Thursday, 23 June 2016

A Guide To The Perfect Cream Tea Etiquette

 A Guide To The Perfect Cream Tea Etiquette

To mark National Cream Tea Day, I want to share my top tips on good scone and tea manners - Pinkies up (or down, ahem)!

Learn how to be both the perfect cream tea guest and the scone-wielding hostess with the mostess. It's such a sophisticated tradition you deserve to do it properly. If you would rather learn from my latest YouTube Video, feel free to sit back, make yourself a cuppa and enjoy this mini (tongue-in-cheek I might add!) tutorial: [youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhO3q7G-6-Q[/youtube]

Be the dream cream tea guest...

Pinkies away! Hold your teacup with all fingers on the handle, but don't loop your fingers through or cradle your teacup. Always serve your neighbour before yourself - pour the person next to you a cup of tea, pass the scones or offer the Cornish clotted cream before you take for your own dollop of jam. Elbows off the table... This goes without saying. There's a great phrase; "All joints on the table must be carved"... When food is present at the cream tea table, your elbows must be off and your hands in your lap when not eating or drinking. Don't send the tea into a spin... Stir your tea in a "6-12" motion on a clock, don't "whirlpool" it round and round. Tapping your spoon or "chinking" it on the side of your teacup is simply not good manners, no matter how tempting it may be. Drip dry your teaspoon over your cup and place gently behind the cup on your saucer when finished stirring. A Guide To The Perfect Cream Tea Etiquette Never wipe... Dab your mouth with your napkin, do not wipe! Place the napkin with the fold away from your body to avoid throwing crumbs over yourself. Break your scone with your fingers... You'll find a natural crease within any freshly baked scone, so you shouldn't need to saw it open with a knife.
And the most charming host...
Be ready for your guests - it's very easy to get swept away with the organising and forget to get yourself ready. To avoid being in a fluster when you greet your guests, get dressed and have yourself presentable before your table and treats. Starched napkins please... The correct size napkin for your Cream Tea is 12 inches, although a lunch napkin folded in half will do just as nicely. You can find some beautiful tea napkins in antique shops. And remember - Napkin, never a 'serviette'! A Guide To The Perfect Cream Tea Etiquette   Serve scones warm... Cover them or wrap them in a clean linen napkin to help preserve the heat until guests are ready to eat them. Offer separate spoons for jam and clotted cream to avoid any double dipping or germ sharing. The Great Cream Debate... Something that always gets people talking around the table is the Great Cream Debate. The Cornish love to show off their clotted cream on top, whereas the Devonshire way is to enjoy jam on top. My vote always goes to cream on top - and this is not just a personal preference, it's a science… the silky dairy notes of the clotted cream coat your palate first, acting as a buffer against the sweetness of the jam and dryness of the scone beneath – creating the perfect, balanced taste sensation. Table talk... Polite table talk is something we Brits do very well, talk about the weather, table decor, music. Don't talk about money, religion or other people's bad manners – this is bad manners in itself! Keep calm and carry on... Don't ask your guests for help, stay calm and even if stressed, a good host won't show it. Allow your guests to relax and enjoy their Cream Tea with you – they should never help clear away or wash up, don't allow it if you can help it! A Guide To The Perfect Cream Tea Etiquette Give yourself a pat on the back... Enjoy and reward yourself - make sure you eat the treats and have a hot bath waiting for you after all the baking is done and the washing up put away. You've been a fabulous host - you deserve it! Fancy seeing a sneaky "behind-the-scenes" tour of Rodda's Clotted Cream factory in Cornwall? Well, I was lucky enough to join Nicholas Rodda and his fantastic team quite recently to do just that! Watch my Cornish adventure here (read the blog post here): [youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgwRfNPrNyE[/youtube]   It's Cream Tea Day on 24th June 2016. To find out more visit The Cream Tea Society webiste on www.creamteasociety.co.uk MSF Miss Sue Flay logo Green Brush Read my "About Me" page here! See more of my travel videos here and more of my food review videos here. Or get in touch via social media through Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for a natter about life in general! Please note – I am in no means obliged to blog or write about this event, brands associated to it or their offerings, but I simply choose to share with my readers, should I wish to do so. Any questions or to discuss a "Secret Stay" or review, please do email:hello@misssueflay.com All images © 2016 Miss Sue Flay, these may not be used or reproduced without written permission from the owner, many thanks in advance.


