High Tea – Naughty Cakes

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What’s the most dainty, lady-like, girly thing this stalker likes to do? High Tea! Afternoon Tea! (Cream tea, if we want to keep it light.)

As a child I dreamed of visiting London, where I imagined young girls my age in fancy dresses, snacking on crustless microscopic cucumber sandwiches and having prim conversations about the afternoon weather. “I do say dear Sally, it seems to be raining once again. Do pass the sugar bowl, won’t you?”.  As a grown up committed night owl, I would love to be Alice crashing the Mad Hatter’s elaborate tea party complete with hot teas, naughty cakes and creamy piles of clotted cream. There’s something about flowers and leaves steeped in hot water my palate swoons for. I would wear my best designer frock; a ridiculously over the top hat and lacy gloves whilst sipping from Jardin de Versace teacups by Rosenthal and Versace. (Black is never appropriate for a tea party and tea should never be “slurped”. Hmmm, that kills half my wardrobe and I’m a slurpper from way back).

The historic Langham Huntington Pasadena is well-known for their high tea. It’s a place that is stately, intimate and grand. An impressive chocolate fountain begs for dipping all sorts of cakes, fruits and marshmallows into it’s currents of flowing cocoa (JB, can you say chocolate orgasm?) Not to be left off plates are scones with butter and jam (NOT jelly, because in England that’s the name for the gelatinous substance you put into ice-cube trays and make into vodka shooters) savory tea sandwiches, fruit tarts, mousse torts and crème brûlées. Salivating yet? Comfy chairs, bubbly and a huge brunch menu are just the thing to ignore the “must do” list we women carry in our handbags and the backs of our minds. Everything from waffles, french toast, smoked salmon, crab cake Benedict and ahi tuna all have the makings for a smashing garden soiriee. Speaking of gardens, be sure to explore the Victorian gardens that grace the hotel grounds – just duckie!  Did I mention there was a pianist pumping out sassy croons? Not to be coy, had it been evening I would have hopped up on his piano and belted out “God Save The Queen” to entertain guests (the Queen should be saved and God is just the chap to do it – just sayin)…

Teas seem to be primarily female functions. Real men don’t drink pink or eat Quiche unless wheedled into submission by real women. (For the record, pink is indeed appropriate for more than merely Justin Beiber frenzied pre-teens). Tea is a social event as well as a meal, a chance to catch up with a friend and, truth be told, trade cuisinary gossip. Did you know High tea all began with the Duchess of Bedford, who started the custom of having an afternoon snack brought to her room, along with a steaming pot of tea to break up the long wait between noontime lunch and evening’s dinner? Which brings us to the matter of timing: only when served between the hours of 3:30pm and 5pm is tea a proper “afternoon tea”. Who knew? Good form dictates that the plate should be raised with the left hand, while the teacup should be held with the right hand. (Lordy, what to do if you are a lefty). And watch those pinky fingers: they should be aligned with the other fingers.

Ever dream of discussing the state of fashion with Karl Lagerfeld or sexy tableware with Donatella Versace over tea and crumpets? I have, and for the record…it’s still a dream.

Sure we can bless the beasts and kiddies in our lives, but for one afternoon can’t we be totally self-absorbed? Put it all into perspective and make granny chuckle.

Break out the good china, revive flagging spirits and invite your wild haired lady friends to spill tea in style…

Pinkies UP! (breaking tradition never felt so good)…

“The Beauty Of High Tea” Fashion Shoot / Behind-The-Scenes from SHOT CUT ENTERTAINMENT on Vimeo.

3 Comments

  1. Ruth Yunker

    June 30, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Love the Langham Huntington in Pasadena. My family lived there, in one of their bungalows, for two months when we moved back from Brussels, Belgium, waiting for the furniture to arrive. I was fifteen, and it seemed the height of opulent Californian elegance. I stayed there again last year, and it felt exactly the same. And high tea? What can one say. I’m ready when you are, Sandie! I have my hat and gloves just waiting for their moment!

  2. sallycoles2013

    July 8, 2014 at 7:14 am

    I do love an afternoon tea. I think we should arrange an outing. If you find yourself in London over the summer months, afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace is a must! Take a tour of the Palace followed by tea and cakes in the Palace garden….it’s a wonderful experience and a lovely spot for tea!

    • thefoodstalker

      July 8, 2014 at 5:52 pm

      Sally, I do look forward to visiting you and London for tea at Buckingham Palace…perhaps a little bubbly as well?~ :)


With an Italian background, she cites her Mother and grandmother ( Mamie ) as the major influence of her love for food.  Yes, homemade pasta hung from the clothesline in the kitchen and rolling 100 meat balls for a holiday dinner was the norm.  Raised in Pennsylvania. she spent time in Atlanta, Georgia and ultimately settled along the stunning coast of Laguna Beach, Ca. Self taught in everything, she learned to appreciate the amazing flavors, scents and uses for exotic herbs and spices and applies her knowledge to cooking today. Despite enjoying other creative endeavors like painting, photography and clothing design, she realized she would never love another career the way she loves all the stories surrounding food.  And it's capturing those stories that has not only become her greatest passion but a culinary drug worth passing around!  After all, food is a shared experience and no one better to share it with than the entire world. And thus the Food Stalker was born, utilizing all that passion and her fearlessness to capture even the most impossible stories. It's one thing to write about food, but far more exciting to actually capture it and all those stories that make every scent come to life.  And once she sets out, there's no stopping her, because no one follows that scent better than her---and no telling where she'll end up next.  

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