The REAL TeaseMaid since 2011! Take a peep at my blog: a sweet and sexy cocktail of Tea and Tease, a cupcake and cream-tea blog with a burlesque twist. Let's face it, afternoon tea is the most fun you can have with your clothes on! So read on for some tasty tit-bits that you're not gonna get from the 'old dears' at The Tea Guild.... ;-) If you fancy coming along to my monthly Clandestine Cake Club, see the link below. And don't forget to check out the date of my next 'Avon' retro cosmetic party "Cake It On".... Love from The TeaseMaid xox

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Soho's Secret Tea Room, Greek Street
Hidden above a typical pie and ale pub on Greek Street, “Soho's Secret Tea Room” is an unexpected little treat. It’s essential to book and they take bookings to fill slots every 2 hours, the last one being at 4pm most days. The problem we had with such an advanced booking is that we had no idea London was going to be hit by a mini heat-wave at the end of September! So, dressed in as few clothes as possible, we entered the Coach and Horses pub and ascended the stairs behind the bar with a little bit of trepidation.....
Once inside the Tea Room, even with fans on and windows open, it was hot and stuffy. That’s hardly the fault of the establishment though –just one of those things. When one of the waitresses, dressed in vintage fashion, brought over the menus the first thing we asked for was a glass of water. We gratefully received a huge jug of iced water with 2 glasses and she was very cheerful despite the fact that she was working in the heat, whereas we were just having fun in it.
The menu was fantastic with a Traditional Afternoon Tea that came at one of the lowest prices I’ve seen in Central London. But there was also the option to have just tea and cake or a cupcake or scones – many different combinations to suit all budgets.
We both, of course, opted for full afternoon tea which in hindsight may not have been a good idea – eating so much rich food on a hot day is hard enough as it is...especially when you’re going to a Hardcore show afterwards..! But the idea was to just try as much on the menu as possible so we were brave. I chose the Earl Grey Tea to drink out of around 14 different types, which was delicious despite the fact I would have rather had an iced tea. I also had smoked salmon sandwiches which were lovely, and two different cakes: a chocolate cake slice, and a rose and vanilla cupcake. They were both heavenly, and the rose in particular very unique! I fully intended to only eat half of each but the delicious meltiness of the chocolate in the heat made me polish off the whole thing. We also had scones and although they were nice we could have done with a bit more cream and jam for them.
We stuffed our faces and chatted to the distinctive sounds of 40’s jazz and swing songs, but didn’t stay the full hour and a half we were allocated, despite the cosy mish-mash of vintage decor and ambience, merely because of the heat. I can definitely recommend this for a crisp autumn day, especially if you want somewhere authentic to take your gran.

"Sip"-Tease Rating: ****
Pa"Tease"erie Rating: ****
Boudoir or Boring? rating: ***
Service with (nothing but) a Smile Rating: ***
Cheap or Chic? Rating: ****

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Afternoon Tea Awards
Check out the below link for a list of the best places to go for Afternoon Tea in London for 2011 according to The Tea Guild. I have to admit I haven't been to any of these yet as it's my mission to scout out the places that are a little less traditional and a little more unique (such as the fantastic Jack Daniels afternoon tea I had at The Gore Hotel and the Sex in the Cit-ea which included chocolate high heels).
However, I do have a booking for The Soho Secret Tea Room soon, so check back to see the review...
Click here for Awards 2011

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

'Burlesque' the movie
I've gotta be quite economical with my time and my money at the moment as I'm moving house in two weeks. So in the absence of any full-on Burlesque shows or expensive afternoon teas, I thought it'd be a good time to stay in and catch this film....
Oh my god, I'm so glad I did. I think I said on Twitter at the time that this has replaced Dirty Dancing as my favourite crap/fab film ever!! One of the great things about Dirty Dancing was the soundtrack and even though Burlesque doesn't quite live up to that it still has some gems. For example, there is a pop-type cover of Marilyn Manson's 'The Beautiful People' which was hilarious!
And this really is just kitsch, naughty indulgence at it's best - cheese, glamour, glitter and sex on legs in the form of Cam Gigandet (who is sexy in everything except Twilight surprisingly). 
It's the film equivalent of the evenings when you reject a proper dinner so you can have two helpings of dessert instead. It's buying a bottle of champagne for no other reason than to drink it in a hot bubble-bath. It's wearing those 1950's marabou kitten-heel slippers round the house, even though there's nobody there to see you: an innocent/guilty pleasure that no-one except you needs to know about....except I just told you....
But I'm ok with you knowing how much I enjoyed this film!
Until next time...xox

