If there’s anywhere in the world known for its elegant, often eccentric but almost always enjoyable traditions then it has to be the UK. And one of the most enduring traditions for visitors to London from overseas – and even for British visitors – is the afternoon tea. Quite frankly, it’s not hard to understand why.
Originally associated with the aristocracy and the upper and upper-middle classes, the afternoon tea is thought to have been popularised in the 1840s by Queen Victoria’s confidante Anna Maria Russell, the then Duchess of Bedford, when she hit on the idea of expanding the custom of a dainty tea break into a late-afternoon meal. Quickly, the trend spread among the higher echelons of British society and soon all and sundry were relying on afternoon tea as a convivial repast.
According to tradition, the (usually) light meal comprises the drinking of tea (of course – and originally for the Duchess, Darjeeling) along with the likes of cucumber, egg or cress sandwiches (usually crustless and cut into triangular segments), scones (filled with clotted cream and jam; thus, a cream tea) and cakes and pastries (such as Battenberg or Victoria sponge).
Nowadays, though, the convention’s far from a speciality of the ‘well to do’. Instead it’s for the most part enjoyed as a treat on special occasions by everybody – and very often in a sophisticated hotel (as opposed perhaps to the likes of restaurants near Paddington Station). Its food element’s usually served on a tiered stand, but exactly what you’re served can vary – the likes of crumpets, muffins and toast are popular – and dependant on the different types of afternoon tea an establishment will offer. So, if your appetite has been whetted – elegantly so, of course – then by all means come along to the Park Grand Paddington Court London hotel and indulge in this ageless tradition by selecting from our menu of afternoon teas. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed…
Traditional Afternoon Tea
Take your tea of your choice and choose from an assortment of delectable cakes and pastries.
Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea
Designed with the distinguished British gentlemen of lore in mind, your choice of tea is accompanied by roast beef and mini club sandwiches, mini chicken pie and classic fish and chips, in addition to delicious scones with clotted cream and jams.
Celebration Afternoon Tea
Combining the classic elements of the afternoon tea – tasty and sophisticated sandwiches, scones and, of course, tea – with an irresistible glass of champagne, this version of the tradition’s one for those who truly want to indulge themselves.
Junior Afternoon Tea
Finally, this offering ensures it’s not just the grown-ups who can have their cakes and, yes, eat them. Featuring iced tea/ hot chocolate, finger sandwiches (with cheese, ham, peanut butter or jam), a chocolate and nut brownie marquise, passion fruit milk and scrumptious scones.