Whilst I have had unforgettable experiences with afternoon tea, I have also had experiences I’d rather forget! If you’re a café, restaurant or hotel that wants to provide a fabulous experience for your customers, these are just a tea tips of some Afternoon Tea no no’s:
Afternoon Tea – the clue is in the name!
Afternoon Tea should be very much to do with the tea as well as the dining experience. Unfortunately I have been disappointed by a large number of hotels, cafés and restaurants that offer Afternoon Tea but offer a very limited choice of tea bag. I suppose selecting a tea from two offerings is still a choice (she says begrudgingly).
The picture above brings me to another point which is where to put the tea once it has been infused? I commend any café, restaurant or hotel that serves loose leaf tea with an infuser, but please, could I have somewhere to put the teabag (if you insist on using them) or an infuser tray once I’ve finished infusing please?
These should be dainty little things with crusts taken off. Triangles or rectangles, the shape doesn’t matter but we shouldn’t have to use two hands to eat the sandwiches. Could we stick to the tradition that Anne Russell, the Duchess of Bedford introduced? Dainty sandwiches on elaborate tea ware please?
Venue and Atmosphere:
This would be a room with high ceilings, tastefully elegant surroundings with natural light if possible. Music can really enhance the atmosphere of the room so whether that is a harpist, violinist, pianist or classical music gently playing in the background, I’m sure you’ll agree that dance music even if played quietly, is not conducive to creating the perfect afternoon tea atmosphere.
Extra finishing touches: How about adding one or more of the following finishing touches to make that memorable afternoon tea experience? A glass of champagne upon arrival; endless plates of sandwiches (but do remember to leave room for dessert!); warm scones (there’s nothing more enjoyable than seeing the cream and jam slip off a warm scone) or a tea sommelier to assist you with your tea selection.
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