Saturday, 30 July 2011

National Afternoon Tea Week
Apparently National Afternoon Tea Week is 15th-19th August so check out various tea-related websites for information on pop-up afternoon teas and discount vouchers. My favourite website is http://www.afternoontea.co.uk/ and my favourite place to indulge at the moment is High Tea of Highgate. Keep checking the blog as I'll be attending a Mad Hatters pop-up tea party soon, and sharing some 'Tease related news...
Until next time... xox

Saturday, 16 July 2011

'High Tea of Highate' in Highgate Village

On such a miserable Saturday afternoon with awful wet weather, it was an absolute delight to go to a cosy little tea-shop like this. From the outside, with its pink fascia and reassuringly steamed-up windows containing bric-a-brac emblazoned with 50's pin-ups, we were already sold - but inside was even better.
We were very lucky to get a seat, as this popular place was jam-packed (pardon the pun..) but we timed it just right and were allocated a table.
They do offer full afternoon tea at a very reasonable price here, and this can be booked. But my waistline dictated that one slice of cake was enough for me today, so me and my companion opted to do just that. This makes High Tea of Highate a great option for the budget concious too.
I went for a pot of the 'London Blend' recommended by the owner, and a slice of chocolate cake (of course). My companion opted for a scone with jam and clotted cream and a pot of Assam.
The cake was lovely and tasted home-made and satisfying - it definitely was a good sized portion! I'm told the scone was fantastic - not too dry and not too sweet, the and jam was the perfect complement. And we were both amused by the little milk jug shaped like a cow :) My 'London Blend' was so good I ordered a second pot, as did my friend. 
We could have sat there all day in those lovely surroundings and our only complaint is that the place closed too early!
I'm a big fan of 'twee and cosy' but I understand that's not everyone's cup of tea (again....pardon the pun!) That's why the decor here is so impressive: they've managed to mix vintage and cute with a bit of a funky and stylish edge, even down to the tattooed staff in 40's/50's accessories - this definitely doesn't look like your Grandma's house, which is the the typical template of an English 'Tea-Shop'. In fact, this place would be very at home in Shoreditch or Hoxton, despite the fact that it's also complemented by the leafy quiet suburbs of Highgate Village.
I'd definitely love to return here and highly recommend it. Check out the website at http://www.highteaofhighgate.com/
"Sip"-tease Rating: ****
Pa"Tease"erie Rating: ***
Boudoir or Boring? Rating: *****
Service with (Nothing but) a Smile Rating: ****
Cheap or Chic? Rating:****

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

If In Doubt....Bake
Sometimes baking is the best stress relief. Not only do you get to beat eggs and whip cream which is satisfying, you also focus and concentrate on the present moment and ignore the worries of the past and future. Afterwards, you have the added pleasure of a beautiful cake which you can share with others, and that helps you to feel better too. 
Luckily I received my brand new book in the post at exactly the time I needed it:
So now I can't think of any reason to leave the safety of my kitchen for a while. You know where to find me.... 
Until next time....xox

