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Well Lynn, as a fully paid up resident Brit, I have to say you’ve opened up a whole can of worms here!

Getting us to agree on tea is well nigh impossible, except that one thing everyone agrees on is that the water should be boiling when it makes contact with the tea, whether that tea is loose leaf or in a bag.

If you use a teapot, warm it first. Mugs or cups? Cups if you’re being formal but most of us drink it out of mugs most of the time.

In many Brit households, when a visitor is offered a cup (mug) of tea, there’s usually a supplementary question: “Earl Grey or Builder’s?”

Earl Grey, (my preference but taken with milk because I’m a heathen) is supposedly the more refined choice whereas Builder’s tea is anything but Earl Gray and supposedly the preferred drink of the working person, although this allusion to our class system is now largely meant humorously and ironically.

Thoroughly confused now?

If any of our American friends offer visiting Brits a cup of tea; good luck!



Two more cans of worms.

Heated debate about scones and clotted cream.

First of all, pronunciation. The U.K. is bitterly divided about whether to make the “O” in scones a long or short vowel sound.

Secondly, with scones and clotted cream, everyone agrees that what we Brits call jam and what American friends call jelly is essential.

Blows have almost been come to as to whether the jam (jelly) is spread on the scone first, followed by the cream, or vice versa.

My own personal theory is that when those guys in Boston in 1773 threw all that tea tea into the harbour, it wasn’t a political act at all. It was just sheer exasperation about all of the stupid British rituals surrounding tea and a clear determination to adopt coffee as the national beverage instead.

Sally Watling

It was a delicious tea dear friends. The raspberry shortbreads were wonderful.

Suzanne Dunaway

Lovely bars. An isolaton recette I adore because you can use any raw vegetable you have around.
I use my food processor to chop all the vegetables quite fine, but not pureed!

2 cups grated courgette, carrot, champignons, etc. Even potiron.
2 generoustablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon levure chimique, baking powder
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
Salt, pepper
Pinch of curry powder
1 egg (and 1 egg only!)

Mix all the dry ingredients and then stir in the egg to make a compact mix.

Drop by tablespoons into a hot pan brushed with olive oil.
Saute on one side until very crisp, then turn over and do the same on the other.
Serve with lemon or your favorite sauce or nothing at all. Good by themselves.

Suzanne Dunaway

Jane Williamson

Afternoon tea has become 'the' thing, but anyone who sticks out their pinkie is now viewed as terribly affected and NQU, not quite us!


Your raspberry shortbread recipe will go into my recipe binder. I will make them for my first post covid French conversation group meeting in your honor.

Doris Wolfe

Afternoon tea is a afternoon delight that my husband picked up during WWII, An American serving with the British troops, the war stopped to have afternoon tea. It’s still a ritual all these many years later.
Merci beaucoup for thé recipe, It’s a great time to bake during lockdown in France.

Jan Greening

This is just an aside whisper to Lynn sent with a sincere smile - that pesky digital elf who thinks he knows what we want to type snuck in an extra “c” again in the first mention of scones!! 😉 As always I love your blog and am looking forward to trying this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us!! Restez sauf et sain 😷, Jan Greening

Libby Wilkie

Tea is my favorite time of day, whether first thing in the morning or a cuppa at 4 PM. (I never touch coffee...) Always loose of course, and Assam is my favorite. And now I have a British son-in-law and daughter who live there which make my tea obsession a part of our lives!

Debbie Ambrous

My favorite tea is Bouddha Bleu from Mariage Freres. I surely did not know all of these English rules about tea, or I probably would never have invited the English guests who visited me through the years. Happy to have the new recipe since I love raspberry jam!


dear sweet Lynn - can not wait to be able to have folks in for a cuppa and your delicious shortbread. I never thought I'd miss the heat of summer - and the outdoor freedom it allowed us.... We'll get there.


Bonjour Lynn
Hope you are confining now. Smart girl for not being here during the elections but you might be in France till ne t year considering the crise sanitaire there and the terrorisme there. You might have to get a carte de séjour😊
Hope you had macarons and not macaroons. Those are so much better from the pastry shop. 😋
Wishing you all the best in those difficult times.


Lynn, I cannot thank you enough for this uplifting,FUN,post! Totally wonderful! Especially enjoyed such a lovely picture featuring your beautiful tea service,complete with that recipe for your heavenly raspberry shortbread bars!Yum!
My days of such a terrific tea service as you gave are,alas,pretty much in my days of yore,with the exception being(of course) pour mon mari et notre petite chiots!!
(who don't get any tea but definitely get some selected goodies)
My favorite tea is a decaf by Mariage Frere,Red Rooibos,served in a lovely pot (Wedgewood Naomi,actually,which I've had sine 1978)(ditto with cups)
Our French boulangerie started making Financiers,so it will be an easy and delicious
afternoon delight for us.
Thank you for reminding us to take time and enjoy!!

Gwyneth Perrier

My dad is English and I grew up with tea time every afternoon when he came home from work. The water must be boiling or it won't bring out the full flavor of the tea. Because it was 1970s California, the only tea that we could get was Lipton's which was good enough for us back then, but there is such an amazing selection of delicious teas now! I love a good, strong cup of Assam, or even Earl Gray Lavender. I do drink my tea with milk (unless it's green, of course), and we always put our milk in first. I think in a more formal setting, one would pour milk in after, and use a spoon. My cousin's wife in London just enjoys her Yorkshire Gold tea, which I like, but a really good loose leaf tea will make me very happy. We all drink from mugs when visiting family in England and do so at home as well.

My husband is French and I've had both supermarket and high-quality teas in France but while they are beautifully packaged, I find that they are too weak for my taste and I end up drinking coffee instead. I always brew his tea very quickly and never with milk!

Martin mentioned the debate on the pronunciation of "scone". I grew up saying it with a short 'o' and when I once ordered one in a cafe in California, everyone turned around and shouted "scone" with a long 'o'. There was one Englishman in the cafe who said that I was correct! Nobody here pronounces it the way I grew up saying it, so I've just adjusted and now use the latter version, because it doesn't really matter anyway, does it?

Anne Marie

If you ever wanted to know more about the Dreyfus Affair, read AN OFFICER and A SPY by Robert Harris. It's well written, gripping and shows how corruption and lies can cover up the truth. As a contrepoint, I did indulge and lightened up with "Emilie in Paris".

Colleen Taylor

I have so many various types of teas & I do love them all, however, you had me at those raspberry bars! Yum! This looks like a keeper & thank you for this recipe.

We actually started watching Emily in Paris last week. It was recommended by a good friend but after several episodes, I grew so very weary of all the pretentiousness in this movie. We moved on to something else, The Queen's Gambit on Netflix. I highly recommend.

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