GIVEAWAY & Product Review: Madame Flavour Teas

Product: Madame Flavour Teas

Contact: madame@madameflavour.com 

For more information: http://www.madameflavour.com/

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About Madame Flavour

Madame Flavour is a company based in Melbourne which sells loose leaf teas from Sri Lanka, China and India, which are blended with Australian spices and flowers to create unique flavoured teas.

They have a number of blends including the Special Blend, Sultry Chai, Green Jasmine Pear, Grey de Luxe, White with Rose, and Mint & Lavender Tisane.

The tea leaves are put into infuser pods, which are fully biodegradable silken tea bags which are much nicer than the papery tea bags used by other tea brands.

Much of their teas are organic, although the percentage of organic tea in each blend varies. What I particularly liked about their packaging however, is that they clearly state the percentages of each type of tea used in the blend and where the tea comes from. An ingredients list which shows you exactly what goes into your tea and where it comes from is an ingredients list which is not ashamed of its contents!

They kindly sent me a few samples of their tea to try out. Here’s what I thought of them.

Grey de Luxe

The Grey de Luxe tea has an amber colour and is quite fragrant. This is a nice afternoon tea as the strong and unique smell of the tea is revitalising and wakes you up.

I tried this tea with no sugar or milk as I find that is the best way to have Early Grey.

I brewed it in a T2 glass teapot for one, which is really easy to use and perfect for tea leaves, using the tea leaf compartment (which I took out), or tea bags.The tea leaves swelled up and filled the sachet and there was more than enough tea in the bag for one cup.

Although it was nice, I didn’t notice much of a difference in this tea compared with other Earl Grey teas which I have had before.

Sultry Chai

Chai tea is one of my favourite types as it is soothing and really clears up your throat if you are sick or have a cough.

I tried this tea black, and with a teaspoon of honey and some milk. It had a very strong aroma of clove and cardamom and a prominent gingery flavour.

Madame’s Special Blend

Madame’s Special Blend is the perfect breakfast tea. It has a soothing aroma and a dark golden colour which reflects its strong flavour.

I tried the tea both with and without milk/sugar. Both times it was easy to drink, smooth and silky.

A very enjoyable tea which I would recommend to all the “classic” tea drinkers out there. Note: If you don’t like flavoured teas, this means you!

Mint & Lavender Tisane

This is probably the most fragrant of the teas I tried.

The lavender and mint smell is beautiful and refreshing and I have heard that mint (peppermint) tea is good for settling the stomach after a big meal.

I had this tea black and without milk and found it to be very enjoyable and calming.

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The Verdict

I really liked Madame Flavour’s range of teas. They smell amazing and are strong on flavour. Definitely worth a try!

Rating

I give it an 8.5/10.

GIVEAWAY!
Madame Flavour and The Casual Food Blogger are giving you the chance to sample some of these lovely teas. To win a sample package of Madame Flavour Teas simply comment below, in 25 words or less, what your favourite tea flavour is and why.
Terms and Conditions:

1. This competition is only open to New South Wales residents aged 16 years or over.

2. One entry per person allowed.

3. To enter, simply comment on this post an answer to the question “Which Madame Flavour Tea would you most like to try and why?”.

4. You must be a facebook fan of The Casual Food Blogger at http://www.facebook.com/thecasualfoodblogger.

5. The competition opens on 3/1/13 at 12.00 midday AEST and ends 31/1/13 at 12.00 midday AEST.

6. The prize consists of 3 packs of 8 single-serve Madame Flavour tea pouches.

7. The winners will be selected based on the most interesting comments as judged by The Casual Food Blogger.

8. Please include your name and email address so we can contact you if you win.

9. If you win you will be asked to provide a postal address to which the prize can be sent. Your name and postal address will be provided to Madame Flavour who will send the prize straight to you. Your name and address will only be used for the purposes of this competition. If you do not want your details to be sent to Madame Flavour, please do not enter.

10. Winners will be notified by email within 7 days from the closing date of the competition. If we are unable to contact you or do not hear back from you within 7 days from the date of the email we will choose another winner.

11. This competition is hosted by The Casual Food Blogger at http://www.thecasualfoodblogger.wordpress.com.

Good luck!

The Palm Court, Plaza Hotel NYC

Reservations via Open Table.

