Quintessentially English Afternoon Tea
Afternoon Tea Workshop
“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” Henry James.
This English Afternoon Tea Workshop is the perfect workshop for those wanting to really explore all aspects of traditional English tea time. Tea consumption increased dramatically during the early nineteenth century and it is around this time that Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is said to have complained of “having that sinking feeling” during the late afternoon. At the time it was usual for people to take only two main meals a day, breakfast, and dinner. The solution for the Duchess was a pot a tea and a light snack, taken privately in her boudoir during the afternoon. With our English Tea expert, Caroline Hope, one of Great Britain’s most respected speakers on the traditions of English tea. You can learn the history and the basics of tea tasting, traditional baking and tea party presentation. And of course, have some fun!
The morning starts at Caroline’s home in Notting Hill where you will learn how to brew the perfect tea. You will have the opportunity to taste and examine at least 20 different teas and compare the differences between origin and blended tea; learning to identify depth of flavour, the ‘briskness’, and the creaminess or astringency of the tea liquor. You will cover all the brewing basics such as correct water temperature, water quality and brewing times; and at the end you should be able to confidently identify many different types of black and green teas by their look, smell and taste.
Then it’s time to start baking (and tasting)! You will learn all of the skills you need to make and bake delicious cakes for a traditional English tea party. Caroline will share her secret recipes for the perfect Victoria Sponge cake, tasty traditional scones, and crumbly melt-in-the-mouth shortbread. You will also learn other skills and techniques that will allow you to make almost anything, from coffee and walnut fairy cakes to spicy winter biscuits.
We believe that afternoon tea should be fun! This afternoon will be dedicated to learning how to host the perfect tea party, and how to be a relaxed and confident hostess. You will learn some great tips on how to prepare and store food beforehand, those all-important dos and don’ts, and what your role as a hostess really encapsulates. Finally you shall relax and enjoy a tea party that you have created together, from preparing the sandwiches in advance to presenting your cakes on the tea table.
By the end of the day you will be able to confidently host your very own afternoon tea party, understand tea party etiquette, and learn to enjoy your own tea party as much as your guests will.