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Tea at Kingsway

Lovely Afternoon Tea at Kingsway Hall Hotel near Covent Garden in London

It is Tuesday which means it is time for tea and Downton gossip.  The days are getting longer, and the warmer weather is slowly starting to make itself at home.  Encouraged,  Lord D. bought me a new pink bicycle which I will name Daisy, although she looks like a Penelope to me.

Sadly all is not right in the world. Last Monday I lost a friend to pancreatic cancer.  Yesterday the we are stunned by the senseless bombing at the Boston Marathon.  I always looked forward to race day, when I could put months of training to the test.  From joy of accomplishment to utter shock and disbelief in a blink of an eye. My prayers to all those affected, and a way forward so that we can live in a kinder gentler world.

But we must put on a happy face and move forward.  As you may know, Tea Tuesday is a weekly tradition I started last year, dishing about Downton Abbey, featuring a new “Downton” era recipe. Check out my Online Guide to Afternoon Tea, helpful in understanding traditions and recipes to help you host your own tea party with family and friends.

Last week we made DIY Jello, this week today’s dish is Strawberry Water Ice, one of many ices (aka frozen desserts) I fancied enough to put in my cookbook.
It will have to hold you for a few weeks as I will be offline planning and then taking a trip to Bermuda.  See you in May with new recipes.

Downton Dish

Some Downton news to help carry you through Downton Downtime until we meet again for Season 4:

Abbey Cooks Entertain: Downton Garden Party Planning

Click here to buy

With 220 Downton era recipes, you will want to get this book for recipes for the famous Downton dishes from Season 1-3. I also presented a whole chapter on Garden Parties. Experimenting with ices (ice creams and frozen yoghurts) was my favorite part.

This 432 page ebook sells for only $7.95. Book sales help offset my costs in food, equipment and time to keep bringing you new dishes each week. You can only get a signed copy here on my site. If you don’ have an eReader I would suggest the PDF version which can be printed, if you like.

All About Ices

Ices in all sorts of shapes,

Mrs. Beeton showed how ices, like cakes and puddings, were moulded.

If you remember way back to the Garden Party episode before the war, Daisy was charged with ensuring that the ices didn’t melt.  Ices (frozen desserts) were a staple at garden parties. Simple ices made of summer fruits were fancied by Edwardians, often frozen into elaborate metal moulds representing the shape of the fruits themselves. I find it an amazing feat since they did not have the convenience of our conventional freezers.

The estate dairy provided plenty of whole milk and cream so that the country house cook could also create a variety of rich ice creams to offer guests. You can recreate the same effect of moulded ices using simple silicon moulds in interesting shapes. Freezing your mixture into popsicles also counts, but feel free to simply serve your ices in small dessert bowls.

You can make ices without an ice cream maker by simply placing your mixture into the freezer to let set, and mixing it every hour or so, but it is time consuming and the consistency just isn’t the same. Ice cream makers aerate the mixture to give it a full rich taste, and do the work in as little as 20 minutes.  Modern electric ice cream makers are compact and take all the time and labour out of the old hand cranked versions.

Strawberry Water Ice

Make your own ice without an ice cream maker.

Make your own ice without an ice cream maker.

This is a great beginner ice to make.  This is a simple classic Victorian recipe which illustrates how you would freeze your ices without the benefit of an ice cream maker.  Use the pulp from last week’s jiggly jelly.

Serves 4–6


  • Pulp from 4.5 lbs. of strawberries from Jiggly Strawberry Jelly recipe
  • ¾ cup of sifted icing sugar (or  sugar substitute) to taste
  • 1 lemon, juiced


  1. Purée the pulp and pass through a fine sieve, discarding the seeds. Place one third of the pulp in a separate bowl, whisking in the icing sugar until dissolved.
  2. Whisk this mixture back into the remaining pulp with half of the lemon. Taste and adjust lemon and icing sugar to suit your taste. It will be less sweet when frozen so take that into consideration.
  3. Pour the liquid into a shallow plastic container and place in the freezer. Stir every half hour with a fork or until the mixture starts to freeze. Then beat every 15 minutes until it holds a soft shape. You can serve at this point or leave in the freezer for later use.
  4. Placing in moulds provides a decorative touch to your garden party table but should be allowed to soften before serving. The warm weather outdoors should help accomplish that nicely. Alternatively, let the ice soften in the container, and mix before serving.