The best places in Britain to enjoy an indulgent Afternoon Tea have been named in the Afternoon Tea Awards 2017, sponsored by AfternoonTea.co.uk, Newby and Buyagift.
The ceremony was held in the Court Suite at the elegant Grosvenor House on the 17th July, where we welcomed a whole host of guests in what was an enjoyable evening.
Some of the finest hotels and restaurants from around the UK took part in the awards, which recognise the best in afternoon tea service and creativity.
A team of independent judges, including internationally renowned pastry chefs, restaurant managers and food journalists, looked at all aspects of the afternoon tea experience, from arrival to departure, with a strong focus on the food, drink and service.
Five awards were presented by Martha Collison, the youngest ever contestant on 'Great British Bake Off':
- Best Traditional Afternoon Tea - Hotel Cafe Royal
- Best Contemporary Afternoon Tea - The Mirror Room at Rosewood London
- Best Themed Afternoon Tea - Churchill Afternoon Tea at The Wellesley
- Best Children's Afternoon Tea - Millennium Hotel London Mayfair
- Best Tea Service - Fortnum & Mason
In addition to the top awards, 45 venues were awarded a Highly Commended or Commended 'Award of Excellence', in recognition of aspects of service that exceeded the judge's expectations.
This year's awards were sponsored by Newby, the UK's premier fine tea company, and Buyagift, the UK's leading provider of experiences and days out.
Keith Newton, Managing Director of AfternoonTea.co.uk said "This year we had venues throughout the UK participating and the standard was extremely high. Our customers now view these awards as a mark of quality, in an increasingly popular and expanding afternoon tea marketplace".
What the judges said about the winners
Best Traditional Afternoon Tea - Hotel Cafe Royal
The judges said: "From the opulent interior to the flawless service, Cafe Royal brings timeless elegance to the tradition of afternoon tea. The food has a traditional approach with innovative touches that showcase the creativity of the chefs behind the scenes without losing sight of the classics".
Best Contemporary Afternoon Tea - The Mirror Room at Rosewood London
The judges said: "The staff were incredibly attentive, unobtrusive and very well presented…the sweet selection was interesting and crafted with skill…I truly enjoyed the whole experience"
Best Themed Afternoon Tea - Churchill Afternoon Tea at The Wellesley
The judges said: "The food showed skill and an attention to detail…sandwiches soft, moist and with different flavour to match the filling. Filo pastry cigar was something to remember…extremely light and crunchy with a sweet bitter cacao taste. The technicality of the chefs gave the extra touch"
Best Children's Afternoon Tea - Millennium Hotel London Mayfair
The judges said: "The maitre d' presented each of the children with a teddy bear in a queen's guard uniform and they were completely delighted…there was a nice balance between sweet and savoury items…the children felt relaxed"
Best Tea Service - Fortnum & Mason
The judges said: "The Tearista experience at Fortnum & Mason is the perfect partner to afternoon tea for those who want to learn a little more about tea. The staff are exceptionally knowledgeable, providing an interesting and engaging journey through the different types of tea.
The judges also awarded the following 'Highly Commended' and 'Commended' certificates.