In case you missed the memo, this week has been National Afternoon Tea Week. I’m not a tea drinker but I certainly like the idea of afternoon tea.
I was given a Tea for Two Voucher a couple of years ago that I was determined to use. Having registered it online to get a list of the venues I could use it in, I discovered that none were in London! And then I couldn’t exchange the voucher as it had been registered. So one rainy October afternoon I dragged my sister and her two young kids all the way to Windsor. Which seems like miles away when you don’t drive and you have two small kids in tow. To cut a long story short it was an exhausting, not entirely satisfying experience.
I still dream of being pampered by having a posh-nosh tea in a nice hotel, maybe even a spa (being pampered when wearing one of those big fluffy dressing gowns would be pretty special) possibly with the addition of a glass of champagne…
Afternoon Tea with the children
As mentioned, it is probably best to leave the kids behind for afternoon tea, however there is no reason why they can’t enjoy the experience too. Who doesn’t like tiny sandwiches and mini cakes? Swap tea for hot chocolate and you’ve a real treat. The Orangery at Kensington Palace offers a family friendly service with a wide range of teas with savory and sweet treats. Prices start from £24 per person. High chairs are available and there is plenty of space outside for little ones to run around if they get restless.
Manly Afternoon Tea
It wasn’t until I saw a Facebook post from Time Out London about afternoon tea for men that I actually considered the idea that afternoon tea wasn’t for men. So what does a manly tea involve? Doorstop bacon butties and mugs of builders tea? Not quite. Swap dainty sandwiches for mini burgers and end with a cigar and (apparently) this is a man’s afternoon tea. Not a mug in site. Check out the Fluid London blog for ideas on where to find afternoon tea with a hint of testosterone.
Sin Free Tea
For me a healthy afternoon tea kind of defeats the point as indulgence is high on the check list for an afternoon tea for me. However if you’re a bit more interested in the actual tea than the cake then this could be for you. Browns Hotel, where Queen Victoria used to take her tea, offers a low carb and low fat spread of open sandwiches, fruits and sorbets. The scones have gone though.
The idea of afternoon tea comes with the idea of pampering yourself, so when I suggest staying at home I don’t mean cutting off the crusts of your cheese and pickle sarnie. I mean invite over a few friends, set the table nicely with your finest china and order in. Take away doesn’t have to be pizza (although it usually does for me). The English Cream Tea company will send you afternoon tea gift boxed and delivered to your door – for a price! You can impress your friends by pretending it is all your own handy work.
You can add some vintage style to your occasion with Vintage Bakes who provide vintage cups and saucers and tableware as well as catering for events large and small.
More in my price rage Belgique offer The Ultimate Treat Box filled with 20 different treats (who needs the sandwiches anyway?), and they happen to be local. I know what I’ll be doing on Sunday afternoon.
For more ideas for afternoon tea visit Afternoon Tea.