A tasty selection of afternoon tea events have been outlined below, handy for groups looking to sink their teeth into a ‘Best of British’ type affair

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Taking tea aboard the Bluebell Railway is ideal for avid steam train enthusiasts

Sipping tea aboard the Bluebell Railway is an ideal activity for avid train lovers, sweetened with the Victorian-style steam engine’s exterior; undoubtedly picturesque, puffing along the meandering country tracks. Guests looking to embark the ‘Wealden Rambler’ tea train will be presented with a cacophony of national and international delights, including a generous selection of sandwiches, shortcakes and fruit bread, irresistibly washed down with a flavoursome Indian Tea. The ‘Lounge Car’ provides a deluxe on board service on select dates throughout the year, making it the ideal gift for any group. Its decorated interior boasts a flamboyant spread, with deep blue’s and fern greens denoting a rather vibrant setting.Rustic charm adds an antiqued vibe which is expected from such an attraction. It is recommended that those interested should book at least two months in advance, with departure dates scheduled up until December 2014. Exclusive discounted rates are available for groups of 15 or more; eligible for coach groups and travel organisations specifically.

Afternoon tea hosted at The Berkeley Hotel is a guaranteed hit with any group visiting, as the venue actively pursues a creative catwalk theme; adding a unique twist to the otherwise traditional ceremonial. Constructed to resemble the latest designs in fashion, the cuisine has been adequately tailored to the season, alternating every six months to provide an efficient service from 1300 to 1730hrs every day. Hosted in the Caramel Room, ‘Prêt-à-Portea’ currently serves a contemporaneous Spring/Summer collection, inclusive of a chocolate pecan skin tote bag and a mango bavarois dress with blueberry compote. Special dietary requirements are recommended to be given within 24 hours of making the reservation and bookings should be made at least 90 days in advance. A smart dress code is suggested but not enforced, to provide the utmost authentic experience. Why not make it an overnight stay? Parties of 10 people or more are eligible for discounted rates on a generous selection of sophisticated guest rooms. Booking groups can revel in complimentary access to five of the hotels highly commended facilities, with a tailor made gift ready to take away, ensuring a memorable experience for all.
  
All things bright and beautiful are served at the Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea Party; hosted at the prestigious Cedar Court Grand Hotel and Spa in York. A vibrant display of creative genius from staff does well to demonstrate an immaculate attention to detail; perfectly suited to the renowned ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme. The originality of the piece is portrayed in the serving of edible candles and chocolate clocks; washed down with the choice of ‘Fairytale Tea.’ Additional personal touches include ‘Drink Me’ labels, derivative of the hearty children’s tale and a pack of playing cards scattered amongst the decorative table surface. Organised on a strict schedule, the occasion is ideal for adults and children alike, with an abundant selection of colourful cakes and state of the art confectionery. The popular afternoon tea event has been fully booked until the end of June, so groups shouldn’t hesitate when it comes to making a reservation. Alternatively, groups looking to venture out could choose to explore the city’s local woodland countryside, perhaps opting for a longer stay at the modernised hotel, which was awarded ‘Hotel of the Year’ at the Yorkshire Life Food & Drink Awards in 2013.
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There is an exceptional demand from groups to attend an afternoon tea service at the Houses of Parliament

The exceptional demand from group bookers to attend a popular afternoon tea service at the Houses of Parliament, which has been formed as an attachment of initial ticketed tours, is being served at a deluxe riverside location from April 2014. The national affair has been shifted to the elegant surroundings of the ‘Terrace Pavilion’ in the House of Commons; a room which provides fine views overlooking the River Thames. A tempting menu of savouries and sweets are combined with a contemporary twist, derivative of the ever changing seasons. Special dietary requirements are available upon request. Providing flexible bookings on most Saturdays throughout the year and on select weekdays during the holiday period. Those participating are guaranteed a memorable experience, with an average of two sittings per day. Group rates for tours of 10 or more are purchasable at specialised rates and those eligible for concessions are students, over 60’s and members of the UK Armed Forces. Advanced bookings are essential.

Labelled ‘London’s number one sightseeing tour on the Thames,’ City Cruises welcomes an average crowd of 20 people or more aboard its afternoon tea sail, ‘TeaCruise.’ With each event lasting up to 90 minutes, passengers are served a spot of sightseeing on the river combined with a generous side of tea and cake; now available to book five days a week. The cruise starts at Tower Pier, with the gentle sail drifting breezily past a collection of London’s most iconic features, including Tower Bridge, the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament. The afternoon delight comes inclusive of scones with a healthy dollop of cream, deep filled sandwiches, cakes and an endless supply of tea. A glass of bubbly comes as an optional extra for those desiring a fine dining experience. The top deck awaits once passengers have had their fill – the ideal spot to sit back, relax and enjoy the 360 degree view of the striking London landscape. Groups of 20 people or more receives a 10% discount when booked in advance.
 

Widely regarded as one of the finest examples of Elizabethan architecture in Britain, the stunning stately home of Longleat House boasts over 450 years of history, with plenty to intrigue those attending. Set within 900 acres of beautiful landscaped parkland, the structure remains home to the seventh Marquess of Bath; having been greatly extended from its initial 60 acres purchased in 1540. A splendid afternoon tea can be enjoyed in the impressive ‘Orangery’ overlooking the venue’s magnificent gardens. Or perhaps settle for a more traditional setting; housed within the original wine cellar. Group bookings include a vast selection of dainty sandwiches, freshly baked scones and an assortment of home-made cakes, neatly displayed on a traditional three tiered mount. Custom group rates are available, with parties of 12 people or more gifted a 30% cut from initial standard entry. An exclusive flexi-ticket has been introduced to suit any itinerary.

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Longleat House boasts a romantic setting with 900 acres of lavish parkland

 

AT A GLANCE: AFTERNOON TEA MASTERCLASSES

Located within the authentic brick walled railway arches of London Bridge, the Vinopolis functions as an events venue dedicated to the world of wine. The building itself was constructed in 1999 and can comfortably cater for groups of all sizes, with a number of spacious rooms enticing 300 guests or more. The cocktail creating class offers something entirely different, using the sweet treats featured in the traditional afternoon tea fare to inject a unique twist to a four course liquid luncheon. Pre booked or open dated tickets are available to book online via the venue’s designated website, allowing operators more flexibility. A glass of champagne welcomes those to an ultimate fine dining experience; warming the palette for such beverages as Victoria Sponge Daiquiri, Apple Tartini and a contemporary reversion of the classic Black Forrest Gateau.

A light breakfast is served in the authentic ‘Lobby Bar’ of OneAldywch, before guests are whisked away to undertake a two hour master class to perfect the art of afternoon tea. Situated on the sophisticated side of London, those participating can learn how to uniquely craft baked treats ready for testing within the hotel’s deluxe ‘Axis Restaurant;’ along with some surprise accompaniments of course. Recipe cards are generously gifted before leaving, guaranteeing the most memorable experience to those visiting. Sessions are being taught until late June, so those eager better get in there quick. Those booking should also be aware that the venue allows groups of up to eight people per course.