Amsterdam In Pictures: Part 1

Amsterdam In Pictures: Part 1 I recently enjoyed a weekend away with some gorgeous girl friends in Amsterdam. These new travel buddies were the best i could have asked for, we had an awesome time exploring a new city together! We explored so much, I can't even begin to tell you where we went and what we saw.... So, I'm going to show you some of my favourite photos instead until I've created a worthy enough blog post to share with you - and it will be epic, worth the wait I can promise you! Amsterdam In Pictures: Part 1 Amsterdam In Pictures: Part 1 Amsterdam In Pictures: Part 1 Amsterdam In Pictures: Part 1 Amsterdam In Pictures: Part 1 Amsterdam In Pictures: Part 1 Amsterdam In Pictures: Part 1 Amsterdam In Pictures: Part 1 Amsterdam In Pictures: Part 1 Amsterdam In Pictures: Part 1 More to follow very shortly... Have you been to Amsterdam yourself?  Any top tips?... MSF Miss Sue Flay logo Green Brush Read my "About Me" page here! See more of my travel videos here and more of my food review videos here. Or get in touch via social media through Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for a natter about life in general! Please note – I am in no means obliged to blog or write about this event, brands associated to it or their offerings, but I simply choose to share with my readers, should I wish to do so. Any questions or to discuss a "Secret Stay" or review, please do email:hello@misssueflay.com All images © 2016 Miss Sue Flay, these may not be used or reproduced without written permission from the owner, many thanks in advance.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

#NationalCreamTeaDay 2016 Is Coming!

#NationalCreamTeaDay 2016 Is Coming! I'm so excited to announce that I will be joining forces with Rodda's Clotted Cream and the Cream Tea Society for National Cream Tea Day 2016! This year I have been invited to be an official ambassador for The Cream Tea Society and National Cream Tea Day, of which I am thrilled to accept such an honour - it's very exciting indeed! We will be hitting the press with some top tips for making a super cream tea, including my top tips on being a perfect afternoon tea guest as well as a great host or hostess! So watch out, we will be sharing these tips throughout June in some top publications, as well as online! Following the success of the inaugural National Cream Tea Day in 2015 (it was "trending" on social media from mid morning last year, so exciting!), the Cream Tea Society is thrilled to announce the 2016 National Cream Tea Day will be held on Friday 24th June - and I will be joining the team to celebrate all things tea & scone related!  Shortly after Royal Ascot, just before Wimbledon and in the month of The Queen's 90th birthday celebrations, National Cream Tea Day is the perfect excuse to get together with family and friends. Enjoy delicious scones, jam and cream and help raise money for charity; last year's mass tea party raised over £35K for charity! Last year I took part in these fantastic celebrations by joining the team at Dorothy Clive Garden in Shropshire to host a talk on afternoon tea etiquette - read more here! #NationalCreamTeaDay 2016 Is Coming! The aim of the day is to encourage as many people as possible around the country to celebrate this much-treasured, quintessentially British occasion. If you haven't yet read, I got to visit the Rodda's HQ last summer with some of my favourite people in Cornwall, we had one of the most memorable days of our lives - read more and see my video from this sneaky peek behind the Rodda's HQ doors (very few people get to see this side of our favourite Cornish Clotted Cream producer!) - just click here!  I'll be heading to London to join Mr Rodda's for an exciting cream tea-themed day, so follow us on social media for more updates as the day gets closer! And, if you're in London around this weekend in June, drop me a line - I'm looking to celebrate in style, with more afternoon tea friends and contacts. I'll be reviewing London-based hotels, eateries, drinkeries and afternoon tea venues, so come & join me?!... For more information on how to get involved in 2016 head to: www.creamteasociety.co.uk or hunt out #NationalCreamTeaDay to join in the conversation! MSF Miss Sue Flay logo Green Brush Read my "About Me" page here! See more of my travel videos here and more of my food review videos here. Or get in touch via social media through Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for a natter about life in general! Please note – I am in no means obliged to blog or write about this event, brands associated to it or their offerings, but I simply choose to share with my readers, should I wish to do so. Any questions or to discuss a "Secret Stay" or review, please do email:hello@misssueflay.com All images © 2016 Miss Sue Flay, these may not be used or reproduced without written permission from the owner, many thanks in advance.

