On Wednesday 20th June, MD Susan and I attended the first ever Afternoon Tea Awards, hosted at the Westminster Boating Base by our friends at H20 publishing, the good people behind, amongst others, Hotel F&B magazine.

Here, we were joined by a selection of leading industry representatives as well as 16 worthy finalists – hotel catering operations responsible for some of the UK’s most impressive and theatrical afternoon tea serves.

Recent studies have indicated that the afternoon tea experience has grown by 54%* over the past two years and now is the top contributor to F&B sales in hotels and restaurants**, really brings home the timeliness of this new award. H20 is renowned for its stable of glittering awards schemes, so it was with great excitement that we decamped to London.

Once at the venue we witnessed all manner of afternoon tea creations from a symphony theme to Beauty & The Beast, all with a delicious selection of sweet and savoury options to satisfy the taste buds.

The 16 finalists in full:

• The Lawns Restaurant at Thornton Hall Hotel
• The Palm Court at Sheraton Park Lane
• Dry Martini, Melia White House
• Town House, The Kensington
• Dalloway Terrace at The Bloomsbury
• Jumeirah Carlton Tower
• The Hari
• St Ermin’s Hotel
• InterContinental London – The O2
• The Perception, W London Leicester Square
• Park Terrace, The Royal Garden Hotel
• The Stafford London
• Georgian House Hotel
• The Rosebery Lounge, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
• The Chelsea Royal Harbour Hotel
• Emmeline’s Lounge, Conrad London St. James Hotel

Following a long day of tasting, the expert judging panel were on hand to award three honours: one for taste, one for presentation, and an overall winner.

Although the competition was stiff and the standards exacting, this was still a hard one to call. The ‘best tasting’ award went to the lovely Lawns Restaurant at Thornton Hall Hotel in The Wirral, the only finalist outside of London.

The ‘best presentation’ award went to The Perception, W London Leicester Square and finally, drum roll please… the overall winner, and therefore crowned as the ‘Best Afternoon Tea of the Year’ went to the talented team at the beautiful Jumeirah Carlton Tower.

Huge congratulations to all the finalists and thank you to H2o for putting on a brilliant event and shining light on this growing sector. (Not to mention the amazing judges for having to try all 16 of the afternoon teas! #ToughJob)

Until next time!

** MCA insight

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