, when you think that the English brought tea to India.

I love tea! It is healthy and really calms me down. This is one of my fave things to purchase in a vending machine!
Thank you so much for this. Really enjoyed the article :)
  • #102
  • Comment by maria
  • on: 23/10/2010
salut je cherche la recette des bricelets, auriez-vous en une ? je peux aussi vous aider avec la tradu des recettes du français vers l'espagnol.

salutations et félicitations
Ma.Elena
Traductrice
  • #103
  • Comment by Kalliopi
  • on: 29/03/2011
Dear FX, I miss you very much. Why have you disappeared? Hope you are doing well.
  • #104
  • Comment by Degree Jungle
  • on: 22/06/2011
Always interesting to learn more about British high culture. Great photography and expressions. Looks pretty yummy too.

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