Saturday, 25 June 2011

"Sex In The Ci-Tea" @ The Montagu, Hyatt Regency Hotel
This is the most non-traditional tea I've had so far but it was fabulous. Along with a 'Cosmopolitan' or 'Flirtini' cocktail we indulged in other food that was based on ''Sex In The City or on New York itself. As well as sandwiches the savoury aspect included mini hot-dogs, bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese, and mini burgers, and my friend and I were impressed with the vegetarian option that was available. The sweet aspect of the tea eschewed the traditional scone with jam and cream option, instead basing four desserts on the four stars of the show. Carrie inspired white chocolate Stiletto shoes flavoured with strawberry, Miranda was glazed mini-doughnuts, Samantha was mini martini glasses containing apple-vodka jelly, and Charlotte was strawberry cupcakes. Similarly, there was a large tea menu with four selected specifically to symbolise the four ladies: I chose Earl Grey (Charlotte) and my glam friend went for White Needle Tea (Carrie). Both were delicious.
It was a very indulgent experience, definitely more costly than other teas I've been to (and there was a bit of a mix-up with the bill at the end) but totally worth it. 
However sometimes, it's the fact that you can have a real conversation over afternoon tea that makes it so appealing, and I had fantastic company! We could have sat there drinking 'Cosmopolitans' all evening but it may have cost us more than a package week to Marbella (yet been infinitely more preferable..!)
I highly recommend the swanky surroundings of this hotel, and this particular tea for a bit of post-shopping indulgence, but make sure you go just after pay day ;-) 
"Sip"-tease Rating: ***
Pa"Tease"erie Rating:****
Boudoir or Boring? Rating: ****
Service with (Nothing But) a Smile Rating:***
Cheap or Chic Rating:* (Especially because of the bill mix-ups)

Friday, 24 June 2011

Keep Calm and Eat Cupcakes
I'm back from my travels and a stint in the Convent with a new outlook on life:
It's amazing what hanging out with nuns does to help improve your perspective! So I've drunk my body weight in Horlicks while in the convent...it just seemed like the right thing to do. 
But now I'm out and ready for afternoon tea, so keep checking in for the next review from your favourite 'Tease Maid. 
Until next time xox

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

More Tea Vicar..?
So as research for a book I'm writing, and for some of my own personal enquiries, I'll be living in a convent for a while... As I said, this is probably a good thing because I need to lay off the sweets (and cakes, and Turkish Delight, and chocolate...) for a bit. But it's definitely going to be a unique experience for me...
In preparation I've been watching 'Sister Act' and 'Father Ted', so I think I know exactly what to expect ;-)
In all seriousness, I am an avid reader so I will be taking advantage of their library as well as re-reading some of my favourite books:
"A Book of Silence" by Sara Maitland 
"Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer
and doing a lot of writing. 
So don't worry if I'm not on here for a while. When I'm out, the first thing I'll want is a massive afternoon tea and you'll be able to read all about it here. 
I also got asked if I'd like to go along to 'Burlexe' - a theatrical project starring Javine Hylton about the amazing women who created Burlesque. So keep checking the blog for a review.
Until next time...

Sunday, 12 June 2011

'Operation Cupcake'

I may be a bit behind because I've been in Belgium with no access to English papers. (And my French is OK but I don't know how to say 'cupcake' or 'bomb'...maybe I should learn...) However, if you haven't seen this, read it:

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Afternoon Tea...'Turkish Style'

The recent lull in my partaking of afternoon tea is due to the fact that I decided to go to Istanbul. Agatha Christie would have you believe that Stamboul (as it used to be called) is full of ex-pats and Poirot-esque, upper-class travellers wearing white gloves in grand hotels. They may well be here but I haven't seen them. Of course, her stories are set during the golden age of the Orient Express and having afternoon tea on there is definitely one of the top 10 on my bucket-list. 
But for now, I've settled for afternoon tea traditional Turkish style which doesn't just involve the famous apple tea but also cups of strong, sweet cardamon coffee.

It also doesn't only occur in the afternoon but 7-10 times a day depending on how many carpet shops you get dragged into :)
Middle Eastern hospitality is some of my favourite in the world, and I've experienced it in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey. And when Turkish Delight or baclava are added to the mix, it can definitely rival any English high tea. The only downside is my teeth might start falling out of my head. I can hear my blood sugar rising as I type...
To make things worse, I'm actually writing this from Belgium - a place full of more chocolate than I've ever seen in my life... I thought it was a cliche but there were even some on my pillow and in the foyer of the hotel when I arrived. I never thought I'd say it but I'm actually craving salad.
Luckily, I'll be staying in a convent next so there'll be no excessive sugar consumption there - just good old austerity. Thank goodness, or the name of this blog would've been changed to afternoon-diabe'tease'.com ;-)
Until next time xox

