(c) Julia Briggs- English Tea Store


(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

  • Oven 175 C, 155 C Fan, 330 F or gas mark 4
  • Two packets of Oreo biscuits
  • 2 oz butter
  • One 400 g or 12 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • The zest of one lemon
  • 2-1/2 level tablespoons of custard powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 oz caster sugar
  • 4 oz dark chocolate (or milk if you prefer)
  • 4 oz double cream
  • 3 oz white chocolate


Make the base by combining all but three of the crushed biscuits with the softened butter and press 2/3 of this mixture  into a 8″ spring form tin and leave to cool.


(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

Meanwhile mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, lemon zest, custard powder, vanilla essence and sugar.  Then spread half over the base, sprinkle the remaining 1/3 biscuit base on and top with the other half of the mixture.  At this point it can get a bit messy!

Smooth the top and bake for about one hour until firm to the touch.  Cool on a wire rack for at least two hours before decorating the top.


(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store


For the topping melt the dark chocolate and mix with 3 oz cream, melt the white chocolate in a separate container and mix with the remaining one oz of  cream.  Spread the dark chocolate over the entire cake top and drizzle on the white chocolate.  Use a fork to create a pattern on top and, presuming you still have the 3 biscuits you did not use in the base then use these to decorate the sides.  Mine had mysteriously disappeared when it came to this part!!


(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

The French call this recipe ‘Salmon en croute’ but it is basically fresh salmon coated with cream cheese, is desired, cooked inside pastry and it is delicious.  It does not take long to make, especially if you use ready made pastry  and it only takes 20 minutes to cook.

I used ready rolled puff pastry from the supermarket and some lovely fresh salmon and parsley from the market.  I like cream cheese so I used that too.  First, I cooked my salmon for 30 minutes in the oven with the parsley until it was almost cooked through but I could still handle it.  Then I cut my pastry into squares, placed a piece of salmon on the pastry then spread cream cheese on the top of the salmon and folded my pastry over and crimped the edges.  Brushed the whole thing with an egg wash and sliced the top to let the air out, then placed it on a baking tray.​


(c) Julia Briggs- English Tea Store

Bake for 20 minutes in a hot oven 180C until nice and brown.

Take out of the oven but leave on the tray so it does not loose the heat.  I baked some potatoes in a cream cheese sauce whilst the oven was on and served this with peas and carrots.  I also made a fish sauce with a fish stock cube, water, cream and balsamic vinegar.  I had only clean plates afterwards so it must have been good.​



(c) Crystal Derma – English Tea Store

When drinking tea, what would you think goes along with a nice cuppa tea?! While one may prefer a tea sandwich, a little cake, but for some, there are tea biscuits. There is a wide variety that you could either make or purchase that simply make tea more enjoyable and more filling. It’s what helps make Afternoon Tea so enjoyable.

So what kind of biscuit would one go for when having a cup of tea? Here are just a few of the basics below:

The DigestiveOne of the most popular biscuits for tea, they are perfect for soaking up tea and taking a bite! And these are not meant for dunking in milk, trust me, I’ve tried! It doesn’t soak up as well as it does in tea! The Digestive, made by McVities, is made with wheat flour, and was invented in the 19th century to originally aid with digestion, hence then name Digestive. While the name does sound a bit off, the biscuit is actually very delicious and very addictive! If you try them with chocolate, it’s an added bonus!

Rich TeaAlso made by McVities, the Rich Tea is made in the same shape as the Digestives-round and stamped with the McVities logo. The difference with these biscuits are that these are not crumbly like the Digestives, but are instead more crispy and light than Digestives. These were the original “tea biscuit”, meant for the higher classes in British society in 17th Century Yorkshire but is now for everyone to enjoy!

Shortbread-Rich and buttery, these biscuits are very creamy and melt-in-your-mouth! These go way back to the 12th century in Scotland, shortbread biscuits were originally known as “biscuit bread” which was created from leftover bread dough. The yeast in the bread was soon to be replaced by butter, which is how it has the signature buttery flavor!

Custard CreamOne of the most popular and beloved biscuits in the British Isles, this one is very addictive! Embossed with a Victorian design, these can be enjoyed with our without tea.

Bourbon CreamDon’t be mistaken! There is no alcohol in this but is actually chocolate! The name is said to be originated from the House of Bourbon in France. Sandwiched in between chocolate buttercream, these are also hard to eat less than a few!

