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||Dear Nicey and Wifey,|
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your wonderful book. As an ex-pat living in Australia for the past 20 years, we recently returned from a visit (with my husband and three children) to old 'Blighty' and on one of our many days out, my daughter pointed out your book in a very small National Trust Giftshop in Robin Hood's Bay on the North East Coast of England (my husband and I originate from Durham City).
My husband and I are avid tea drinkers, he - a perfect 'T'; myself - it depends, mostly 'T1'. My husband (a shift worker) can drink up to 16 cups a day, our kettle is never cold! Our three children, aged 9, 11 and 15 (all born in Australia) have inherited the English taste for tea and all drink it often much to the amusement of our 'Aussie' friends and neighbours.
The book made me smile and laugh and brought back many memories of afternoon teas with my mum and aunts, and of course the compulsory plate of assorted biscuits (my childhood favourite - the Lincoln). I now take part in many morning and afternoon teas with my 'Aussie' friends and take much pride in providing teacups and saucers and teapot on a tray, keeping alive the English tradition.
The book will now take pride of place on our bookshelf for 'special' books; kept safe to be passed on to my children and hopefully connoisseur tea drinkers of the future to hopefully enjoy as much as I have. I will of course take it down to peruse when I am having my 'nice cup of tea and a sit down' which is very, very often.
With many thanks and my very best regards.
|Nicey replies: Janice,
Thanks for your mail. The National Trust do excellent work preserving the nations heritage as well as selling our book in their gift shops. Around us for some reason they also have a few water mills where they grind excellent wholemeal flour which makes glorious brown bread, and oatmeal which makes equally glorious raisin and oatmeal biscuits.
Quite frankly I don't know what we would do with out them.
Regards to all your tea drinking family
|Bob and Amanda
||Nicey, Wifely, et al,|
Where can I get a good cuppa in London? Do British Rail cafeteria still exist?
|Nicey replies: Lots of places although it would seem you need to go anywhere that Tony Blair doesn't.
There are cafes in most London stations but they are tend to deal in charmless Danish pastries and paninnis. Your tea will be subject to whatever nameless catering teabag they shove in your paper cup and how hot their water is. Both of these important factors are usually beyond your knowledege or control.
I find the best places to simply be any every day back street cafe which London is full of. If they do bacon rolls or egg and chips then the tea should be up to scratch. The really good ones have giant teapots and use giant catering tea bags. I was very excited to be presented with one of these giant tea bags when I went to the Fields Cafe in Dalston.
Then of course you should check out definitive back street cafe site eggbaconbeansandchips and its sister site ateaandathink.
||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.
Ginger Nut Review
|Dear Nicey & Wifey,|
I have to admit to having dropped out of the biscuit game for a number of years due mainly to an expanding waistline and the paucy of decent produce now I'm resident in Australia. I do however seem to remember the ginger nut as THE dunking biscuit of all time, in fact it was the only safe way to eat it when I was growing up. We had a family receipe that involved soaking a packet of ginger nuts in an orange juice and alcohol mixture and covering in a kind of thick creamy icing that caused the biscuits to soften and it was served as a dessert. Unfortunately this has long been lost and I'd love to re-acquainted with it if any of your readers are familiar with something similar.
I have to say I really enjoyed your comments on the Abbey Crunch as they were one of my favourites and although we can get imported Hobnobs over here they just not the as good as I remember the Abbey Crunch to be. My all time favourite was the Bourbon.
One very good thing discovered over here is a brew by the name of Dilmah which makes an excellent cuppa. I hope it has made it over to Blighty as it really is top stuff. Perhaps you could add a section of favourite teas to the tea page and include it.
|Nicey replies: Long time NCOTAASD contributor Brian Barrett has long championed that Dilmah tea, which I think is available in the UK too.
||Esteemed Mr Nicey,|
A very small dash of cinnamon sugar can add zest to a good black Italian coffee. Being genetically multigustatory, I've been awaiting the arrival of the tea equivalent on the supermarket shelves of the leafy eastern suburbs of beloved Melbourne.
It's here! We're now able to sample, enjoy, nay, relish Twinings Chai, in luxuriously impressive black boxes of 50 teabags. The list of ingredients tells the full, glorious story:
Tea, Ginger Root (10%), Cinnamon Bark (10%), Natural Spice Flavourings including Star Anise and Clove (5%), Natural Flavour (Cinnamon).
You can add milk, if you really feel the need, 'cos that's how it's served in India.
All we need now is the Dilmah version, and, verily our cup runneth over.
I ever remain, kind Sir, and Mrs Wifey, and Smallpersons,
Blissful but ever 'umble,
|Nicey replies: Well I'm not sure about that, but I do fancy a chicken curry now.