Down under!? More like above and beyond! 

For those who have been following @hopscoff on Instagram and Facebook you would have clocked that I have spent the last month in Oz. Finally with some decent internet and a bit of time on my hands I am able to begin to share some Aussie news and this brings me right back to Sydney… I’m not sure about Finding Nemo or Finding Dory, but stepping off the train in the centre of town for the first time was more like Finding Sydney! Coming out of Townhall station to the chiming of the BigBen-esque clock sent me whirling into a jetlagged time warp where I thought I had gone full circle back to London. Mind you, the journey was definitely long enough to have made that feasible!

Here you can find all of London’s finest: Hyde Park, Oxford Street, Regent Street, Kings Cross and even red post boxes and Woolworths!

Ah, but if you stop looking left and right and look down you will find clean streets. A clear sign that this is not London. And if you look up you will see nothing but a winter blue sunny sky without a cloud in sight – again a wonderful reminder that this is not London. If fact, it appears that Sydney has got one step up on our beloved capital. They haven’t just taken our postboxes and street names but they have plonked them in a beautiful beach surrounded city. I wish our Oxford Street sent us to Bondi Beach instead of to Primark!

Yes, send us to Bondi please!

To top it all off they have even adopted our tea drinking culture! And I have to tell you that they don’t just matcha it, they have pourred us over. Slammed dunked those sugar cubes in our faces!

Here you will find tearooms and coffee fit for every occasion. They have your most typically exquisite tearooms, located in the most beautiful buildings, that appear more British than the Ritz itself! The Queen Victoria Building quickly became my favourite location to spend a good hour or so just walking about gorping at the architecture and beautiful boutiques…and squeezing in a cuppa of course!

The Strand Shopping Arcade – a bit fancier than our Strand!
Drinking tea like the Queen at the Tea Palace in the QVB

To find the up-to-date caffeine trends of a place I always nose in Starbucks. I am allergic to chain coffee shops BUT I always go in to buy the famous city mugs. I now have quite an extensive collection. Okay so it may be a strange item to collect but at least the mugs are practical, I mean what does a magnet do!?

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I find that the Starbucks menu always reflects the food and beverage habits of the city it is in. On the Aussie one, the Chai Latte and Matcha Latte is quite popular among locals but it is yet to successfully reach the radar in London.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, Matcha is a fine Japanese green tea powder that can be whisked with water or mixed with milk to form a milky green tea. The powder can also be used to make sweet treats as well like matcha brownies… but let’s stick to the basics for now! Ah, if I have gone too far ahead, a Chai Latte is a milky Indian black tea made with spices like cinnamon. In Australia both the Chai Latte and Chai Tea are popular choices. The difference? The Chai Latte is served with steamed milk to give you the same sensation as a frothy Latte. Coffee chains like Costa and Starbucks as well as your independents are now offering the Chai Latte here in the UK. But beware! It may often be made with Chai syrup which just shouldn’t even be legal. It is so tooth numbingly sweet it will make your pores ooze sugar. So just check before you order 🙂

It’s Chai time!

For the caffeine compromised folk like myself who equally love tea and coffee the Tea Lattes are the perfect option. Their flavoursome frothiness leaves you slightly fuller than what a tea would and gives you bursts of flavour.

Unfortunately, I’m yet to find a place in London like Sydney’s The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar! Their Tea Latte list is endless. In the end I opted for the Berry Bomb Latte. And I found myself walking away with several tea pouches – my loose leaf Aussie Tea collection began to rapidly grow in Sydney!

I wish I could say this is ALL I had bought by day 3 of my trip, but that would be a blatant lie 😉 I thought I was going to get stopped at the border for tea smuggling!!
The Rabbit Hole’s Berry Bombtastic Tea Latte with a Lavender Shortbread

As well as the Tea Lattes it had quickly become apparent to me that Australia is no stranger to loose leaf tea in general. And this was nothing but music to my ears. I didn’t  have many tea time experiences that involved a tea bag – British tearooms and coffee shops please take note! The onlyyyy snag is that quick tea takeaways are not a thing here! You won’t be able to quickly grab a tea for the road. My average waiting time for a tea take away was about 10 minutes!

By the end of my first day in Sydney I had already tracked down an Australian loose leaf chain called T2 whose teas are totealy amazing! The shop sells hundreds of varieties and cutesie tea accessories. For those in London there are a few stores accross the capital, so I’m told, so check them out 🙂 I highly recomend the go go goa which goes amazingly with almond milk and a bit of honey!

 

I spent 10 minutes thinking about how I was going to get a teapot home 😉

So with a tea scene hotter than what I’m used to back here in the UK – was there much point in coming back!? 😂 Well, who knows, but how could you not be happy living in a city with views like this…

…maybe I will be back one day 🙂

Have a latte-ly day folk!

nat

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