Britain has a great variety of biscuits so it would take me a lifetime to talk about them all! Do you have favorites that are not listed here and how do you eat them? Do you dunk them in tea or simply eat them without tea? Always feel free to discuss!



(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

Digestives Biscuits with a difference.  Do you have a wheat allergy?  Then this is a recipe for you, they only take 15 minutes in the oven and they taste good.  You can use a variety of flours or just on kind, I used wheatmeal flour which is made from oats but I did not have have any buckwheat so I just doubled the quantity of wheatmeal flour.

So you will need:

  • 4 oz Oat Flour
  • 4 oz unsalted butter
  • 4 oz Buckwheat flour
  • 2 oz light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or less
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk (any kind you want)
  • A greased baking sheet or two, this quantity makes about 12.
  • Set the oven to moderate 180 C 350 F gas mark 4
  • Sieve the flours with the baking powder, sugar and salt then beat in the butter, egg yolk and milk.

(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

When well combined turn out onto a floured worktop and roll out.  You can make the biscuits any thickness you like but bare in mind they will spread on the sheet.  Cut out with a biscuit cutter and place on the baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool slightly before lifting onto a wire rack.  Enjoy one with a nice cup of tea.


(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

The other day my very friendly Market stall holder gave me some fruit for jam making and amongst the pile was some very nice juicy lemons.  Now I am a big fan of lemons and just love Lemon curd or Lemon Cheese spread as it is sometimes know.  It is very simple to make, tastes good and you can use it to sandwich a cake together as I did or just on some nice crusty bread.  So after I had made the lemon curd I bought some clotted cream and proceeded to make a celebration cake for my friend who needed a ‘pick me up’

For the lemon curd I used:  the rind of 3 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 8 oz jam sugar, 4 oz butter and 2 eggs.


(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

Grate the rind carefully not allowing any of the white pith in as this tends to make the curd bitter.  Roll the lemons on a hard surface to soften first before squeezing the juice out.  Put the rind, sugar, butter  and lemon juice into either a double boiler or a jam pan and allow the sugar to dissolve and the butter to melt.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before adding the well beaten eggs. If you add the eggs too soon you get scrambled egg!!  Back on the heat cook until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon, usually about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.   Pour into warm jars and seal immediately with a a circle of grease proof paper.  The next day you can use it.

Make one deep  or two shallow Victoria sandwich cakes (or buy two) and slice each one across and remove the top sliver from both cakes.  Place the base of one layer on a board and put lemon curd on then add another layer and spoon the clotted cream on top and then repeat by adding another layer of cake on top of the clotted cream and put lemon curd on this one then add the top layer of cake upside down and dust with icing sugar and decorate with any fruit you may have. (I only had strawberries left!)  Enjoy a slice with our ETS Brand Tea!

What makes Great Britain so intriguing is not just the tea, but the food. Not only do they have an excellent taste for chocolate, desserts, and cooking, but they also have a great taste for snacks! One of the most popular snack foods in Britain is the crisp. What’s a crisp? It’s the familiar potato chip! Just don’t call them (potato) chips or you might be referring to the fried potatoes we Americans know as fries!


(c) Crystal Derma – English Tea Store

Britain’s largest crisp manufacturer and the most popular brand is Walkers. The logo looks strikingly similar to the Lay’s Potato Chips logo (they are both owned by Pepsico) but the huge difference is the flavor variety! The United States has flavors like sour cream and onion, barbecue, and cheddar while Great Britain has Prawn Cocktail, Worcester Sauce, and Cheese and Onion. Wait, Worcester Sauce? Prawn Cocktail? Yes, you read it correctly! These are among some of the traditional flavors that also include Ready Salted and Salt and Vinegar.

Along with the standard potato crisp, there are other kinds like the Monster Munch! A baked corn snack flavored with Pickled Onion, I was a bit nervous but adventurous when I obtained a bag! My sister, who was over at my house when I opened the Monster Munch, wrinkled her nose. You see, us Americans are not used to pickled onions, so it sounded a bit odd. Then, we tried them. We were completely surprised! The texture is similar to the onion ring-like chips we grew up with called FunYuns, but the taste is completely different! These Monster Munches are tangy and mouthwatering! My sister was even taking the bag and running around the house, getting our family members to try it before telling them it was pickled onion!

