Posts filed under "hot tea"

Winter Wonder: Fresh Mint Tea

When we were living in Paris
in the spring of 2012,
it was one of the coldest winters
in Europe in a hundred years...

The freezing temps meant we were ducking into cafes
as often as we possibly could 
in hopes of warming up.

The thing is,
if I drank coffee
every time I needed to warm up,
I'd be spazzing out 
from the constant caffeine buzz.

You would see me jittering 
down the Champs Elysees
a hundred miles an hour.

Eventually, I opted 
for fresh mint tea-
or "the a la menthe."

And thank goodness I did.

I stumbled upon a guilt-free treat
that I can enjoy
without any sugar intake
or unwanted caffeine.

And, man, it is so flipping good.

When the weather turns chilly,
I turn on the kettle
and pluck a few leaves
to make my own brew.

(You can drizzle a bit of honey or a spoon of sugar in, if you prefer it a bit sweeter.)

It's such a simple & elegant way
to warm up…


* tea image
Posted on December 4, 2013 and filed under "Paris", "hot tea".

To A Tea: The Liberty Cafe

you may have noticed I have a *slight* obsession
for London's department store, Liberty.

And of course, when I say "slight obsession"
I actually mean, 
"I want to lick the floors of it and caress every single item inside its walls."

After a long time of forgetting to try out their cafe,
I decided it was time to for two of my life's great loves 
(tea & Liberty)
to merge.

I have to say...

I was slightly underwhelmed.

Let's walk through my time there.


Hard to find in the store
(on the second floor in a room to the side).

The room itself is fairly plain
with a good dose of subtle quirks 
that are oh-so-Liberty.


It was... meh,
and it wasn't cheap.

I ordered lunch 
followed by a cream tea.

After all, this was research
and I had to get a good sampling.

Let's start with the Cream Tea
since this is a series on tea rooms in London.

The scones were dense.

After I polished off the first,
I actually kinda dreaded having to work through the second.

Which is not a normal feeling.

{Plus, they weren't fresh or warm.}

And it was £10.50...
which makes is one of the more expensive cream teas
I can ever recall seeing listed on a menu in the UK.

The goats cheese, caramelised onion & asparagus tart was pretty tasty.

On the upside,
it made hitting the end of the summer sale really easy.

In fact, 
I walked away with some amazing steals
and it played perfectly into my errands at Oxford Circus.

So, would I go back?

but maybe just for a drink
or a light nibble.

I wouldn't save up a tasty meal for it...
or splurge on my souvenir tea time there.

Have you been?
Did you have a better experience?

(I really do hope so! I would love to think I experienced an off day.)


Not your cup of tea?

Check out some of my other tea times 
at some of London's finest places on Aspiring Kennedy.

Primrose Bakery | Bea's of Bloomsbury

*all photography original to Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on August 29, 2013 and filed under "London", "hot tea", "tea time".

It's All Good... All of it.

Luckily, with Amazon-
most things in the world
are accessible in England.

There are exceptions
like tex-mex & cheap dry cleaning...

But for the most part, 
we have all we need & want
at our doorsteps/fingertips.

However, there are few goodies
that I have picked up 
during our trip back this time.

Between birthdays & COSTCO runs,
our bags are getting a bit heavier
for the return.

Some of the highlights...

It's All Good

I know you all know about my best bud, the D.O.C. ("Katie Bug")
but my other gal pal is a girl you may know as Gwyneth.
(We just call each other "bosom friend.")

She just wrote a new cookbook
and after seeing Liz instagram some new recipes
I bit the bullet and paid $17 for it at Costco.

I love it.
The recipes are fresh and simple. 
Go getcha one.

Missoni Hand Towels

They are the cheapest way I can make my bathroom
not look like a college (shared) bathroom.
They're $25 which is a bit pricey,
but not terrible.

A worthy splurge
at a Dallas boutique, Nest.

Or you can find similar ones here at One Kings Lane.

Lululemon Yoga Pants


I once, not too long ago, mocked girls 
who ran errands in work out clothes
with perfect hair and other tell-tale signs
of having not actually working out.

Until I tried these on
and saw my butt in the mirror.

Two days later, it was the #1 item on my birthday wishlist.

I may have turned a year older,
but my hiney just returned to my freshman year of college.

Fist pump.

Bodum Assam Teapot

I've been wanting one of these pretties for a long time.

Three cheers for my in-laws for picking up on the subtle hint
(of me posting about it on the blog!)
and snagging me one for my birthday.

I love it!

Lanvin Ballet Flats
(via ebay)

I wear flats most days 
walking around town.

