Spill the Tea: Tea Elle C Garden Cafè Review

So I have been wanting to do this for a while, a looong time! It’s been on my to-do list to incorporate tea shops and tea places reviews, but I just haven’t had the time. It seems I have a thousand different things I want to write and review and just no time to do them all.

So I ended up telling myself that when my tea photos popped up on my “on this day” part of Instagram or timeline it would be time to actually start reviewing them.

Last September, I had to go to Los Angeles to visit with my grandfather who was seriously declining. It was a good visit, and while we were in L. A., I suggested to my mom that we should try a high tea place before we left. She agreed, as long as it wasn’t far out of our way. Right before we headed back home, we stopped at Tea Elle C Garden Cafe.

Tea Elle C is located in Santa Clarita, CA and the idea of it is based on when the Dutch would serve portable teas outside in the garden. This tradition spread from Holland to England as both ladies and gentlemen enjoyed it. The tea garden allowed women and men to socialize “alone”, as since they were in an open public space, they were in no need of a chaperone. Tea gardens were also open to people of all classes.

Because of COVID-19, we weren’t able to eat inside, which was a shame as if looked super cute and they also sold loose leaf tea for purchase and other tea items. But we were unable to browse as we were quickly shuffled through the resturant coming in and going out. I did snap this picture quickly of the inside.

I so wanted to sit inside!

To be compliant with the COVID-19 policies of the time we were seated outside in the garden. The garden was extremely beautiful, full of twinkly lights and tea decorations. I wish I had taken a picture of it, but unfortunately I didn’t.

One of the nice things about this tea place was that it blended a regular cafe menu with high tea being offered all day. So if you have one person who loves High Tea but their partner isn’t in to it-or if one of you wants high tea and the other wants regular cafe food; this is a perfect compromise and a place you both will love. I of course wanted High Tea while my mother wanted a regular breakfast. She ordered a delicious Paris Tea and a Benedict breakfast bowl: a sourdough bowl filled with hash browns, Canadian Bacon, two-over easy eggs, and topped with hollandaise sauce. She loved her food and couldn’t stop raving about it.

I, of course, ordered the high tea (that being the reason I wanted to stop there) and was given a choice of six finger sandwiches (you choose two flavors), your choice of one scone, three desserts, and either one two-Cup teapot or a half carafe.

They offer many choices and I decided on a: Cranberry scone; a cucumber and herbed cream cheese, and a pesto & turkey sandwich . For desserts they gave you whatever they chose to serve and I had a lemon bar, and another crumbly dessert on top. And I, of course, had Earl Grey tea.

Everything was amazing, and it was a good amount of food for a good price. Sometimes high tea places will serve you too much food, or too little, but this was just the right amount for me.

Cranberry Scone

If I were to make a complaint, the only thing I would change would be that they did not offer an endless pot of tea, which a lot of places do (and I love), but each pot or carafe were separate orders. I would have liked an endless pot of tea, but my two cups were the perfect amount as most bathrooms were not open at the time I visited (including the resturant and most gas stations.)

This place was a win and I would most definitely go back again. If you are in the Santa Clarita area, I highly recommend that you drop by.

For more tea posts, go to Marmalade Rolls

The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club: Lavender and Earl Grey Scones

So every Wednesday, starting in October, I have been a part of a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club on The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. This is different from my book club and the Book Club Picks I have been reviewing (and desperately need to catch up on). The first week we had Cederberg Tea Company Rooibos + Ginger Tea, Cranberry-Spice Scones with Maple Cream, Tea Time Magazine’s Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches, Cucumber-Four Peppercorn Goat Cheese Canapés, Fotina & Pork Puffed Pastry, and Mini Apple Pies.

The second week we had Chami Spice Ginger Plum Tea, Dark Chocolate Ginger Scones, Curried Egg Salad Triple Stacks Sandwiches, Turkey-Apple Tea Sandwiches, Fotina Flower Puffed Pastry, and Lemon Gingerbread Cake.

The third week we had Organic India Tulsi Masala Chai Tea, Parmesan and Chive Scones, Cucumber Aioli Canapés, Ham, Cheddar, and Apple Tea Sandwiches, Cranberry, Brie, and Rosemary Bites, and Mini Pumpkin Crème Brûlée.

And now to the fourth week. This week we had Tiesta Tea Victorian Earl Grey, Lavender and Earl Grey Scones, Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Pinwheels, Hummus Tomato Salad, and Triple Berry Salad.

