Tea out

I’m hard to please. Let’s just get that out in the open. But I’m also quite happy with the simple things in life. Like that hot milk I’m going to tell you about. It was better than the ‘fancy’ afternoon tea in the Glasgow hotel I went to last week.

And I don’t object to overbaked ‘kladdkaka’ as long as the people selling it calls it chocolate cake, which is what it is. For it to be ‘kladd’ anything, you will have had nerves of steel and removed the cake from the oven when it still looks like dark brown soup. I’m afraid I recently wrote to the very attractive Oxford restaurant where we had a really enjoyable Easter lunch and shared my tip of sitting in front of the oven as the cake cooks. That way you are less likely to end up with the oxymoron that is dry kladdkaka.

I’ve not heard back!

The very same day, I had been treated to an unexpected elevenses in a Danish style café – Ole & Steen – also in Oxford. Not being very hungry – which is so not like me – I chose a plain (hah) kransekage. It was small, but larger than the ones I’m used to. It was divine! I am plotting ways to return and have another one. I mean, what’s seven hours on the train if you can eat such perfection?

Unlike the afternoon tea at the hotel in central Glasgow, that I will leave nameless. I liked the hotel and where it was. I enjoyed my long chat with Pippi who was over in Scotland again. The tea was cheap, at around £12. But oh, what dreadful sandwiches! Nice enough scone, but not the jam. The little cakes tasted better than they looked, but then I had low expectations. The tea was on the strong and cold side.

Having said all this, I would go back. It was a convenient and nice place to meet.

In Berlin last month Daughter and I struggled to find suitable words – in German – to get across our wish for black tea, that we wished to un-black with milk. Cold milk, please. The first afternoon brought green tea with no milk until Daughter popped back inside and asked. She returned to our pavement table bearing a jug of beautifully warmed milk! After pondering the possibilities, I poured some hot milk into my green tea. It was seriously weird, but almost OK when taken with cake.

And it had us in paroxysms of laughter when we thought about it afterwards.

By now you will have worked out I am a nightmare guest for tea, so I give you the new café in Stirling’s King Street; Loving Food. Had a gorgeous scone there the other day. One of the best I’ve had.

I also reckon it will be easier for me to go to again, unlike Ole & Steen…

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