Day 4 out of 88
Blackberry Scones and Shakespeare in London! Having visited London in 2016, this time around I wanted to see something new of England. My first couple days in England I explored London town and went to the Notting Hill festival which is a huge celebration of Jamaican culture in London. I ate and drank and eased my way into the “traveling” zone but after a few days it was time to get out of the city and head for the country.
There were so many options for me to choose from but with limited time, I decided to go to Stratford-upon-Avon to visit Shakespeare’s birth place and then onto Oxford. “Today started with a dash to Victoria Station to catch my tour bus to the country. I seem to be making a habit of walking circles around train stations until I am pointed in the right direction.” If you ever want to kick a coffee habit, get lost everywhere you go and your adrenaline will help you along, no coffee needed.
Our first stop was in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace. This cozy little town set in the English countryside is what you would imagine an English country town to look like. There was a shopping street full of hanging flowers and small touristy stores. There were tea shops and cafes inviting you into a cozy afternoon tea and in the middle of it all sat a small house where William Shakespeare grew up.
Did you know the phrase “break a leg” comes from theatre terms? The “leg” is the curtain in a theatre. To “break a leg” meant that there were multiple encores thus causing the leg to break
After touring the Shakespeare house, the rain started and I decided to stop into one of those cozy cafes and have a spot of tea. “I found a little café along the main street and had cream tea: two scones, clotted cream and a pot of tea. I sat by the window next to a lovely woman waiting on her husband and we chatted until I had to leave. The tea and the company warmed me through and I continued smiling for some time.” The time I had with this woman inspired me to make the Blackberry Scones I share down below!
After tea we drove on to Oxford and I resolved to go back and spend more time in the future. The town itself is the perfect combination of old and new but you could feel the excitement of so many brilliant minds that had walked the town before me, the same streets I was walking. The buildings were a tan sand color and the architecture did not leave anything wanting.
Did you know …
- Oxford is made up of 38 separate colleges
- The Bodleian library in Oxford holds EVERY book ever published. Copies of published books must be sent to this library to be stored.
- There are 87 miles of corridors under Oxfords streets to house all these books.
- Hitler was intending to use Oxford as his capital if he conquered England which is one of the reasons it was not bombed in the war
“The first colleges of Oxford were built in the 13th century, but it wasn’t until 1878 that women were admitted to the university, 1920 when they were awarded degrees, and 1974 when the last of the all-male colleges opened their doors to women.”
England is still one of my favorite countries, but we are moving on to Edinburgh, Scotland next… Subscribe for email updates and follow along as I continue through Europe!
Be sure to check out all the posts about Europe here!
During my time in England, I found myself on many occasions in a bakery or a café enjoying all the baked goods that England has to offer! I was constantly drawn to the fruit scones and wanted to remake them for you in my kitchen. For these Blackberry Scones I used Almond Milk instead of heavy cream to cut some of the fat and they turned out just as good!
I would recommend reheating these Blackberry Scones in the oven to get them warm and crispy for serving. You can pair with butter and jam, or take an English spin and pair them with Lemon Curd or Clotted Cream.
Fresh Blackberries take this classic scone recipe to a new favorite place in our kitchen.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- 1 cup almond milk, plus more for brushing the scones
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Sift together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using 2 forks or a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.
- Fold the blackberries into the batter. Take care not to mash or bruise the blackberries because their strong color will bleed into the dough. Make a well in the center and pour in the almond milk. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough.
- Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 by 3 by 1 1/4 inches. Cut the rectangle in 1/2 then cut the pieces in 1/2 again, giving you 4 (3-inch) squares. Cut the squares in 1/2 on a diagonal to give you the classic triangle shape. Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until beautiful and brown. Let the scones cool a bit before you eat.
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