Thursday, 2 June 2011

'Angry Cakes'....Part 1 of many...
Admittedly I'm a bit stressed out at the moment, trying to make some huge decisions about moving/studying/working etc. But there's one thing that clears my head and relaxes me....baking. However, for me, it's never just any cake. I like to make cakes depicting pictures from t-shirts or artwork of my favourite bands. So here's my latest offering :)
It's in honour of one of my favourite bands, Brutality Will Prevail, who are coming to play in London this Saturday (Come and check them out at Underworld, Camden.)
So now I feel a bit less stressed, as all I need to do is put the kettle on and cut myself a big slice :)
Until next time... xox

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Mad Hatter's Tea Party (2)
You can probably see down the side of my blog I've added another link to my new website. I've been selling artwork for about 6 months, mainly 3D shadow boxes, via folksy.com and also via a shop in Camden called 'Alienate'.
They mainly consist of genuine antique miniatures and taxidermy pieces, and are inspired by dark fairytales and literature etc, particularly Alice In Wonderland. Below is one of the more 'pretty' pieces I've made:
 As you can see, there's a genuine Royal Doulton tea cup and saucer in here, and a lot of my work contains small cups and saucers. Check it out at memento-mori-carla.blogspot.com or click on the pic to your right. The pieces have all sold now but I'm in the process of making new ones which will be available via myself or from 'Alientate' in Camden

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

"Rock 'n' Roll" Afternoon Tea @ Bar 190, The Gore Hotel
Despite making a reservation for their famous Rock 'n' Roll Tea, the staff here seemed to have no idea what we were asking for and after much to-ing and fro-ing tried to sit us in the Bistro for an ordinary tea. The way we were dressed and the conversation we were having, that bistro would have thrown us out within 5 minutes! Thankfully we were moved back to Bar 190 and allocated some seats, and we were brought our Jack Daniels and coke as mentioned on the menu. Now we knew the 'theme' of this tea was Jack Daniels so we were happy with the drinks, and waited patiently for the food... What we didn't know was that we weren't getting any actual tea....
This really was Rock 'n' Roll! 
We ate the most delicious little finger sandwiches, eclairs and scones with clotted cream, and washed it all down with JD and coke :)
We were then served an extra plate of mini-muffins literally soaked in JD and some JD flavour biscuits that tasted very home-made.... 
We weren't keen on the mini blueberry and lemon tarts as they were far too tangy, but there was so much food it didn't matter. Between the four of us we couldn't eat it all anyway. Which is silly because lining our stomachs better would have been a good idea :)

The price for the tea was average for a good hotel and had a better than average selection, but we spent far more on subsequent JD and cokes. This was because the atmosphere and the bar itself were fantastic! And the soundtrack of Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and various Tarantino film songs made up for all the messing about in the beginning, so we just got comfy and stayed there..
All in all, this was a sexy bar with a good history of Rock'n'Roll debauchery - so you can act a lot more naughty than you can at most afternoon teas! The meal itself is not expensive by premium hotel standards, but watch your intake of extra drinks because they will set you back much more money. And there is an option to have tea instead of JD, so that may be a better way to keep you from copying Jagger's Rock'n'Roll excess :)
(Incidentally, the most ironic thing about this day was that by the time I got home, I'd had so much JD and was feeling so tipsy that the first thing I did was make a huge cup of good old Tetley xox

"Sip"-tease Rating: *
Pa"Tease"erie Rating:***
Boudoir or Boring? rating:*****
Service With (nothing but) a Smile Rating:**
Cheap or Chic? Rating:**

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Mad Hatter's Tea Party (1)
No blog on afternoon tea could possibly be complete without some additions from the infamous Tea Party in 'Alice in Wonderland'. This just happens to be my favourite book/film/game/philosophy on life in general and I'm very excited that American McGee is doing a sequel to his October 2000 installment. It's released in June and you can see a little teaser here:
I don't know about you but I cannot wait to go back down that rabbit hole! Much of my artwork is inspired by Alice and I will be adding some pics of it very soon, so keep your eyes peeled.....
Until next time xox

