This weekend Chris Hero and Wrestlegasm’s 2010 man of the year Claudio Castagnoli had matches at shows in the UK. Wolverhampton is only a few hours north of my humble abode in South Wales, but long car journeys are not my friend at the moment. There is something I can do though. A few days ago Claudio tweeted this:
If there’s one thing I know, it’s tea and cake. If you cut me in half you’d probably find my insides are made of nothing but tea and cake. (Don’t do that.) So, from a very European lady to a very European gentleman…….
I’m not sure what Claudio means by ‘English tea’. There are really two routes I could take him down. (Minds out the gutter, children, we’re talking about very refined things here.) I could explain how to have ‘High Tea’, but that’s not generally something you’d do at home. You would probably go to a swanky hotel, maybe the Savoy or the Langham, dress up a little bit and be served very fancy tea, sandwiches and desserts in a palatial setting. I’m talking the kind of cakes that look more like a work of art than something you might eat.
This is not something I’m able to do for Claudio myself. My pastry skills are limited at best and I tend to be more of a vintagey, casual kind of girl anyway. I can, however, teach him how to have an old-fashioned Cream Tea. You can either call it a Cornish Cream Tea or a Devonshire Cream Tea. Both counties claim to have invented it. Being a man of the people, I think Claudio might enjoy this more informal option.
What Claudio will need:
He’ll need some super pretty cups, saucers and plates and they need to be dainty. We know Claudio loves his coffee but he’ll need something a little more delicate than his usual Starbucks thermal mug. Pinkies in the air, people! This is one from my growing collection of vintage teacups:
I don’t own many teapots. I’m resisting buying too many in an attempt to avoid starting a new collection of things I don’t have room for, but Claudio will be needing a teapot. The nice thing about a Cream Tea is that your crockery doesn’t have to match. I’d suggest something like this (mainly because I really want it!)
Your choice of tea is crucial and also a minefield. Choose a tea you don’t like and the whole experience is spoilt. I’m an Earl Grey connoisseur myself, but being a beginner and a coffee drinker, I’d suggest Claudio goes for a more accessible Breakfast or Afternoon Tea. I’m not going to be a Tea-Nazi about it, if you prefer tea bags to loose tea, go for it. But if Claudio wants an authentic experience he’ll be needing some loose-leaf tea and a strainer.
Scones, Cream & Jam
I’m fully aware that if you want a physique like this…..
……..butter baked scones aren’t going to be on your menu that often. I could almost guarantee that if I read Claudio’s tea leaves they’d predict a future full of extra work in the gym. But this is a treat, so I hope he’d indulge. The scone needs to be split and spread with strawberry jam and clotted cream. Clotted cream is cream that’s been steamed for a length of time so that the fats rise to the top. This makes it taste incredible and makes it easy to spread. There is an age-old debate in Britain concerning whether the jam or the clotted cream should go on first. I say jam then cream as seen below.
All that’s left is to sit at the table with a lovely tablecloth and doilies, drink your tea (ideally with a dash of milk) and devour your scone. If Claudio needs any more guidance he can drop me a line or, better yet, give me a shout when he’s next in the country. I’ll even bake the scones myself. Well, you know, ‘the way to a man’s heart’ and all that.