No offense Monsieur Perignon but this girl would rather have a cup of tea than a flute of bubbly at this stage in her life.
Tom Cruise was quite astute when he said that champagne is perfume going in and sewage going out (and he should know, he was a bartender in that film) - it gives me ferocious hangovers now (yes, even vintage) so other than the first toast at a wedding, I generally avoid it.
Tea on the other hand is more than just a drowned Asian shrub.
It is the solution to any problem, it is a social lubricant, it is an opportunity for me to embrace my pretentionus side and dismiss the everyday bags of "dust" and go on an everlong quest for the perfect loose leaf teas.
Tea takes on the flavour of what it is packed with or stored in (which is why flavoured infusions work so well) and I pick up on the papery notes of a teabag and the stale taste of the inferior tea leaves in the way experienced wine tasters can tell whether wine was made or stored in oak or metal barrels.
I prefer teas made with whole leaves - either loose or in silk temples (Teapigs is my favourite brand) because the flavour isn't compromised. Tetley only introduced teabags in the 1950s I think (it was definitely after WW2) and though they later improved matters by introducing tea pyramids so that the leaves could diffuse and steep properly... the tea is still shit in my opinion.
I also have to drink my tea from a cup and saucer. Mugs are the very debbil and it spoils the experience for me if I have a big mug instead of a delecate little cup. I prefer a small, hot cup of tea which tastes fresh and lovely to a big overstewed mug which goes cold before you can drink it all.
Last weekend The Boy and I went for a late lunch at Pickles and Potter, a lovely little cafe which is expensive, but well worth it in the sense that you absolutely get what you pay for. He had the 12 hour stew, I had a chevre and gherkin sandwich with rocket and walnut pesto.
I also discovered that they had started selling one of my favourite things - lavender tea.
I am a freak for lavender. I used to grow 5 species in my garden and put lavender stalks in my bath, made jam from it, added it to my tea leaves and on one memorable occasion made lavender vodka. (Oh the hangover. Oh dear LORD!). Forget the powdery, synthetic lavender scent that brings grannies to mind. Smell the evocative, spicy scent of lavender flowers and tell me it's not the best smell in the world.
Anyway I procured some lavender tea leaves to take home with me and carted them into work with me today along with the Ecuadorian dark chocolate The Best Friend bought me for my birthday from Harvey Nicks.
Chocolate is another thing I'm pretentious about. I like it dark and I like it to be good quality. I am further difficult in that I am allergic to soya which is a cheap, horrible ingredient that most chocolate companies (even the once illustrious Green & Blacks) use in chocolate now. Soya is in everything at the moment - even soya flour in bread which makes life interesting for me.
If anyone knows of any decent chocolate which doesn't contain the dreaded soya (or pork fat, I'm vegetarian!) do let me know. Now that Green & Blacks is no longer an option for me I'm on the lookout for a new obsession.
Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.
Title: Lady Stardust by David Bowie