A Girly Afternoon – High Tea at Nosh in Leuven

Last weekend it was time to try one of those places in town you keep walking by thinking it’s a good idea, but you never manage to make the plans to do so. I went to the café called Nosh to try their High Tea!

I really liked the idea. Nosh is generally one of the only places you can find open in Leuven between lunch and dinner time for something other than pancakes (which I do love, but I was wanting something more special). We had to make a reservation before, which made total sense if you saw all the stuff they gave us.

We were sat at a table a lot bigger than necessary for our company, but it turned out to be a good plan when all the food started showing up. First we were brought, one by one, a glass of cava to start with, then a pepper and cream soup, a piece of quiche and some finger sandwiches. And then it was time for the sweets tray! A feast on the eye just as much as on the tummy! Not to forget the all-you-can-drink offer on the tea.

The tea menu really took my fancy, and apparently they are extending it soon to 20 different kinds of teas, so I’ll definitely be back. I first had a green tea mix with some extra herbs, then I had a herbal tea with mint and elderberries. My friend, more into the sweet kind of teas, started with a strawberry and lime infusion, which was surprisingly fresh while at the same time still sweet, and finished with a rooibos and caramel tea. I do like rooibos, but the caramel was definitely to sweet for me. I can imagine that for proper tea specialists (if such a thing exists) it might be a bit weird that we were switching teas between our snacking, but it was just so much fun to try out all the different flavours.

The whole experience was perfect for a girlfriend afternoon, it wasn’t too loud so we could have a proper chat, we were surrounded by nice little bits and bobs totally finishing off the cosy decor, and between every story we told we could fill our bellies with cute little yummy thingies. The sweet tray held little marzipan cakes, gingerbread, scones, tiny biscuit cakes, vanilla rice, a sort of raspberry bavarois cake, and lots more.

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The only downside of the place is the price. I would never go in there for a normal coffee or tea stop. The teas go for 3 euros, bagels are easily 7 euros, and the English breakfast goes for 16 euros! I guess the location plays a part in the pricing, as it’s located right in the centre, very close to the two main squares in town. But for me as a local, I can think of other places in town where all of this is a lot cheaper. However, for the High Tea it is different. It is 25 euro a person, and even though it is a bit much for an afternoon snack, you do get a lot of value for your money. Consider the tea being all-you-can-drink, the glass of bubbly, and all the little treats. And also, the fact that this really is a unique experience in Leuven.

So if you’re in want for a fun girlie afternoon in Leuven, and you don’t mind eating a crazy amount of food in front of these girlfriends, this is definitely your thing! The table next to us was a nice crowd of ladies in their early 30s, but they seemed to be very concerned with being judged by each other and didn’t eat even half of the food! What a waste! We all know it, girls, we really can eat that much. And we would. If no one was watching. So make sure that when you do come here, you enjoy it to the fullest! And if you don’t, I’ll come have your leftovers, thankyouverymuch.

 

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Autumn Time – Tea Time

Tea season has started. Although to be honest, I drink tea all year round. But now I don’t just drink tea because it is yummy, also because it is cosy.

I love autumn and winter. Occasionally. My love for the cold has decreased since coming back from Australia, I have to admit, but these colder seasons still have their perks. Colourful hats and scarves, and that wonderful feeling of feeling all warm and fuzzy except for your face, which feels fresh and awake. I also like the dark evenings. Not all year around, but once in a while they can be super cosy. Switch on some cosy lights, listen to some mellow jazz, hide under a colourful blanket, and drink a cup of tea.

It’s really herbal infusions I drink, rarely ever real tea. With the amount of hot beverages I like to drink, it is not a bad idea to stick to the non-caffeine ones.

So, I’ve noticed how it’s really hot nowadays to blog by making lists. Therefore, I would like to present to you: my first list, a list of my (currently) seven favourite teas, in chronological order. (Chronological as in: from the one I start with in the morning to the one I end with in the evening.)

  • Alps Breeze: An invigorating infusion with mint and eucalyptus. I have one every morning first thing when I get to work. It wakes up your senses and clears up any sleepiness or blocked noses you would have had over night. Also, it smells like the Australian forests around the Snowy Mountains and makes me happily nostalgic.
  • Lemon and Ginger: Once awake, lemon and ginger is the perfect combination to keep you that way. Its taste is once again fresh, but also quite sharp. You can try making your own: squeeze a lemon and scrape of the zest. Add hot water to the juice and put the zest in an infuser together with a whole load of grated ginger. (Since ginger is good for digestion and helps against nausea, it is perfect after a way too big meal.) When I have finished the tea, I like to eat the ginger as well, but most people find the taste to strong.
  • Forest Fruit Tea: Now, this one does have caffeine. It is a black tea with some forest fruit added. The scent alone will get you all cosy, and the caffeine will wake you back up after lunch. The only problem: the scent is so strong you might not want to have this when you share an office. Your colleagues will smell your tea so strongly they might try to steal it from you.
  • Camomile: Camomile is good for basically anything. I like to have it as my last cup of the working day. It calms you down, and is also supposed to be good for the digestive system. Its flavour is subtle, and a warm welcome after all the strong flavours from before.
  • Sage and Honey: This is one to make yourself again. Get a bunch of sage, add some honey, and you have the perfect medicine for an autumn sore throat. Its taste can be quite sharp, but the honey makes it soothing. You can also try pineapple sage. The sage itself doesn’t taste like pineapple, but it sure does smell like it. And sage grows all year around so if you have a little plant in the garden, you will never fall short.
  • Apple and Cinnamon: It’s like having a dessert, perfect straight after dinner to stop you from craving any sweets. It’s basically like you are drinking apple pie. At least if you find a good one, not all brands are as good. But if you look long enough everyone can find his perfect combination of sweet and spice. Christmas Teas can also have the same effect, although they tend to be slightly more spicy, often adding orange and cloves.
  • Cranberry and blood orange: Or any other red fruit with blood orange. Like any other citrus fruit, it’ll burst with Vitamin C and boost your immune system. But unlike any other citrus fruit, it doesn’t have any of the bitterness and is wonderfully sweet instead, especially when combined with the sweater forrest fruits. Perfect cuppa to accompany your mellow jazz right before you go to sleep.

What are your favourite teas or infusions? Do you have one for every mood and time of day as well?