Boswell’s of Oxford is an institution. It’s always been there, for those little things that you just can’t get anywhere else or for those quality items that you need for your home. So when I was asked if I could attend the launch party for their new tea room, I jumped at the chance, especially as there was a promise of tea.
After over 275 years of serving the people of Oxford, Boswells are introducing a tea room for the first time in the history of the store. The 1738 Tea Room Café will officially be opened on Saturday 28th November with a visit from Santa himself. The cafe is set on the first floor of Boswell’s and looks set to be a calming port in the busy streets of Oxford.
There will be a delicious range of teas, cakes, pastries and sandwiches, ideal for satisfying any tea craving. Products in the tea room café will be supplied by local brands with Peros Coffee, Happy Cakes, Truly Scrumptious, Natural Bread Company, Oxford Cheese Company, Limes Farm, Viva Las Cakes, Stephanie Almeida Bespoke Cakes and Brightwell Vineyard.
During the launch, we were treated to cake decorating courtesy of Happy Cakes and tea tasting from Twinnings. I had no idea how different loose tea is from tea bags or that you can get tea that tastes exactly like Ferrero Rocher. The lovely ladies at Happy Cakes also said I was a bit of pro when it came to decorating my cupcake and Phil said it tasted delicious!
Thank you to Boswell’s for inviting me and for my fab goody bag!
One of the first things I do when I get home, once I’ve given Poppy ample belly rubs, is to make a cup of tea. I don’t drink tea at school, partly because I don’t have the time, but also because it’s not hugely practical. This is because I’m quite particular about my tea and prefer to use a tea pot. I’m currently using a Brown Betty teapot. While it makes a great cup of tea, I’ve managed to chip the spout and the lid a number of times already. So when I was having a look through the tea and kate website the other day, this little beauty caught my eye.
[Image via source]
I like that the lid is wooden, so there’s one less thing for me to break! I love the simple pattern on the side of the teapot. The colours are lovely too. The perfect way to brighten up a dull day!
It’s no secret that I love tea. I can drink it all day, every day. Other drinks come and go, but tea is for life. Let me clarify – I’m talking about black tea. I’m partial to a nettle tea every now and then, and obviously I’m happy with a chai tea, but mainly, I stick with black tea and I always add milk! Fortunately for me, there’s a great local tea company who make some excellent teas. Jeeves & Jericho produce some amazing tea, plenty for all tastes and not just mine! I love their Breakfast Tea. It’s nice and strong so it gives you a great kick in the morning. The Oxford Brew is really nice. It’s quite pale and is really refreshing. Recently, I bought some new flavours – Dales Brew and Assam.
I’ve only tried the Dales Brew so far, but I love it! It’s got a great strong flavour and is a proper cup of tea. I’m looking forward to trying the Assam, as I’ve only recently tried it and I really like it. It’s a bit different to your everyday day tea so it’s quite nice for change.
The Jeeves & Jericho teas are loose leaf so I use the empty tea bags that they sell. This is because I’ve found putting the tea straight into the teapot a bit messy to clean up after, although I’ve got a hankering for their lovely teapots that contain a tea infuser. No muss, no fuss! I love using loose leaf tea. It makes me feel like a proper grown up! And it also makes the whole process of making a pot of tea extra special.
Tea. It is an essential part of my day. I routinely have two cups in the morning, in good ol’ Big Brown, my favourite tea mug. The other day, I was served a pot of tea & given a glass to pour it in to. Oh. My. Word. My mind was blown. Glasses aren’t for hot drinks, in my book. They are for cold drinks. It got me thinking: Is this okay? Is this the future? Or is it just weird?
A quick question on Instagram & Facebook led me to the conclusion that it is generally, quite odd. I appreciate that cafe culture is constantly evolving but I don’t want to loose some of the things that make tea awesome. I think part of the problem is that lots of cafes focus on the coffee & tea is an afterthought. Such a shame.
So what is the best way to drink tea? Some cafes use vintage tea cups. Adorable. But they are tiny! I want a big mug of decent tea! Plus, if you get a teapot, I really like it when you’re brought an extra pot of hot water. It’s something that used to happen routinely when I was a child. I can remember being out at cafes with my grandparents and we were always brought a pot of hot water to top up the teapot. You can get so much tea out of a single tea bag. Plus it stops the tea being far too strong when you’re already had a few cups.
To be fair, I am quite particular about the tea I make myself. (When other people make it for me, I just take it as it comes!) I like my tea the way my Granny used to: Very hot & quite strong. When I was younger, I used to have a lot of milk in my tea. But now, it’s all about the heat. (Probably because I’m always cold!) And I like to taste the tea. So it has to be strong enough for that. I always make my tea using a teapot. The main reason being that when you make it in the cup, it makes the cup too hot to hold & by the time it’s cooled enough to touch the tea is too cold for my liking. (And despite what my OH says, I can tell the difference!) Plus the taste is too strong. You shouldn’t pour boiling water straight onto the tea leaves as it spoils them. So I always warm the teapot with the freshly boiled water & this gives the water time to settle before you pour it over your teabag. I don’t have a set time for how long I leave it to brew – It just depends how long I can wait! I do like the way that some cafes now tell you how long to wait or give you an egg timer so you know when the tea is brewed.
How do you drink your tea? Do you have a favourite mug? Do you use a teapot or do you make your tea in the mug? I’d love to know what you think about drinking tea from a glass – Yay or nay?!