Saturday, January 29, 2011

TEATIME




I moved to Australia a decade ago, and I adore it. Wouldn't think of living anywhere else. Sometimes, though, I miss England, not the real one of student riots and cool Britannia but an old-fashioned version that hasn't been around since Agatha Christie's day. If indeed it ever was. My idea of Englishness is embodied by Wellington boots and country walks, by terriers and headscarves and HP sauce. One summed up rather nicely by Fortnum & Mason.

As a child my grandmother used to take me down to London on the train to Picadilly. Our journey from Yorkshire took two hours so I suppose we must have done other things in town, but all I remember was heading straight for this historic retail palace with its turquoise awnings, where a footman would admit us and we'd hotfoot it to the food hall. There, we would buy two slices of game pie: shortcrust pastry packed with pheasants, venison and jelly, and eat it in the park. Delicious.

The other day my English publisher friend brought me a present: this book about teatime at Fortnum's. Hello joy! It's full of ripper recipes for scones and lemon curd.

You can by the book here (you must! It's Ebury Press distributed by Random House) but if you fancy some branded beauties to go with it, such as the deluxe tea set below, jump onto the store's v. smart website: http://www.fortnumandmason.com

They ship to Australia. My smartest friends order their Christmas hampers this way every year, so they can eat Stilton from Fortnum's famous ceramic jars in the middle of a Sydney summer. Decadent stuff.


3 comments:

  1. thanks for the recipe, will try it! what's the name of the book btw?

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  2. Its called Tea at Fortnum & Mason, published by Ebury Press. Glad you like!

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  3. I like your ideal England. Mine probably goes back to Enid Blyton St Clare's or Mallory Towers and I'm a massive Agatha fan still. Here's where I'd love to sip tea in England.
    http://www.highteaofhighgate.co.uk/

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