I’m a huge fan of a good afternoon tea, be it during those days when I have people over, or going out with a couple friends for a catch-up. There’s something special about it that I can’t really place my finger on, but I think it might evoke memories of our time in Surrey. Luckily, since moving back to Malta I found terrific places for tea alone or with friends. When I want to stay at home but still want to feel as if I’m in a quaint little tea house, in for example, places like Rye (in East Sussex), all I do is bake a couple of cakes and whip up some sandwiches, et voilà, I am there.
Please note: A recipe extract is included at the end of this post.
I must admit that the last time I watched a whole series of MasterChef UK, from start to finish, or any other MasterChef to be honest, was in 2011. I cannot pinpoint exactly the reason or reasons why, but I guess it must have been something to do with the people taking part. It’s probably the only series in which I can remember the finalists clearly, but the one clip I will never forget was the one in which they had Yotam Ottolenghi as a surprise judge. Jackie Kearney’s smile radiated through the television screen. From that point on I rooted for her and wished she could win. She didn’t but of course, that was just the beginning.
[Before proceeding with the review, I would just like to add a personal note. To the people of London, in particular the residents of Grenfell tower who lost their homes in the terrible fire, the firefighters who are nothing other than Superheros, the victims and their friends and families, and the community rounding up to help. Also to all the traders in Borough Market and the victims of the London Bridge attack. We are with you.]
I could not contain my excitement when after writing to Quarto requesting this book for review, I actually received it in the post. You see, for any new reader of this blog, you must know that London and I go way back. I met her for the first time when I was 6. And yes, London is of course, a she. I didn’t like her very much at first, until my parents took me to the parks. She and I made friends there and then, and remain so to this day.
What I said two posts ago, while reviewing Mira Manek’s first book Saffron Soul, holds true here as well. The guys at Quarto are seriously, seriously (yes, it’s a double) getting things right. I was very curious and very nervous about Sri Lanka: The Cookbook, thinking that I would not be able to give an objective review.
Perhaps ‘objective’ is not the right word to use here, but let’s leave it. When I received it a few days ago, what I saw when I opened the package just made my day.
I wrote to Jessie at Quarto almost immediately with a ‘how beautiful this book is’ e-mail, which I normally don’t do, at least not that quickly. This time round though I couldn’t contain my excitement. It just looks stunning. (As I write this I might take a photo of the book myself, just to show you the texture of the cover – another good excuse to bust out my macro lens. And I did.)
Update: Please note that as from the 28th October, 2019 Flora’s Cafe is permanently closing down. It will now only cater for private events and tea parties.
One year goes by so fast. I find myself saying this repeatedly these days. A year ago I was told by a good friend of mine about a little tearoom and cafe’ (thank goodness) in the heart of Naxxar. You should go, Anna said, you definitely should. So that’s basically how Flora’s, which I think must have been open for just around two days, went straight to the top of my places-to-visit list. I had moved to Malta with J the previous summer and was looking for quaint independent places where I could have good coffee and a piece of cake (or two) while chatting to my mum or for just reading a book. Needless to say, discovering Flora’s felt as if I hit the jackpot.
Continue reading Flora’s Tearoom: One year Anniversary