Review: Aromi, Cambridge

Review: Aromi, Cambridge Aromi is a small independent Italian pizzeria in Cambridge and I defy anybody not to be impressed by their offerings. It's the kid of place that started up small, taking on a corner property just across the road from the Cambridge Corn Exchange and close to the market square, with queues out the door and round the corner on any given day.... and for good reason! These guys know a thing or two about pizza, it's some of the tastiest pizza I've ever had the pleasure of eating. If you can grab a table, it's a great place to enjoy a bite before a concert or gig if you're headed to the Corn Exchange or Arts Theatre for the evening, but it's equally as great as a takeaway picnic by the river on a sunny day. Review: Aromi, Cambridge Now they also have opened up a new place a few doors down in the form of an eatery and Gelateria with a take away Gelato window to drool over and for months I had been craving freshly made, creamy ice cream in a waffle cone... they always look SO tempting! Over my birthday weekend I finally got to enjoy their creamy, DREAMY ice cream, although with a hangover to rival hangovers after my big day of celebrations, I opted for a tub over the full on waffle cone - along with a coffee and some homemade cannoli to cheer us up! Review: Aromi, Cambridge I "mmmmm'd" my way through a small tub of espresso & tiramisu flavoured ice cream and it truly made my day, it was worth the wait! It got slightly better with every mouthful, changing in texture and creaminess as it melted in the warmth of the sun, it was gorgeous. The crunch of a chocolate-filled cannoli (an Italian petit four to go perfectly with a cup of coffee) was the perfect addition for dipping - they even sell huge whopping great big cannoli filled with filled, flavoured mascarpone creams of varying flavours - so we may have to go back for a hot date there sometime very soon to try those bad boys! Review: Aromi, Cambridge For the ultimate in "Cambridge Tourist Chic", grab some Gelato from their window counter if there's no seats and wander around the corner to King's Parade to enjoy the sunshine on the wall of King's College - I just love watching the cyclists go by and the hoards of tourists almost getting knocked over in the middle of the road as they take photos and get hassled by Punting tour guides - or is that just my evil streak shining through? Hehe.... What I love about Aromi is that their Cambridge University landlords gave them the chance to make it work as a small business, offering them great rates on the building to make it happen - and they've proven themselves, even opening a new shop over towards the Grafton Centre too - these guys are the real deal when it comes to casual, Italian cuisine. Review: Aromi, Cambridge Best chilled out Sunday with my bearded man friend. Ever. ♡ www.Aromi.co.uk MSF Miss Sue Flay logo Green Brush Read my "About Me" page here! See more of my travel videos here and more of my food review videos here. Or get in touch via social media through Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for a natter about life in general! Please note – I paid my way during this visit and I am in no means obliged to blog or write about their offerings, but I simply choose to share with my readers, should I enjoy the experience. Any questions or to discuss a "Secret Stay" or review, please do email:hello@misssueflay.com All images © 2016 Miss Sue Flay, these may not be used or reproduced without written permission from the owner, many thanks in advance.

