Barry's tea is available from Neal's Yard Dairy, 17 Short's Gardens, London WC2 (0171-379 7646). Mail order: 0171-407 1800; Villandry, 170 Great Portland Street, London W1 (0171-631 3030).
Viewers of Father Ted may have noticed that every time Mrs Doyle the housekeeper ("Ah go on, go on, go on, go on") opens a cupboard, she is buried by an avalanche of Barry's tea. Barry's is something of an institution in Ireland, and the Irish drink more tea per capita than any other country in the world. Founded in 1901, by James A Barry, the company specialises in high-quality tea. Barry's three blends, Classic, Gold Blend and Green Label, consist primarily of tea grown in East Africa with a percentage of Indian blended in, giving them a depth and richness in colour and taste. Until the Sixties, the tea was sold solely from the Barry's shop in Cork city, but has now expanded to account for 30 per cent of the Irish market. Randolph Hodgson, proprietor of Neal's Yard Dairy, liked it so much when he was continuously offered it on a cheese-buying trip to Ireland, that he now sells it mail-order and from his shops in London. Lenny Kravitz has also been known to benefit from the odd cup of Barry's tea. Recently, as he left the studios of radio station Kiss 100 FM, he bumped into the next band to be interviewed, the Jungle Brothers. When asked what they would like as refreshment, they replied in unison: "We'll have whatever Lenny had." The studio's tea of choice, was Barry's.