If you are ever in Bath, UK, you should certainly make your way towards Sally Lunn, one of the most prestigious tea houses in the country. The British do appreciate their tea, and places like Sally Lunn show exactly why. It’s located in the oldest house in Bath (built in 1482), and has been a tea house for more than 3 centuries now. The place has been serving tea to the locals for about 400 years, and that is quite a miraculous thought.
Sally Lunn is most famous for discovering the Sally Lunn Bun– one of the most delicious accompaniments to tea, ever. The Sally Lun Bun is also known as a Bath Bun, but the word ‘bun’ does not accurately depict its’ taste. It’s also part bread, and part cake. It’s a generously sized bun that is also surprisingly light. It was created by Sally Lunn, a Huguenot baker (and the person the tea house is named after).
What is most enjoyable about this place is the fact that the tea house has been doing the exact same thing for centuries- people have been coming to this spot, for the same tea, and the same bun for about 400 years and that is just absolutely mindblowing to imagine!
Tea making can be an art as in the lovely tradition of a Japanese tea ceremony, where the process of making the tea is important. We have all seemed images of the immaculate and elegant geisha’s preparing the tea in beautiful Japanese Tea gardens and I for one have often imagined what it would be like to attend one. Now I do not think I will be visiting japan anytime soon but I could be in London and attend an event at Urasenke. The UK London branch of this non profit Foundation have as their goal, to introduce and spread knowledge of Chado, The Way of Tea, a Japanese tradition with more than 400 hundred years history. As we have seen other cultures have their own versions of drinking tea and for the English it has been teapots and tea cosies and afternoon tea. In some ways I am sad that this does not continue in most homes, although we do not seem to have the time to do this anymore – maybe we should, maybe slowing down and drinking out well made tea is what is important.
Today you get a tea bag in a mug with water from the tap and lots of sugar!! I went to visit a friend the other day and she makes her own fruit teas, using the peel and core from fruit, especially apple, quince and pear. The peel she often freezes when there is an abundance but prefers to use straight away. The rest of the fruit go into the tastiest cakes and pies. Back to tea -she boils the peel with cinnamon and allspice and some dried green tea leaves ( from the bush). For this she likes to use spring water. Boiling for about 15 mins. This is then strained and poured into a warmed teapot when being served to guests – otherwise she places into a flask to keep with her throughout her day. The rule with this is, if you want a drink of her tea you sit and chat while you do, having her cakes to hand also help with this. In todays world she says you have to stop for something, why not tea?? Why not indeed.