14th August marks the start of Afternoon Tea Week – definitely a week we can get behind!
The tradition dates back to the 1840s when the Seventh Duchess of Bedford found herself a bit peckish in the long gap in between lunch and dinner at 8pm. And so Afternoon Tea was born. I wonder if she knew the legacy she was creating? (her and the Earl of Sandwich should be very proud!)
Everyone loves afternoon tea. Whether it’s the full on sandwich fingers and 17 different types of cake or it’s ‘just’ a well made cuppa with a scone smothered in jam and then cream (that way round please, it’s the only way), it’s all good.
It needs to start with the perfect cup of tea of course. We’re partial to a bit of Yorkshire Tea, unsurprisingly, and we also love Taylors of Harrogate, Pukka and Twinings. We even sell loose leaf tea so you can brew a proper pot. And we’ve a tea for every mood – whether you like an Earl Grey or a Wild Apple and Cinnamon, we should have something to hit the spot.
For an extra special cup of tea, the Flora range takes some beating. If you’ve never tried a flowering tea, you’ve no idea what you’re missing! When placed in boiling water, not only does it create a subtle green tea of your choosing, but a hidden flower uncurls in the cup. It’s very beautiful, and one cup of tea which should really be enjoyed in a wine glass, not china!
Of course, the clue to afternoon tea is in the name – tea – but if you’re more a fan of coffee we won’t tell. You can buy loose beans from us by weight, and we’ll even grind them for you. The Brazilian Sweet River is a popular choice. Taylors of Harrogate have some great ready to grab bags for your cafetiere from the relaxed Lazy Sunday to the strong and smoky After Dark. Grumpy Mule offer some award-winning blends, including organic and Fairtrade.
Cakes is something we have plenty of at Hunters, have no fear. We have some great fruit cakes from the Harrogate Cake Co (every afternoon tea stand needs a slice of tea loaf), and we’d highly recommend the new range we have in from famous Cotswolds’ bakery Huffkins. Apricot and Almond Fruitcake anyone? Or how about Chocolate and Orange or Pecan and Cherry?
We have our own range of biscuits, and we don’t like to boast, but they’re pretty amazing. Rhubarb and custard shortbread, chocolate crumbles, lemon and white chocolate shortbread, apple and cinnamon oaties – whether you’re a dunker or a cruncher, they’re definitely more than moreish. We also stock the delicate Swedish favourites Annas Thins – cappuccino, orange and almond varieties. They’re great on their own, but you can also pair them with cheese or fruit.
An afternoon tea should really include a good quality scone – and the best quality preserves and cream. How about Blackberry and Elderflower Jam, Apricot, or even a spot of Tutti Frutti? Or if a traditional strawberry or raspberry jam is what you need to call it a cream tea, we have plenty of those too. You could go crazy and try it with our Three Fruit Marmalade or even *whispers* a lemon curd. But we don’t want to upset the status quo. (as in the norm – we don’t think Francis Rossi cares much what you have on your scone).
So go on….treat yourself. You only live once and if you can’t enjoy Afternoon Tea Week, well, what’s the world coming to?!