Alternative Afternoon Tea Week

This week is a very important week in the food calendar (in my eyes at least). If you haven’t heard, it’s Afternoon Tea Week (13th – 20th August). The afternoon tea craze is as popular as ever and I for one will never tire of it. Who’d have imagined thousands of years ago that afternoon tea would become such a trend? For a brief history, the traditional consumption was introduced by the seventh Duchess of Bedford in 1840 because she found herself always being hungry around 4pm and didn’t want the long wait until dinner which was commonly served at 8pm. We have a lot to thank her for. Afternoon teas are always a popular choice for occasions such as Mother’s Day, hen parties or baby showers but if you need another excuse to enjoy an afternoon of carbs then this week is perfect. Recently, afternoon teas have been more and more spoken about due to popular and relevant themes taking over the traditional cucumber sandwich and Victoria sponge. Here’s a selection of some of weird and wonderful out there!


Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea

The Sanderson

£48-£65 per person

Take a trip down the rabbit hole and you won’t have to be told twice to ‘drink me’ or ‘eat me’. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland, the Sanderson on Oxford Street creates a magical world of cakes and tea. The theme is spot on even down to the menu which is hidden inside vintage books and the teapot which are adorned with kings and queens. Expect vintage plates and tea cups along with delicious bite sized treats. The nostalgic ‘drink me’ potion is nothing to be scared of in this whimsical world, resulting in a sweet apple and peach concoction. The menu is far from your average afternoon tea, featuring Wonderland marshmallow magic mushrooms and the Tweedle Dee lemon curd fiancier to name a few. Optional cocktails can be added, named after the four book chapters, including ‘The Pool of Black and White Tears’ created with coffee, liqueur and double cream and ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ a creative mix of vanilla vodka, raspberry Chambord and cranberry juice. This is a Wonderland experience you won’t want to leave.


Silly Old Bear

Colwick Hall Hotel

£15-£23.95 per person

Colwick Hall Hotel has always been the place to go for Afternoon Tea in Nottingham, with their Traditional and Grand options being available all year round. However, their current special themed afternoon tea available until the end of September is a must try for all Winnie the Pooh fans. The Silly Old Bear afternoon tea will make you feel like you’re visiting the forest for a honey filled treat. The menu includes traditional sandwiches – cucumber and cream cheese, cheddar and chutney, prawn cocktail and chicken, bacon and mayonnaise. The savoury snacks are more unique, featuring a pear and stilton croissant. But the sweet dishes are where the theme really comes to life, with of course a ‘hunny pot’, a ‘Donkey tael blueberry muffin with a raspberry cream’ and honeycomb cheesecake. This is a nostalgic version of your teddy bear’s picnic, take a trip down memory lane with your favourite childhood characters whilst indulging in flavoursome bites.


Potion Room Afternoon Tea

Cutter and Squidge

£49 per person

This Soho based bakery have created a culinary experience like no other. Harry Potter fan? Then this one is for you. The Potion Room experience is inspired by the magical world of wizard and alchemy and takes you down beneath the bakery to the Potion Room basement. Become a Potion Room student for the day and relish in treats such as ‘A Proper Pie’ with creamy leek and potato and a unique Butterscotch Biskie an original Cutter and Squidge creation. Your welcome drink of ‘Galaxy juice’ is followed by savoury bites which are a revamped take on traditional finger sandwiches, along side the pie there’s a Yorkshire pudding with roast beef. As appealing as the food is, it’s the experience which really makes the Afternoon Tea. There’s everything you’d expect from a potions lesson – wands, cauldrons, wizard gowns and even a potions master.


Game of Thrones Afternoon Tea

Ballygally Castle Hotel

£24 per person

Keeping with the times and trends of course there is a Game of Thrones Afternoon Tea out there. Set in Northern Ireland where the renowned show is often filmed, this tea takes you on a journey to the fantasy lands of Winterfell, Iron Islands and King’s Landing. Expect Jon Snow cakes (obviously), Dothraki trifle with mini Dragon’s eggs and Sansa Sark’s Lemon Cakes. There aren’t not many afternoon teas that can say they serve that combination! It’s a great experience to make a day of it whilst exploring the locations of many pivotal GOT scenes including the Causeway Coast and Slemish Mountain.


Teapot Cocktails

Cox & Baloney’s

£22.50 per person

Think vintage, think girl’s day and think tea infused cocktails! Cox and Baloney’s is one of Bristol most popular afternoon tea destinations whether it’s a one off treat, a hen party, Mother’s Day or a baby shower it’s the place to go for a vintage inspired celebration. This more traditional serving includes finger sandwiches, a choice of baked in-house cakes and fruit scone with Cornish cream and jam. You can mix up your tea with a tea-infused cocktail served in a teapot with a bone china cup and saucer for the vintage touch. Cocktail concoctions include vodka with peach and apricot white loose tea, ginger ale and fresh lemon and fruit tea with elder-flower, lemon and gin. The only thing that’s better than afternoon tea is afternoon tea with alcohol!


Japanese Afternoon Tea

Silk Restaurant

£29.50 per person

Take different to another level with this Japanese Afternoon Tea from the Silk Restaurant, Soho. If you prefer sushi to scones then this is one for you! Featuring of course large sushi rolls filled with smoked salmon and avocado as well as the ever popular gyoza dumplings. The tea selection is more than your English Breakfast tea, with the likes of ginger peach, pomegranate and lemongrass on offer. The sweet delicacies include green tea mousse and Daifuku – a traditional Japanese confection consisting of a rice cake stuffed with sweetened red bean paste. This is certainly a flavour filled taste experience and can be washed down with a Japanese wine – Takara Plum. Completing the experience, the afternoon tea is served up in a traditional bento box, now that’s one for the Instagram!

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