Sunday, 18 September 2011

Afternoon Tea in Kent

“Afternoon tea is the finest contribution that England has made to cuisine”, or so my grandmother always had it. And she was in a position to know. My childhood memories are filled with images of that kindly lady cutting Victoria sponges, handing round buttered scones and pouring out cups (never mugs) of nice fresh tea.

Ever since those long off days I have had a particular affinity for afternoon tea. I like to keep a cake on the go at home so that, come 4 o’clock, I can cut off a slice and take a break from the work of writing to sip a hot cup of tea and munch on the cake. I’m sure my wife thinks I’m a bit odd.

Essential as a cuppa and a cake at the desk might be to the working day, it cannot possibly compare with a visit to a traditional tea shop. I might have a cake at home, but a good tea shop will have a whole range of cakes from which slices can be carved as well as a range of buns, pastries and scones. And if you are lucky there will be cucumber sandwiches on offer as well. There is nothing quite like a good tea shop. I confess that I am totally unable to see one without wanting to pop in.

Addicted as I might be to the delights of a cream tea, I know full well that the tasty dainties can add worryingly to the waistline. So all visits to a teashop should be accompanied by a bit of light exercise – a walk.

Such is the purpose of this book.

I have selected 16 of the finest tea shops that Kent has to offer and that lie close to a convenient walk that offers something by way of scenery, history, wildlife or art. I hope that you enjoy the walks and the teas. I have certainly enjoyed putting this book together and would like to thank the many local residents who have helped me with the task.


Teashop and Pub Drives in Kent [Paperback]

by Rupert Matthews 

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