Alongside luxurious rooms and accommodation, hotels like the Park Grand London offer unique afternoon tea deals. With sumptuous restaurants on-site serving food to match the best in London, many hotels in the centre of the city promise delightful pre-meal experiences which give you the chance to experience London’s great tradition of afternoon tea. A great refresher and social occasion for centuries, afternoon tea is now a common occurrence rather than the reserve of the aristocracy.
So what it sets it apart and makes it so quintessentially British an experience?
What is afternoon tea?
Afternoon tea is usually enjoyed between lunch and dinner as a mid-afternoon energiser. Usually consisting of snacks such as scones and cakes alongside a pot of tea, the past time has quickly become a unique staple in British life, especially for tourists staying at the pay on arrival hotels London who are looking for a taste of British tradition.
History of afternoon tea
The first recorded use of tea on social occasions was in ancient China. In the 3rd century BC, ceremonial tea drinking became a common tool for everything from apologies to marriage rituals.
When tea was originally exported to the UK from China and India in the 17th century, it became a common refresher for the upper classes. The likes of Catherine de Braganza, the Portuguese wife of Charles II began to popularise afternoon tea as a display of wealth and taste.
However, it wasn’t until the 1840s when afternoon tea became more widely recognised. The Duchess of Bedford made it a popular social event with her friends and word quickly spread of the trend, one that has stuck until the modern-day!
Ingredients of the perfect afternoon tea
So what exactly constitutes an afternoon tea, and what makes special treats like a Park Grand Lancaster Gate afternoon tea such a popular choice?
Pastries are key to an afternoon tea experience. Scones are slightly softer than biscuits and are made with the added ingredient of eggs. These tasty treats are usually spread with clotted cream and jam, making for the perfect combination with a pot of tea or coffee.
There are a broad variety of other cakes and sweet treats that are associated with afternoon tea. These include macaroons, chocolate and Victoria sponge cake and many types of biscuit, all of which are available at afternoon tea sessions at the Park Grand Paddington and other hotels that offer afternoon tea.
Also known as black tea, the classic cup of tea is a mixture of tea leaves in a bag combined with your preferred milk. The rich and revitalising taste also gives you a steady dose of caffeine, another reason why it’s sometimes referred to as Builders Tea.
A refreshing green tea is a known antioxidant and is drunk without adding milk. Made with the Chinese Camellia Sinensis leaf, the green tea leaf has not been withered and oxidised in the same way as oolong and black tea leaves have.
Made with black tea leaves infused with bergamot orange oil, this unique tea flavour is a truly British staple that adds a unique kick to your afternoon tea.