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

"The Vintage Patisserie"
I was recently very honoured to receive a lovely e-mail from Angel Adoree, the founder of 'The Vintage Patisserie'. Those of you who haven't yet sampled her cupcakes or been to any of the bespoke vintage tea-parties she organizes will definitely have seen her on 'Dragon's Den' promoting her business. 
From the humble beginnings of a simple market stall, she now creates vintage afternoon tea extravaganzas for all occasions, providing hostesses, retro hair and make-up stylists, music, decorations and of course, burlesque! Clients include Mylene Klass, Oasis and Agent Provocateur....and hopefully very soon, me!
So check out her Vintage Patisserie site on the above address, and also www.angeladoree.co.uk for more information on the services offered and to learn more about the fabulous Angel herself.

Until next time.......xox

Monday, 23 May 2011

"La Vie en Rose" Afternoon Tea @ The Rose Lounge, Sofitel St James
This Afternoon Tea was pretty much perfect from start to finish. From the moment we set foot in the Rose Lounge, the staff were polite and attentive, and went to prepare our champagne cocktails as we perused the menu. We already knew we would be opting for 'La Tea En Rose' which involved the usual finger sandwiches and scones, with the addition of Rose & Raspberry jam and some french themed patisserie, so we ordered and settled in to the amazing surroundings as a harpsichord player added to the ambience. 
In all honesty the sandwiches were pretty nice but average, and the scones, although warm and smelling delicious when they arrived, seemed pretty average too - but spread generously with the delicious Rose jam and clotted cream they were transformed. It was the patisserie however that was really amazing. We could choose 2 each from the selection, and one of the ones I opted for was a perfect pink raspberry macaroon that took me right back to Laduree in Paris.
The tea itself was beautiful and fresh - from an incredibly large menu, I opted for the Earl Grey and my companion went for the Green Tea. And unlike some other places, the staff came to top up our pots with hot water continually, without being asked. But it was the Champagne cocktail, which included Rose Liqueur and real rose petals, that completely blew us away, and we ended up having 3. Despite us being there for hours, there were no hints for us to leave and the staff took pictures for us and remained very friendly and professional.
I can't recommend this place enough - everything was perfect, down to the Rose petals scattered on the table, and considering it's a mid-priced tea it was incredible value for money.
The Rose Lounge will close from July 1st for a few months for renovation elsewhere in the hotel - I suggest you get yourself down there as soon as possible to experience this amazing hidden gem.
"Sip"-tease Rating: *****
Pa"Tease"erie Rating:****
Boudoir or Boring? rating:*****
Service With (nothing but) a Smile Rating:*****
Cheap or Chic? Rating:***

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Afternoon Tea @ The Montcalm Hotel

Nestled in the Georgian enclave of Great Cumberland Place, The Montcalm Hotel looks promising from the outside. But on entering the foyer we're dismayed to see that the restaurant/tearoom IS the foyer itself, and the level of activity and bad acoustics give the area rather an impersonal feel.
We're finally seated after a bit of a wait resulting from some confusion over the booking... I think it's because we were booked in for the Chocolate Indulgence Tea (of course..!) But none of the staff seem to know what that means, and seem to think we're asking for "chocolate tea". As good as that combination sounds, I don't think the world is ready for it yet..!
The staff finally understand what we're requesting and we receive our pots of Earl Grey etc pretty quickly. We did wait a very long time for the food though - in fact we drank a lot of tea in the interim. So it was annoying that when we asked for more tea, once the food arrived, we were looked at again as though we were speaking in Chinese.
It's a good job the food was delicious, with delicate finger sandwiches, chocolate chip mini-scones and various mini macaroons and praline slices, and we were glad we'd opted for the chocolate version, as after all that waiting we did feel in need of an instant pick-me-up.
So all in all, the food and drink was fantastic quality, but the surroundings and staff left a lot to be desired:

"Sip"-Tease Rating: ***
Pa"Tease"erie Rating: ***
Boudoir or Boring? rating: **
Service With (nothing but) a Smile rating: *
Cheap or Chic? rating: ***

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Time to really get things started...

