Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tea Time

As part of my 25th Birthday Weekend Extravaganza, Pia took me to Lovejoy's in San Francisco. I love High Tea, and I definitely love San Francisco, so this was a perfect excursion. Lovejoy's is an especially great English tea house because it feels like you're going to tea at the cottage of a well-loved and slightly dotty great-aunt in the Cotswolds. All the plates and saucers are charmingly mismatched, and the tea and nibbles are scrumptious.

The sugar dish adorned with butterflies!

Pia pouring her cup of Tea Room Blend. We chose the High Tea Service, and each got a bottomless pot of our own choice of tea. Look at her teapot! There's borage painted on it! Borage is one of my favorite edible flowers--delicate and star-shaped, with a slightly nutty flavor.

Here's what comes with High Tea: Scones, clotted Devonshire cream, preserves, shortbread tea biscuits, cabbage salad in a caraway cream dressing, spring greens with mandarin segments and a balsamic vinaigrette, and four kinds of tea sandwiches. We chose chicken-apple-walnut salad, smoked salmon and cream cheese, ham and English mustard, and pear and Stilton cheese.

Here I am with my tea of choice, Black Tea with China Rose Petal, which I drank plain with a touch of sugar. It was completely delicious. I also appreciated that they served my rose petal flavored tea in a tea pot with roses on it! It's the little things. I've come to the conclusion that my favorite kinds of tea are either floral or fruity--my top five are black tea with mango, white tea with pomegranate, green tea with jasmine, Earl Grey with lavender, and black tea with rose petal. Herbal and spicy teas (like mint, ginger, or chai) have their place in my cupboard, but I generally only use them for their specific properties--peppermint to settle the stomach, chai if I need to be warmed up. But still, I'd be hard-pressed to find a tea I genuinely dislike.

A feast for crows!

Yes indeed.

Sometimes scones can be a disappointment. Not here! They were light, fluffy, flaky, and studded with plump raisins. The raspberry preserves and clotted cream were also top-notch.

A look at the shop.

Since it was my birthday, our waitress brought me a chocolate petite four with a celebratory candle!

We split it and smeared with raspberry preserves.

Now, on to some San Francisco! I've always adored the city, but this visit especially made me want to move there and really get to know it. I've gone there often all my life, but now I have the urge to really make it mine.

Rose petal lace.

We took a drive to  the 16th Ave. Mosaic Steps in the Inner Sunset. Here, Barbie's Dream house and a rocketing bird.

And the steps! The begin in the deep sea, work their way to the ocean's surface, turn into a stream, get to the mountains, and then become the cosmos.

Pia and the crescent moon!

And the view is astounding! Spot the Golden Gate in the distance on the right. And those hills! Another reason why I love the city.

The tree at the top of the steps.

City by the bay.

Winter succulents.

  This little guy came by to send us off. San Francisco, four months is too long until my next visit.

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