Afternoon Tea – Sunday 29 March 2015

With Easter just around the corner some traditional treats representing the time of year were required on the menu today. On the sweet side, chocolate; most definitely. Yellow also somehow seems to be associated with Easter for me so, yes, something ‘yellow’. Lemon perhaps? Something in a decoration too? On the savoury front, there was a more general combination of flavours and textures that weren’t necessarily specific to Easter. All is revealed below …

20150329 Afternoon teaPlace setting

Sandwich fillings:

  • Smoked mackerel paté with cucumber – this paté is a real favourite of mine. Rather than reducing the whole thing to a smooth pulp, I like a bit of texture. I add small chunks of mackerel at the end to the paté mixture and include thinly sliced cucumber to the sandwich which cuts through the rich and strongly flavoured fish, with refreshing ‘coolness’.
  • Egg & cress – a classic that speaks for itself and therefore needs no introduction in my humble opinion.
  • Avocado, pea, mint & feta – this combination made an inaugural appearance on the menu fairly recently and I was so impressed with the outcome I had no hesitation presenting it again.




  • Goat’s cheese & spinach frittata – in these bite size morsels I used a soft herb & garlic goat’s cheese which gave an extra dimension to the flavour.
  • Leek, sweet potato & smoked garlic pasties – not your typical Cornish pasty, but lots of leeks slowly caramelised with the smoked garlic, then mixed with sweet potato and finally combined with a little bit of cream. All encased in a very light, short crust pastry.

Spinach & Goat’s cheese frittata / Leek, sweet potato & smoked garlic pasties



  • Buttermilk scones, clotted cream & homemade apricot jam


  • Mini lemon curd cakes – I used a simple Victoria sponge, flavoured with lemon zest and filled them with my (butter free) lemon curd and a dollop of whipped cream & mascarpone.

Mini lemon curd cakes

  • Chocolate éclairs – these were filled with chocolate crème patisserie to ensure the required chocolate fix of the day.

Chocolate eclairs

  • Simnel cake – this is basically a light fruit cake but I go ‘the extra mile’ to ensure enhanced flavours and a moist cake. The fruit is soaked in sherry for several days and the marzipan is homemade. There’s nothing wrong with using the bought stuff but these can often be sickly sweet with an overpowering almond taste. My recipe is more subtle adding citrus and a hint of vanilla for the flavouring rather than almond essence. One guest admitted to not liking marzipan but with polite encouragement for the reasons laid out above, said guest did try a little and admitted to finding it more palatable than commercial brands. And I don’t think they were just being polite!

Simnel cakeSimnel cake

Simnel cake

Simnel cake

With several tea pots full consumed and the world set to rights, it was time to bid ‘au revoir’, goody bag in hand as usual.



Happy Easter everyone!






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