Coming up soon there'll be a review of afternoon tea at The Montcalm Hotel, but before I get to that I'll discuss the layout of the blog posts. Basically there'll be the usual written review to discuss as much as I can about each venue. Then hopefully a photograph or two of the delights on offer that day - yes that includes me... ;-) Then there'll be an at-a-glance 5* rating of the specific bonuses that make a great afternoon tea.
For example, the 'Sip'-tease rating will be higher if the variety of teas on offer is larger. The Pa-'tease'-erie rating will be higher if there is a large selection of patisserie and if it tastes fantastic. The Cheap or Chic rating will be higher, the more economic/affordable the tea etc. 
Any tea/burlesque puns that you'd like to send me would be gratefully accepted as there are only so many one person can come up with! And before anyone says it, there are a few, such as 'cream tease' that I thought of....but they're too rude! No mentions of big jugs on here thank you very much, this is a family website ;-)

Until next time... xox

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

There's nothing like the great British Cuppa

Well I've just returned from a jaunt in Tunisia and I'm sorry to say I did betray my Afternoon Tea ethos by spending most of my time drinking Turkish coffee and eating baclava :) 
As nice as that is, and highly addictive, the first thing I did when I returned was get my Tetley Extra Strong out and the grab the biggest mug I could find. I had to put a picture of this mug on here, compared to a normal sized tea-cup, so you can see it in all it's glory - it's so big and round it may as well have a nipple on it. Thanks Urban Outfitters for supplying a cup big enough for the vat of tea I needed to counteract all that coffee, and thanks Tetley for a tea bag that was strong enough to fill it!

Now I'm back in England I'll hitting the tea rooms ASAP and sharing my experiences so, until next time....

Saturday, 30 April 2011

The Hurly Burly Girlys are hot....

I don't know where to start with this - the show was absolutely amazing! 
I can't give away too much about the acts themselves but the whole thing was a masterpiece - funny, sexy, intelligent and cheeky. And the girls are talented and athletic, with bodies to die for, but two in particular stood out for me (apart from Polly Rae herself.)
Anything that pays homage to the French Revolution with Lady gaga, Marilyn Monroe and a glittery guillotine is alright by me! And big band versions of some favourite 80's tracks and mashed up medleys gave the whole performance a Baz Luhrmann feel.
During the audience participation, I think the scared bloke they dragged on stage was relieved to see them move the guillotine first, but the terror returned when he saw the horses saddle....!
Somehow the performances managed to amalgamate various epochs in history, all genres of music and classic tease, as well as modern rock-inspired naughtiness, all seamlessly from start to finish.
Unfortunately the show ends tomorrow, but I highly recommend you keep your eye out if it returns to another theatre and go and see it!
PS - sometimes with things like this they let you in free if you dress the part, right? But don't turn up wearing only nipple pasties and a vajazzle. 

They, er...they don't let you do that I've realised..... ;-)

Until next time...

Friday, 29 April 2011

Something naughty to start with....

As this page is a kitsch amalgamation of tea AND tease, tomorrow I'm heading to a burlesque show: The Hurly Burly Show at the Garrick Theatre. 
This is partly because London is too full of tourists 'taking tea' at the moment due to the Royal Wedding for me to book places anywhere, and partly because this show ends on May 1st, so I just managed to squeeze it in! So, something very tasty to start the reviews off with....read tomorrow to find out how it was...


Monday, 25 April 2011

Welcome to my blog

This blog was partly inspired by the book 'Kinky Cupcakes' by Joanna Farrow, and partly inspired by the fact that I love to sit around drinking tea, eating cakes and chatting with my friends. Afternoon Tea is growing in popularity and is, let's face it, the most fun you can have with your clothes on! So follow my blog and I will be reviewing as many of the different afternoon teas as possible in London, and throwing in some tantalising, tasty treats....

Until next time 


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