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||Dear Nicey and Wifey|
I'm not sure whether your excellent website covers the topic of Tea Shoppes, but as you are connoisseurs of all things tea related and must on occasions travel about the countryside and find yourselves in desperate need of a cup of tea, I thought you might be interested in our experience in a Tea Shoppe in Shaftesbury, Dorset. We were in the town on Saturday following an ebay run to collect a nice pine wall mounted dresser top and, badly in need of refreshment, we spotted an idyllic looking Tea Shoppe which should remain nameless but can be found in close proximity to the Sherlock Holmes Dolls House and Miniatures Emporium. On enquiring if we could partake of tea, we were informed that they were only doing 'tea and cake' as obviously they didn't want riff raff in who would just order one cuppa and sit there cluttering the place up all afternoon. Which was fine as what we wanted to order was a cream tea plus cake. They did a cream tea with one scone or a cream tea with two scones, so we thought we would order a cream tea with two scones, share the scones and then share a piece of cake. BUT I made the mistake of mentioning the sharing bit at which point the lady in charge rather frostily pointed out their 'sharing policy'. They had little notices on the table saying that their prices were according to portions and if you shared they would add on 25%. This seemed such a bizarre notion that we asked for further clarification. She just repeated 'our sharing policy is as explained on your table'. Rather than quiz her further on whether they had an 'I can't finish all this, will you have some of it?' policy, it seemed easier to settle for the cream tea with one scone and abandon the idea of sharing altogether, but then there was the question of the cake. I can never eat a whole piece, so asked Hubby which we should have, but then I remembered the 'sharing policy' and panicked. Meanwhile the lady was sighing. rolling her eyes and tapping her pencil very loudly on the pad, so I just chose at random. When it came we had to wait until she left the room to share the one scone and cake in case we incurred the additional 25%. Now I can understand a policy of 'Set Teas Only' at busy times, which I believe they apply in the excellent Polly Tea Rooms in Marlborough, or a policy of charging for extra scones, but I find it hard to understand a 25% penalty for sharing. Surely once you have purchased the tea, scones and cake, how you divide it up is a matter for the individual. I think this lady is worthy of a Basil Fawlty Award for Customer Service, although she did do herself out of a couple of quid by not letting us have the cream tea with two scones to share.
Forgive me for boring you with this tale but I do believe this sharing policy needs to be put to the test- possibly by Michael Winner, although he would probably not be inclined to share his scones and cake anyway.
Thank you for your lovely website.
|Nicey replies: Gripping stuff Barbara, and I understand your pain of random cake choice under pressure. It is best to get these things off your chest, otherwise the resentment could lead to to some nasty scene years later, such as the wilful taking any unused little pots of jam.|
I was rather hoping you could offer some advice.
My lovely girlfriend and I are going to the Far East for 6 months soon and, although they do have some wonderful varieties of Tea over there, I am concerned that we may find ourselves longing for that Great British Taste at some point or other.
Now, as Tea Bags and their packaging are liable to splitting when put under continued stress, do you know of any practical, yet classy method of transporting Tea Bags. I am always aware that I am travelling in an almost Ambassadorial role when it comes to the Great British Taste so presentation is also of the utmost import whilst abroad.
Many thanks in advance for your help and, of course, for the pleasurable moments spent in front of nicecupofteaandasitdown.
|Nicey replies: You are very wise to plan ahead like this. Wifey just returned from a short girls trip to Florence with marathon running Bezzer, and she forgot the tea bags (it normally falls to me to remember them). After four days of Liptons Yellow Label she returned home late Monday night in a quite scary tea frenzy.
I find those re-sealable sandwich bags do a good job. Providing you don't put too many tea bags in them (60-80) then they can be easily packed inside other things and act like tea flavoured flow wrap. The space inside of shoes is very appealing but you might want to double bag them for that.
Also six months is a long time, so you'll need to develop sensible techniques to maximise the longevity of your stash. I would suggest that you certainly look at our preferred two cups from one bag method, or the use of a small pot. Finally you might want to to get some more sent to you, or preceding your arrival. If your employer is sympathetic to your needs then maybe you can have some sent to a regional office by your colleagues back home. The setting of supply dumps are the sorts of techniques used by explorers, mountaineers and advancing armies to ensure vital supplies are in place.
McVities Milk Chocolate Digestive Review
|Dear Nicey and Wifey,|
I am new to your website, but i'm glad i was directed to it by my obvioulsly in the know brother.
