When you think of afternoon tea, what is the first thing that pops to mind? To many, it is fancy dress codes with overly pretentious codes of conduct and multi-layered tea trays displaying copious amounts of food that is only to be nibbled.
There certainly is a pretentious flair to afternoon tea, but truly there is more folklore than fact when it comes to how this British tradition is being portrayed. With National Afternoon Tea Week coming up between 12th and 18th August, check out a few of the best places to go to if you are thinking of debunking some of the tea-related urban legends out there…
KALIFORNIA KITCHEN (Fitzrovia) – A MODERN SPIN FEATURING CBD OILS
This all-pink, vegan and waste-conscious joint is a health foodie’s paradise right in the centre of London. Not only is it a fabulous place to have delicious and nutritious brunches, lunches or dinners made of clean ingredients, but it has recently upped its game with an all-round CBD infused afternoon tea menu. Standing by the various health benefits of CBD, the non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant, Kalifornia Kitchen’s afternoon tea menu features a variety of cakes, pastries and drinks that will be sure to please even fussy eaters! For a full menu and prices, look no further.
LAS IGUANAS (nationwide) – A LATIN REINTERPRETATION
If you need something to really knock down your preconceptions about the classically British afternoon tea, head straight to Las Iguanas. If Latin American cuisine tickles your fancy, their afternoon tea menu is going to leave your mouth watering. Every day (bar Saturdays), from 2 to 5 pm, you can treat yourself to delicious 7-year-old Havana Club Rum fruity tea plus a choice of two fresh sandwiches served in a Smoking Cuban Cigar box. To please the sweet tooth, a selection of Alfajores cookies made of shortbread and dulce de leche, rolled in desiccated coconut is also included. If all of that does not quite meet your expectations for a luscious afternoon treat, then top up your options with a cake stand of tapas and sweet treats for just a tenner more! For the official menu and prices, check out this link – you will definitely want to make room for this indulgence!
COWORTH PARK (Ascot) – AN UNFORGETTABLE VIEW
Adam Smith, Executive Chef at Coworth Park, finds inspiration for his work from the seasons and his surroundings, something which transpires throughout the Meadow Afternoon Tea menu. With Coworth Park’s surroundings in full bloom this time of year, the afternoon treats on offer are sure to convert even the most stubborn afternoon tea sceptic. For £38 pp, visitors can indulge in a selection of fabulous sandwiches including smoked and poached salmon with lemon verbena, smoked chicken with cucumber and lovage mayonnaise, and roast Windsor Estate beef with meadow herb salsa. Also on the menu you’ll find freshly baked scones served with peach, meadow honey compote, raspberry jam and clotted cream. All of this can be enjoyed Monday to Friday alongside a cup of heritage British teas, Coworth Park’s special collection of teas, limited edition tea offers or a glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne for £12 extra. For more details on this phenomenal treat, check out their website.
BROWN’S HOTEL (Mayfair) – THE ULTIMATE CLASSIC EXPERIENCE
If you are an afternoon tea purist and just want to experience royal delights, then Brown’s is the place to be. Their English Tea Room, which is where Queen Victoria used to participate in tea receptions, is renowned for its sophisticated interior design, with wood panelling, ornate fireplaces, a stunning Jacobean detailed ceiling and original artworks. Offering no less than 17 fine teas, the menu also includes a selection of succulent finger sandwiches, an assortment of delicate pastries, freshly baked scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve, all of this at the price of £55 pp, or £65 with a glass of chilled Ruinart champagne. For more information about this glorious afternoon escape, head here.