Tuesday, 3 July 2012

A fantastic find ~ Contessa Tea Connoisseur

Whenever I do a 'big' update on my blog I post according to the photos I have taken in that period . 

When I did my last update I forgot to mention a stunning 'find'.

My precious friend Roz and I met for lunch on 14 June at the Contessa Tea Connoisseur in Rivonia Boulevard, Rivonia.  I had never heard of the place so had a bit of a battle finding it as I had written down the address as Rivonia Road and not Rivonia Boulevard.  What an absolutely amazing place.  I don't really like different kinds of tea (I stick to rooibos) so I had my usual cuppaccino.  Their menu has something for everyone and I tried their bobootie ~ something I hadn't eaten or cooked in a long time. OMGoodnes!!! It was delicious.  Roz and I then shared a piece of carrot cake which was really yummy.  Although the company definitely outshone the food it was really nice to go to a new place and have fantastic company complimented by really good food.  Thanks Rozzie ~ Can't wait for our next visit this month!!

Here is the introduction on their website ...

Contessa Tea Connoisseur was started as a dream to introduce South Africans to the world of tea, and to create an original and relaxed environment within which to enjoy it.
New owners Rita and Richard Churches, aim to continue this dream, as Contessa is lavished with their love and attention to detail, in all aspects of the original legacy.
Tea is a universal and multifaceted product bringing enjoyment and health benefits to those who share in it. Tea has emerged as the international beverage of choice, rated second only to water, in a trend to move away from coffee based drinks, due to health reasons.
Although there is a vast range of tea available globally, but not always accessible in S.A; the original tea house owner decided to import her very own range of loose leaf tea (product not in a teabag).
The concept of enjoying loose leaf tea, as opposed to tea bags, is supported by the purists, who maintain that there is far superior flavour when tea leaves are free-moving.
The tea house’s name, "Contessa", came about due to a famous Contessa who lived in Italy in the late 1800, early 1900's, named Contessa Louisa Casati.
Marchessa Casati
Casati was the maiden name of the original shop owner, whose grandfather hailed from Italy. The Contessa was a rather flamboyant personality who had a reputation for having exotic tea parties, often draping a python over her shoulder or walking her pet cheetah.
However; taking time to enjoy tea is not only reserved for the rich and famous, but for everybody who affords themselves the time to enjoy it! In the fast pace lifestyle to which we all subscribe, a moment to catch up with a friend, colleague or family member - is often lost, and what better way to do so than over a cup of tea.
The atmosphere and decor in the shop is cosmopolitan in theme. The environment is uniquely relaxing. Situated on 11th Avenue, Rivonia, the sidewalk tables make a pleasant change from shopping centre dining. Tea is steeped in tradition, glamour, style, sophistication and fun. Rita and Richard continue to create a space which is distinctive, homely, friendly, inviting and tranquil within Johannesburg.
There is a Japanese proverb that reads; "If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty." It is definitely an ongoing Contessa practice to observe and learn the appreciation of beauty all around us. The enticement of the Contessa tea range, is that it is not only delicious, but beautiful, comforting and healthy; it is also a product which requires a certain amount of sharing - reflecting the essence of tradition. It is open to interpretation, and flexible enough to appeal to anyone who consumes it.
Contessa stocks approximately 70 different teas, largely made up of its own imported range of +/- 28 loose leaf teas, and further complimented by the entire Twinings range. Some of the Contessa flavours include; Coconut Snow, Tropical Breeze, Apricot Brandy, Masala Chai, Flower Green and many more! The addition of 82 new organic Hyson Tea flavours, brings the total tea offering to 152.
The Contessa brand attempts to maintain a superior level of quality in everything it chooses to be associated with. The Twinings range has been available within the retail market for many years, but customers can now enjoy the luxury of being offered any flavour in the collection to enjoy, before making their purchase.
Rita and Richard are of the opinion that when they are lucky enough to have customers join them for tea; they make sure that it is a memorable cup, and that the entire experience is a pleasant one. Hence a cup of good quality tea, well presented, finished off with some friendly service. Simple, yet delectable breakfasts and luncheons are served, along with a beautiful selection of home-made cakes, which are baked on the premises daily. The luncheon menu changes seasonally, and Rita is always popping a little surprise or two onto the specials menu for the week – ensuring there is always something mouth-wateringly interesting to try.
Share a cup of tea with Rita and Richard…
Married for over forty years; the dynamic Yorkshire-bred duo, officially took over ownership of Contessa Tea Connoisseur in November 2010. Over the past months, the subtle changes have been consistent in keeping the brand true to itself, while imparting a little of their own personality and passion to their new love.
Rita, previously known as the Sauceress, has a City & Guilds International Diploma (with distinction) in Food Preparation & Cooking, obtained through the Culinary Arts, LONDON.
Over the past 10 years, Rita has amongst others: successfully managed a renowned catering company, Vanilla Catering, as well as shared her vast culinary knowledge and flair for cooking through the exclusive Sauceress Kitchen School.
Richard brings a wealth of business knowledge, gained from his past directorship at an international FMCG wholesaler, to the tea party. After retiring from an illustrious retail career spanning some 40 years; Rita was soon looking for an opportunity to get Richard (happily reading his books), off the couch and back into work mode. Richard is now not only steeped in tea, but also in the day-to-day running of this highly successful business operation.
Contessa Tea Connoisseur is the perfect fit for the talents of this wonderful and warm couple.
“We invite you to come and enjoy a cup with us…” ~ Rita and Richard

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha- thanks Lynnie- my very own mention in your blog- however did you know that I would just love the world to revolve around ME! Love you to the moon & back! Rozzie