Friday, 11 March 2016

A Sweet Stay In Savannah

A Sweet Stay In Savannah Yes, I finally got myself over to the USA. My version of a road trip over the last 15 years or so have involved a few hours drive from Cambridge to either the north or south of the UK with a service station pit stop in the middle for a depressing cup of "Starbucks Coffee" en route. A Sweet Stay In Savannah So, imagine my sheer pleasure when I was offered the opportunity to not only visit Florida for a few weeks with my (not-so) new boyfriend, but also to join him and his family on a little trip up to the state of Georgia for a few days whilst there. We were headed to Savannah, said to be the most haunted City in the United States of America, to spend some downtime relaxing after a hard few weeks of partying and relaxing… It's a tough life! A Sweet Stay In Savannah This really was such an exciting adventure, a mini break within my holiday, what every vacation needs I'd say. Even with all the city exploring we were plotting, I managed to do it all comfortably in my Primark sandals the whole duration without a blister or any sore foot issues whatsoever - unheard of in new shoes for my huge size 8's - it's a great place to walk. A Sweet Stay In Savannah With half a day travel each way in our convoy of monster trucks... ok, perhaps a little exaggerated, but the Americans know how to own cars I can tell you... we enjoyed 48 hours of exploring and munching our way around the beautiful City and Coast of Savannah. As a group of eleven, we hired a stunning Victorian mansion overlooking Forsyth Park, the perfect home away from home for being central and easily accessible to most of Savannah on foot. A Sweet Stay In Savannah If you find yourself heading to Savannah, I'd say that you'd most likely enjoy exploring absolutely anywhere you happen to stumble upon, it's a very exciting place indeed. Crammed with green parks, superb eateries and coffee houses, bars and pubs on every corner and amazing shopping districts scattered between galleries and museums - there's truly something to keep you occupied for every day of the year. So, here's my guide to the top spots that I discovered during my whirlwind tour here, I hope you find it useful/interesting! A Sweet Stay In Savannah Food & Drink:   The Original Crab Shack at Tybee Island - Make sure you head to the Atlantic coastline and check out this fantastic outdoor fish shack, complete with its own "Gator Lagoon" - this is the place "where the elite eat in their bare feet", apparently. A waterside wooden-decked restaurant serving all kinds of freshly caught seafood and the best ribs I'd had during my entire trip to the States, if you like good food then this is a must. With a bin underneath the middle of the table for bones or shells and a sink with a salt scrub to wash off afterwards, this is a well-thought out place and it was packed during our midweek lunch stop. Although not technically in Florida anymore, I tried my first key lime pie and I was far from disappointed, WOW. A Sweet Stay In Savannah Wet Willies - This is the perfect pit stop for frozen cocktails whilst doing a spot of shopping in City Market. Savannah is one of only a handful of cities in the US that allows Al fresco drinking, so grab a beer or cocktail to go. Try a banana daiquiri for something a little different to cool you down! A Sweet Stay In Savannah Tubby's Seafood Restaurant - Seeing as I was touring with the "Tubby family", it seemed only right that we all dined at this waterside seafood venue for the evening. With great wines on offer and my first chance to try the local delicacy that had been on my mind for some time, the Shrimp & Grits were delicious and very filling indeed. We shared lots of different dishes & salads and I chose a grilled salmon packed full of flavour with collared greens. It might be wise to call ahead to book a table during peak times, or you may be in for a squeeze. A great riverside location! A Sweet Stay In Savannah Mabel's Cupcake Emporium – I'd spotted this cute cupcake store on the first day and seeing as this was THE perfect place to try their traditional Red Velvet creations, well, it was rude not to, seeing as this is where Red Velvet came from… Not forgetting the apple & cinnamon macaron we nibbled too – yum! Clary's Cafe - Established in 1903 and famously appears in the film "In The Garden Of Good And Evil" with Kevin Spacey & John Cusack (Yep, we have since swotted up and watched this great "who dunnit?" film!) - If you like bacon, add a side of bacon – you won't regret it! I tried something a little different – the Farmhouse Omelette – folded inside was apple, cinnamon…. and cheese. It was interesting… A Sweet Stay In Savannah Byrd's Famous Cookies – You should know by now that I can't pass up local sweet treats. This is the perfect place for the cutest souvenir tins filled with delicious sweet cookies… we enjoyed lots of sampling in their City Market store. Their ice cream cookie sandwiches looked epic, but alas, didn't get to try on this occasion – next time! A Sweet Stay In Savannah The Olde Pink House – A fine restaurant if you're looking for an extra special meal whilst staying in Savannah. I enjoyed the most beautiful & elegant take on "Shrimp & Grits" and a Hummingbird (Elderflower Fizz) cocktail to refresh me on a warm Spring evening. Apparently the haunted painting with eyes watch over you in their grand first floor dining room… Six Pence Pub - Savannahs' original authentic British pub in the heart of the historic district – we stopped here for "road beers" on the second evening, great little place with a red phone box outside – you couldn't miss it! A Sweet Stay In Savannah  J. Christopher's - After a quick shower, once the gang had been rounded up, we headed out for a good and filling American breakfast on our last morning. The blueberry & granola pancakes were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and having our coffee topped up after every swig, I HEART America. Road Snacks – No road trip back to Florida is complete without stopping at an isolated gas station that looks like something from 'The Walking Dead', complete with guns for sale - eep. I love trying the new and exciting flavours of Oreos, as well as trying my very first 'Nutter Butter' biscuits and the different variations on Snickers to fuel our journey! A Sweet Stay In Savannah Be A Tourist: Forsyth Park - The biggest of the handfuls of green and sprawling parks within Savannah, a 