The best places in the UK to enjoy the great British tradition of Afternoon Tea were revealed at the Afternoon Tea Awards 2019, sponsored by AfternoonTea.co.uk and new reservation system, Time For Food.
The fourth edition of the prestigious awards were held in the 5-star surroundings of the Mirror Room at Rosewood London - where representatives from the finest hotels and restaurants across the UK gathered to recognise the best in Afternoon Tea service and creativity.
Usually the Afternoon Tea serving area, this jewel box of a dining room was transformed last night into an Afternoon Tea wonderland - featuring fantastic cake displays from the hotel's pastry chefs showcasing the offerings of their beautiful art inspired sweet treats.
The ornate room set inside the 2017 and 2018 winner of Best Contemporary Afternoon Tea also featured an amazing stand from designer William Edwards, who provides the crockery for the Rosewood London's Afternoon Tea. The Stoke based ceramic artist also created a beautiful fine china cup to commemorate the occasion.
Guests enjoyed the highlight of the Afternoon Tea calendar year in suitable fashion - indulging in elegant glasses of Champagne provided by Ruinart, as well as refreshing ice teas from Mariage Freres.
The awards process has taken place over the past year and involved a team of independent judges, including internationally renowned pastry chefs, restaurant managers and food journalists, looking at all aspects of the Afternoon Tea experience, from arrival to departure, with a strong focus on the food, drink and service.
Keith Newton, Managing Director of AfternoonTea.co.uk commended all the entrants and spoke about the enduring tradition of Afternoon Tea.
He said: "The creativity shown by the chefs, combined with exceptional service, show that Afternoon Tea is still a very special culinary experience that can be enjoyed by all.
These awards look at the whole Afternoon Tea experience from the customer's perspective. Our expert judges visit twice to ensure that food quality and service levels are consistent."
Four awards were presented to the following venues, who fought off tough competition from hundreds of the finest hotels across the U.K to claim the top prizes:
One of London's most iconic hotels, The Savoy took home the prize for the Best Traditional Afternoon Tea, which judges said offered "a memorable experience worth every penny."
Judges were particularly impressed by the luxurious Thames Foyer setting of the Afternoon Tea that "exuded elegance." Afternoon Tea is an opportunity to experience ultimate 5-star luxury - something the judges felt was perfectly captured at The Savoy, which offered a combination of "exquisite food with a service which made everyone feel as though they were the most special person in the room."
The acclaimed chef launched a luxury fine dining establishment inside the famous Cadogan Hotel when it reopened this year - which has now been recognised for its wonderfully contemporary execution of Afternoon Tea.
The Afternoon Tea comes stylishly served on a tree stand inspired by the nearby Cadogan Gardens, which judges described as "unique and stunning" in a memorable experience one judge described as 'the best Afternoon Tea [they] have had for a long time!"
The award for best theme went to The Berkeley London for their fashion inspired "Pret-a-Portea". Served inside the stunning Collins Room, judges raved over the 'astonishing level of detail', with the sweet plate collection particularly receiving praise for being so beautiful they were "truly art itself."
Set inside one of London's most celebrated hotels, the Rosebery Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental received the prize for the best tea service. Judges were particularly impressed with the extensive selection of teas on the menu, commenting how it seemed as though "the pages would go on forever!"
The quality of the service was also signalled out for praise. Judges specified how "fresh cups were provided with each new tea" and praised the interaction with their server, who "went into detail to explain the teas and the food pairings they would complement."
In celebration of the awards, we're offering one lucky Afternoon Tea lover the chance to win Afternoon Tea for two at their choice of award winner. For full details on how to enter, see here
The judges also awarded the following 'Highly Commended' and 'Commended' Awards of Excellence in recognition of aspects of service that exceeded the judge's expectations.