Afternoon tea - reinvented
Posted: 29th July 2016
Photo courtesy of Adrienne Photography
“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” Henry James
The quintessentially English tradition of afternoon tea dates back almost two hundred years. The mid-afternoon hunger pangs of the seventh Duchess of Bedford prompted the development of this stylish and elegant meal between meals, that grew into a more social event, satisfying her and her guests until the fashionably late dinner. The ingredients of these early afternoon teas remain similar to the traditional afternoon teas of today.
The creative chefs at the four-star new generation Holiday Inn Winchester have been busy devising new, exciting and fun ways to serve this great British tradition and to further develop and enhance their traditional afternoon teas.
Head chef Chris Keel and his pastry chef Jamie Bartlett - part of the hotel’s award-winning team which recently received a 2 AA Rosette Award - wanted to add a contemporary twist to their new De Luxe Afternoon Tea, as well as offering more traditional versions, to give visitors to the hotel various choices depending on their taste and appetite.
“Our staff are always delighted when Chris and Jamie get creative, as they know they are in for a delicious testing and tasting session, which we were fortunate to be able to hold outside on our large patio and garden area,” commented Sarah Waddington, sales manager for the Holiday Inn Winchester. “They were all really excited about Chris and Jamie’s idea of presenting the De Luxe Afternoon Teas in a totally unique way that will appeal to groups and especially to families, by giving it a contemporary twist and presenting it on miniature picnic tables.
“We have called the new presentation the Morn Hill Picnic, with every element of the afternoon tea carefully developed to give new and interesting flavours and delicious surprises, that will be talking points for a long time afterwards.”
This new premium afternoon tea experience combines new and delicious items including locally-sourced teas, cheeses by Loosehanger, local trout and the purple basil jam and other jams homemade on the premises by the hotel’s chefs.
The picnic also includes a wide selection of imaginative cakes and sweet treats such as the chocolate and hazelnut bonbon, the raspberry fresh cream millefeuille, carrot cake, lemon posset and many more. The team have also come up with completely new ideas by adding fun passionfruit milkshakes in old-fashioned glass bottles with straws and a raspberry and white chocolate ganache served in an ice cream cone. It is all quite a feast, as it also includes the traditional homemade scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam.”
The Deluxe Morn Hill Picnic afternoon tea is £19 per person or with a glass of bubbly £23 per person.
Traditional afternoon teas are also available, served with that contemporary twist again on slate tiered presentation stands. This includes a selection of sandwiches, homemade cakes and scones served with Dorset clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam for £11 per head or £20 for two. For those with a lighter appetite, the cream tea includes a home-baked scone, served with Dorset clotted cream, homemade jam with a choice of teas for £6 per head.
The Morn Hill Picnic and the Afternoon Tea must be booked at least 24 hours in advance by calling 01962 670700 or online via the hotel’s website: www.hiwinchester.co.uk