More tea, Santa? As the Christmas spirit well and truly kicks in, hotels and restaurants around the country have unveiled festive afternoon tea experiences.
Offers range from traditional fare, such as mini turkey and stuffing sandwiches, to twists on Christmas classics, with mulled wine and mince pies in new formats.
Here’s our pick of the festive afternoon teas available this month:
Biscuiteers has ousted gingerbread in favour of its own delicately iced biscuits this Christmas, as it launches a limited-edition afternoon tea menu. Available until 31 December at its boutiques in Notting Hill and Northcote Road, London, for £30 per person, the menu takes classic festive flavours such as mulled wine, Christmas pudding and orange and cranberry, but puts them into new formats. The menu comprises:
- A Biscuiteers iconic Christmas biscuit
- A pot of Tregothnan Christmas or Afternoon Tea
- Hand-piped Christmas pudding macaron
- Goat’s cheese cheesecake with red onion jam and cheesy biscuit topper
- Orange and cranberry scone with homemade Christmas jam
- Salted caramel brownie with spiced mulled wine ganache
- Red velvet and eggnog cake with peppermint meringue kiss
- Mango and coconut snow cake
- Mini frangipane mince pie
Conrad London St James Hotel
This London hotel has put a festive twist on the quintessential British pastime, with its Festive Afternoon Tea featuring seasonal flavours such as Gingerbread sablé with salted caramel eggnog and golden raisin fruit cake; white chocolate and orange mousse, cranberry compote and pistachio pane-jane; frosted coconut sponge, raspberry custard and lime meringue snow.
The sandwiches haven’t been left out of the yuletide makeover either and include roast Norfolk turkey with sage & onion stuffing on cranberry loaf and Forman’s London cured smoked salmon with cream cheese, dill & lemon on wholegrain loaf. It’s available until 5 January 2020 and priced at £39 per person or £45 with a glass of Champagne or a cocktail.
Laura Ashley The Tea Room
Laura Ashley is keeping things traditional with its afternoon tea. Its finger sandwiches embrace seasonal favourites such as turkey with cranberry sauce, smoked salmon and cream cheese, roast beef with horseradish sauce, and mature cheddar with mulled apple chutney. These are served alongside cranberry scones with clotted cream and Laura Ashley preserves, and a selection of cakes. The menu is available at the tea rooms in Burnham Beeches, Coventry and Solihull.
London Hilton on Park Lane
Christmas cheer and creativity is at the heart of London Hilton on Park Lane’s festive afternoon tea menu. Classic seasonal sandwiches are paired with a selection of festive fancies, including a chocolate & chestnut tart, passionfruit & coconut log and chocolate Christmas tree. What’s more, there’s a milled wine bauble and a strawberry & lime parfait.
The pièce de résistance is an edible letter to Santa, which breaks open to reveal a surprise. All of this is served alongside a selection of freshly-baked scones – in plain, chocolate chip or raisin variants – with a choice of salted caramel spread, Cornish clotted cream and strawberry jam to go on top.
It’s priced at £39 per person or £49 with a glass of Champagne on the side.
The Curtain Hotel and Member’s Club
The Curtain has partnered with perfume specialist Penhaligon’s for its Christmas Halfeti afternoon tea. Named after and created in homage to the perfumer’s signature scent, the afternoon tea recognises its key notes, according to the hotel.
The menu includes: saffron macarons with a deep black cherry jam; frangipane tart infused with a bergamot ganache; dark chocolate and cumin tarts topped with homemade grapefruit marmalade; blood orange drizzle cake; and a decadent caramel vanilla mousse cake.
These are served alongside plain and fruit scones and a selection of festive inspired finger sandwiches, which include fillings such as sloe gin-infused cucumber and maple roasted gammon with apple chilli jam.
Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa
Available at the hotel’s restaurant Squire’s, the menu features a range of sandwiches including traditional roast turkey with cranberry sauce, Suffolk honey roast ham and piccalilli, and, adding a festive twist to an old favourite – egg mayonnaise with shredded and fried sprout tops.
Warm scones will be served with clotted cream, strawberry jam and sharp lemon curd, while the sweet treat selection will take guests on a flavour journey through Christmases past and present. There’s rich Christmas cake, white chocolate éclairs with mince pie cream filling, a Baileys macaron, shortbread Christmas trees, mini gingerbread men and more.
The afternoon is available from 2 December and will cost £18.95 per person with tea or coffee or £26.95 per person with a glass of Moët & Chandon.
Find out what other retailers have planned for bakery this Christmas by visiting these pages:
- Aldi and Booths
- Asda, Ocado and Tesco
- Co-op, Fortnum & Mason, Waitrose
- Iceland, Lidl, M&S and Morrisons
- Bakery brands including Biscuiteers, Central Foods and Mindful Bites
- Bakery brands including Aryzta, Burton’s Biscuits and McVitie’s
- Food-to-go specialists including Pret A Manger, Costa and Starbucks
- Bakery brands including Paul UK, Maître Choux, Hummingbird Bakery and Paul Rhodes