30-acre urban park is there for you to walk off some lunch and take in some early afternoon sunshine. It's home to a stunning water fountain in the centre, a large child's play area and an outdoor stage of which hosts concerts and events throughout the year. We were, however, advised to avoid this particular park at night, so we did. A Sweet Stay In Savannah Carriage & Tours of Savannah - Jacob was our guide, showing us the City by horse and carriage, he even pointed out where the famous "Forest Gump Bench" scene was filmed, much to our amusement as we had tried to hunt this out on foot earlier and had taken a group photo on the completely wrong spot within Chippewa Square – oops! Chippewa Square – If you want to get your geek on, "Forest Gump" sat on the famous bench waiting for a bus with his box of chocolates in this beautiful park. That bench was something we searched for over a good hour or so, only to find out that it was in fact a prop and is now situated in the Savannah History Museum – should you fancy a visit! A Sweet Stay In Savannah Ellis Square Fountain - It was a rather hot week in April, nieces & nephews were sweating buckets after our tour, so there was simply nothing to lose, joining everybody else by leaping into and running through the fountains – literally the most fun of the day, for all of the kids – young and old! Hearse Ghost Tours - A local brewery hosts a poltergeist, The Olde Pink House heard whispers in the night, many footsteps & voices echo around hallways and houses across one of the most haunted cities in the world (in the top 10 apparently) – we left a fine dining restaurant in the back of a hearse for a ghost tour of the city – seriously! A Sweet Stay In Savannah House Museums – If you like your history, there are many old & restored houses to look around, such as the Davenport House Museum, Andrew Low House, and the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low (the original Girl Scout founder). Savannah Slow Ride – If you get a chance, take to the streets on this round "group" bicycle and enjoy pedaling around the City with drinks on the go. We wanted to try this out, but the kids with us were a little too young for this one. A Sweet Stay In Savannah A Run In The City - After all of our eating, a gentle run was in order, so Jordan & I headed out at the crack of dawn for a jog before breakfast. We were smiled at by fellow joggers as we crossed parkway paths & picturesque Georgian streets with the morning sun shining down on us. At one point a gentleman even doffed his Stetson and gave us a "howdy ladies" - swoon, my most favourite run. Ever. We managed to fit in just over and hour of the city, crossing at least 5 different parks, many different streets to spot the cutest houses I've ever seen and even making it to the Wilmington River before heading back to our humble abode. A Sweet Stay In Savannah Shopping: ShopSCAD – Savannah is well known for hosting a talented community of artists and SCAD is a collaborative force of creative individuals who showcase their art in exclusive galleries and sell their jewellery and home goods across the city – you must take a look, you'll feel inspired just browsing. A Sweet Stay In Savannah Woof Gang Bakery – If you like to pamper your pooch, then this is the place for you – quirky dog accessories, pretty beds and blankets or some cute personalized dog biscuits to take home for Fido – sweet treats for dogs, so much fun! A Sweet Stay In Savannah Banana Republic – Yes, I know this is a chain and probably like saying head to "Next" for some great clothes and shoes, but this was my very first experience of this American store and I loved it. I left armed with beautiful tiny perfumes for my handbag and some gorgeous jewellery to remind me of a great time here. Missing Pieces - 'Poo Pourri' is something that we all headed home with for our bathrooms after being told about this miracle toilet scent – it's the name that tickled our funny bone first, but it works wonders, especially when in a new-ish relationship haha – a great little gift shop here. A Sweet Stay In Savannah City Market – This is a great place to enjoy not only a fun shopping experience, but there's plenty to eat, drink and see too – this is a lively place to visit at day or night. A Sweet Stay In Savannah Our Victorian Mansion: We hit the jackpot with our private house for our stay, this was a stunning mansion with plenty of rooms to explore and play hide-and-seek within, it was so much fun being with a huge group, kids and all – they loved exploring it as much as we did! My words couldn't do this house with a gorgeous park view proud – just take a look for yourself within my photo album link below! A Sweet Stay In Savannah If You Get A Chance: Head to the outskirts of the city to see the iconic "Bird Girl" statue, of which sits in Bonaventure Cemetery overlooking the Wilmington River - she appears in scenes from the film "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" with Kevin Spacey and Jude Law of which was recommended to us by new friends back in Florida. This Colonial park cemetery also harbours the remaining casualties of the 'Yellow Fever' from 1750. A Sweet Stay In Savannah Savannah is my new favourite happy place… The oldest city in Georgia and with it's cobbled streets, relaxing green parks and old historic houses to nosey at on every street & corner, this is somewhere I desperately want to return to in the future to explore further – I've only just touched it. Make sure you peek into the nooks and crannies as you wander this exciting city - every alley and corner has a fascinating story to tell. A Sweet Stay In Savannah #VisitSavannah Want more? Take a look at my video of this stunning city here - enjoy! See my full Facebook photo album for this stay here MSF Miss Sue Flay logo Green Brush Read my new "About Me" page here! See more of my travel videos here and more of my food review videos here. Or get in touch via social media through Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for a natter about life in general! Please note – I paid my way during this visit and I am in no means obliged to blog or write about their offerings, but I simply choose to share with my readers, should I enjoy the experience. Any questions or to discuss a "Secret Stay" or review, please do email:hello@misssueflay.com All images © 2016 Miss Sue Flay, these may not be used or reproduced without written permission from the owner, many thanks in advance.