Queen Liz is a Lovely Lady!

The Queen has generously invited Team GB Olympic and Paralympic athletes to a star-studded event at Buckingham Palace in late October. Tracksuits are reportedly allowed at the reception, held to say thanks for a golden summer that surpassed all of our expections.

To celebrate this (and in the hopes of one day getting our own Royal invitation!) we thought we’d share with you a few lovely pins of Her Maj, from our Pinterest account. You can follow all of our boards here.

Peek a boo! A game of hide-and-go-seek will not be on the itinerary.


QEII in 2007. And she hasn’t aged a bit!


Annie Leibovitz portrait. Bet you thought it was only rock gods and Hollywood A-listers who get their photos taken by her!


And how could we forget her acting debut alongside James Bond at the Olympics opening ceremony? God save the Queen!

And it’s All Over! London 2012: Tea & Sympathy’s Best Bits

Cor, doesn’t time fly! In just under three weeks we really have had it all: sweat, tears, pain, disappointment, victory and laughter. When it all kicked off, there was some debate as to whether London could rise to the challenge but by all accounts, the London 2012 Olympics have been a resounding success. So up yours, Mitt Romney!!

Both the USA and Great Britain can join in celebrating our amazing medal hauls, neither team deserves anything but praise. Here are some of the best moments, beautifully photographed. Until next time… enjoy!

Britain’s Jessica Ennis competes during her women’s heptathlon long jump.

US gymnast Gabrielle Douglas

Mo Farah crosses the finish line to win gold

Mo Farah & Ussain Bolt exchange signature celebrations

And the Aussies didn’t disappoint

Love: olympic-sized!

Tom Daley getting wet with the ladies. You deserve it, boy!

Nevermind the helmet, check out those nails!!

The US swimming team getting a good briefing. Geddit, brief-ing!!…


British cyclist Mr Bradley Wiggins. Sorry Ussain, he was the coolest guy there.

And, of course, congratulations to Mr Andy Murray for his gold.

And, just like that, it’s all over…

An Olympic Dessert: Tea & Sympathy’s Eton Mess

This week’s recipe is the perfect dessert for an impromptu Olympic party. It’s been on our specials menu this last week, and always gets a lot of love. An irresistible mixture of pieces of meringue, whipped cream and strawberries, this dessert bursts with the flavors of British summer.

Rumor has it the name came about after a pavlova was dropped at the famous boarding school. In true British style, it was scooped up and served – along with the new name!

Eton College. Where the upper classes learn English, Maths and Quidditch!

Tea & Sympathy’s Eton Mess

Serves 4

A word of warning: do not mix this dish in advance. You can prepare the separate components, but fold together at the last moment to prevent the meringue melting into the cream.

1 lb strawberries
2 teaspoons sugar
1 pint whipping cream
4 meringue nests

  • Chop strawberries, removing any nasty bits. Put into a bowl and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Whip the cream in a large bowl until it leaves peaks when the whisk is removed. Be careful not to overdo it!
  • Crumble the meringue nests into the cream. Be uneven with it: different sized lumps make for more interesting mouthfuls!
  • Add a third of the strawberries to the mixture and fold in.
  • Spoon the mess into serving dishes and top with the remaining fruit.

Training & Treating: London 2012 Olympic Appetites

With the London 2012 Olympic Games well under way, we’re taking a look at what foods the athletes eat when in training and, more interestingly, when they’re treating themselves.

This infographic, put together by The Telegraph, offers fascinating analysis of Team GB’s training diet. This screenshot shows what the swimming team chow down on in a day… and there’s a conspicuous lack of shepherd’s pie and apple crumble! Check out the other teams’ plates here.

But fear not, with the Olympic Village cafeteria’s cafeteria’s mammoth shopping list, we could keep Greenwich Village fed on the finest British fare for a year.

And from the looks of Team GB’s favorite foods, maybe they should have asked us to do the catering. Toad in the hole, fried breakfast, sunday lunches and fish and chips all got a look in. We’re pleased to see that the rich ethnic heritage of Britain’s food culture is also well represented with Heptathlete Jessica Ennis going for Italian food, Cyclist Victoria Pendleton putting lasagne, sushi AND Tiramisu on her dream order, while distance runners Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe picked lamb biryani and dark chocolate.

Whether they’re celebrating – or commiserating – this all sounds like it would go down a treat!

Kate Middleton’s Olympic Style: The Queen, Christopher Kane & Michelle Obama

And they’re off! While the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony did not disappoint, we’re staying true to our traditional monday ‘Royal Roundup’, with a look at Kate Middleton’s outfit. Playing it cool in a bespoke ice blue silk dress by Scottish designer Christopher Kane she matched perfectly with The Queen and looked immaculate as she greeted foreign dignitaries, including Michelle Obama.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this: does this look win Olympic gold?

Kate Middleton wears Christopher Kane dress for London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony meeting with Michelle Obama



Tartar Sauce

Yesterday marked the beginning of National Fishing Month back in Blighty. As there’s nothing much else on the calendar this summer (ahem, Olympics), we’re certain this piscine party will be everyone’s main point of focus. And we’re getting in on the action with this week’s British Pantry, the ideal accompaniment to a nice bit of fish: Tartar Sauce.

A delectable mix of mayonnaise, dill, lemon juice, chopped pickles and capers, this is one of our all-time favorite condiments. We don’t sell any branded varieties in-store, but instead send people around to A Salt & Battery. They make their own from scratch to a recipe they won’t share with anyone – not even us!

We recommend a dollop with a portion of steaming battered haddock and a cold can of shandy. Reminds us of wet summer holidays on British beaches… here’s hoping the Olympics isn’t a washout!