High Tea In Bath
So my idyllic tales of visiting the City of Bath continue and really you gotta love any place called Bath, it sounds so good in my northern dialect, as you may have guessed I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to history and old buildings, but tea rooms in Bath and high tea it self is a bit of an art form.
French Chefs And 1930's Glamour
Walking the streets of Bath, I was dizzy with the vast choice of tea rooms and any thoughts of my chocolate allergy, yes I'm serious, got side lined fast! I got an amazing chocolate fix at the very French patisserie - Valerie established in 1926, it has a really glamorous 1930's feel, everywhere you look French chefs beam down at you from vivid coloured frames. I felt under dressed and in need of an up do and some vintage mother of pearl combs for my hair. I was good though, it was around 11am not really official tea time here in the UK, so I decided to temper all the chocolate with my favourite breakfast, eggs Benedict first.
Sally Lunns House
I must have died and gone to heaven after that early tea time treat, because when I woke up a day later after my sugar rush I was dangerously close to another amazing high tea establishment - Sally Lunns House on wait for it, what used to be called Lilliput Alley! As I cued in the narrow slightly musty hall of the oldest tea rooms in Bath, over 500 years! I imagined what the famed Sally Lunn bun would look and taste like, I was thinking of a large rich saffron bun studded with fruit and gilded with poppy seeds and lemon peel. After quite a wait A an I were led up the rickety stairs where we decided to go for the Sally Lunn high tea, at this point I was feeling a bit cheated as I had spotted one of the famed buns, which looked nothing more than a giant white bap, muffin, roll or barm cake depending on which part of the world your from.
The room itself is all sloping floors crooked ceilings and large heavy tapestries with a few modest candlesticks dotted about and table clothes strangely enough reminiscent of Buddhist robes in deep blue and orange silk squares, layered on top of each other. I loved the quirky ritual of being asked by the waitress whether we wanted bottoms or tops or one of each. So the first part of the high tea was a split buttered roll with smoked salmon, it was beyond amazing, hard to sum up really but it was like eating warm clouds heady with yeast and we finished our tea with the same warm buns smothered in strawberry jam and rich yellow clotted cream and a cup of tea. Sally Lunn a Huguenot girl refugee from France came to the bakery in 1680 and brought with her the now famous recipe for the bun which are part bread and part brioche. Have you taken tea in Bath or maybe the famous waters?