Thursday, 17 May 2012

Afternoon Tea - an alternative hen night

Hen nights can wild and rauscous affairs.  Thanks to Ann Summers, you can trot about the open roads and the various night spots, sporting L plates, tiaras, mini wedding veils and mini penises too.  But for those of us who prefer the more sedate things in life, why not celebrate the end of singledom with a traditional afternoon tea.

Afternoon teas are a brilliant way of involving your female friends of all ages, whether they're 9, 19 or 90.  Who doesn't like tea and cake???  Historically, they were started by the Duchess of Bedford as a way for her and her friends to gossip without their menfolk around, and to combat that mid-afternoon peckishness.  It became so popular that even men started to indulge.  Nowadays, it's fantastic little treat to yourself and your friends.

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Afternoon teas are great for making you feel sophisticated.  If you're having a vintage wedding, afternoon tea is a great way for getting into the spirit of the occasion.  Here are my top recommendations for teas to tantilise the tastebuds:

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The Cadogan Hotel, Knightsbridge

This hotel is one of my favourite spots for afternoon tea.  The quiet restaurant, attentive staff and vast selection of teas make for a wonderfully calm atmosphere.  It's a great place to chill out, and it's close enough to th Kings Road for a spot of shopping beforehand.

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The Park Lane Hotel, Mayfair

This hotel has all the decadence and glamour of its rival The Ritz down the road, but without the ginormous price tag.  Enjoy sumptuous sandwiches and scones, and why not try the Irish Cream tea with just a hint of whiskey.  The harpist  playing away in the corner adds a refined feel to the atmosphere.

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The Goring Hotel, Victoria

If it's good enough for Kate Middleton, it's good enough for me.  A favourite with the royal family for decades, it's easy to fall in love with the gentle old world charms of the Goring hotel's dining room, not to mention the charming crockery in spite of it being yellow.  Not a cheap experience, but a memorable experience nonetheless.

Beatons Tearoom & Bookshop, Tisbury, Wiltshire

Author's own

A tearoom with a twist: enjoy a delicious cup of tea and pick up a delightful read at the same time.  Part bookshop part teashop, this wonderful quirky place in the village of Tisbury is well worth the effort of getting to.  Why not have a walk around the wonderful countryside afterwards to burn those cheeky calories off?

You have any recommendations for a great afternoon tea, please drop me a line at 

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