How to Marry Harry: Chivalry, Part Two

British etiquette expert Dowager Robinson here. When courting a prince, one must keep their guard up, which is where this second part of my chivalry guide comes in handy. And after reading the guide, cast a vote on your favorite British bachelor in our facebook poll.

Love a man in uniform? Vote for Harry here.

So, notebooks out. First point, a man should stand up to greet a woman the first time he meets her but there is no need to be a jack-in-the-box – jumping up and down every time she goes to powder her nose. The modern British gentleman should focus on instinctive gestures rather than contrived behaviour that feels outdated and oppressive. If you notice these acts are anything other than genuine kindness, he is not doing his job properly.
It’s important to remember that chivalry does not guarantee a good catch. There may be a rascal or two out to get their hands on your trust fund, or who’ll pick up the check but will shoot
 at the waitress while they’re at it. Be wary of these dark knights and lechy lotharios. Here’s my checklist; only a take home a man home if he tickes all the boxes:
  • He rarely loses his temper, and never in public.
  • He can seemingly handle any situation that is thrown at him.
  • He is patient, and left unruffled by life’s daily irritations.
  • He is modest, yet confident, and cultivates an air of ease.

Now that we’ve given you the rundown. tell us your ideal Brit catch. Is it Harry’s hand you’re after, or the foppish charm of Mr. Colin Firth? Or if you’re one for the bad guys, step forward Simon Cowell. Let us know by voting in our facebook poll… we’ll publish the results next week!

With a smile like that, how bad can he be? If you're one for the bad guys, cast a vote for Simon here.

Sean, Joss Stone & Virgin Atlantic: The Campaign for ‘Little Britain’

Here are some great photographs from our campaign, backed by Virgin Atlantic, to have our corner of NYC renamed Little Britain. Joss Stone, the brilliant English singer, flew the flag and accompanied Sean to the ‘Little Britain’ press conference to petition for the change.

Seeing these pictures reminds us of the fun we’ve had down Greenwich Avenue. With the Royal Wedding barely behind us, plans for the Queen’s Jubilee this June are well and truly in motion. We’re sure you trust us when we say we have something BIG up our sleeve… Stay tuned!!

Sean & Joss Stone on Greenwich Avenue.

Brits abroad!

Joss poses with our London taxi.

How to Marry Harry: Chivalry

Did you miss our ‘How to Marry Harry’ guide this Monday? Unfortunately our etiquette expert Dowager Robinson was struck down with a case of Acute Manneritis (the politest illness of them all). But she’s back to fighting fit and here to give you the third lesson readying you for your very own Royal wedding. And this week, she’s talking chivalry.

The only photograph of the mysterious Dowager Robinson known to be in existence.

Hello ladies; and gentlemen at the back. After the rip-roaring success of my guides to the correct frame of mind, the importance of discretion, and how to act at the dinner table, it’s time you got something in return. Having wowed your prince, he should be trying his damndest to keep you in the bag. And this is where chivalry comes in: aka. the courteous behavior of a man towards a woman.

We're almost there!

Throughout history, flawless manners and polite masculinity were the defining characteristics of the British gent. Smooth talking Mr Smiths have been holding doors open and helping put coats on for centuries. Indeed, many believe it all started with Sir Walter Raleigh placing his cloak over a puddle back in the 1600’s to prevent Queen Elizebeth I muddying her shoes.

Sir Walter Raleigh: the archetypal gentleman.

So, the big question: when is chivalry appropriate and when is it patronizing?

Adapting traditional gestures to fit in with Britian’s new relaxed ways is a tricky challenge. Chivalry is no longer about treating a woman differently or making grand gestures, it’s about generally being a good bloke. This doesn’t come naturally to all men but, unlike a sense of humour, good etiquette can be learned.

Madison Avenue, 1956. It's the simple gestures that count. Now don't you want yourself a man like that?

To be chivalrous in 2012 is to strike a balance between showing a woman you treasure her while also respecting her independence. Chivalry has been somewhat on the wane since World War II, but in order to achive this properly you MUST genuinlly both treasure and respect her. Until you do you will never be a TRUE gentleman and you will get found out.

