In my last post, I talked about a couple of tearooms in the UK which are especially dear to me. In this post, I’d like to invite you to spoil yourself, indulge in tea, companionship and culinary delights in the wonderful world of High Tea. High Tea or Afternoon Tea is a British institution that is enjoyed by many throughout the globe. I wanted to share with you two of my favourite spots in the UK.
There are several Bettys Café Tea Rooms in Yorkshire. Known affectionately as Bettys, I had the privilege of spending afternoon tea at Bettys in York and it ticked all the right boxes. The hall mark of a great place is if there is a queue of people eagerly waiting: 10, 15 minutes, maybe even 30 minutes before opening time. It kinda reminds me of my favourite Dim Sum Restaurant in Manchester but I digress 🙂
From the moment you walk in you cannot fail to ooh and ahh at the beautiful art deco setting. As the website suggests, it’s the elegant wood panelling, beautiful mirrors and stunning windows that makes you feel as if you’re on a luxury liner (without the sea sickness).
Afternoon Tea is a treat. It’s a way that friends or family can reconnect, relax and take time with tea which is how tea should be taken. Bettys doesn’t disappoint on that score. Once the oohing and aahing stops you are welcomed by fabulous staff who take you to your seat. More ooh and aahs and smiles galore as you admire the décor in detail.
Then there is the food and that certainly doesn’t disappoint either. The sandwiches, scones, cream, preserves and petit fours were beautifully presented in pristine silverware for that true sense of luxury and indulgence. I bought some Yunnan tea as a memento of my wonderful experience.
So from the beautiful city of York, back down to my former home, London, where I had the pleasure of afternoon tea in so many beautiful places including Claridges, Wolseley, a hotel that served afternoon tea with breadless sandwiches (!) and I also had the pleasure of sharing afternoon tea with Jane Pettigrew at the Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel. The one place I remember fondly though is afternoon tea at The Palm Court in Sheraton Park Lane. The room is just breath-taking with its beautiful art deco setting. The symmetry of the bar area with the beautiful clock is astounding, but in sitting in the art deco lounge, with the harpist playing in the background, I closed my eyes and imagined I had gone back in time.
There was quite a wide range of teas to choose from (I opted for Darjeeling), but the way afternoon tea was served was truly memorable. Rather than the standard three tier cake stand, in keeping with art deco, a two-tier S-shaped stand was presented with the sandwiches placed on the bottom tier. The next “course” came, with a delightful waiter presenting beautiful warm scones.
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The final treat came when the waiter brought a wonderful trolley of desserts which he took great delight in explaining in fine detail. Unfortunately I didn’t hear a word he was saying as I was drooling over the treats trying to figure out which one to try first J Apart from the business man having a very loud Skype call (which the waiter soon addressed: another sign of excellent customer service), this experience was truly spectacular and one not to be missed if you ever have the opportuni-tea.
Get the British tea touch wherever you are with authentic teas and British foods.
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