Tea, London-style, with the 2012 Summer Olympics

The unofficial English Food Pyramid. Photo: HTBEL Copyright pending.

Tonight is the night: San Jose will be watching the Olympics opening ceremonies which will begin late this evening on NBC! “Olympic Fever” has hit San Jose, beginning with the competitions that decided the U.S. Olympics Gymnastics teams, which were held right here in town. Local fans of the movie “Brave” will be interested to know that the Olympic competitions will begin with archery, among other sports, tomorrow from 4 to 9 a.m. on NBC. The competitions will run through the rest of the week.

What to do while watching? Why not get in the spirit and put together some of the foods that the Olympians will be eating in London? Traditional English food, like fish & chips, is a given, but remember that the British love their tea and scones, too, so an English afternoon tea is a perfect treat to enjoy while watching your favorite sports competitions. You can also add Anglo-Indian favorites like curry and chai to the menu, but be sure to enjoy your food with some tea, for the real British experience. Iced tea or an iced tea spritzer will be a refreshing addition to the menu, although the British prefer hot tea. Here are some treats to consider adding to your Olympic spread:

Fish and chips
Mini yorkshire puddings and roast beef
Scotch eggs
Sausage rolls
Cucumber sandwiches
Egg salad sandwiches

Tea biscuits

Strawberry jam
Clotted Cream

Guiness Malt Cake
Eccles Cakes
Empire Biscuits
Cadbury chocolates

Nob Hill in Milpitas and Cost Plus World Market in San Jose carry some British foods like clotted cream and Cadbury’s chocolates, and Trader Joe’s has crumpets, but unless you go into San Francisco, or order online, most of the rest of the British menu items will need to be made at home. The British Food Centre in Campbell has gone out of business, and that was the best South Bay source for British food. Luckily, the San Jose Mercury News has recently published a selection of British recipes that local foodies and Olympics fans can use!

You can watch from home or catch the goings-on at one of the local British pubs, along with an English brew and pub grub. Whatever you do, get ready to enjoy the skill and dedication of the competing athletes, and cheer on Team USA!

Copyright 2012, Elizabeth Urbach.

Like what you read? Leave a comment below, click on “Subscribe” above, visit the San Jose Tea Examiner page on Facebook, read my blog, The Cup That Cheers, or follow me on Twitter @SanJoseTea or Pinterest!

For more information:
Official London 2012 Olympics website
London 2012 Festival official website
2012 Summer Olympics Wikipedia entry
USA Gymnastics Trials in San Jose, CA
“San Jose judoka makes Olympic debut in London”
“British food for Olympics watching”
London 2012 Olympics
“Red, White & Blues 2012 – Summer Olympics in London, Live Telecast”
“Use tea in refreshing fruit spritzers this summer”
“San Jose’s British population celebrates the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with tea”
“Have an English tea and Royal Wedding viewing party!”
“Bring a tea picnic to the Bay Area-local Mostly British Film Festival”
“Escape the rain in San Jose with a Cornish cream tea and Pirates of Penzance!”
“Curl up with a cup of tea: Downton Abbey season 2 comes to San Jose”
“Tea and food pairings for black teas”
“Chocolate and tea: the perfect match?”
“What is chai and where can I get it in San Jose?”
“British food: a guide for confused American”
“Shop the International Food Bazaar for an inexpensive trip around the world”
“From menus to meals: a glimpse of food at the Olympics”
British Food Depot
British Delights
“Olympic pub fare”



Filed under Events, Menus, Party Ideas, Tea, Tips

2 responses to “Tea, London-style, with the 2012 Summer Olympics

  1. My choice of tea snack would be Marmite on toast, or crumpets. If you can get hold of in US, is the best, especially with English tea:-) I hope you enjoying Olympics, all the best from London!

    • Thanks for the good wishes, Kitty! I haven’t tried Marmite yet, but when I studied in England about 11 years back, some of my classmates ate it and it seemed like an “acquired taste”. I did get addicted to chocolate-covered Digestives, and tea with milk and sugar in it (usually I don’t add anything to my tea); every once in a while, especially when it’s a rainy day, I still have a mug of good black tea with milk and a bit of sugar. I keep a box of PG Tips and a box of Yorkshire Gold just for those days!

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