Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Top Ten Places to Enjoy Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea at Chatsworth House
The English are famed throughout the world for their custom of taking afternoon tea.

The tradition is said to have originated at Woburn Abbey in the late 1830s by Duchess Anna Maria, wife of the 7th Duke of Bedford.

A Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Victoria, Anna Maria began the custom of taking afternoon tea to combat what she called ‘that sinking feeling’ at around 5pm, when the custom was to eat a large breakfast, light lunch and a later dinner at 9pm. 

The new tea custom consisted of tea with perhaps light sandwiches and fairy cakes and was generally taken by ladies.  

Where better to enjoy this quintessentially English custom than amid the splendid surroundings of some of the country’s finest stately homes, palaces and castles?  The Treasure Houses of England is a consortium of 10 of the country’s finest palaces, historic houses and castles.

·         Woburn Abbey – Where better to take afternoon tea than the place it was invented. The Duchess Anna Maria Afternoon Tea can be enjoyed during a visit to Woburn Abbey and Gardens.   The Duchess’ Tea Room is open daily from 15th April – 2nd October and Afternoon Tea is served from 2.30pm to 4pm (pre-booking advised).

·         Burghley House - At Burghley you can have tea in 'Capability' Brown's Orangery restaurant overlooking the topiary in the South Gardens. Homemade scones, jam and clotted cream can be enjoyed in the peaceful and romantic Rose Garden.

·         Beaulieu – Enjoy a scrumptious afternoon tea with a wide selection of cakes and pastries all baked in-house in the newly refurbished Brabazon Coffee Shop and Restaurant.  Some produce comes from Lord Montagu's own Victorian Kitchen garden; beetroot is made into a delicious moist cake and plums made into jam, to eat on scones with lashings of Dorset clotted cream.

·         Hatfield House – Our Chef’s delicious home-made cakes and tray bakes are hugely popular with visitors to Hatfield House. The Restaurant has its own bakery so visitors can enjoy rolls, cakes and pastries straight from the oven. There is a great fresh salads and deli counter too.

·         Castle Howard – Enjoy an afternoon treat at Castle Howard in either the bistro style Courtyard Cafe or the more traditional Fitzroy Room.  On offer are seasonal menus prepared by our chefs that include a generous selection of freshly made sandwiches, salads and delicious homemade cakes.

·         Chatsworth –This quintessential English pastime is brought to life at Chatsworth.  Enjoy an Afternoon Tea in the 18th Century Cavendish Rooms Restaurant, designed by the famous architect James Paine, overlooking the courtyard.  The team of bakers are passionate about fresh produce and bake throughout the day, every day, to ensure that you are served the freshest cakes possible.

·         Leeds Castle – Enjoy an afternoon treat with a cream tea in the 17th Century oak-beamed Fairfax Hall or outside in the sunshine on the Terrace overlooking the castle.  There is an excellent choice of freshly prepared hot and cold dishes on offer, along with cakes and other sweet treats, all of which can be enjoyed in a rustic farmhouse kitchen style setting that uses oak and wrought iron finishes.

·         Harewood House – Taste the delights of afternoon tea in The Courtyard Cafe or The Terrace Cafe, voted one of the best places to have afternoon tea by Gardener’s World Magazine readers in 2010.  Not only is the food sumptuous and the drinks refreshing, you’ll also be able to sit back and admire the architecture in the Courtyard and the stunning views from the Terrace.

·         Holkham Hall – The Holkham Estate has three cafes all offering afternoon tea.  The Stables Café is located at the Hall itself, the Rose Garden Café is in Holkham Village in The Ancient House and finally there’s the Beach Café just a stones throw from the beach at Wells-next-the-Sea.  Whichever you opt for you can be sure to find plenty of mouth-watering homemade treats to indulge in, from sandwiches and cakes to scones straight from the oven. 

·         Blenheim Palace - Blenheim Palace is the perfect place to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in the elegant surroundings only a Palace could provide.  Tea is served in the Palace’s Indian Room overlooking the beautiful fountains on the Water Terraces, providing the perfect way to make your day at Blenheim Palace complete.  Choose from a selection of a Traditional Cream Tea, a Churchill Afternoon Tea or a luxury Champagne Tea. Enjoy a selection of finger sandwiches, homemade pastries and cakes and our speciality teas in a tranquil and formal setting.

For more information visit www.treasurehouses.co.uk

No comments:

Post a Comment