A Sampling of Afternoon Tea (England)

THE GREAT, THE GOOD & THE DISAPPOINTING

A good afternoon tea can be life-changing. But sometimes good food and good tea 
isn't good enough.

When I visit my aunt in England I never go to sightsee, or to be a tourist. I go there to eat. And specifically, I go there to consume inordinate amounts of scones, clotted cream, earl grey tea, and egg sandwiches on granary bread.

Here’s a ranking of the afternoon teas I sampled:

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Dorset Cream Tea

DOT.TEAS

Afternoon tea for three.

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Dot.Teas is my favorite casual tea. The restaurant gives off a lovely vintage sitting room feel with its large open windows, vinyl tablecloths, and mismatched tea sets. The food is cheap, good, and the portions are right for everything.

From their Dorset Cream Tea to their yummy ham and cheese toasties, Dot.Teas is worth a stop if you ever find yourself in Bournemouth.

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Cheap Eats: Bellaggio Pizzeria

BELLAGGIO PIZZERIA

Big flavor. Small bill.

This week’s special edition of Cheap Eats is on a Bournemouth staple, Bellagio Pizzeria where their lunch specials will only set you back a measly £6 for a small garden salad and an entree.

You can pick your entree from a small selection of pizzas or pastas or two types of calzones.

My choice?

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Bad Boba

BUBBLEOLOGY

Cute concept. Gimmicky Execution.

I am the biggest fan of bubble (pearl/milk/boba) tea. There was a period of time in college when I had boba every single day straight for two full semesters (it was a dark time).

I even took this BuzzFeed quiz which only further confirmed my unhealthy obsession with the stuff.

I am such a fan of boba that I managed to convert my aunt and cousin (whom I was visiting this past week) to boba drinkers/lovers as well. So when we decided to go to London, dim sum and bubble tea was a no-brainer combination.

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Holes in the Wall

OVERSEAS CHINESE

Round two. London style.

I’ve never waited so long for dim sum.

The Californian in me is used to early brunches (early enough that they should probably be called breakfast) and dim sum is no exception. Dim sum can start as early as 9 a.m. with most of the morning crowd arriving by 11:00 a.m.

That was not the case of Overseas Chinese or, in fact, any dim sum restaurant in London’s Chinatown. Everything was closed – boba shops (understandably), dim sum restaurants, and even the Chinese buffets! The only two things open were Chinese bakeries (which nearly tempted us into spoiling our appetites) and cafés.

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Cheap Eats: Xi’an Famous Foods

Xi’An Famous Foods

Big flavor. Small bill.

When I’m broke from all my eating out and my paycheck hasn’t come, I can always count on Xi’an Famous Foods to satisfy my craving for hearty, flavorful noodles without breaking the bank. Everything is under $10 and the portions are generous. All you need to do is walk to one.

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Follow me as I eat my way through New York, the Bay, and wherever else my travels take me.