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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tea Book of the Week: "The London Ritz Book of Afternoon Tea"


My mother-in-love sent me this book from London for my birthday and it's quickly become a favorite - or should that be 'favourite'?? First published in 1986, this particular edition (2006) celebrates The Ritz London's centenary.

This twee book is chock-full of stories from the past, tea quotations, tasty morsals of tea history, interesting sidebars such as "The Art of Buttering Crumpets and Muffins", charming line illustrations - and loads of recipes (in both metric/imperial AND cup measures).

The opening paragraph from the "English Cakes" chapter gives you a good idea of the flavor/flavour of the writing:

"In England it is possible to have your cake and eat it without being in turn consumed by guilt. This is because English cakes are plain, elegant and wholesome. They may be eaten not only at the tea table but also as part of lunch or at the end of dinner. Continental and American cakes are made to look positively wicked by comparison. English cakes are respectable."

The 2006 edition of "The London Ritz Book of Afternoon Tea" (as well as the original 1986 printing) by Helen Simpson can be purchased here.
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