“Tea is much more than a mere drink in Britain. It is a solace, a mystique, an art, a way of life, almost a religion.”
– Cecil Porter of Gemini News Service
Centuries ago in England, there was a tradition of gathering with colleagues and having a tea party. A British tea party used to be the perfect method of celebrating special occasions like an anniversary, birthday, or even weekends. The tradition of using tea as a luxurious drink is continued to this day.
A British tea party can be organized in any season. In the summertime, the tea party is done mostly outdoors. Due to cold weather, the party is done indoors in the winter. There are a wide variety of different tea to choose from, such as white tea, green tea, black tea, oolong tea, or if you are feeling really adventurous, you can even make kombucha tea.
There are many recipes you can try for a vintage British tea party. Here are some of the most delightful ones:
1. Apple Tart
It is an enticing combination of a shortbread crust, a cream-cheese filling, a scattering of sliced almonds, and a few slices of cinnamon-sugared apples. It is deliciously warm from the oven, where the shortbread is nice and crisp, where the slices of apple are warm and fragrant, and the filling is soft and creamy.
The most important ingredient here is apple. Therefore, you must take care in deciding the brand of apple. You can also try mixing two or three varieties of apples for a more complex flavor. (Click here for the recipe)
2. Vanilla Cupcakes
Vanilla cupcakes are baked in a 12 cup muffin tray and are lined with paper liners. To make this type of cupcake, you need to mix the white cake batter using the “creaming” method. This method includes the mixing of butter, eggs, and milk at room temperature.
Cupcakes are one of the most popular bakery items. They are found almost everywhere, from birthday parties, to weddings. Their decorations range from the very simple, to stunning works of art. (Click here for the recipe)
3. Chocolate Sponge Cake
Chocolate sponge cake is different from other sponge cakes, as it doesn’t contain flour. It also contains beaten egg yolks, sugar, and melted chocolate. It has a lovely spiral design. The light and airy texture makes it look like it will just melt in your mouth.
I love the rich chocolate flavor of this sponge roll. The good part is that it can be stored in the refrigerator for four to five days, although I have never had one last that long. It’s a perfect recipe for an afternoon tea party. (Click here for the recipe)
4. Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting
Pumpkin bread is one of my favorite quick breads, as it is easy to make. This moist quick bread is full of pumpkin and its spices. However, what makes it different from other quick bread is the vein of cream-cheese filling through its center.
5. Cream Scones
Cream scones are a warm and lovely dish, served with clotted cream and jam. They have a light interior and crisp exterior with some flavor of butter. It is best if all the ingredients are cold, to add the liquid to dry all of the ingredients at once, and then to mix all of them together in a quick and light manner.
6. Shortbread Cookies with White Chocolate & Raspberries
One of the easiest cookies to make, shortbread cookies are actually two sweet shortbreads, buttery in taste, that are filled with raspberry jam and white chocolate. They look very festive and make a perfect cookie during the Christmas holidays or for Valentine’s Day.
Their white coating of powdered sugar and the red raspberry jam pokes through the cut out. When making sandwich cookies, you want all the cookies to be of the same size because if the cookies are of different sizes, they don’t fit together particularly well. (Click here for the recipe)
7. White Sandwich Bread
The ingredients of white sandwich bread include bread flour, a small amount of plain flour, SAF Gold instant yeast, dried milk powder, some kosher salt, and a little water.
When the bread first comes out of the oven the crust is slightly crisp. As it cools, the crust becomes softer and the texture becomes flaky. The texture of this bread is soft. It’s so fluffy that you will surely find it more delicious than you think. (Click here for the recipe)
8. Meringue Cookies
They are so light, sweet and crisp that they seem to just melt in your mouth. The outside of the meringue cookies seem nice and crisp, but the inside remains soft and puffy.
They are used as a normal dish, but they can also be used as a dessert item by topping with ice cream, whipped cream, or fresh fruit. These cookies include just two ingredients: stiffly beaten egg whites and superfine sugar. (Click here for the recipe)
Featured photo credit: English Cream Tea via upload.wikimedia.org
Last Updated on December 9, 2019
5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively
Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it, plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!
Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.
Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:
1. Get Rationally Optimistic
Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.
This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.
In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”
The result: no more mental stress.
Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.
How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.
It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.
Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.
3. Easy on the Caffeine
Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.
Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.
4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door
That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.
How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:
- Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
- St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
- Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.
While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.
5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise
This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.
The result: mental stress will be gone!
So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.
More to Help You Feel Relaxed
- The Importance of Scheduling Downtime
- 3 Deep Breathing Exercises to Relax and Reduce Stress
- How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressed
Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com