Afternoon Tea at The Sweet Praxis
When my husband and I visited England and Scotland this past September we absolutely fell in love with the experience of having afternoon tea. We nibbled on tiny sandwiches, slathered scones with clotted cream and jam, and walked away from each tea surprised at how full we were from what looked like a dainty meal.
Moreover, I had been impressed by the availability of the gluten free options, and how the taste and texture was every bit as good as the "gluten-full" versions I had once enjoyed. I couldn't get enough of the abundance of GF baked goods and had us enjoying afternoon tea most afternoons of our trip. (And googling how to make clotted cream.)
When we arrived back home I assumed I would have to say goodbye to the delightful afternoon tradition until the next time I crossed the ocean or traveled somewhere else that appreciated a tea service they way the British do. But then I discovered that one of my favorite local bakeries, The Sweet Praxis, hosts an afternoon tea the first Saturday of every month! As my schedule conflicted with each month's tea for ages, I had to wait until this past Saturday to attend.
I had high hopes for this tea, having already enjoyed so many of the wonderful GF baked goods from The Sweet Praxis, but I couldn't help but wonder how it would compare to the teas I had enjoyed while in the U.K. My husband and I soon discovered that the dynamic Sweet Praxis team knew how to roll out an excellent tea.
When we were first seated I read over the vegetarian menu laid out for my husband and then the gluten free vegetarian set out for me. Everything sounded absolutely delicious. And after our tray arrived we dove in, savoring every well composed flavor, and marveling over the wonderful presentation.
There's something about the small sizes of everything that feels so absolutely darling, so that even a salad can't help but charm you.
Every item was exquisite, from the mini frittata to the brown butter and sage shortbread that I loved so much I wished I had ten more to follow it. But the real showstopper for me was the lemon cream puff. I LOVE cream puffs, or should say I thought I could only express that in the past tense, saying I loved cream puffs, as I had yet to find a gluten free version that captured the strong outside, fluffy inside texture of a good choux pastry. Every bite of this cream puff was heaven, from the texture of the dough to the sharpness of the lemon curd. I told my husband I was having a love affair with this little baked good and he completely understood. I may even frame this picture of the lemon cream puff and set it next to my wedding photo, that's how much I loved it.
Best of all, this wonderful afternoon took place in my own city, just a short drive from my house, reminding me that as much as I love the experiences I have when I travel, there's plenty to enjoy in my own backyard.