International Afternoon Tea Books

Monday, October 24, 2011 6comments No tags Permalink 0

Lisa recently lent me a ton of great afternoon tea books to explore (she has them all!!) – I was truly surprised by how many books on this subject exist.

If there is one conclusion I can draw from these books, it’s that international afternoon tea books are decidedly better than ones published in the US. Not even a close call. The US books are often repetitive, boring and Victorian frou frou. There’s a time and place for frou frou, but based off US books alone, you’d think that afternoon tea couldn’t be chic, classy or elegant. When in fact, it should be all the above. Enough with the rant ;) These are three of my favorite international books on afternoon tea.

1. Tea & Cake London. This mini-book reminds me of the afternoon tea version of Patisseries of Paris (which I briefly mentioned in this post).

It’s a visually driven book of all the spots in London where you can have…tea and cake! Categorized in reader-friendly sections like everyday specials for cafes and tearooms, grand affairs for a formal afternoon tea, and tea with a twist for alternative and themed tea spots. The grand affairs section is my favorite, with teasers into The Ritz, Palm Court at The Langham, and Fortnum & Mason…I will get there one day.

2. The Australian Women’s Weekly Afternoon Tea. It’s technically a magazine, not a book. But given the high quality printing, material, and structure of this “magazine,” I’ll sure be treating it like a book.

This one is all recipes – mostly sweets with a few savory tea sandwiches. How can you resist rosewater meringues with fairy floss! Expect to find everything from fig and walnut friands to lilikoi cream biscuits.

Conversion chart, tea menus, and colorful ingredient grids fold out the cover.

3. The Vintage Tea Party Book. The cover of this British book is little scary. This is not your cutesy afternoon tea book.

It’s a sassy, very complete and in-your-face book that starts with recipes, but also includes a lot of DIY activities. Like how to decorate a hat (you can’t attend a tea party without a hat of course), how to make candles, and how to pick the “perfect” vintage dress. Vintage dresses (and vintage anything for that matter) also creep me out, but it’s surely the thought that counts.

Keep your eyes out for the rose petal tea sandwiches :)

  • anonymous
    November 30, -0001

    Oh wow! My kind of books :) Thanks for sharing this informative list!

  • anonymous
    November 30, -0001

    Oh! I am so glad you loved them as much as I do! I was really hoping you would. Kind of going to ruin the surprise, but seeing as you enjoyed them I went ahead and ordered them from the UK for you!!!

  • anonymous
    October 24, 2011

    Oh my gosh… I cannot believe that vintage creeps you out! Me? I love love LOOOOOOVE vintage :) Ah… vintage-inspired afternoon tea it is!P.S… Are those petal samples cleverly hidden in the book?

  • anonymous
    October 25, 2011

    WOW you can get the Australian Women's Weekly over there? =D I'm from Aust and I have to say, the AWW cookbooks are the BEST! I think they triple test their recipes so they're pretty much fail-proof, they don't tend to use impossible to find ingredients plus they have the most gorgeous pics, I'm glad you like that book =]

  • anonymous
    October 26, 2011

    Tea & Cake London is a gorgeous book but I was so disappointed when I realized that it didn't actually contain any recipes. Would've been much better if alongside the introductions to various tea spots in London, that they also included one recipe from that particular tea room!

  • Kathy YL Chan
    October 26, 2011

    Hi Stephanie! I looked at that rose petal photo again – it really does look "real" like it's coming out of the book. But alas, totally just a photo :pHi Claire! Yay, glad you enjoyed! :)Hi Lisa! OOO Aw thanks! You're the sweetest.Hi Kawaii-Ne! They can be ordered online via Amazon (though no actual store in NYC carries them in person). The AWW books really are amazing, such good quality! Am going to start collecting the rest, heheh. Hi Adelyn! Totally agree, but still love the book for all it's photo-intense awesomeness ^_^

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