Miss Margaret Courtney, my great-aunt originally opened her business here in 1909 and it has been run by four generations of ladies in my family. I reopened in summer 2008 as Miss Courtney's Tearooms.

We are an independent tearooms specializing in afternoon tea fare, light lunches and breakfasts. We endeavour to capture the feeling of nostalgia associated with 'taking tea'. Expect old fashioned tablecloths, antique chinaware and glistening chandeliers........ ....take some time to 'take some tea' with us.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

A perfect cup of tea

When in doubt..... trust Mrs Beeton! Mrs. Beeston's Book of Household Management is really the only necessary tool for all culinary and domestic queries.

TO MAKE TEA.

1814. There is very little art in making good tea; if the water is boiling, and there is no sparing of the fragrant leaf, the beverage will almost invariably be good. The old-fashioned plan of allowing a teaspoonful to each person, and one over, is still practised. Warm the teapot with boiling water; let it remain for two or three minutes for the vessel to become thoroughly hot, then pour it away. Put in the tea, pour in from 1/2 to 3/4 pint of boiling water, close the lid, and let it stand for the tea to draw from 5 to 10 minutes; then fill up the pot with water. The tea will be quite spoiled unless made with water that is actually ‘boiling’, as the leaves will not open, and the flavour not be extracted from them; the beverage will consequently be colourless and tasteless,—in fact, nothing but tepid water. Where there is a very large party to make tea for, it is a good plan to have two teapots instead of putting a large quantity of tea into one pot; the tea, besides, will go farther. When the infusion has been once completed, the addition of fresh tea adds very little to the strength; so, when more is required, have the pot emptied of the old leaves, scalded, and fresh tea made in the usual manner. Economists say that a few grains of carbonate of soda, added before the boiling water is poured on the tea, assist to draw out the goodness: if the water is very hard, perhaps it is a good plan, as the soda softens it; but care must be taken to use this ingredient sparingly, as it is liable to give the tea a soapy taste if added in too large a quantity. For mixed tea, the usual proportion is four spoonfuls of black to one of green; more of the latter when the flavour is very much liked; but strong green tea is highly pernicious, and should never be partaken of too freely.

Time.—2 minutes to warm the teapot, 5 to 10 minutes to draw the strength from the tea.

Sufficient.—Allow 1 teaspoonful to each person, and one over.

~ Mrs Isabella Beeton



Thursday, 22 May 2008

My favourite tea quotes....




  • "Another novelty is the tea-party, an extraordinary meal in that, being offered to persons that have already dined well, it supposes neither appetite nor thirst, and has no object but distraction, no basis but delicate enjoyment." ~Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste

    There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea” ~ Henry James

    P.G. Wodehouse, The Amazing Hat Mystery ~ "...what I feel we ought to do at this juncture is to dash off somewhere where it's quiet and there aren't so many houses dancing the 'Blue Danube' and shove some tea into ourselves. And over the pot and muffins I shall have something very important to say to you."

The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured cosiness.


Sandra Dunlea