"It's a three-tier service," McDonald says, meaning she serves it on a three-tiered tray, like the English do. "Normally when you go to an English tea, your first tier is your savories, which are usually finger sandwiches, and quiches, maybe soups, that type of things," she explains. "Your second tier is your scones [with] clotted cream. The third tier is sweets, like mini-tarts, truffles, or mini-trifles."
The tea service has proved so popular she's booking them two or three months in advance for private events, often for wedding and baby showers, and she says people have come from out of state to attend them. But if you just want to come in and enjoy a casual English tea service with a couple of friends, give McDonald two days' advance notice. The cost is typically $25 per person and includes all the tea you can drink.
The coolest thing about the service may well be the clotted cream. While it might sound like something that went bad in your fridge, McDonald, who makes her own, says it's practically required eating when you're having a scone. She says the scones you get overseas are drier than the scones we're used to here, and regular butter won't do much to moisten them. Clotted cream will. It tastes like a super heavy cream, and the English slather it on their scones with abandon, along with some jam or lemon curd. It's so tasty McDonald knows people who actually eat it with a spoon--"but you can probably hear their arteries harden with each bite. You can also put a dollop in your tea. It makes it nice and creamy and rich and yummy."
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