Address: 768 5th Avenue, New York NY 10019 United States

Tel: 212 546 5300

Email: palmcourt@fairmont.com.

Opening Hours:

Afternoon Tea is served daily in The Palm Court from 2:00pm – 5:00pm.

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So this post has been a long time coming. Going through some of my photos from the US I saw some from high tea at the Plaza Hotel and thought I should write a post on it as it was one of the best experiences of my trip!

The Plaza Hotel is one of the most fashionable and famous hotels in the world, and Afternoon Tea at the Palm Court has become an institution for food lovers and jet-setters alike. One afternoon in late December 2011, four friends and I dressed up and headed out to see what all the fuss is about.

The Palm Court

We had booked online earlier, and luckily too, as we saw quite a few people being turned away as they didn’t have bookings. The hotel was busy with post-Christmas, pre -NYE guests and we waited bout 10-15 minutes before we were seated.

Service was typical of a 5 star hotel, with the waiters unfolding our napkins for us and placing them on our laps, and promptly bringing us Tea menus and water to drink.

The room was elegantly laid out with beautiful palms, luxurious golden walls, and sparkling cutlery, crockery and silverware.

A look at the menu revealed that there were four Afternoon Tea options:

1. The Classic
SANDWICHES AND SAVORIES
Truffled Quail Egg Salad
Maine Lobster, Sturgeon Caviar
Roast Beef, Horseradish
Cucumber, Radish, Basil
Smoked Salmon, Endive
SCONES
Freshly Baked, Warm Seasonal Scones
Double Devonshire Cream, Lemon Curd, Preserves
PASTRIES AND SWEETS
Pâté de Fruit, Sacher Torte, Lemon Tea Cake, Hazelnut Napoleon, French Macarons
$50 Per person

2. The New Yorker
SANDWICHES AND SAVORIES
Cucumber, Radish, Green Herbs
Smoked Salmon, Endive
Roquefort, Shaved Red Grapes, Watercress
Prosciutto, Mozzarella, Pesto
Roast Beef, Horseradish
SCONES
Freshly Baked, Warm Seasonal Scones
Double Devonshire Cream, Lemon Curd, Preserves
PASTRIES AND SWEETS
Black and White Cookies, Mini Canoli,, Chocolate Cupcake, New York Cheesecake, Lemon Tea Cake, Profiteroles
$50 Per person

3. Chocolate Tea
CHOCOLATE FONDUE
Strawberries, Pound Cake, Pretzels, House-Made Marshmallows, Golden Pineapple
SCONES
Freshly Baked, Warm Seasonal Scones
Nutella, Double Devonshire cream, Lemon Curd and Preserves
SWEETS
Chocolate Profiteroles, Mini Pot De Crème, Chocolate Cupcake,
Chocolate Macaroon, Sacher Torte, Chocolate Truffles
$60 Per person

4. Eloise Tea
SANDWICHES AND SAVORIES
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Cucumber, Buttered Bread
Organic Peanut Butter and Jelly
Strawberry and Cream Cheese Sandwich
SCONES
Freshly Baked, Warm Seasonal Scones
Double Devonshire Cream, Preserves
PASTRIES AND SWEETS
Assorted Cookies, Chocolate Cupcakes, Pink Pink Jello, Eloise Shortbread Cookies, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
$30 Per child under 12 years of age
$50 Per adult
COLD COLD PINK LEMONADE OR PEPPERMINT ICED TEA

*Note: the above menu comes directly from the Plaza Hotel Palm Court Menu

My four friends and I selected our High Teas and also decided on which tea we wanted to drink. I went for the Classic Tea (minus the quail, which I don’t eat).

I also selected a lovely organic earl grey Sri Lankan tea which was described as “Exotic bergamot sweetness. Full bodied with a hauntingly smooth finish.”

We were served our teas and treats, and thoroughly enjoyed savouring them. I always make it a point of at least TRYING everything on the tray, and if I can, I try to finish it all! This time, I did manage to try everything on the tray, but was unable to eat all of it as there was so much!

We had a lovely time chatting, sipping delicious tea and enjoying our sweet and savoury delights. The atmosphere was perfect and all in all it was a lovely afternoon. I would definitely recommend this experience for anyone living in or planning to visit New York.

What has been your favourite high tea experience? Have you been to the Palm Court? Please post a comment- we’d love to hear from you!

