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An Olympic-Sized Blog

Celebrate the Olympics with a spot of tea!

Catherine Felegi is the founder and author of the blog Tea Love, a blog dedicated to all things tea-related. You can find this post and others on her page, http://cafelegi.wordpress.com/.

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The Summer Olympics started on July 27th in London. A show of strength, agility and general sportsmanship as people compete to show the world how powerful their country truly is.

So, in honor of the Olympics being held in London, I am going to do a feature on tea party items there! I have posted in the past how to conduct your own British tea ceremony. Now, we will focus on the menu for an afternoon tea.

If you take a trip to the Ritz London, a member of the Tea Council's Tea Guild, you'll find 17 different loose teas to choose from!   Along with the tea, if you are willing to give a few extra dollars, you can get a glass of champagne to complement your meal.   The meal portion traditionally consists of light sandwiches made out of salmon, ham and cucumber.

How about a cucumber sandwich?   Beat together some unsalted butter, mint and lemon juice.   Season it with some salt and paprika until everything is nice, smooth and creamy.   Spread your concoction onto a slice of bread.   Slice a cucumber very thinly, salt it and place the slices in a colander to drain.   Throw two layers of your cucumbers onto the bread, seasoning it with some pepper along the way.   Add another slice of bread, trim off the crust and cut it however you would like for your party.   If you want to jazz up your presentation, put the sandwiches on a platter with mint sprigs and cucumbers for decoration.

Sometimes, it's nice to have something a bit meatier.   How about a traditional ham sandwich?   Cream together some butter, slices scallions and mustard in a bowl.   Make sure to sample this and add salt and pepper to taste.   Butter your bread and add thinly sliced ham and sprinkle some parmigiana cheese on top.   Put your other slice of bread on top, cut it how you want and jazz it up with some sprigs of watercress.

The reason for the lightness of this particular meal is because it is usually served around 4:00 PM, usually too early for dinner but too late for lunch.   Imagine how bad it would be to have a heavy pot roast or mac and cheese with a light tea and to then also have your dinner to eat (at that rate, probably closer to 9:00, 10:00!).   So, light snacks with some tasty tea is perfect for this.

Not willing to travel to London for a spot of tea?   There are plenty of places you can travel to, including Ana Beall's Tea Room in Westfield, New Jersey, or some high tea places in Manhattan (also child-friendly ones).   If you're still searching around, you can make sure to visit some of the top tea houses in the world in honor of the Olympics.   

So sit back, watch some of the games and make sure that you enjoy some tea!   Maybe even drink one from each part of the world?


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Catherine Felegi August 02, 2012 at 10:13 AM
Sandra, thank you for the comment! I would love to hear more about your experiences with tea in Britain. My friends tell me I need to go over and drink tea to my heart's content :-)
Sandra Bolcar August 02, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Catherine, I lived here for many years but like to continue some of my British traditions for my family legacy. When I was a child, mother always said "tea is ready" (around 5) which is really a meal of sandwiches served after we would come home from school. "Supper" would be served at 7 p.m. when my father would come in and sometimes we did not eat with our parents if we were full from "tea." We would often have cheese and biscuits (crackers) later in the evening (now we know that's not so good for us). "Dinner" was served at noon at school which was a full meal of some kind of meat or fish and potatoes. Any English student from the 60's will remember how awful those school dinners were. My mother would pack salmon and cucumber sandwiches for me because I found those school meals so foul. I think English school menus have come along way now that Jamie Oliver is involved. As for weekends in a British household, the Sunday "joint" was dinner served early afternoon and consisted of a "joint" of beef, lamb or pork with "cracklin" on the pork which everybody loved. Beef drippings were kept in a can in the fridge to fry other foods with during the week such as eggs and fried bread, fried tomatoes and mushrooms--usually for an "English" breakfast. It made those foods extra tasty.
Sandra Bolcar August 02, 2012 at 02:37 PM
(cont) Leftover beef was usually ground up on Mondays (every British household owned a meat grinder vice which would be wedged on to the counter) to form a "rissole" (patty) and fried up in the pan along with left over pototoes and brussels sprouts mashed up to form a "bubble and squeak." Most of these things are now considered unhealthy fare, However, I still love to fry up tomatoes with fresh basil on fried bread on a Sunday morning but use olive oil instead of "beef dripping." Now you know why the Brits were known for their unhealthy diets and early deaths from hardening of the arteries. Britain today has a much healthier diet much like the U.S. I do miss those tasty foods though even though they are just a faint memory from my childhood in Wiltshire.
Lucy Cookman August 02, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I am British, been here a year...in Fact as a Yorkshire girl tea is drunk all the time I would always have at least 5 cups a day! Betty's tearooms in a particular favourite place in yorkshire that you should look up. A pot of tea and a fat rascal is one of there best options! Your describe so well Ham sandwiches and cucumber sandwiches- however scallions are only known as Spring onions in the Great Britain.... Enjoy your tea everyone and your little taste of Britain that you will be enjoying over the coming weeks.
Catherine Felegi August 04, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Sandra - Thank you so much for the insight! I might have to copy you one day and try some fried tomatoes. While I'm sure every day is unhealthy, every once in a while can't hurt :-) Lucy - Thank you very much! Having some tea as I type this, though it's matcha (not exactly British!). I hope you both are enjoying the Olympics! Feel free to stop by again :-)

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