Friday, October 15, 2010

Charming England, Memories of Nan, Afternoon Tea and Custard Galore

It was a bittersweet trip to England this past week, but mostly sweet.  We enjoyed lots of time with family, shared memories of Nan and celebrated her life.  I enjoyed this cup of tea with my Aunt who reminded me these were my Nan's favorite cookies.  I had actually made her some of the traditional palmiers for her last birthday. We had a nice visit with Auntie Vera and she gave us her version of the recipe for "Granny's Christmas Cake" and told us the whole history of when they originally started making it back in India. We'll see how it turns out for Christmas this year!

We had another stop at a nice cafe with my Aunt and Uncle to enjoy some treats and coffee (and an espresso sized milk for Audrey).

Dinner one evening brought us to the Giant's Rest, my favorite pub, where I used to study by the fire with a glass of red wine the winter I went to school there. I was anxious to review their chalkboard of puddings available for the day. 

We chose the butterscotch and apple crisp to share.  It comes covered in custard and we actually asked them to hold back a little on the custard, so they just doused half the dessert with it.  Audrey enjoyed an entire bowl of mandarin organge sorbet.

My cousin and godmother, Ann, always makes nice desserts.  They made a chocolate sponge cake the evening we were there for dinner.  And, again there was more custard.  This was such a yummy warm dessert! 

The day before we left we were able to make it to Alfriston for afternoon tea.  It's our favorite spot and where we often came with Nan.  In fact, we were seated at the same table we always sat with her and I sat in the same chair that I remember her being in when she last went there with us.  We shared a ploughman's lunch and had cream tea with scones.  The clotted cream is amazing!

The Singing Kettle is just a little tea room, but so quaint.

Here are a few sights as we walked around Alfriston that afternoon.  This was such a neat old watering can and the flower arrangements everywhere are gorgeous.

I love the custom painted house numbers.

The shops are full of amazing things and the general store counter is filled with fun pastries, candies, teas and jams.

The streets are miniscule in this town and there are beautiful views of the downs.

You don't see these too much anymore!

There are many days that I think about the quiet and sweet little town of Alfriston.  Why couldn't I just live in this beautiful Rose Cottage and walk up the road to run one of the tea rooms?

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