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I have just discovered your website.I can't believe it ! I am the world's biggest fan of tea,cakes and biscuits.
My partener recently had his 50th. birthday.We decided to have a garden party. We had an urn, supplying endless hot water for mugs of tea. On top of that we had mountains of scones, clotted cream and home made jam, as well as platters of cupcakes.
Everyone was blissfully happy.
(P.S. Yorkshire tea rules.) Joan.
|Nicey replies: Joan,
Thank you for that lovely picture of the cup cakes. It sounds like a charming event.
And talking of small cakes and tea urns. Wifey and I manned the tea and cake stall at the school fair last Friday and that little lot would have traded at 20p each which at rough first count comes to £22.80. Unfortunately due to some bad planning and people neglecting to write SOLD on some of the cakes we did manage to sell a few twice, although both Wifey and I were prepared to fight our corner if Sir Alan dragged us into the board room.
||Hi Nicey and Wifey,|
I bought the book from Ottokars and keep randomly dipping into it for my amusement. I did not see the name of Gray Dunn with caramel wafers but my reading method might have skipped over it. I think they did a popular advertising campaign on TV at least ten years ago. Not that I like them any more than cardboard/Rivita. I endorse the assessment of the fig biscuits, they are some kind of perfection but they can go rock hard if not kept properly in a sealed biscuit tin. They don't normally last long enough to find that out.
It would be interesting to know what your readers use for biscuit tins. I have an old round one with a flower pattern on the lid but I also keep them in a modern sealable plastic container. I hear you screaming the word 'sacrilege'. I also have an old chromed biscuit barrel that I think goes back to my parents' wedding day in 1947. It has an inner container, like a little bucket, but does not hold a sufficient quantity of biscuits and it does not feel right to separate them into two places.
I hope that you don't mind but I have attached a photo of our workplace brewing area, exactly as it is every day, with its industrial teapot and messy fridge below. Mine is the KitKat mug. Note the rusty spoon and build-up of tannin in the teapot. The cleaning lady is under very strict instructions NEVER to clean the insides of the teapot. We always think it keeps the tea away from the metal and, anyway, it is probably bad luck if someone cleans it out. Out of the picture, there is a box of 100 Tetley teabags from the 'pound shop'.
The custard picture from your website is now my computer background picture. Yum!
Keep up the good work. I am enjoying the book.
|Nicey replies: Hello Jack,
That's a wonderful photo of tea making equipment, just the sort of thing I was after when I took the photos for the book. I like the brown tray underneath it all too and the reflections in the kettle. The teapot is glorious, I'm particularly impressed with the black wire handle over the spout to aid pouring. I'm also enjoying the old 10Base2 networking points behind the fridge.
Sadly we were informed a while back that Grey Dunn ceased trading in 2001 so I suppose I should really put an entry up or them in the missing in action section.
||Hi again Nicey, Wifey & etc|
All this talk of Tetley tea reminds me of when my younger daughter (at the time aged about 3 or 4) asked me "Mum, is your tea deadly?" I told her it wasn't that bad, but she said, "No, you know, like on the advert, deadly make tea bags make tea". I reassured her that actually, I used tea leaves anyway, so it wasn't deadly at all. Don't you just love the things youngsters come out with? She doesn't tend to come up with such gems now that she's nearly 16! She was very pleased that I bought her one of the PG Tips Gromit mugs though!
All the best, keep up the good work.
|Nicey replies: Your daughter is a lucky girl to have possession of that Gromit mug, judging by the plaintive emails flooding in here from people desperate to get hold of them. Just in case anybody was wondering, we don't know either. |
Just thought I'd tell you about the tea and sit down facilities at the Glastonbury festival (which I was lucky enough to attend this year). There are many more opportunities at Glastonbury to find a decent cup of tea than at any other festival that I've been to. The best one is the 'Tiny Tea Tent'. For £1.10 & 50p mug deposit you get the choice of 'normal' tea, Earl Grey, Lapsang Souchong etc, with a tea bag each and real milk out of a jug. This is a very busy place, probably due to the high caliber of tea making, but somehow a seat is always available, thus completing the tea break experience. Also, they have a varied collection of mugs - I was lucky enough to get one with a picture of a Volkswagen Beetle on it (my favourite car - spooky).
There's nothing quite like a cup of tea and a sit down in the Green Fields of Glastonbury whilst watching a vampire with dreadlocks on stilts chasing a child dressed as a fairy.
Wishing you good tea and festival health
|Nicey replies: On Saturday we met the former Tory Defense Minister John Nott, whilst we were guests on Radio 4's Loose Ends. He had just got back from Glastonbury the day before where he had managed to blag his way in. The Portacabin which held his press ticket had been washed away in the flooding, and given that he is 71 the chap on the gate believed his story.
It also turns out he had a hand in the introduction of VAT and remembers the classification of the Jaffa Cake as one of the thorny issues they grappled with over thirty years ago.
I have recently moved jobs and am in somewhat of a dilemma. My new office has most inadequate tea making facilities. They provide PG Tips, whilst not my favourite, makes a decent brew. Instead of a kettle there is a boiler and worst of all there are no mugs or cups. Everybody uses little plastic cup that are fine for water, but donít work for tea. I like a fine bone china mug with a white inside by preference, but any old mug will do in a storm. I tried hard to get used to it, but after a week of drinking very average tea I have given up and now use the Cafť Nero across the road who do an excellent black coffee.
I am only here for a short time so I donít want to ruffle any feathers by supplying a kettle and bringing my own mug. There is a danger that my new colleagues will think I am looking down my nose at them.
Perhaps you could point me in the right direction before I become a hardened coffee drinker.
Many thanks in advance.
|Nicey replies: Mark,
Not only are little plastic cups bad for the environment but they can also lead to tea spillage, and bring that unwelcome fragrance of injection moulded Polyethylene Terephthalate to your tea. I would make a stand, point out that their tea is not up to scratch and if you upset anyone it's OK because you'll be out of there soon. I would be surprised if a few people didn't rally to your cause.