I couldn’t share the recipes in October as I was in the middle of Horrorfst IX, so I am catching up and of course we always start with scones.

This comes from Flour Covered Apron.

And something yummy to eat with it. 🙂

Ingredients for Earl Grey Lavender Scones:

  • 2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 3 Tea Bags of Earl Grey Tea Blend or ~3 Teaspoons of Loose Leaf Earl Grey Tea
  • 1/2 Cup of Butter, Frozen
  • 1/2 Cup of Whipping Cream
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Ingredients for Earl Grey Lavender Glaze:

  • 1.5 Teaspoons Culinary Lavender, plus more for garnishing
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk
  • 2 Tea Bags or 2 Tsps of Loose Leaf Earl Grey
  • 1 1/4 Powdered Sugar

Directions for Scones:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Open the 3 tea bags and empty the ground tea leaves directly into the flour mixture-whisk to combine. If using loose leaf tea, grind it down so that it is smaller.
  4. Grate the frozen butter and cut it into the flour mixture, using the pastry cutter until incorporated and the mixture has the texture of fine crumbs.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream, egg, and vanilla extract.
  6. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, then mix together.
  7. Once completely combined, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it comes together.
  8. Shape the dough into a disc about 8 in in diameter.
  9. Slice into 8 wedges.
  10. Place the wedges about 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet.
  11. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-22 mins, or until scones are tall and golden brown.
  12. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Directions for Glaze:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the milk and lavender to a simmer.
  2. Remove from heat, then steep the two bags of Earl Grey teabags or loose leaf tea for about 7 mins.
  3. Using a small sieve, or infuser, strain the mixture and discard the lavender.
  4. Measure 1/4 cup of the steeped milk.
  5. Pour into a small bowl and whisk together with the powdered sugar. For a thicker glaze, add more powdered sugar until desired consistency and sweetness are reached.
  6. Once scones are cool, drizzle with glaze and sprinkle with lavender.

These were extremely delicious, espechially as my sister dried the lavender fresh from our garden. Everyone could not get enough of them.

For more from The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club, go to Mini Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

For more recipes, go to Cranberry, Brie, and Rosemary Bites

For more Earl Grey Tea recipes, go to Lavender Earl Grey Tea Shortbread Cookies

For more scones, go to Parmesan and Chive Scones

For more tea posts, go to How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea

Mystery Blogger Award

Mystery, you say?

So the other day I was going through comments when I saw a ding from another blog, Audra’s Book BlabbingI clicked on it and saw that she nominated me for The Mystery Blogger Award!

You picked me!

Thank you! Thank you for thinking and choosing me!

So What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

“The Mystery Blogger is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.”

Aw, you think that about me?!!

I am so, so, so honored!

Again, thank you for picking me.

Rules:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog ✔
  • List the rules. ✔
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog. ✔
  • Mention the creator of the award (Okoto Enigma) ✔
  • List three facts about yourself and answer the questions given by the person who tagged you.
  • Nominate up to 20 people.
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice.
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

Three Facts About Me:

Fact 1: I’m biracial

Fact 2: I’ve never broken a bone, had a bee sting, or the chicken pox

Fact 3: I can’t braid my hair unless my eyes are closed

Questions from Audra:

What’s one question you have never found an answer to?

Why don’t more people love Northanger Abbey? Why is is so ignored. It has a fun relatable main character, an amazingly awesome and unpretentious romantic hero, a mysterious abbey, great commentary on society, etc. It is so fun why isn’t it more loved?

Cold or hot? Why?

Cold. I love fall and winter, wearing sweaters, warm blankets, drinking hot tea, eating soup, etc. I hate the heat. If I could-I would hibernate all summer and awaken in the fall for my favorite season.

What is your favorite warm drink?

Tea! I LOVE tea, Earl Grey being my favorite. I drink it throughout the day-whether it is cold or hot I have to have my cup.

What is one book you will never read and why?

Probably Lolita. Why would I want to read a book about a pedophile abusing his stepdaughter?

How are you?

I’m doing relatively good. I have my job, family, I still see some friends-although I’m missing those who live farther away. Mostly I’m having cabin fever as I want to go other places, espechially when I see memories on Facebook of things I was doing years earlier. I may be ordered to shelter in place but:

I Nominate:

 

My Questions for You:

  1. What is something you’ve accomplished that you feel proud of (big or small)
  2. What is one of the best gifts you have ever received?
  3. Which Jane Austen character do you love, and why?
  4. What book turned movie do you love?
  5. If you could go anywhere (real or fictional) where would you travel to?

