Meet Asha Pagdiwalla, a blogger, food writer, stylist, photographer and recipe developer living in New York. I discovered Asha’s blog a couple of years ago when we were both taking part in the Project Food Blog competition. I was immediately drawn to her photography and I felt that the way she styled her dishes, juxtaposing boldly colored foods with rich textures and backgrounds highlighted her South Indian heritage and set her apart. On her blog, Asha continues to share her personal experiences, recipes and travel tales, and she’s also a contributor to other publications, such as Honest Cooking. Here’s London, in her own words.
My Edible City
For me Europe has always held an allure unmatched by any other part of the world. And, one of my favorite places to re-visit is London. England – The land of the royal, stiff upper lip and old world charm. I have fantasized of an English childhood (through Enid Blytons) and the leisurely, carefree life of the well-heeled nobility (Woosters of the world).
Every time I visit, I feel drawn ever more close. Perhaps, it is the influence of the colonial past (India was a British colony for over 200 years) and a deep desire to understand and validate the conquerors. Perhaps, it is to show that I stand upon where I was once stood upon :).
Truth be told, my desire to return has very little to do with history and lot with the food and culture. The quality of food in the UK (and Europe in general), by and large, is far superior to most that you find in the US. The Welsh lamb needs no introduction. Nor does that the rich decadence of the Devonshire clotted cream, which, brings me to the gist of this post!
My Favorite Dish
In all of the UK, you find this refined, old tradition continued. London and its suburbs boast of many tea shops that have made reputations on the quality of the pastry and elegance of the service. One of course yearns for the luxurious as the Tea at the Ritz London, which, is a full two-hour production of a formal sit down service (with gentlemen urged to remain in jackets) with lovely tray of assorted sandwiches, tubs of delicious cream and jam, constantly replenished scones and an array of desserts bussed around by suited waiters, all done with a stiff flourish.
As elegant and upscale are the Ritz experience is, with its pink, well appointed ‘powder rooms’, I personally prefer the quaint old tea houses of Kew Gardens and Richmond, where the tea is less officious and lot more friendly. The taste is still decadent, relaxing and the perfect way to counter the gloomy, grey skies which are more the norm than exception in that part of the world… Everything looks sunnier with a sip of Earl Grey and a bite of a scone topped generously with cream and jam!
- The History of Afternoon Tea
- London’s top classic afternoon teas
- 10 best afternoon teas for those searching for something a bit different
- Yes, you can enjoy afternoon tea without breaking the bank! Here are 7 budget-friendly options.
- How to make the perfect cup of tea, according to the BBC
- Just a few days left before the 2012 London Summer Olympics begin! Which competitions will you be following? Here’s everything you need to know about the olympics.
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