Taking Afternoon Tea at a Hotel
We’re spoiled for choice for gorgeous teatime venues in England. In fact, the world over loves our great British tradition of Afternoon Tea. Every time TV programmes like Downton Abbey are aired, there’s even more interest. Nelson Mandela declared that afternoon tea was our greatest export. Agreed!
Taking afternoon tea is so much more than just enjoying tasty calories though. There’s a vast array of ritual involved and this tradition requires us to put on our best manners!
If you’re going to a lovely hotel for your Afternoon Tea, you may have to book well in advance of your chosen date. Then do take the trouble to dress up smartly. Some hotels have a dress code and require jackets for men, for example. Don’t see this as a chore - we can be scruffy most of the time, so why not make the effort to have nice hair, clean shoes and elegant clothes! Hats and gloves are not required though you will sometimes see overseas visitors wearing them at The Savoy or The Ritz afternoon tea.
It is not considered best form to leave your table during the Afternoon Tea (e.g. for the washroom) or to use your phone, so deal with all that before taking your place at the table. Once you have sat down, your waiter may place your linen napkin on your lap for you. If not, place your own napkin, folded in half across your lap, with the fold towards you. Then you're all set for taking afternoon tea at a hotel!
Feel free to ask advice about the range of teas too. Many locations will let you try more than one type of tea to drink during your Afternoon Tea. It’s a taste adventure (like pairing wines with food) and a fantastic opportunity to sip outside your usual comfort zone!
When the food arrives, start with savoury elements which often include finger sandwiches - however, offer to others at your table first. Etiquette is about consideration! Never pile your plate high - just one or two finger sandwiches at a time on the plate, eaten with delicate restraint but enjoyment. Replenish your plate (remembering guests first) as often as you wish - and many hotels will bring ‘top ups’ of your favourite food items during the Afternoon Tea. Many will also box up remaining food for you to take home too!
It was meeting an elderly lady who sadly told me that she could no longer travel to the ‘posh’ hotels for her favourite Afternoon Tea, that sparked me to set up The English Cream Tea Company. The idea was to be able to deliver indulgent, delicious Afternoon Tea to the door, UK-wide and in special chilled packaging. This began in 2011 and most of our hamper boxes are sent as charming and unique gifts - and as you’re at home, the Dress Code is entirely up to you!!
If you would like more information on The English Cream Tea Company or on any aspect of British etiquette and manners please visit our website or take a look at our short YouTube video on the subject here. Alternatively, contact Jane directly by email or T: - 01279 876661.
Our top seller at Christmas (delicious!)
Our most popular Christmas item again was the delicious Giant Chocolate Brownie Christmas Tree. It's proved to be the perfect gift for families, office sharing (or just VERY indulgent personal consumption!). Also ideal for Easter and ...er, any time if you love chocolate!
Ooh we won!
Thrilled to have just been given the Small Business of the Year award for our area. The Scone Gnomes are chuffed to bits. Here's the trophy! Well done to the team - happy days.
Yes alright, we've succumbed! After yet another: 'your English chocolate Brownies are the BEST ever...can we buy them on their own?'.....we're making that happen! Now you can get your fix of our impossibly chocolatey English Brownies (or 'Bournville Chocolate Delights')...for personal consumption (mmm!) or to send as a gift ...in a choice of Double Chocolate or Cranberry and Orange varieties. Absolutely lovely. Oh and have you seen the cute Christmas Tree made of Brownie too? We aim to please!!
The world loves Afternoon Tea!
On the very first day of business, we got enquiries from 5 different countries! We thought there would be an interested market here in the UK as we all love our cream teas, don't we! However, we completely underestimated the amount of interest there would be from other parts of the world. It turns out that Russia loves our British custom of afternoon tea, the Japanese and Chinese do, Sri Lanka loves it, America and Canada adore it, South Africa and Australia crave it - and so on. Not only that, but they all want to know the manners and 'niceness' surrounding this great British tradition to make sure they get the etiquette right too. What a joyous journey we're now on, potentially delivering manners know-how as well as delicious treats and a premium British brand out to, well, the whole world! Who knew!