La Tea Dah, over at Gracious Hospitality has wonderful posts about tea time. She's asking everyone to participate with recipes for special goodies, just for tea!
The Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC, where I live, is famous for its afternoon teas. They are pricey, but oh, so elegant. Scones are one of their specialties, served with Devonshire cream and strawberry jam. Here's the recipe:
Empress Hotel Scones
2 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup butter, hard
1/2 cup milk, or light cream
1 egg, beaten
Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add sugar. Cut in butter until the mixture is like coarse meal. Combine the milk and egg and stir into flour mixture, mixing lightly. On a floured surface, roll out to 1/2 inch thick. Cut 3 inch rounds and place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm with butter or strawberry jam and Devonshire cream.
In this picture, I cut them a little smaller than 3 inches, and I brushed the tops with more milk and sprinkled a little sugar on them. I also used homemade cherry jam instead of strawberry and lightly sweetened whipped cream. These scones and a cup of tea made up most of my supper last night. And tea is tea only if made in a pot, never drag a bag through hot water and call it tea. And somehow, it tastes best when sipped from a bone china teacup.
The Empress Hotel overlooks the Inner Harbour in the downtown area. Tea is taken in an Edwardian style room. The first time I had tea there, my daughters and I were seated at a table by a window. We had a gorgeous view of the harbour and of people wandering along the street. Tea begins with a dish of strawberries and chantilly cream with unending pots of hot tea, an Empress blend. Then a 3-tiered stand is brought, with sandwiches on the bottom, scones in the middle and sweet goodies on the top.
It's the most civilized of experiences and so much fun!
The Empress was named after Queen Victoria. You can see queenly references everywhere, including on this stone gatepost when you enter from the side.