As you might gather, here at PGHQ we do love our tea, from the humblest tea bag to full blown premium tea leaves with fine china cups. There is one thing that we all do love and that is a proper Afternoon Tea. We were delighted to discover that this week is National Afternoon Tea week, a celebration of this great tradition.
For me it is not only one of the truly British institutions but almost the perfect meal. It is the mix of savoury and sweet, it is to be consumed slowly over the course of the afternoon. It is never a meal that one can have on one’s own as the joy of Afternoon Tea is to share it with friends.
So, we are running a whole series of articles this week on and around this subject. We like running these specialist weeks and this one was especially fun, as we got to re-visit some great friends, learn a lot about tea and enjoy some great sampling of the wares!
Uncle Henry will give us his History of the Afternoon Tea, as he is a huge supporter of the qualities of the Afternoon Tea, indeed as he will no doubt tell you he has woo’d many a young lady in his youth over a slice of Battenberg and the rim of a China cup full of Darjeeling. But he will guide you through its origins and into the modern world.
I was discussing with one of PG friends Andy Nichol last week (who, by the way, does a review of tea bags later this week in the Code) about what makes the perfect Afternoon Tea. Andy has a mission to go on a tour of Great Britain to find the Holy Grail: the Perfect Afternoon Tea. He has a Perfect Afternoon Tea Checklist, which he part shared with me and there are some very specific elements on it, for example, it must be served by a mature lady in an apron. I was so intrigued by his quest that I asked if I might accompany him on this journey of discovery. He readily agreed, so we are planning this for next year and we might just make a book and a TV show out of it if we are lucky!
We are also re-publishing the wonderful articles by our dear friend, Jane Malyon from the English Cream Tea Company, giving her wonderful insights into the proper way to have afternoon tea and more. If you can’t go out next week grab an Afternoon Tea somewhere, order one of her fabulous teas to enjoy in your own home.
We are also re-publishing our very own Nic Wing’s review of Tea apps, so you can make that perfect pot of tea and never go wrong.
If you can, head over to www.afternoontea.co.uk and find the perfect venue near you. Keith Newton and his team have done a great job about making this the go to website to get all your afternoon tea information and also to book a fantastic venue for you to celebrate the wondrous delights of sandwiches, scones and tea.
We round off the week with a small review of London Afternoon Tea places, all of which are personally sampled by me and the PG team.
That reminds me, it’s time for a cup of tea, but it is a little too early for a scone. I shall save that for later. We hope you enjoy the week ahead.