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Irene Gorman head of the Tea Guild (middle); general ganager Thomas Kochs (middle left); Food & Beverages manager Michael Bonsor (middle rt); executive chef Martyn Nail (rt); pastry chef Nick Patterson (left)
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Claridge’s in Mayfair has been named as the best place in London to enjoy a nice cup of tea.
London24 was invited to the award’s presentation today (Tuesday April 5), and had the pleasure of meeting the team as well as sampling some of the teas and treats.
Afternoon tea at Claridge’s is English tradition at its finest and everything you would expect. A mouth-watering and utterly English meal of pastries and savouries, light, crusty scones and rich clotted cream.
It should be of little surprise that afternoon tea here is so popular that reservations are essential, with customers booking months in advance.
Afternoon tea at Claridge’s starts from £35 per person and includes a choice of 30 teas, an array of finger sandwiches, a selection of sweet pastries and raisin & apple scones with jam and Devonshire clotted cream.
Seasonal and Champagne packages are also available at extra cost.
The custom of drinking tea originated in England when Catherine of Bragança married Charles II in 1661 and brought the practice of drinking tea in the afternoon with her from Portugal.
Afternoon tea is a light meal typically eaten between 3pm and 5pm.
Traditionally, loose tea is brewed in a teapot and served in teacups with milk and sugar.
This is accompanied by sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and usually cakes and pastries, all served on a tiered stand.
Claridge’s was voted into the top spot after its tea room, The Foyer, gained a near perfect score from The Tea Guild’s inspectors. The judges praised it for its tasteful art deco style and fine furnishings, as well as friendly and efficient staff and excellent selection of scones, sandwiches and cakes.
When it came to the tea itself, Claridge’s surpassed expectations with an excellent selection of teas, and knowledgeable and friendly staff who excelled in advising customers on the choice of tea blends and then serving those teas perfectly.
The judges concluded that Claridge’s offered “a very enjoyable and relaxing tea experience in splendid surroundings.”
Irene Gorman, head of The Tea Guild, said: “Taking tea at Claridge’s gives a demonstration of exactly how special afternoon tea should be. The elegant art deco surroundings make afternoon tea a memorable occasion and an experience to cherish, aided by incredibly friendly, efficient and knowledgeable staff, the food and teas were delicious and the presentation was faultless.”
Claridge’s general manager Thomas Kochs said: “All of the staff at Claridge’s are passionate about creating a memorable guest experience and when it comes to serving the perfect afternoon tea, we strive to get every detail just right. Claridge’s afternoon tea is a time-honoured indulgence, practiced by generations of tea lovers.”
Claridge’s last won this award in 2006. Since then though, there is little surprise that they have also received the Tea Guild Award for Excellence for 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. This Tea Guild event, now in its 26th year, is considered the ‘Michelin star’ of the tea world, with world-famous London hotels and tea rooms competing for the highly coveted honour.
The Tea Guild has also awarded 16 special Awards of Excellence to: Brown’s Hotel, Grosvenor House Park Room & Library, Sofitel London St James, The Athenaeum, The Chesterfield, The Connaught, The Dorchester, The Goring, The Lanesborough, The Langham, The Milestone, The Montagu at Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill, The Montague on The Gardens, The Park Lane Hotel, The Savoy, and The Ritz in recognition of their outstanding quality and consistently high standards in tea service.