Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Anyone for afternoon tea?

Afternoon tea is certainly growing in popularity with more and more restaurants and hotels offering this quintessential British tradition on their menus. There’s even Afternoon Tea Week taking place next week (10th August) with special events, themed menus and promotions taking place across the country.
Personally I’m a massive fan as it gives you the opportunity to try a selection of sandwiches, mini savouries and sweets treats the chef has crafted. It also presents an opportunity for hotels to promote their chef’s range of skills and delicacies as a potential marketing tool for the restaurant and the hotel in general as well as a good revenue generator mid-afternoon.

I recently had afternoon tea at The Close Hotel in Tetbury which is part of the Cotswolds Inns. This former town house oozes charm and sophistication with its contemporary décor and traditional finishes. I was served with an assortment of savoury specialities including finger sandwiches (king prawn, coronation chicken and mozzarella pesto), a smoked salmon and cheese croissant and a roast beef and camembert bruschetta, all of which tasted wonderful. 

As if this wasn’t enough (!) I then enjoyed an array of sweet delights including a scone with jam and scoops of clotted cream, a raspberry cream pie, a strawberry vanilla cheesecake and a slice of ginger cake! To say it was amazing is an understatement, I enjoyed everything on offer! I think it was a great way to show off the Head Chef’s expertise and seasonal offerings and had I been staying in the area longer, I would certainly be tempted back to enjoy other dishes from their lunch and evening menus.

I do generally enjoy an afternoon tea and will seek them out in place of a more traditional lunch any day of the week. Why eat one dish when you can try a selection the most popular items that would tempt most taste buds?

They are also getting popular at weddings in place of the traditional wedding breakfast.
With no set rules as to what hotels have to offer, this traditional pastime which mainly consists of sandwiches, scones, sweet pastries and cakes is often enjoyed as an occasional indulgence or to celebrate a special event such as a birthday, or a pre-wedding or baby shower party with a group of friends but is fast becoming a viable alternative for lunch and a great opportunity to boost revenue.
 
In 2014, AfternoonTea.co.uk saw 300,000 covers booked through the site, generating £7.5m of afternoon tea revenue for the venues they promote.
 
Hotels up and down the country will be capitalising on afternoon tea week by hosting special events, running promotions and encouraging guests to give their own afternoon tea offering a try. Afternoon Tea Week runs 10th – 16th August 2015 with more information on www.afternoonteaweek.com.

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