Saturday, 8 May 2010

afternoon tea, etc

I invited my friends Rani and Tiffany this afternoon for a tea and I made Classic Victoria sponge with all the trimmings, a traditional cake often served for afternoon tea. I have lived in the UK for almost five years now and I must admit I have only had one afternoon tea at the Berkeley London Hotel a couple of years ago. The afternoon tea, Prêt-à-Portea, is inspired by clothings and accessories from various well-known designers; all served on fine-bone china by Paul Smith. And the menu changes every six months to follow the changing seasons in fashion. I'm not an expert in fashion of any kind (and of course, you don't have to be. It's all about the delicious cakes, and the tea and the champagne), and even though the tea wasn't very traditional but it was a pretty awesome experience. I look forward to go back this summer with some friends.

the inspirations

can you guess which one is which?

Anyway, back to the cake. In case if you're wondering, Victoria sponge cake is named after Queen Victoria. She hosted tea parties, at which later-to-be-known as Victoria sponge cake was served and then the cake became fashionable throughout the Victorian era and until today.

A traditional Victoria sponge consists of jam sandwiched between two sponge cakes and the top of the cake isn't iced or decorated.

Jamie's recipe for the cake is pretty easy with butter, sugar, self-raising flour, eggs and lemon zest. After baked in the oven and cooled completely, the first cake was placed on the cake stand and then smeared with a mixture of strawberry jam and sliced fresh strawberries; before topping it with lemony vanilla whipped cream and the second cake. The last thing to do was to dust the cake with plenty of icing sugar. Delicious.

I think Queen Victoria would be proud.

And for dinner tonight I made pasta with rocket pesto, a recipe from one delicious food blog: cooking easy by Annalisa. I read about this recipe yesterday and I just got to try it. Rocket or Arugula is one of my favourite salad leaves and I can't believe I haven't thought about using them in pesto. It was delicious. Dare I say, better than basil pesto. Annalisa, a massive thank you for this recipe. It's a triumph!

and Annalisa, I hope I've done you proud... :)


  1. Oh my!!!! What a wonderful work you did! Your pasta looks truly great, scrumptious!
    I have to thank you allot for the wonderful post you made, and the link to my blog...I'm honoured by your words, and proud of what you made...your pasta looks so much better than mine!
    Great, great work!And hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Better than basil! Those are brave words! But they just about convince me to try it.
    The sponge looks so gorgeous too!