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Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel on Urbanspoon

Dilmah ChariTEA Event

I was lucky enough to score an invite to the Dilmah High Tea Event. The event was held at the Langham hotel, a 5 star luxury hotel formerly known as the Observatory Hotel.

Now everyone knows that I love a good cup of tea and I’m sure most of you also know that I love high tea (see my High Tea To Do List). I knew from the start that this was going to be a beautiful high tea and I was not disappointed. The staff were friendly and helpful and I was quickly ushered into a very elegant looking room where I found about 100 people seated at round tables.

Peter Kuruvita, a half Sri Lankan, half Austrian who was born in England and resides in Australia (how very multicultural!) was the host. Peter is one of Australia’s top chefs and is well-known for his restaurant Flying Fish, in Pyrmont (see my Food Bucket List). He welcomed us all to the event and told us a little bit about his involvement with Dilmah and as a judge of their Real High Tea competition.

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Peter Kuruvita

He then introduced Dilhan Fernando, one half of where the name “Dilmah” comes from (the other half is his brother, Malik, who was not present). Dilhan gave a speech about Dilmah’s passion for producing truly ethical tea and their commitment to giving back to the community. It was really nice to hear how all this work could be done in a developing country such as Sri Lanka simply through the support of tea lovers purchasing Dilmah tea products.

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Dilhan Fernando

We then heard from Mr Merill J. Fernando himself. I was quite star struck hearing him speak after seeing him on TV for so many years! He was a very dignified and well-spoken person and being of Sri Lankan background myself,  I have a lot of respect for what he has done for the country. He told us how he decided to market and sell pure Ceylon tea to the world to show people what real tea should taste like, as opposed to the mixed tea that was previously traded all over the world. We heard of his vision to produce, market and manage this tea company from Sri Lanka to ensure that he could give as much as possible back to the country through job creation and by helping the employees who helped him build his company. It’s hard to believe that he has been in the business for over 63 years! Mr Fernando thanked us, as Australian tea drinkers, for our support which he said was one of the main reasons for Dilmah’s success, and said that this high tea event was one way in which they could give back to some of the company’s supporters.

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Merrill J. Fernando, Dilmah Founder

Upon conclusion of his speech, we  were invited to enjoy the high tea treats which Dilmah and the Langham Hotel had put on for us, whilst watching a few videos about the MJF Charitable Foundation’s work in Sri Lanka. The foundation uses part of Dilmah’s revenue to support underprivileged people in Sri Lanka through providing access to education, better living conditions, community health programs and support to families who have lost loved ones in the North.

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During the video we were treated to a wonderful menu of:

Smoked salmon, cucumber and egg and mayonnaise sandwiches

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Quiche Lorraine and a Vegetarian QuicheImage

Green tea with jasmine smoked duck breast with celeriac remoulade on brioche toast  (I never used to eat duck as I once had a pet duckling, but I accidentally ate this one without checking what it was! My first time eating duck! It wasn’t too bad at all but I haven’t decided if I will keep eating duck from now on or try to avoid it :s).Image

Fresh baked scones- mixed fruit and plan with home-made strawberry jam and cream (served in the cutest lil jars!)

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Orange and Almond Tea BaklavaImage

Mini Fruit TartsImage

Langham cupcakes

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Chocolate Mousse in a wafer cup

MacaronsImage

Creme BruleeImage

The perfect accompaniment to all these delicious treats was the selection of Dilmah Teas available to try including Ran Watte, Meda Watte, YataWatte and Uda Watte.

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Have I got you drooling yet? What a spread! At the end of it I was so full and couldn’t eat another bite if I wanted to (which I did!).

The winners of Dilmah’s Sydney Real High Tea challenge were announced and the 4 lucky winners won tickets to Sri Lanka to visit the Dilmah Tea Estate. Peter Kuruvita closed the event by saying that normally in a charity function they would ask for donations, but in this case, simply purchasing Dilmah tea helps the Foundation work towards its goals.

We then had the opportunity to meet the “stars of the show” and I was delighted to be able to get a photo with, and speak to Peter, Dilhan and Mr Fernando.

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With Peter Kuruvita

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With Merrill J. Fernando, Peter Kuruvita, Dilhan Fernando and friends

I was also very excited to meet my blogging idol, the gorgeous Mrs Lorraine Elliot of Not Quite Nigella (check out her blog at: http://www.notquitenigella.com/) and I can honestly say that she is absolutely lovely!

