"The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured coziness." ~ P.G. Wodehouse
British tea company Whittard of Chelsea recently sent me samples of two of their favorite loose-leaf teas. Passionate about importing fine-quality tea and coffee, Walter Whittard opened his first shop in London in 1886. Masterfully composed blends tailored to suit his customers drew a loyal following, and the company grew steadily for more than a century, even through wars and challenging economic times. As an Anglophile, I would love to stroll the streets of England and stop in to browse one of Whittard's 60 UK stores. But lucky for me, until I book that dream trip, authentic British tea is only a click away. Find the company's online boutique here.
We tried Ascot Floral Afternoon first -- an aromatic blend of fine black and jasmine green tea combined with the distinctive flavor of bergamot. A small acidic orange that yields an essential oil used in perfumes and confections, bergamot peel is used in Earl Grey tea. According to the company's web site, "Mr. Whittard created this house blend in the 1940s especially for those long lingering afternoons when tea taken on the lawn was the most British of rituals." The children and I have savored this blend over Saturday brunch. Mary Ashley and I recommend adding a little milk for a delightful cup!
This weekend we plan to brew a pot of English Breakfast. Beloved for generations, this is Whittard's most popular blend. "A pot of this traditional blend makes breakfast all it's meant to be," the company boasts. "We combine teas grown thousands of miles apart to create this familiar, comforting taste. Assam for strength, Ceylon for depth and Kenyan for color. We can't imagine starting the day without it."
Just in time for the holidays, Whittard of Chelsea has generously offered two bags of loose tea to a reader of A Little Loveliness. For an opportunity to win both the Ascot Floral Afternoon and English Breakfast blends, leave a separate comment below for each entry you choose.
(1) Tell me about a favorite teacup.
(2) Leave a comment if you follow A Little Loveliness.
(3) Leave a comment if you follow ALL on Facebook.
(4) Like Whittard of Chelsea on Facebook.
I will announce the winner soon. In the meantime, congratulations to Usha Murugesu, who won a copy of The Petit Four Cookbook by Brooks Coulson Nguyen.
Photos from Whittard of Chelsea. Used with permission.