Crisps have been in homes both British and American for generations, on lunch plates, in children’s lunch boxes, and even alongside soldiers during World War II. If you go anywhere in the UK, crisps are sold nearly everywhere as much as you see tea. Millions of packets of crisps are sold every year in the UK, and its popularity does not seem to be faltering.

And if you do end up in an English crisp section, do try Walkers Tomato Ketchup crisps! You would be surprised at how delicious those are!

One looks at that title and thinks a cake that you boil? No not a cake that you boil but a boiled fruit, cake.  We boil the fruit first then bake it in the oven, it is a very good cake for keeping as it does not go dry very quickly.  Also an added bonus for you with egg problems it does not contain any!  If it is still too hot over there for cooking you may need to save this recipe for Winter.

Oven gas mark 4/5, 350/375 F 180 C

greased 8 inch cake tin


(c) Julia Briggs -English Tea Store

1/2 pint water or cold tea if you have any

3 oz fat (dripping, lard, marg, cooking fat  or butter)

3 oz Sugar, brown if you have it

3-6 oz dried fruit (any combination you have)

10 oz Self Raising Flour

1 teaspoon mixed spice

1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda.

Boil the liquid, fat, sugar and fruit together in a pan for 2 to 3 minutes.  Whilst this is cooling sieve together your dry ingredients, flour, spice and bicarb.  Combine the liquid with the dry ingredients and beat thoroughly.  Pour into the tin and bake for 40 to 50 mins depending on your own oven.  If it is burning on top then turn your oven down and leave it in longer or cover with tinfoil.  I used the whole 6 oz of fruit in mine and it was cooked in 50 mins.  It is really good when sliced and buttered with a nice cup of tea.


(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

Chocolate cake always goes down well for afternoon tea and my dentist, (whom I saw on Saturday) is very partial to chocolate cake so this is a new recipe just for her.  It is a take on lemon drizzle cake but chocolate cake with a Mars bar drizzle and a chocolate butter cream filling.  I discovered that you could melt Mars bars and drizzle onto cake when I went to the cupboard and found the chocolate gone but one Mars bar left.

Oven 180 C, 350 F or gas mark 4  A greased loaf tin or a sandwich tin.

4 oz butter

4 oz caster sugar

2 large eggs

4 oz self raising flour

1 oz chocolate powder

1 tablespoon golden syrup.

1 Mars bar.


(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy then add the eggs one at a time with a little flour, fold in the remaining flour and chocolate powder and golden syrup and spoon into your tin.  Bake for 20-25 minutes for a sandwich tin and about 35-40 minutes for a loaf tin.  Always test with a cake tester or needle before taking out of the oven though because chocolate cake always looks done even when it is not.   Leave in the tin to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool.  Meanwhile make the butter cream with:

2 oz butter

4 oz icing sugar

1/2 oz chocolate powder.

Mix all the ingredients together and beat until smooth.


(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

Slice the cake and spread all but one tablespoon of the butter cream on the bottom half.  Prick the top half of the cake all over and place on top of the butter cream.  Melt the Mars bar in the microwave for 30 seconds and beat hard with the tablespoon of reserved butter cream.  It will be liquid still.  Pour over the cake and leave to settle.  I made some plain buns and poured it over so you can see how it trickles down into the cake itself.​

Once everything has cooled down the top of the cake looks sticky but not actually covered in a chocolate icing so you can, if you want, cover the top with icing or leave it as it is.  I left mine and it was voted a hit by the dentist!


(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

You chocolate lovers out there who cannot bake can have a field day with this recipe.  A no bake Nutella cheesecake!







You will need:

1 packet of either digestive or Nice biscuits (250g)

1/3 cup unsalted softened butter

3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts (optional)

1 400g jar of Nutella

1 1lb packet of cream cheese

1/2 cup  of icing sugar 

a 23 cms or 10 inches round spring form cake tin lined with baking parchment.



(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

Crumb the biscuits and add 1 tablespoon of Nutella, about 1/3 cup of hazelnuts if using and all the butter.  Press this mixture evenly into the tin and put to chill.  Meanwhile, make the filling by beating the remaining Nutella with the cream cheese and icing sugar until well mixed. Pour over the base and smooth the top.


