Category Archives: Travel

A Moving Moment

A New Year. A fresh start. A new home. And… a new home!

Not only am I moving to a new house in just one week, I’m also moving to a new blog host. Thank you to WordPress for introducing me to the world of blogs.

I hope that you, dear readers, will all continue to share your tea moments with me at my new location:

http://internationalteamoment.blogspot.com/

See you soon!

Jen

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A Sussex Tea Pot Tea Room Moment

There’s so much to be said for old faithful friends. After living in Orange County for nearly 11 years now, I feel so blessed to have made some deep and rich friendships. My longest standing California friend is someone I worked with for several years, and now she and I find ourselves on opposite ends of Orange County in completely different roles than where we first started. We each have families now, with increasingly complicated schedules as kids get older, husbands’ work gets more demanding (and more precious), and then we have our own selves to manage!

So, when S suggested connecting through a two-person book club, I was delighted at the thought! This would be a way for us to do something together, though separately, and also give us a great excuse to escape our families for an hour or two to discuss our thoughts on the book.  Brilliant!

We chose ‘Eat. Pray. Love.’ mostly because of the timing of the movie release. We ambitiously thought we might be able to plan a girls’ movie night to tie in with our reading. And while that didn’t quite turn out as planned, we did manage to meet for lunch. Or, at her suggestion, for afternoon tea. She knows me oh-too-well.

Imagine my surprise when she suggested a tea room that I had not yet discovered! The Sussex Tea Pot Tea Room and Thistle British/Irish Grocery and Gift Shop. (Say that five times fast!)

Located in a business park of sorts, this little slice of Britain is as authentic as it gets! I’ve been to a handful of tea rooms in England over the years, and this transported me to those moments – right down to the two grandmotherly, no-nonsense ladies who oversee the premises. 
While S and I caught up on all the latest and discussed snippets of the book, we also thoroughly enjoyed the traditional fare of an English Tea Time.

It started with a salad dressed with a sauce that I have only ever tasted in Europe. Almost a mayonnaisse -y vinaigrette. (They carry it in the connecting grocery store!) Then a plate of 4 sandwiches and chips. I chose cream cheese and cucumber and egg salad. Delicious! Then came the scones with jam and cream. I had forgotten that in England, the scones arrive at the end, not at the beginning as I’ve found so often in the states. The pot of tea was a strong English Breakfast. Perfect, perfect, perfect.

And of course, while the setting and the food warmed the cockles of my heart, it was the company that made the moment so special. I took for granted all the weeks, months and years that I could grab S for lunch when we worked in the same office. Now, lunch together is a rare treat that can take weeks or months of planning!  And that’s why there is so much to be said for old faithful friends. Regardless of the amount of time that can pass between visits, phone calls or emails, whenever we’re back together it’s as if no time has passed at all.  Those are moments that I treasure.

The Sussex Tea Pot Tea Room
12752 Valley View Street, Suites P&Q 
Bridgecreek Business Park 
Garden Grove
714-897-9442

http://sussexteapot.com/aboutus.htm

Tea Room Hours
Wed through Sun – 11a-4p
Mon & Tues – Closed

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A Neighborhood Cup Moment

The town where I live is a very small town in the sprawling landscape that is Orange County, California. Some might describe it as a bedroom community. It’s a new town, and as such, there hasn’t been much opportunity for quaint spots to be carved out of history. This is where The Neighborhood Cup comes in. It’s a little neighborhood cafe that is connected to our modest – but – modern library. One half of the floor space is taken up by homey, wooden tables, the other half by squishy couches and comfy chairs. It’s also the lifeblood of the local artistic community, providing live concerts, embroidery bees, yoga classes and family karaoke evenings. 

It serves light fare in addition to its menu of fun coffee drinks, smoothies and a wide variety of loose leaf tea, courtesy of Lindsay’s Teas. It is such a rare occurrence that a neighborhood cafe has loose leaf tea, that I love them particularly for the fact of it.

On the rare occasion that I have a free hour, I will cruise over, check out a book at the library, order a cup of tea, sink into the corner of the man-eating couch, and then not think about how I am going to get up again until the hour is over.

For this veg session on an unusually warm November day, I chose Summer Melon Oolong. I don’t often go for fruity teas because of the sickeningly sweet aftertaste so many of them have. Lindsay’s Teas do it right, however. A lightly perfumed oolong with the bright sweetness of melon. The fruit flavor doesn’t stay, it fades into a scent. Perfect. Just the thing for a quiet moment.

The Neighborhood Cup
1 Journey
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

949.716.5100

An International Tea Moment now has a Facebook Page! http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/An-International-Tea-Moment/160567147290939. Share your tea moments with me there!

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A Back On The Road Moment

Week 19 of T-R-A-V-E-L.

This should do it.

An International Tea Moment now has a Facebook Fan Page! Tell me how you find a decent cup of tea on the road at http://www.facebook.com/TeaMoment.

