Taking tea in the afternoon has seen a revival across the country in recent years. The traditional spread is the quintessence of British style and has therefore always been popular with tourists from overseas, but is seeing a return to favour with natives too.
Afternoon tea has been beloved in Britain for centuries and has survived changing trends and diets. London is awash with many variations on the old theme, and Bateaux London is now offering a truly elegant way for groups to enjoy the tradition. The Afternoon Tea Cruise on board their newest vessel ‘Harmony’ has just launched for the first time and invites passengers to enjoy the perfect match of an iconic British tradition with iconic British landmarks on view along the Thames.
The indulgent tradition of afternoon tea owes its origins to Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who in the nineteenth century found the gap between a light lunch and a late dinner too long for comfort. Tea, cakes and sandwiches filled the hole nicely, and she soon began inviting guests to join her.
We might be eating more often these days, but it is impossible for passengers not to be tempted by Bateaux London’s selection of scrumptious sandwiches, delicate pastries and scones while enjoying live music from a solo pianist. All this takes place while some of London’s most beautiful sights float past the large glass windows, including the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and the London Eye. The cruises take place at the most picturesque time of day and the Harmony also boasts the largest open deck on the Thames for when tea is finished.
The Afternoon Tea Cruise is an ideal experience to share with friends, family, colleagues or just as a group day out. Bateaux London has a dedicated Group Events Team who delight in working with groups of 21 guests and more. With a range of private dining areas on all scheduled sailings, groups can also choose their own unique space and enjoy a more personal experience. Group rates are available on selected dates upon request.
The fully licensed tearoom will create six jobs and will offer a full range of light snacks and and lunch options. Afternoon tea choices include cream teas or a traditional afternoon tea of smoked salmon, cucumber and egg finger sandwiches, homemade scones, macaroons and pastries with a range of loose leaf teas. Breakfasts available include eggs benedict, cheese and ham croissants, scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on an English muffin or Welsh rarebit.
Plans for the new tearoom were formulated following the success of Massarella’s Café Nova eatery, which has proved a hit with customers since it opened in 2008. Aidan Massarella, from the Sheffield-based catering group, said: “We’re very excited to be opening the Terrace Tea Room. We’ve developed a very positive partnership with Oswaldtwistle Mills since opening Café Nova – we’ve seen how trade has developed and how efficiently the shopping village is managed.” Debbie Fletcher of Design Management Solutions, who designed the tearoom, said: “We’ve combined traditional and contemporary tearoom design to bring to Oswaldtwistle the very “on trend” tearoom concept that has become so popular in London. We’re convinced it will become a destination point within the mill.”
The managing director of Oswaldtwistle Mills, Boyd Hargreaves, pointed out that “To be unique within today’s competitive environment we need to keep evolving by adding new attractions. The Terrace Tea Room will offer something different from Café Nova, the Pavilion Coffee Shop and the Hungry Tackler restaurant, giving our customers even more choice when they stop for a bite to eat with us.”