When the weather wreaks havoc on our best laid plans, a cozy place, the comfort of habit can be soothing.
In the same way that I enjoy sitting in a quiet pastry shop an a cold day in New York, I am sure that our friends in the UK find the afternoon tea time tradition a welcome break from snow, ice and disruptions to holiday travel.
Here's Tea Time 5 in Time for Tea (as shared by Phaidon Edit):
"Quintessentially British, undeniably indulgent and sometimes downright decadent, the ritual of afternoon tea, served with sandwiches or freshly-baked scones with clotted cream and jam, has been enjoying a recent renaissance. And while the Palm Court at The Ritz might seem like a /nonpareil/ setting, some less conventional venues in London have taken up the baton with aplomb. Whether you are an arty type of a true tea connoisseur, here are five of the best places to take tea in the capital:
1. Postcard Teas - one for true tea connoisseurs. With an endless list of rare teas sourced from across the globe by its owner, tea expert Timothy d'Offay, Postcard Teas is an Aladdin's cave overflowing with precious Oolongs, Assams and Tisanes. Conveniently located just south of Oxford Street, Postcard Teas is a perfect place to enjoy tea and cakes after a hard day of Christmas shopping.
2. Loafing -off-the-beaten-track. Located in London's East End, Loafing is a rustic, cosy and laidback café serving some of the best locally-sourced cakes and pastries accompanied by wide selection of teas and award-winning coffee.
3. Bake-a-boo -for traditional charm. Renowed for its fairy-like hand-baked cupcakes and mouthwatering cakes, Bake-a-boo is a pretty, pastels-and-florals retreat in West Hampstead. Cream tea, together with finger sandwiches, scones and 'many more delicious delights' is served daily and a selection of wheat, gluten and dairy-free cakes is also available.
4. The Gallery Mess - for the art connoisseur. With its neat interior and relaxed buzzing atmosphere, Gallery Mess, in the Saatchi Gallery, makes a perfect venue for afternoon tea for contemporary art hunters in need of refreshment.
5. Les Deux Salons - for smarter occasions. Less formal than West-ends hotels yet still smart, and with an air of Parisian chic, the recently opened Les Deux Salons makes an afternoon tea a truly memorable experience. Cucumber sandwiches, scones and luscious cakes are served with pots of delicately scented teas. For added French factor, a selection of tarts and cheeses is also available."
(* Reproduced courtesy of Phaidon Press, originally published December 17 on Phaidon Edit)