(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store



Sprinkle the top with the remaining nuts if using and leave to chill in the ‘fridge for 3-4 hours or, if you are in a hurry, the freezer for one hour.  Serve this cold direct from the ‘fridge otherwise you will find it too soft to handle.  I did not use the hazelnuts because although we all like Nutella we are not keen on hazelnuts themselves.  That is it!  No baking and nothing much to go wrong.  Enjoy with a good strong black tea, it is very sweet!

How do you serve your tea? Do you simply brew a cup? Or do you serve from a teapot? Whether it is for two people or six, teapots have been around for centuries. Teapots come in many forms, sizes, and are made in several materials like ceramic, metal, silver, or even glass.


(c) English Tea Store – Brown Betty Teapot

The earliest teapots were invented during the Yuan Dynasty in China but it was during the Tang Dynasty when tea became more popular. The earliest teapots were made from Yixing, a type of clay. By the end of the 17th Century, this teapot arrived in Europe and there was already a high demand for tea. However, tea was normally reserved for the wealthy since it was taxed so high, making it expensive at the time. Teapots produced back then were made of silver. Catherine of Braganza (the wife of Charles II) even enjoyed tea originally from Chinese porcelain, but later on switched to English silver.

In 1784, the taxes on tea were finally cut, thus greatly reducing in price and allowing more people to have access to the beverage. Tea’s popularity and consumption began to increase and tea eventually became the most popular drink in all of Britain. Many makers of British teaware became prominent and also competed against China’s teapots until British teapots became more standard. Today’s most popular teapots come from many British manufacturers, ranging from Wedgwood’s Bone China to the smash hit (I probably shouldn’t be saying that about teapots!) Brown Betty teapot.

Round-vesseled and beautiful, these teapots are tougher than you think! These teapots were made early on in the 1800s, with special red clay found in the Bradell Woods area located in Stoke-on-Trent and glazed with a Rockingham Glaze, helping it turn into its signature brown color. How the Brown Betty got its name is relatively unknown but what they are known for is their excellent quality since the tea leaves will have plenty of room to gently unfurl once hot water is poured in. Brown Betties are well known for retaining heat thanks to the ceramic and can stay warm for a long time (cozies also help)!

You can use whatever tea you fancy in any teapot, whether it’s for yourself or for a full table of guests. There are 2 cup, 4 cup, 6 cup, and even 8 cup teapots. Not into two cups of tea? Not a problem! There are tea for one sets like this one that even include a cup!

Did you know? Yixing teapots are known for “remembering” a type of tea. The clay in it makes it porous, so it helps remember the previous teas that were infused in them, thus earning the nickname “memory teapots”. It’s best to stick with one type of tea when infusing in this teapot.

When you hear of summer, what do you think of? If you’re an American like myself, you might think of beaches, hot weather, and barbecues. But what’s it like out in Britain? Do they enjoy a refreshing glass of iced tea as much as the Americans do? Believe it or not, the British continue to drink their tea hot! A hot cuppa tea keeps our friends across the pond refreshed year round! While it may sound a bit odd to us Americans, the British still keep up with the tradition of hot tea! In fact, many Brits have never even tried iced tea!

Although the British do not drink iced tea, but whenever they do fancy a nice cold drink, they have other alternatives. That is where the squash comes in. No, not the vegetable (that’s another term I must discuss another time), but fruit squashes. A fruit squash is a drink that comes in a bottle and can be diluted with water, usually 4-5 parts of water.


(c) English Tea Store

A common pastime in the summer in Britain is sports since the weather is usually a bit nicer than normal. Cricket and tennis are the big ones, especially with the Wimbledon Championships held every summer. Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and it was founded in Britain in 1877. It’s a very popular event to watch, as it is the most prestigious tennis event of the year. Robinson’s Squash is very famous in Britain for being the main sponsor of this event. They are known to be quite refreshing, especially on warmer days. The fruit squashes from Robinson’s range from orange, lemon, apple and blackcurrant to grapefruit, apple and pear, and summer fruits. There is also a barley water squash (lemon or orange flavor) but do not let the words “barley water” throw you off! It’s actually very delicious!

Another British favorite is Ribena, which is made only from British blackcurrants! Like Robinson’s, It is also made by diluting 4 parts water with about 2oz (¼ cup) of concentrate. Sometimes shops do carry a ready to drink version in a carton but the original concentrate is always sold in a bottle.

Hacks: For an even better summertime treat, you can freeze Ribena into ice pop molds and freeze them into ice pops! Or pour some into your cup of tea for a burst of blackcurrant flavor. Enjoy hot or iced!


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