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With NQN

We left with some wonderful goodie bags, stuffed with teas and tea-making instruments- a perfect way to  finish off a great afternoon!

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My TO DO High Tea List

I love a good high tea. Whether at home, at a friend’s house or in a swish hotel, high tea is my favourite meal.

I’ve been to a fair few high teas in my day, the best so far being at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, Canada. Here is my list of top places to have High Tea. The crossed off ones are the ones I have been to!

International

  1. Fairmont Chateau Laurier, Ottawa
  2. The Plaza Hotel, New York
  3. Cinnamon Grand, Colombo Sri Lanka (next year!)
  4. Hilton, Colombo Sri Lanka (next year!)
  5. The Ritz, London
  6. Empress Hotel, Victoria Canada
  7. St Regis Hotel, New York
  8. Angelina, Paris
  9. Alvear Palace Hotel, Buenos Aires
  10. Secret Garden Tea House, San Francisco
  11. The High Tea Cottage, Woodland Hills California
  12. Mount Lavinia Hotel, Colombo Sri Lanka
  13. Fairmont Frontenac, Quebec City Canada
  14. Sky City, Auckland
  15. Alberton, Mount Albert NZ
  16. Cinnamon Lakeside, Colombo Sri Lanka
  17. The Verandah, Galle Face Hotel Sri Lanka
  18. Cliveden Hotel, Berkshire UK (most expensive high tea in the world- 550 pounds per couple)
  19. Larnach Castle, Otaga Peninsula, NZ
  20. Amberley Castle, West Sussex UK
  21. The Langham, Auckland
  22. TransAsia Hotel, Colombo Sri Lanka
  23. Mount Nelson Hotel, South Africa
  24. Raffles Hotel, Singapore
  25. The Peninsula, Hong Kong
  26. The Four Seasons Istanbul at Sultanahmet
  27. The Intercontinental Park Lane, London
  28. Amanpuri, Phuket
  29. Rambagh Palace, Jaipur
  30. Vier Jahreszeiten, Munich
  31. The Berkeley Hotel, London
  32. The Balmoral, Edinburgh
  33. Hotel Baur au Lac, Zurich
  34. Claridge’s, London
  35. Four Seasons Park Lane, London
  36. Royal Garden Hotel, London
  37. Hotel de Paris, Monte Carlo
  38. The Drake, Chicago
  39. The Beverly Hills Hotel, LA
  40. Hyatt Regency London, The Churchill
  41. Brown’s, London
  42. The Langham, London
  43. The Dorchester, London

Australia

  1. The Tea Room, QVB Sydney (The best and most wll-known)
  2. Craig’s Royal Hotel, Ballarat
  3. The Tea Room, Gunner’s Barracks Sydney
  4. The Windsor, Melbourne
  5. Madame Brussels, Melbourne
  6. Room with Roses, Brisbane
  7. Mamor Chocolates, Melbourne (Hungarian style)
  8. Top of the World Revolving Restaurant, Adelaide
  9. Queenie’s Traditional Tea House, Nundah QLD
  10. C Restaurant Lounge, Perth
  11. The Duxton Grill, Perth
  12. The Brasserie, Adelaide
  13. The Victoria Room Tea Salon, Westfield Sydney
  14. The Westin Sydney
  15. Bicicletta, Acton Canberra
  16. The Four Seasons Sydney (going there in October)
  17. Observatory Hotel, Sydney
  18. Sir Stamford, Circular Quay
  19. Swissotel Sydney (they have a choc fountain!)
  20. Lillianfels, Blue Mountains
  21. Park Hyatt, Sydney
  22. Museum of Sydney Cafe
  23. Sheraton on the Park, Sydney
  24. Garden Court, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
  25. The Victoria Room, Darlinghurst Sydney (by recommendation)

If you have any photos or recommendations, please let me know so I can add it to the list!

High Tea at The Victoria Room, Westfield Sydney ($$)

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The Victoria Room, Westfield Sydney

Address: Level 4 (Designer Gallery), Westfield Sydney, 188 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Telephone: (02) 9357 4488

Email: info@theteasalon.com.au

Website: www.theteasalon.com.au

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Classic High Tea ($38.00)- this photo shows two high tea servings

High Tea

The Victoria Room Tea Salon on Urbanspoon