Hmmm…

My Best Posts:

It is really hard to choose the “best”, so I’m going to randomly pick some:

 

And again, thank you Audra for nominating me. I am deeply and truly honored!

For more from Audra’s Book Blabbing, go to Shame Book Tag

Lavender Earl Grey Tea Shortbread Cookies

So last month my friends and I were supposed to meet up for high tea, but then COVID-19 happened and screwed up all our plans.

So we decided to throw a virtual tea party.

We each set up a space with snacks and tea, I drank Earl Grey Tea and made Cucumber Sandwiches to snack on. When it came to the sweets, I was going to make one thing, but then decided now was the time to try and make something I have wanted to for a long time, Earl Grey Cookies. You all know how much I love Earl Grey Tea:

I have always wanted to make Earl Grey Cookies, I have a ton of pins of them on my pinterest board.

Thats me

The only issue is that you have to chill them for a while before baking and I just haven’t had the time to bake, let alone bake something that had to be chilled first. But with quarantine, I have both the time and the ingredients. This recipe originally comes from Let’s Eat Cake.

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 Cups of Flour
  • 3/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of Lavender Earl Grey Loose Leaf Tea
  • 1/2 Tsp of Salt
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1.5 Cups of Unsalted Butter

Directions:

  1. Pulse flour, sugar, tea, and salt together for one minute in a bowl or food processor.
  2. Add butter and vanilla extract.
  3. Pulse until shaggy dough is formed, about two mins.
  4. Remove blade and transfer dough to a working surface.
  5. Work dough until it comes together and shape it into two discs.
  6. Place each disc on parchment paper and transfer to refrigerator for 30 mins.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  9. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out cookies using a 1 inch wide cookie cutter.
  10. Transfer cookies to baking sheet.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are a light golden brown.

So these cookies were good, but after they had been chilled they were so difficult to scoop out, like they were a rock. I had to use a spoon and chisel the dough, making the cookies extremely tiny. Tiny cookies weren’t all that bad as it let me eat more of them.

I ended up overdoing it though. I drank like 16 cups of tea and I don’t know how many cookies and had a hard time falling asleep.

For more recipes, go to Cucumber Sandwiches

For more tea posts, go to NovelTea Tins’ Romance Sampler

For more cookies, go to Ginger Cardamom Meyer Lemon Crinkle Cookies

For more shortbread cookie recipes, go to Basic Shortbread

For more Earl Grey Tea, go to Iced Blackberry Infused Earl Grey Tea

In other news, this week I am going on vacation.

I know, crazy right? A whole week? I had all these plans to spend the time with my niece doing all kinds of things but now it sounds like it will be a staycation. Oh well.

I’ll be on instagram still but I won’t be doing any posting on my blog.

GOOD!

Cucumber Sandwiches

So last month my friends and I were supposed to meet up for high tea, as this is something we have been trying to do about every three months to stay connected as it is seems to get harder the older you get.

We had the date and reservations at this amazing historic tea place, but then COVID-19 happened.

So we decided to do our own tea party, a virtual tea party.

We each set up a space with snacks and tea, I drank Earl Grey Tea of course.

I decided to make a new type of Cucumber Sandwiches and Earl Grey Tea Cookies. Both of which were extremely delicious, and I decided to share them with you here, starting with the cucumber sandwiches, which originally come from Spend With Pennies.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise
  • 2 Teaspoons of Chopped Fresh Dill
  • 1 Teaspoon of Chopped Fresh Chives
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Long English Cucumber, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Loaf of Bread, Crusts Removed

Directions:

  1. Mix cream cheese and mayonnaise in a small bowl with a hand mixer, until smooth.
  2. Stir in herbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cut crusts off bread slices.
  4. Spread bread slices with cream cheese mixture.
  5. Thinly slice cucumbers, layer over half of the bread slices.
  6. Top with additional herbs, if desired.
  7. Top with remaining bread slice and cut each sandwich into three pieces.

These were delicious! I’m glad I was the only one eating them as I wanted to eat them all!

 

For more recipes, go to Lemon Curd

For more tea sandwich recipes, go to Basic Chicken Salad

For more tea party recipes, go to Scottish Oat Scones