Today I am talking about my experience at an afternoon tea cooking class in London.
English food isn’t deserving of its bad reputation. Afternoon Tea is the prime example of how extraordinary British food can be. The ceremony of it, the delicious finger sandwiches, the warm scones, and the pretty desserts are simply wonderful. Whenever I am in London I make a point to have a proper Afternoon Tea at some point during my visit. On my most recent trip, instead of just going to tea, I went to an Afternoon Tea cooking class! It was a delightful way to spend half a day in London.
Charles and I were staying in the St. John’s Wood neighborhood, a more residential part of London, and somewhere I hadn’t spent time before. When we arrived I googled “things to do in St. John’s Wood” and the cooking class came right up! It was less than half a mile away and I lucked out when they had last minute availability.
On a beautiful fall morning I made the brief walk to private home on Acacia Place, where I was greeted by Giuliana, who welcomed me into her home and her cozy kitchen. There were three other women taking the class that day, all from Japan. Giuliana’s assistant is from Japan, and offers translations for Japanese guests, but on this day everyone spoke English and no translations were needed.
The class had two parts. The cooking and then the eating. We got to work right away, making shortbread, scones, and two types of finger sandwiches. Giuliana pointed out tips and tricks she has learned, like how to make sure scone dough isn’t too moist and how to perfectly slice shortbread. Together we made cream cheese and salmon roll ups, cucumber sandwiches, scones, and shortbread.
Giuliana had already prepared some additional sweets including a stunning Victoria Sponge Cake, banana bread, and Florentines to be enjoyed with our tea. The Afternoon Tea was quite the feast! We got to taste two different varieties of tea, and stuff ourselves silly with sandwiches and sweets.
Before we said goodbye, Giuliana packed up little boxes of the food we had made for us to bring home. The scone served as breakfast the next morning, and the other treats were great snacks.
Giuliana is currently offering the Afternoon Tea Class on Tuesday’s and she offers a Baking Class on Wednesday’s. You can get more information on her website. Click here to learn how to make scones and cucumber sandwiches.