Your prince in shining armor.

We’ll get into specifics next week, but for the meantime, here’s four key traits your prince should display at all times:

• He has an air of sociability and hospitality.

• He is unrushed, calm and always has time.

• He is in control of life, and never stressed.

• He is naturally charming to everyone he meets.

Happy Easter: 5 Craziest Creme Egg Recipes

Our of our most pleasant online discoveries has been the subculture of enthusiasts sharing a whole host of wonderfully bizarre Cadbury Creme Egg recipes. We felt it would make the perfect Easter feature to share our top five… Prepare to be amazed at what people come up with!!

5. Creme Egg Salad Sandwich.
We’re not going to beat around the bush: this turns our stomach. But a prime example of a hardened enthusiast’s dedication to taking the Creme Egg cause to a whole other level.

4. Creme Egg Tart
Much better – we actually want to eat this one. But too conservative for our liking, which is why it only makes fourth place.

3. Creme Egg Foo Young
Despite sounding rather unpleasant, this is actually quite a tasty combination: rice pudding, peanut butter, coconut and Creme Egg. We wouldn’t say no!

2. Creme Egg Benedict
It was a very tough call for first place, and what swung it was that we’d featured this recipe before. Creme Egg Benedict – the chocoholic’s brunch of choice!!

1. Creme Egg Brulee
We felt this recipe successfully ticked the novelty box while also causing us to lick our lips. If we have enough left Creme Eggs left over from Easter, perhaps this will make it on to the specials’ menu.

The Villager: Nicky Perry, T Rex & Greenwich Village

A lovely old press clipping here. The full article offers a pretty thorough rundown of Nicky’s life (and trust us, she has some stories to tell!). So brew yourself a cuppa, put your feet up, and read on

T.Rex’s ‘Bang a Gong’ to teashop’s bangers and mash

By Karen Kramer

Sweet, agreeable and oh-so moreish... the cakes of course!

“I’m sorry to say this,” Nicky Perry said boldly, “but the tea in this country is…filth. It is horrendous and it doesn’t matter where you go.”

If Perry has anything to do with it, that will change — at least in a small corner of Greenwich Village. In the middle of her small and quiet teashop — Tea and Sympathy on Greenwich Ave. — Perry, the owner, is anything but reserved and quiet. With her wild curly blond hair, her excited, animated voice and bold way of expressing herself, she is a strong presence against the porcelain teapots and china that are placed lovingly around the shop. Perry says everything with uninhibited enthusiasm and her eyes widen dramatically as she tells stories about her background in England, her involvement with British pop bands and her passion for introducing Americans to English tea and cuisine.

Nicky Perry grew up in southeast London but couldn’t wait to get to New York.

“I was madly in love with Mark Bolen [of the rock group T.Rex] and I used to read about him constantly being in New York,” she said. “So from the age of 14, I became obsessed with reading about things like Max’s Kansas City and C.B.G.B., and the whole New York wonderful-exciting-24-hours-anything-goes thing. And for my 21st birthday my mother brought me here for a week’s holiday. I came back from that week’s holiday and eight months later I returned to New York and I never left.”

When Perry first came to New York she lived with a member of the British rock band Squeeze, which meant she had people to show her around and take her to parties. However, her fascination with rock stars and pop music was almost in direct rebellion to the classical music she grew up with. Read more here.

Tea & Sympathy and ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ Collaboration!

As we announced last week, we’ve arranged a very exciting collaboration with the people behind ‘One Man, Two Guvnors‘. The smash British show is coming to Broadway on April 6th and and here’s how we’ll be showing our support…
First up, we’ll have specially branded coasters in-store and restaurant any day now. Grab yourself one of the accompanying flyers, and you’ll get 40% off the price of a ticket. Then, come May, we’ll be running a fantastic competition to choose or name a special OMTG menu item! Still in the early stages of planning, we have a couple more tricks up our sleeve… we’ll let you know as soon as we do!!

