In a fast-paced world of change, it’s so lovely to experience a change in tempo, a change in tone, and a change in time. Last night I experienced all three when the reassuringly retrospective Comins Tea House partnered with Dorshi (Asia-via-Dorset) to create an unique “evening of Dorset inspired East Asian Food paired with (the) fine single estate teas” that Comins Tea House is famous for.
Having relished the Rice Crackers and the subtley of “Silver Needle” Tea, it began to dawn on me that this evening was about far more than food and tea. Whilst the event was undoubtedly very special, it was the young couples* behind the vision that really captured my imagination. Radhika and Jolly created Dorshi in one of those life-changing moments when they asked a great “What if?” question. What if they could create the kind of sushi they loved but by using only products sourced from Dorset (hence “Dorshi”)? The result has been an Asian-inspired adventure in flavour, culinary innovation, and in wholesome living. Comins Tea House, on the other hand, is the very soul centre of Michelle and Rob Comins’ vision for specialty teas, brewed, infused and served the traditional way. There’s no fast food or fast tea here – that would be the antithesis of the spirit of these four luminaries. Sourcing, creating and serving wholesome cuisine and the finest of teas takes time, takes ceremony, takes love & passion.
Our escape from the madness of the pace of the 21st Century was only accentuated by the stark contrast with the floats from the Sturminster Newton Carnival “floating” by – or more usually getting stuck outside the Tea House’s windows. Most notably, we were entertained by an attractively self-conscious lady who had given her heart to a Starship Trooper. Our heroine was obligated to repeatedly go through her dance-routine outside the window while waiting for the all-clear to launch ahead once more into the parade (and, assumedly, to infinity or beyond somewhere!) I am reasonably confident that I now know the moves to the song, should “Hot Gossip” ever need a stunt double.
Rob and Michelle have created an oasis in time. You come to Comins to pause for thought. You come to Comins to step aside from the flow of time for a while and lose yourself in the kind of flavours that can only be coaxed out of fine tea leaves through the extended process of infusion. And I have to say another kind of infusion happened for me – an infusion of peace and reassurance away from the merciless progress of time’s arrow. This is Tea as it was always meant to be – timeless and time consuming, a ceremony that defines the very concept of Civilisation.
Let me walk you through the flow of the evening using images of the dishes and sharing the words created by Dorshi and Comins Tea House.
All the food was fascinating and engaging – not words you’d usually associate with dishes. The Teas demanded the attention of your palate – and thus pulled you into the present to enjoy the “now” rather than practising the usual frantic rush to down a beverage. All in all, this was a “thoughtful” experience – matched by the equally thoughtful pace and presentation of the dishes and drinks.The surprising taste highlight for me was the inclusion of flowers and unusual leaves in the salads. The curiousity of my tastebuds and my botanical inquisitiveness were both stimulated by each mouthful. I want to know more!
I’m sure you’d love to find out more too, so here are links to the two businesses:
http://dorshi.co.uk/our-story/ (*Jolly and Radhika are a business couple.)
The evening was such a resounding success, I’m sure there will be other joint adventures.