I didn’t think anything would ever surpass a pain au chocolat for me in terms of pastries, but the English crumpet is hands-down my new favorite bakery indulgence.
The English Rose Tea Room is a quaint, kitschy, absolutely adorable restaurant and souvenir shop in Carefree, Arizona. Every afternoon, they serve traditional English tea alongside side an authentic menu that includes beans on toast, quiche and, of course, tiny, crust-less sandwiches. My mom and I recently made our way to the English Rose for a lunch with a few other friends. Admittedly, I wasn’t really looking forward to going – hot tea isn’t really my thing (and – call me crazy – I like my sandwiches full-size), but I went, and I am so (so, so, so) glad that I did.
Not only did I have a wonderful pot of chai tea (which, as it turns out, is a tea that I actually enjoy), I also discovered my new favorite pastry: English crumpets. A crumpet is basically a very dense, almost spongy griddle cake that’s about the same size as an English muffin. Mine were served with butter and jam, which I liberally ladled on to my plate before I devoured my crumpets in short order. Seriously, we’re talking maybe 5 minutes before I was done with the entire plate – they’re that delicious. Naturally, they go absolutely perfectly with hot tea and I imagine they’d be even better with a cup of coffee (which I prefer to tea any day), but the best part about them, as far as I’m concerned, is that they’re perfectly suited to be a snack, a breakfast or a dessert. I could see myself subbing in crumpets for pound cake with strawberries and cream for a quick and easy sweet treat, or dunking one in my coffee before work in the morning. Bottom line: I plan on figuring out how to make these guys very soon, because now that I live in a world that includes crumpets, I don’t think I can ever go back to a world without them.
Aside from the crumpets, I ordered a bowl of split pea, ham and carrot soup that was perfect for lunch on a dreary day (which it was) and a cheddar-dill scone that I gladly gave to my mom (I love carbs, but I have my limits, and I hit it somewhere after crumpet number 2). Lunch was a seriously tasty affair, and I love it when I unexpectedly discover something new and delicious, particularly when it happens to be the perfect vessel for butter, cream and jam.