The pairs I wear the most cost me £3 at Primark
and are slick as a... fish (?)
when it rains.
So, basically, every day
I'm hydroplaning and freaking myself out.

Also, my feet ache from having no arch support.

(Weird that £3 won't get you traction or well-constructed shoes, I know.)

So I splurged (kinda) and bought a pair of Lanvin flats on EBay.

They were $150
and I'm already considering this an investment
towards the bionic feet replacements
that were headed my way
with my current footwear + walking combination.

If ebay scares you and you have a 9+ size foot,
there are some cute gold ones  41's on sale at BG for half price!
And they are also some 36.5 for you tiny footed friends!

* * *

So that's what made my birthday wishlist
and is headed back to London
with us when we go back in a couple of weeks.

Posted on August 13, 2013 and filed under "Nest Dallas", "books", "hot tea", "shopping".

To A Tea: The V&A

I love the V&A.

Pretty much everything about it...

The architecture.

The pieces inside.

The fact that Victoria & Albert created it 
to be a museum for the working class
and made it accessible to them by keeping it open late
(and, controversially, by candlelight)
so people could come after working hours.

I love the sitting area outside in the courtyard.

{And, of course, I love the fact that it is free to visit.}


I mean, honestly...
how gorgeous is this place?

It's one of my favorite places to meet up.

Not only is the food great
and the setting amazing,

but I like to do a quick run through the museum
to learn one new thing every time I'm there.

I kinda feel like it's a waste if I'm in a place
that is so amazing 
and don't even see the exhibits.

{Then again, I'm a bit of a dork.}

When Megan was in town 
on her bon voyage tour,
we went for a girls day.

It was wonderful.

I ate a lot.

I'm going to call it "emotional eating" because Megan was leaving...
but it might also have been because those scones were awesome.

However you want to call it.

Either way,
the V&A rocks.

A few things to know:

The V&A doesn't do giant tea trays of small sandwiches & treats.
Instead, they have serving lines of hot food, cold food, baked goods & drinks.
It's, basically, the most gorgeous cafeteria you've ever eaten it...
and with some of the best/freshest food, too.

Get more information on opening times & location
here on the Victoria & Albert website.


Not your cup of tea?

Check out some of my other favorite spots for tea in London here.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on July 17, 2013 and filed under "London", "hot tea", "museums", "tea time".

To A Tea: The Drawing Rooms at The Ampersand Hotel

My friend Kelsey
invited me to tea
with some of her friends today
at the Ampersand Hotel.

Since I never say no to a chance
to sit around with baked goods
under tha guise of testing new tea rooms
and getting out of the house, 
I happily obliged.

To be honest, I'd never heard of this hotel before,
but I'm so glad that she had...
because, y'all, 
this place is cute...

The hotel is in a great location in South Kensington-
just feet away from the tube stop,
making it the perfect way to round off 
a day visiting the V&A 
or toodling around the halls of Harrods.

We had tea in the hotel's Drawing Rooms.

And I have to say,
it might be one of my new favorite spots.

Here's why:

The scones were warm and delicious.

Not many tea rooms bake fresh scones
for each tea order...
most of the time, 
they are pre-cooked
and waiting to be served.

To have a hot one
makes it oh-so-much better.

{Editor's Note: This also applies to donuts & rolls.}

The place was cute,
but it wasn't pretentious.

It also wasn't a scene....
which I enjoyed for an easy afternoon out.

When I arrived at 2pm,
the place was fairly empty...
by the time I left,
there was a fun social buzz of chatter in the room.

Comfy, cozy chairs abound 
for lounging and chatting.

Baby Mama Friendly?


The staff was so sweet
and the room had plenty of space 
for our "push chair" brigade...
but the steps into the hotel are steep 
and tough to do by yourself!

It's not crazy expensive.

The afternoon tea 
-you know, with the pretty tied tray-
is £23 per person.

It has all the classics
like scones & sweets,
but offers yummy open sandwiches
that make the standard tiny triangles 
that most other places offer feel a bit dated.

I, being cheap, opted for the "Cream Tea" for £7-
but was perfectly pleased with it.

A Cream Tea gets you two warm scones
-complete with clotted cream & jam on the side-
plus a pot of tea of your choice.

Perfect, I dare say.

And look how cute the tea pots are?

{They remind me of this Bodum teapot which I have been wanting for ages.}

All in all?

Tea in The Drawing Rooms was a definite win!

Check out The Ampersand for your next trip to London
or it's Drawing Rooms for your next afternoon with the ladies.


If this place doesn't look like your cup of tea,
check out some of my other favorite places to do tea in London here.

Posted on June 11, 2013 and filed under "London", "hot tea", "tea time".