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An Airplane Tea Service Moment

It has been my experience on most airlines that when it comes to tea, the typical service involves hottish water and a Lipton tea bag, or one of its near cousins.  So, imagine my surprise when on my maiden flight on Virgin America Airlines, when I asked for hot tea, I had the option of Teance Breakfast blend at no charge, or a green or white tea option for a small charge. Hallelujah! An airline who takes its tea a bit seriously. Although, being founded by Sir Richard Branson, an Englishman who surely values a proper cup of tea, this should come as no surprise.

 I had heard of Teance, but had not yet experienced them, so I greatly enjoyed this unexpected introduction to their artisanal teas. The Breakfast Blend was full bodied and clean, and it was so far away from the standard airline tea that I have to confess I had 3 cups. In addition to their fantastic tea, they also had some great snacks and meals for purchase. I opted for the Tapas plate that included a variety of cheeses, veggies, crackers and hummus. If you haven’t flown Virgin America before, I have to say I am inclined to bump them up above both Southwest and Jet Blue based on my round trip to Ft. Lauderdale.

They had the on time arrivals and departures that I love about Southwest, and they have the in-seat entertainment including satellite tv, games, and movies that I love about Jet Blue, but with the addition of a music feature that allows you to create your own playlist from an astonishing library of artists. But the best, and frankly the most efficient, feature was the ability to place your food or beverage order through your tv screen. So, after the beverage cart went through one time shortly after take off, the aisle was never blocked again as a result of ‘service.’ Instead, you could place any other orders through your screen, swipe your credit card there and then (if needed), and within 2 minutes, your order would be served to you at your seat with minimal disruption to you or the passengers around you. Brilliant!

My season of manic travel comes to a close in two weeks, and I am very happy to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Growing up, I always dreamed of a career that would take me on the road so I could see the country and the world. I’ve had that opportunity in spades within the past 4 months, and I can now say with much heartfelt enthusiasm that there is indeed no place like home!

An International Tea Moment now has a Facebook Page! http://www. facebook.com/TeaMoment. Share your tea moments with me there! 

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A Voting Moment

I don’t know if you’ve heard of Trazzler, but it’s a pretty cool travel site that gives brief descriptions of “Travel Moments.” Just my style!

I’ve entered my Mariage Freres Moment in their Reader’s Choice contest, and though a little late to the voting game, I still have 24 hours to get your votes. So, if you’d like to show some tea travel love, click on this link to sign up and cast your vote.

Cheers!

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A Mother Daughter Tea Moment

Being a fairly new mother myself, I increasingly value any time I can have with my own Mom. And the fact that I moved 904 miles away from her 10 years ago makes the moments with her more precious, and more rare! And so, it’s a treat that for the past several years, my Mom comes to stay with me for nearly a week each August while Gene is away at a trade show.

This year, as an early birthday celebration for her, we visited a tea room that I had only recently learned of from a friend. I can’t believe I had not yet discovered Paris in a Cup, as I love all things French!  And this Salon du The does not disappoint.

My Mom and I oooh’d and ahhh’d over the richly appointed tea salon, with its deep golden walls, elegantly upholstered banquettes and wrought iron, curlicued chairs. Each accent was perfectly chosen for its beauty and 1940’s Parisian touch. I loved it. Did I mention how beautiful the place was?

As if the theme, atmosphere and (of course) company wasn’t perfect enough, we were presented with a food menu and separate tea menu! Be still my beating heart! Here was a tea menu filled front and back with not only Paris in a Cup Signature Teas, but some of the premier names in the tea trade. There were white teas, greens, blacks, and blends. I read each selection, savoring each description. But, because it was afternoon tea, and I am still somewhat stuck in my tea room ways, I opted for a black blend that boasted a caramel finish. Mom found a decaf black tea blend that sounded delicious, and we chose the Gigi Afternoon Tea for the food menu.  The tea arrived first, each of us receiving a small pot of our individual teas, perfectly brewed. Throughout our stay, when offered a refill, we were brewed brand new pots of tea. This is a tea salon that takes their teas seriously. Fantastic!

And then the food arrived. A lovely tiered tray of scones, assorted tea sandwiches and petit fours. The sandwiches were hearty and delicate a the same time. Savory treats, including the requisite cucumber sandwich. The scones were accompanied by two glass domed services of Devonshire cream and confit (fruit jam or preserves).  The desserts were rich a decadent and met anyone’s fruit, cream or chocolate requirements.

As always, there’s no better tea moment than those spent with kindred spirits, and my Mom is the most Kindred Spirit of them all. What an overwhelming luxury to share such a treat with such a person. We talked and talked, laughed and ate, admiring our surroundings and the spread before us. I couldn’t think of anything to make it better. And then something better happened. I had mentioned that we were having an early birthday celebration for my Mom, and so as we were preparing to leave, our server stopped us a presented a little memento as a gift. A beautiful, Parisian inspired pocket mirror. How lovely!

While there are a few photos here as a remembrance of a lovely tea moment, there are infinitely more snapshots of that day treasured away in my heart. These are the moments I can’t get enough of.

Paris in a Cup
119 S Glassell St
Orange, CA 92866
ph: 714-538-9411

Lunch and Tea Fare are served daily in the Grand Salon. Reservations recommended

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