Today marks nine years since I began My Island Bistro Kitchen food blog. Regular followers of my food blog and social media channels will know of my love for anything and everything to do with afternoon tea! So, it would only seem fitting that my focus for celebrating this milestone would be a celebratory afternoon tea. Of course, in my case, it’s any reason at all to enjoy afternoon tea!
I am using my Royal Albert “Lavender Rose” fine bone china for the occasion. The linen I have selected is a tablecloth that I hand-embroidered many years ago. It was done to match the dinnerware.
The pretty pink tulips that grace my tea table today were grown locally here in PEI by Vanco Farms. You can read about my visit to the Vanco greenhouses here. While Vanco Farms no longer operate their retail outlet at their greenhouse facility, their lovely tulips are widely available during the winter and spring through local retailers. Mine came from Riverview Country Market in Charlottetown.
A hot spot of tea never goes astray and I have often heard it said that tea is soothing to the soul and I believe that to be true. My choice of tea today is the English Breakfast blend from the English Tea Shop.
I think tea always tastes so much better when sipped from a fine bone china teacup. Over the past while, I have been photographing each of the china teacups in my collection. While I don’t use my formal Royal Albert china every day, I do select a teacup from my collection for my daily tea time in the early afternoon. I think the teacups are just far too pretty not to be used and enjoyed daily. Anyone wishing to see my china teacup collection can find it on my Instagram gallery.
Curious to know what is on my three-tier server for teatime today? Take a peek!
Today, my afternoon tea consists of three courses. Teatime fare is enjoyed by starting with the food on the bottom plate first, followed by the offerings on the middle plate, and ending with the sweets found on the top tier. That is to say that the first course for teatime is the savory or sandwich course, followed by the scone course, and finishing with the sweets course.
Today’s sandwiches are the classic egg salad and the perennial teatime favorite, traditional cucumber.
Teatime sandwiches are always dainty and never have crusts. The bread is characteristically sliced quite thin. The sandwiches are typically cut into small triangles or into finger lengths as I have done here.
For the scone course, I have selected my Currant and Orange Scones. Scones are served freshly made and still ever-so-slightly warm from the oven. That is why they are often served tucked inside a napkin. This helps to keep them warm while the sandwich course is being enjoyed.
Scones are typically served with clotted cream (or Devonshire Double Cream), a jam of choice, and quite often, a curd. Traditionally, it would be lemon curd that would accompany scones for teatime but, today, I am serving my homemade Clementine Curd alongside the clotted cream and my homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam. The Clementine Curd is lovely paired with the Currant Scones that have a citrus note.
And, what would an afternoon tea be without a sweet ending! Starting at the top of the plate in the photo below, the square with the light icing is Cranberry Shortbread Square. The square with the pink icing is the Decadent Dream Square. The jewel-toned cake is my Gluten-Free Light Fruitcake. At the bottom of the plate are Scotch Cookies with Frypan Cookie Balls in the center.
I always think my teacups and teapots are far too pretty to store away, unseen. I will often use them in displays, particularly on my dining room mantle as I have done today for teatime to commemorate my nine years of food blogging.
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