I have what i consider a problem. My job often becomes boring and to break the day up, i do enjoy a nice cup of tea, as i spend all day sitting down i cannot experience that part of the process, but i have taken to standing to drink my cups of splosh (i am aware you will find this unacceptable and i shall punish myself accordingly).
Anyway my problem:
I seem to be consuming large amounts of tea (in mug form) and am becoming concerned as to the effects this will have upon me. It's just the tea making process is worked on a rota type basis each person taking their 'turn' to make for the rest of us etc, but some peoples tea skills seem to be poor at best. One lady must leave or squeeze the bag (not PG) until it can take no more as when it arrives to quench my thirst it seems to be orange almost glowing in a David Dickinson kind of fashion. This i find unacceptable and undrinkable i have attempted to drink this stew and the result of it was me needing to rehydrate my self with 2 pints of water. Is this harming me. Should i try and get this lady the sack just to stop her inflicting pain on us. Whats more as if this wasn't enough i'm the only one to buy biscuits (choc digestives) oh yeah they all like eating them. I feel my good nature is being taken for granted and these halflings with impaired taste should be removed from my day to day life. So i guess the question is are these people harming me, do i have a case?
Hope you can help
|Nicey replies: Mr Rew,
These are common problems faced by most office workers. The problem is the basic conflict between peoples individual preferences in tea and the need some people seem to have for their tea to be made for them. Personally I've always found large tea rotas to be a pain. As you point out the tea is often made by people with odd and unpalatable personal tea habits. Sometimes there is a tendency for too many cups of tea to made if the rota is large as people just like the excuse to slope off for a while on the pretence of performing the altruistic task of tea making.
I've always suspected that those who most vocally insist that everybody makes cups of tea for everybody else are in-fact missing the attention of their parents who probably waited on them hand and foot for years.
I've always preferred making my own tea, rather than having some teabag squeezer or too-much-milk type forcing some dreadful brew upon me. A small select micro-rota of no more than three people with those who I actually like and have trained to make tea correctly to my specifications is about as for it goes for me.
As for the biscuits this too is sadly inevitable. You'll need to tell everyone in no uncertain terms that they either take turns buying the biscuits or they can take a hike. They should respect your position on this one, and you'll have set the stage for you to dish out withering remarks about pinching biscuits to the transgressors, which should cheer you up.
||The two-cup drink/dunk is an amazing thing. I am sat here in Australia in a water shortage situation at the mo and can't help but think that it is too much of a luxury at present to be dunking in a separate cup. I will have to stick to holding a piece of biscuit in my mouth and quickly taking a sip of tea, to achieve the dunked effect without getting that nasty sediment at the bottom of the cup.|
Nicey, I lived for some time in London, and coming back to Australia has reminded me that tea can taste oh so different depending on the local water supply. I remember having lovely cups of tea in Devon and The Peaks, and I always used filtered water in the kettle in London. Where, in the world, is the best 'tea water'?
|Nicey replies: Very good point about the water. Our water at NCOTAASD HQ is very hard being drawn from chalk ground water. It does however produce its own sort of unique tea which without realising over the space of a mere ten to fifteen years one gets quite used to. Having spent three weeks travelling around France making tea in various places, there is still nothing quite like that first cuppa when you get home. Is it the water?
I'm sure many people would be thinking of Yorkshire Tea's two blends for hard and soft water areas which they'll post samples out free to UK residents. Also I'm fairly sure that vats of Manchester water used to shipped out to Indian tea plantations to aid with the proper blending of the tea before shipment.
What Nessa appears to have had is a tea and fruit infusion party.....however i'm not going to get started on that again!
I've always thought you can tell a lot from someone's tea drinking habits and I think we can read a lot in to Nessa through these photos.
- She has laid out 19 cups and therefore expects 18 friends or family to join her for her party, this tells me she is clearly popular.
- She expects to get around 5 cups of tea out of each pot. This tells me she is an ambitious person but not someone who would tackle the impossible.
- The spread of identical iced fingers, large cake and enormous variety of tea types tells me that she likes to avoid conflict.
- The tesco finest jam tells me that she enjoys a little luxury in life, however would not waste money on top end names such as M+S or Waitrose just to impress.
Am I somewhere near the mark in my tea psychiatry?
I'm sure you have the higher resolution pictures at HQ, so could you tell me what those 3 strange spherical objects are in the middle picture.
|Nicey replies: Yes I thought I would let the infusion thing go which seemed fair as the three round things appear to be plums showing a genuine interest in fruit.|