I’m thrilled that this will be my first blog posting!
I had no idea that an English tea party in Malibu could be so glamorous. That is to say, a proper English tea party, as those of us Brits or in my case British American, have perfected.
My greatest challenge here was finding thinly sliced white bread for my cucumber sandwiches, which of course are my favorite. I also included egg mayonnaise, otherwise known in America as egg salad, and salmon surprise. These required thinly sliced brown bread, which was also non-existent for over 100 miles from the 90265 postcode!
Oprah’s website suggested Pepperidge Farm thin sliced bread. My search for Pepperidge Farm in Malibu was in vain as the customer service line informed me that supermarkets in Southern California just don’t carry it. Needless to say, a great opportunity for local retailers.
For precise details on how to prepare English tea sandwiches, have a look at the book on Tea at the Ritz in London. Whilst you may think they are easy to prepare, definitely set aside at least several hours prior to your party to prepare them to perfection. Your guests will be most impressed with your delicious and pretty morsels.
Of course I nearly forgot the tea! Three different types of teas are really a must. My choice was a very rarefied Darjeeling, an Assam and a special Earl Grey. In London, they are quite easy to find at say Harrods or Fortnums. Los Angeles was a bit more challenging. However, I found some delightful varieties at the American Tea Room in Beverly Hills.
Choose your tea as if you are at a wine tasting. The key is to smell the aroma of the “aged” or “reserve” group of which American Tea Room have probably around 50. We are blessed to have an online selection as well, if you are not able to travel to Beverly Hills (www.americantearoom.com).
I am over the moon to be able to say that my English tea party for six in Malibu was a great success! The party was actually a thank you to Madison Hildebrand who recently sold my little house in Malibu. Other great friends, including Ashley Lewis and Bianca Goodloe, attended as well.
Ta-ta and much luck with your proper English tea party!