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Annual British Afternoon Tea Awards

Fortnum & Mason opened in 1707 and has been a fixture of London commerce throughout the years.

There seems to be no end to the list of Best Afternoon Tea Places published in British newspapers and magazines or broadcast on the BBC. The world has long been enthralled with this quintessentially British ritual which we consider essential for maintaining a civilized society.

The latest “Best of” compilation made news recently as winners of the 2017 Afternoon Tea Awards, sponsored by AfternoonTea.co.uk, were announced. The winners in five categories were:

  • Best Traditional Afternoon Tea – Hotel Café Royal
  • Best Contemporary Afternoon Tea – The Mirror Room at The Rosewood
  • Best Themed Afternoon Tea – Churchill Afternoon Tea at The Wellesley
  • Best Children’s Afternoon Tea – Millennium Hotel London Mayfair
  • Best Tea Service – Fortnum & Mason

Some of the finest hotels and restaurants from around the UK took part in the awards, which recognize the best in afternoon tea service and creativity.

A team of independent judges, including internationally renowned pastry chefs, restaurant managers and food journalists, looked at all aspects of the afternoon tea experience, from arrival to departure, with a strong focus on the food, drink and service.


Hotel Café Royal – Best Traditional Afternoon Tea

The judges said: “From the opulent interior to the flawless service, Cafe Royale brings timeless elegance to the tradition of afternoon tea. The food has a traditional approach with innovative touches that showcase the creativity of the chefs behind the scenes without losing sight of the classics”.

The Mirror Room at Rosewood London – Best Contemporary Afternoon Tea

The judges said: “The staff were incredibly attentive, unobtrusive and very well presented…the sweet selection was interesting and crafted with skill…I truly enjoyed the whole experience”

A picture of their namesake looks over the tea table at Churchills at the Wellsley Hotel.

Best Themed Afternoon Tea – Churchill Afternoon Tea at The Wellesley

The judges said: “The food showed skill and an attention to detail…sandwiches soft, moist and with different flavor to match the filling. Filo pastry cigar was something to remember…extremely light and crunchy with a sweet bitter cacao taste. The technicality of the chefs gave the extra touch”

Best Children’s Afternoon Tea – Millennium Hotel London Mayfair

The judges said: “The maitre d’ presented each of the children with a teddy bear in a queen’s guard uniform and they were completely delighted…there was a nice balance between sweet and savory items…the children felt relaxed”.

Best Tea Service – Fortnum & Mason

The judges said: “The Tearista experience at Fortnum & Mason is the perfect partner to afternoon tea for those who want to learn a little more about tea. The staff are exceptionally knowledgeable, providing an interesting and engaging journey through the different types of tea.

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Bruce Richardson

MSN calls Bruce Richardson "A leading tea expert involved in tea's American renaissance for over 30 years." The native Kentuckian is a writer, photographer, tea blender, and frequent guest speaker at tea events across the globe. He can often be found appearing on television and radio talk shows, or as a guest speaker at professional seminars such as World Tea Expo or China Global Tea Fair. He is the author ...

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