Paul’s Hot Cross Bun Poem

After last week’s post on hot cross buns, we got into some good-natured rivalry over on facebook about how best to rhapsodize these delicious little morsels. When we challenged our good friend Paul Cosier to match our description (“Put the kettle on, whack one in the toaster and you have yourself a plateful of springtime bliss!”), we had no idea what we were letting ourselves in for. After reading the poem that Paul came back with, I think you’ll more than agree: we’ve been well and truly beat!!

Eaten by all not just one
Baked by Nicky Perry
Omitting blueberry
The world-famous T&S scone

Greenwich-Mean-Time, Toodle Pips
Calories add to the hips
Can I believe my eyes?
A filling for pies
This one containing just chips!

Chicken, Fish, Vegetable stock
Rolling the dough on a block
Some fishes a school
She’s nobody’s fool
More than one chicken a flock

Punters in droves, far and near
Scones-Cornish and Pasties m’dear
The Staten Isle ferry
Welcomes Nicky Perry
Eurgh! mal-de-mer, no such fear

Please drop by, why? your whistle’s not wet
All welcome, now please place your bet
De-frosted the butter
Table six for the nutter
No credit – no tab – no debt

Nicky’s rule: no cuppa “sans” coaster
Hot cross buns lightly grilled, not a roaster
Forecast warnings of gales
In case all else fails
Her advice: “smack one in the toaster”

This should get your taste buds flowing
Out of breath, puffing and blowing
It’s what we call “it” now
Time for my bow
I’m all of a buzz – somewhat glowing!

Tea & Sympathy and ‘One Man Two Guvnors’

So you’re staging a Broadway production of a smash British comedy. You have the all-star cast in place with Blighty’s favorite funny man James Corden heading the bill, a fantastic script that’s won acclaim across the Atlantic, and a two month stint at one of the city’s best theatres. Even the Queen’s given you her blessing! What could possibly go wrong, you ask?

Authentic food products my dear friends, that’s what! When we received a call from the lovely people behind ‘One Man Two Guvnors’ asking for a case of Heinz tomato soup, a box of Walkers Chipsticks and a dozen bottles of Supermalt (a rather delicious non-alcoholic beverage), we were more than happy to help. Sean loaded up the London taxi and off he went to 45th Street…

Stay tuned as we have a rather exciting collaboration lined up… You heard it here first!

Characters of Little Britain, Part 2

After yesterday’s feature on London cabby John Darrow, here’s another remarkable customer. Always upholding an impeccable sartorial standard, this Gentleman (with a well-deserved capital ‘G’) never turns up in anything less than full top and tails for his afternoon tea. His presence adds an unmistakable element of refinement to our dining room, and he puts a very broad smile on all the girls faces just by walking through the door. So, next time you’re thinking of coming by, perhaps take a leaf out of his book and don your finest glad rags!

Celebrity Tea Party Competition!

This beautiful weather has got us in a fantastic mood – so we thought we’d run a little competition with a very special prize. Over the weekend, the question cropped up “Who would be at your dream tea party?” This really captured our imagination as suggestions were thrown around from teashop to chippy and before we knew it, half of Greenwich Avenue had offered their suggestions.

I assume our invite is in the mail?

With famous figures from the past and present as diverse as Oscar Wilde (dandy tea!), Rachel Maddow (liberal tea!) and Mahatma Gandhi (thoughtful tea!) thrown around, we’re not even close to settling on a shortlist. Which is why we need your help! Please tell us your three dream tea party guests, and the reason why. Historical, contemporary, American, British, we don’t care – as long as they’d make good company!

But can I bring a friend?

And what’s the prize, we hear you ask? Well, in keeping with the theme of celebrity (celebri-tea!), we’ll be giving the winner the royal treatment. None other than Mr. Sean Kavanagh-Dowsett himself will come and pick you and a friend up in his black taxi from anywhere in downtown Manhattan, and bring you to Tea & Sympathy to be served free tea and scones. A very unique and special prize, we’re sure you’ll agree!

Your carriage for the evening...

So just let us know your three dream tea party guests in the comments section below, via twitter, or on our facebook wall. And while Michele Bachman and Ron Paul certainly aren’t invited, jokes about the last transatlantic tea party are!

...and your driver!