Afternoon tea has become such a popular pastime in the past few years that you’ll find plenty of hotels and restaurants offering the experience all around the globe. From London to New York, the offerings are numerous, but which city does it better?
For those staying with us this year, here is a quick guide to the origins of afternoon tea and why visitors to the city are in for a real treat when they make a reservation for a Grand Royale Hyde Park Afternoon Tea.
The History of Afternoon Tea
For those that love quaint crustless sandwiches and delectable sweet treats all served on tiered plates, you probably won’t be surprised to discover that afternoon tea is very much a British invention and it’s all thanks to a rather peckish Duchess.
The Devonshire Duchess found that the waiting time between lunch and dinner was just too long, so she requested that her servants provides her with a mid-afternoon snack of delicate sandwiches and cakes to be served alongside a refreshing pot of tea. These nibbles would keep her going until dinner, which was often served much later during the Victorian period.
As the Duchess was something of a trendsetter in her time, the afternoon tea craze soon caught on in upper-class circles with ladies of quality gathering together to impress their friends with an array of tasty treats prepared by the staff below stairs.
Not only was this a welcome mid-afternoon meal for the ladies, but it was also an opportunity to share society gossip and spend time with friends. It helped to break the monotony of the dull days ladies that were wealthy enough to not have to work for a living endured.
Over time, the afternoon tea offering grew to include pastries, silver-plated teapots and fine table linens as a show of refinement and taste, and it is precisely what you can experience during your booking at a Grand Royale Hyde Park Afternoon Tea to this day.
Nowadays, you’ll see tables of all ages and genders enjoying a delicious afternoon tea experience all over the city, showing that the trend is still going strong today and is just as popular as it was during the Victorian period.
Afternoon Tea around the World
As afternoon tea was taking off with ladies around the UK, the high society from the rest of the world were also creating their own versions as far away as India and New York.
Many of the current afternoon tea offerings in New York have a slightly different twist to those served at the Grand Royale Hotel Hyde Park with some favouring soup and coffee rather than the traditional sandwiches and delicately blended selection of teas usually served.
Although this offers something a little different, it does show a marked break away from the traditions of afternoon tea, which is something that many visitors to London enjoy.
If you’re planning to enjoy a Grand Royale Hyde Park Afternoon Tea, you’ll be given the opportunity to upgrade your experience with a few bubbles to celebrate a special occasion such as anniversary or birthday. It’s an ideal gift for anyone staying at the Grand Royale Hotel Hyde Park.
History and Heritage
One thing that really sets the Grand Royale Hyde Park Afternoon Tea apart from its New York counterparts is the history and heritage of London. As afternoon tea is steeped in tradition, visitors to the city are also able to enjoy some of the other attractions that showcase the long and varied legacy of the capital.
One of the most popular is a trip to Kensington Palace, a current royal residence that has all of the splendour you’d expect from a palace as well as some interesting historical facts to be found in every room in the building. With regular open days and tours available all year round, visitors are also encouraged to take a stroll in the immaculately maintained gardens to build up an appetite for their Grand Royale Hyde Park Afternoon Tea.
Another popular tourist attraction that lovers of afternoon tea will enjoy is a visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum, a landmark created during the Victorian period to showcase the best in British manufacturing and design.
Now, visitors to the Victoria and Albert Museum can see inventions from the past, a collection of clothing from leading fashion houses such as Vivienne Westwood and other visiting exhibitions which showcase the history and heritage of the British Isles.
Tea and Trade
London was also one of the biggest importers of tea from all over the globe during the Victorian period, which helped to fuel the appetite for afternoon tea around the country.
From expertly blended Earl Gray with a traditional slice of lemon to the more exotic green tea well known for its many health benefits, the UK is still one of the biggest consumers of tea to this day, closely followed by coffee.
The Grand Royale Hotel Hyde Park has kept up with the tradition for fine teas with an array of blends available to suit all tastes. They’re all available to savour during an afternoon tea experience, so you can rest assured that you’ll be tasting a little bit of British tradition during your stay.
Afternoon Tea for Everyone
London is a real melting pot of nationalities and cultures, so no matter what your tastes or dietary requirements, the Grand Royale Hyde Park Afternoon Tea experience caters for everyone.
From vegan and vegetarian options to gluten-free breads and non-animal based ingredients, simply let the staff at the Grand Royale Hotel Hyde Park know about any individual requirements prior to your visit and they will happy to provide you with a delicious afternoon tea that suits your needs and tastes.
Just remember not to fill up too much at breakfast as you’ll need plenty of room to sample all of those sumptuous sandwiches and beautifully crafted cakes and pastries on offer.