Tag Archives: afternoon tea

Afternoon Tea: A Very British Tradition

Today marks the start of Afternoon Tea week. Rebecca Galland, Restaurant Manager at The Vineyard, takes us back in time to the origins of this most delicious British tradition.

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea all started with Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, in the early 1800’s who coined the phrase of having the ‘sinking feeling’ which was how she felt in the middle of the afternoon when breakfast had been worked off.

At that time there were only two meals a day one in the morning and one in the evening. Dinner was served later and later in the day. To remedy her feeling, Anna started having tea, usually Darjeeling, and a cake in her boudoir in the afternoon. She enjoyed it so much that she began to invite her friends to join her at her country house Woburn Abbey where she and her husband Francis Russell, 7th Duke of Bedford, lived in the Summer. Eventually when the season ended and she returned to London she the continued this habit in the city. More and more people started to hear of it in her social circle and in the 1840’s Afternoon Tea quickly became fashion amongst the wealthy classes.

It is worth noting that this ‘Afternoon Tea’ that Anna started is not to be confused with what is known as ‘high’ tea which usually refers to the meal the lower classes would have, complete with a hot dish, followed by cakes and bread, which was all about the height of the tables.

Nowadays, Afternoon Tea is usually served on a stand and it led to a phenomenon that has swept the globe, albeit still a very British tradition.

Introducing The Modern Tea Ceremony

This July, we will introduce new luxury teas to our Afternoon Tea experience from Lalani & Co. Far removed from the ‘English Cuppa’, more like a fine wine or whisky, their batch teas come from family-run gardens throughout the world and are chosen for their exquisite flavour from particular elevations. This is the first in a new series on artisanal tea.

Lalani Teas

Lalani Teas

Buying tea is very much like buying whisky: some are blended and some are single-batch. Also like whisky, you get various qualities and styles, and this all comes down to the people who grow the plants as well as the plantation’s location.

The pleasure comes in the taste and there is a gulf of difference between PG tips and single batch darjeeling or oolong for example. Season, soil, elevation and producer all affect flavour characteristics and the best teas express the best flavour of their region: some batches will be exceptional, some will be average, some will be low end. This spectrum occurs even within a year on the same garden.

The very best single batch teas are made as a luxury craft with the same artisan skill as a family vineyard or a small whisky distillery. Single batch teas also offer seasonally changing flavour profiles, much as with fine wine, offering expression of their terroir which whispers its provenance story to you palate with every sip.

Throught the world’s tea trade, most batches are sold into the markets and blended, but some will be kept as single batch teas. These are normally the better tasting batches and are what will be used here.

When you taste a batch and know the story behind it, it opens up a whole new enjoyment and understanding of tea and flavour.

Create your very own Easter nest

Chocolate - 580 x 288With Easter just around the corner, impress your friends and create your very own Easter nest by following our Head Pastry Chef, Anthony Millon’s step by step instructions and recipes.

Recipes

Chocolate mousse

Ingredients: 100g dark chocolate, 1 egg yolk, 200g soft whipped cream

Method: Melt the chocolate (slightly warmer than luke warm, but do not boil or burn), add the yolk to the chocolate, and mix and add cream to the chocolate and yolk .

Honey cream

Ingredients: 25g honey, 25g sugar, 75g double cream, 100g soft whipped cream.

Method: Use a pan and bring the honey and sugar to the caramel stage on the stove once the sugar starts to colour and you have a strong honey smell stop cooking. Heat the double cream in a microwave or on the stove until warm. Add this to the honey and sugar and leave until cold. Use a large pan to do so as this is likely to double in size. Leave to go cold. Once cold, add the soft-whipped cream through, and place into a piping bag with a star nozzle.

Rhubarb compote/purée

Cook the rhubarb with sugar until soft, and use as compote. Or alternatively once cool, blend and pass through a sieve to make a purée.

Step by step instructions

image1Crack the eggs two thirds of the way along, take the egg yolks and whites out and put the shells to one side.

 

 

 

image4Wash the shells and leave them to dry.

 

 

 

Easter nest -image 1Left: Raw Rhubarb, peeled.

Right: Strawberries, lime juice, crème fraîche and sugar
Mix these together

Crushed chocolate eggs

 

New Picture (42).jpgTop: Vanilla Ice Cream, Strawberry, add the mixed strawberries with lime juice, crème fraîche and sugar.

Bottom: A spoonful of mixed berries; blackberries and raspberries

 

New Picture (43)Top: Add chocolate mousse, pipe use a piping bag with a star nozzle.

Middle: Add crushed bits of meringue on top of the strawberry mix.

Bottom: Add rhubarb purée

New Picture (44)Top: Add decorations eg. crushed mini eggs and edible flowers

Middle: Drizzle raspberry coulis over the top of the meringue.

Bottom: Add the honey cream, pipe using a piping bag with a star nozzle.

New Picture (45)Bottom: Once the honey cream has been added, add the raw rhubarb (peeled) on top.

 

 

 

New Picture (47)Place in a cardboard egg container; add straw and extra chocolate eggs.

 

 

I hope you enjoy making these Easter nests and have a very happy Easter. Enjoy afternoon tea over the Easter holidays for just £25 per person.

Happy Cooking!

Anthony Millon
Head Pastry Chef at The Vineyard

 

 

 

Celebrate Valentine’s at The Vineyard this February

rosesandsuitcase-914x437Valentine’s is all about spending time with your loved one, and with many of us having busy schedule, it’s the perfect reason to treat yourself and partner by booking a spa day or evening, having a couples massages, enjoying a romantic dinner for two or Champagne afternoon tea.

FacialVoted the most romantic retreat by the Good Spa Guide, The Vineyard Spa is the ideal place to come for a romantic day with your partner. Relax in the tranquil surroundings and enjoying spending time with just the two of you. We have plenty of spa days and evenings to choose from whatever your budget and the time you have to spare. From our pampering evening where you’ll be treated to a 25 minute treatment, a main course from our spa menu and use of the spa for four hours during the evening to our Ultimate Spa Day, which includes three relaxing treatments of your choice, a Bento Box lunch, light refreshments throughout the day and full use of the spa pool, Jacuzzi, steam, sauna rooms and poolside area.

We are lucky enough to have a couple’s treatment room, perfect for a romantic massage or facial. Choose from our range of Darphin and VitaMan facials and massages, or choose a treatment from our signature selection. Browse our treatment brochure for our full list of treatments.

For 13th and 14th February, our Executive Chef, Daniel Galmiche has created a special fiveCheese board with wine - 377 x 221 course tasting menu with matching wines and a special sharing dessert for Valentine’s at The Vineyard. This time of year is always popular with our guests, but we do have limited availability. Browse the menu and call us to reserve your table if you’d like to celebrate with us and why not stay the night?

Think delicious cakes, pastries and mini sandwiches, plus a glass of chilled Champagne in luxurious surroundings and you have Champagne afternoon tea at The Vineyard. Delicately created by our Head Pastry Chef, Anthony Millon, you’ll be in afternoon tea heaven. Browse our sample menu to whet your appetite.