Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Chelsea Teapot: A Tea Place Review

It’s been a while now since I’ve been in the UK however haven’t even finished writing all my tea place reviews. There were some places I decided to simply not write about however The Chelsea Teapot was not one of them!

We had been having an incredible time in London, indeed it is one of my favourite places to be. The night before our walk down the King’s Road we set out to Leicester Square where we were squeezed into a crowd and stood waiting for close to two hours. The temperature dropped to a level that would frighten most Australians and then I couldn’t feel my toes; I was even wearing my snow socks! My lovely husband suggested it was time to go however I wanted to stay for just a few more minutes and I’m glad we stuck it out as this happened…

Now, many people in London seem to find this ‘normal’ however before this time it is likely that the most famous person I ever had an encounter with was a local news reader. Now I was rubbing shoulders with Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Hugh Jackman at the world premiere of Les Miserables. I have to say there were some crazies in that crowd. A group of young girls were standing next to me at the fence consistently shoving me and shouting ‘who’s that!’ I’m not really sure why they were there! After I had a selfie with Helena Bonham Carter they said to me, ‘who was that!?’ (but you have to imagine it in a rather ocker British accent). Then they continued on to ask who Stephen Fry and Isla Fisher were. It was at this point that I felt old and turned to my husband who stuck his hand out and dragged me through the crowd to the tube. I was cold and tired.

The next morning I was in need of some tea and The Chelsea Teapot did not disappoint. I must confess that I found this gorgeous little tea room on Google. Unfortunately I am gluten intolerant and whenever I go anywhere I tend to Google ‘gluten free’ followed by the suburb or area I will be in. One of the places that popped up in Kensington and Chelsea was this tea room. That morning I wanted to do some shopping so we set off on foot to the King’s Road when I remembered that a tea room in that locale had popped up on my gluten free search. After the purchase of several, ok dozens of pairs of shoes we found The Teapot and weren’t disappointed. It really stands out with its colourful exterior on what is otherwise a fairly dull stretch of road.

Image courtesy of The Chelsea Teapot website

This tea room is cute with its pastel colourings and vintage shabby chic interiors. I loved the church pew bench seat and mismatched but coordinating chairs. Aside from a lovely range of gluten free cupcakes, of which I selected a beautifully decorated red velvet, they also had some other sweet treats on offer; my worn out husband enjoyed a lovely piece of apple pie. Downstairs, aside from a well kept bathroom it looked like they had a small function area.

I enjoyed a lovely refreshing chamomile tea from a pretty cup and saucer and appreciated the lovely cutlery. I guess if I had to describe this tea place it would be something like modern vintage, it would be what you might expect if you collided my ideas of a tea room with those of my Nana. The result really is somewhere cute and cosy and perhaps even a little posh with friendly service and the most amazing gluten free cupcakes! I even purchased another to take home with me as a snack for later. By the looks of it they also sell lots of tea paraphernalia too.

I’m glad we visited this tea room and if you are in the area then I recommend a visit!

The Verdict

Tea Place: The Chelsea Teapot, King’s Road, Chelsea, London, UK
Contact: Website, Facebook
Rating: 4/5
Comment: A cute interior and lovely gluten free cakes however, like most London shops it was a little tight inside so there wasn’t a lot of privacy however the nice range of teas and treats on offer makes up for that.

I visited in December 2012.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

It's Official; Tea Makes You Smarter!

Drink up friends! A new study has shown that regular tea consumption actually boosts your brain power. This includes both black and green tea. Regular tea drinkers are more alert and less tired according to this study. I know what you're thinking, it's the caffeine, however that's not entirely true. Best you read the article to find out more.

You can read the full article here from

Also this article had such a lovely graphic that I had to share that too.

The only problem is that all the little sweet treats look more appealing than the tea!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

English Tea Shop Organic White Tea with Blueberry and Elderflower: A Tea Review

One of my biggest tea drinking locations, believe it or not, is my workplace.  I have a draw of my desk full of little tins of various tea bags, something for every situation. My lovely work colleagues and I often have a few conversations about tea too. So since I have been on leave taking care of the newest additions to our family I have missed those interactions, not to mention I haven’t really been out and about that much to my favourite tea shops. Anyhow, I popped in for a visit the other week and one of my lovely friends was drinking an interesting blend, so I had to go out and buy it myself!

I discovered teas by English Tea Shop about six months ago at a really lovely organic cafĂ© and market store near the hospital. While hospital cafeteria food isn’t terrible, it has nothing on this place. Naturally, in that case, ETS teas are organic and some are also fair trade. You could debate for hours about whether or not that makes them taste better however anything that makes you feel good about what your consuming surely would taste better on a psychological level.

This lovely tea is a White Tea with Blueberry and Elderflower. It is a light fragrant tea with a really feint sweetness. If you have read my post about Pickwicks Green Tea with Cherry and Elderflower you will know about my affections for elderflower and also cherry. I happen to also enjoy blueberries just as much as cherries.  The one thing I enjoy about the weather warming up is that the price of fresh blueberries comes down, yum! So this tea is a perfect spring tea with its mix of delicate flavours.

White tea comes from the same plant as black and green tea. The different types of tea are produced during the processing of the leaves and buds and different levels of oxidation or fermentation. During this process the leaves and buds are left to dry out and the longer they are left the darker they turn. This is where some science comes in to play when we discuss tea as the chlorophyll is broken down and the tannins are released. The tannins are allegedly where the health benefits of tea come from. So in this case white teas have a shorter fermentation process which results in the leaves and buds having a silvery off white colour. This results in a beverage that is a pale yellow colour and also light in flavor.

Where I live ETS teas aren’t easy to come by, being only available in a handful of organic shops that I’m aware of. They have an Amazon shop however in Australia I would be wary of buying some tea blends online from overseas as there is a chance, depending on the blend, that it may not pass quarantine. This is especially so for teas containing fruity bits like citrus peel. The price of these teas is surprising at around $5 for a box of 20 tea bags. Now depending on how much you love great tea that $5 may seem expensive or a really good deal.

If you can get your hands on this beautiful tea you must give it a try!

My tea place for this tea is here. Wandering through a beautiful field of white spring flowers.

***UPDATE: I have found an Australian online store selling all of ETS' lovely teas, see below!

The Verdict

Tea: English Tea Shop Organic White Tea, Blueberry and Elderflower
Rating: 4/5
Comment: A light fragrant tea perfect for spring. I’d enjoy a stronger fruity flavor but that’s just me.