We started our afternoon at a traditional Victorian tea at Vianne’s Teahouse.
Cranberry Orange Scones started the afternoon with an authentic (and delicious) feel
Beautiful fresh-baked Cranberry Orange Scones were the epitome of *perfect* tea snacks.
My first sip of tea was all I needed to forget my paper deadlines instantly. It was warm, freshly brewed and had these top notes of cocoa and sugar that my table-mates and I were just crazy about. The tea house had even made its very own “Mr. Darcy’s Tea” for the occasion and, it did not disappoint…it even tasted a little romantic.
Mr. Darcy’s tea with hints of cocoa, strawberries, rose petals, and sugar made for a romantic afternoon tea.
And I couldn’t have had better company–with two of my favorite PhDs from our English Department in tow (Doris, Monica), the event felt more like a girl’s weekend than an actual outing for work. We gushed over tiny cakes, drank lots of tea, attempted to look lady-like while devouring scones, and just had a great time. Monica even gave a lovely reading from Jane Austen’s letters to her sister Cassandra.
Fellow PhD and Anglophile Doris Raab (right) and me gushing over a few moments in Jane’s perfect world
Before rushing off to a talk on Mr. Darcy and his WWSS (“Wet White Shirt Scene“–you know the one), we were treated to decadent tea cakes, chocolate covered strawberries, baklava, and sugar cookies.
Chocolate-Covered Strawberries and Rich Vanilla Petit Fours
What follows is a little something on how to make Mr. Darcy’s Tea (or any tea) that is loose, rich, and flavorful. I drink tea daily as I work through my papers, and I’m addicted to the instant calming power a good cup has on my nerves. The right tea can taste expensive and chic, or make for a perfect cup while watching Pride and Prejudice
.The Perfect Cup of Tea
This recipe recounts my tried and true take on good quality loose tea. Great for a pot, cup, or herbal hot water infusion, home-brewed teas are a simple luxury that are relatively inexpensive. Perfect for a rainy day, a mid-afternoon boost, or getting in the mood for Jane Austen, try this perfect cup of Tea with Vianne’s Mr. Darcy’s Tea, a black tea, or any of your favorite herbal blends.
*Water, for filling pot
*1-2 tablespoons good quality loose leaf tea
Special Equipment Needed
*stainless steel tea strainer (like mine, here)
*serve with sugar cubes and/or cream
1.) Pack a stainless steel tea strainer with loose leaf tea, close, clasp, and set aside for infusing your water.
2.) Bring water to a boil until teapot whistles.
3.) Pour hot water into serving teapot while holding your tea strainer underneath the water (I do this so I can instantly activate the tea and watch the water change color).
4.) Place lid on pot and allow to steep for 5 minutes (as with Mr. Darcy’s tea).
5.) Remove strainer from pot and serve tea hot with sugar cubes, cream, and any appropriate tea-time snack. Enjoy! Makes 6 cups of tea.
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Written by: Helana Brigman