Taking afternoon tea is a quintessentially British pastime and has been part of the nation’s culture for centuries.
The origins of afternoon tea can be traced back to the early 1800s and was introduced in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford. The Duchess would become hungry around four o’clock in the afternoon. The evening meal in her household was served fashionably late at eight o’clock, thus leaving a long period of time between lunch and dinner. The Duchess asked that a tray of tea, bread and butter and cake be brought to her room during the late afternoon.The Duchess first conducted this as a private ceremony but was eventually joined by her friends and acquaintances, and the practice was extended throughout England.
The newly refurbished Park in Teddington is carrying on this historical tradition and is proud to unveil their new menu.
Hosted in the Parlour Restaurant, which is an elegant,all day-dining space adorned with vibrant furnishings and varied, colourful walled artwork Women Talking set out to enjoy their ‘Most Unusual Afternoon Tea’, which included a selection of teas or coffees, a range of finger sandwiches, homemade scones with jam and clotted cream, cakes and an awesome Gin based Tea Cup Cocktail.
We had the choice of 4 different Afternoon Tea offerings A Traditional, A Most Bubbly, A Most unusual or the Most Decadent all with a unique difference, however, were most intrigued by their ‘unusual Afternoon Tea’ which we felt was a great choice.
The menu takes inspiration from the kitchen gardens of nearby Hampton Court Palace with a seasonally-changing selection. Bursting with the very best of British ingredients, many sourced from local producers.
What stood out for me was the chicken and tarragon sandwich, which was tasty, and the choice of herb worked incredibly well to enhance the flavour of the chicken. The ham and mustard sandwich was by far my favourite, the ham had a superb flavour and the choice of supplier was a credit to the chef.
Regarding the sweeter offerings, the lemon and the pistachio macaroon and the walnut cake were a winner for me, moist, flavoursome and incredibly moreish.
The cocktail in the teapot was a great twist to the traditional afternoon tea adding not only a talking point but a uniqueness to the offering.
On the two occasions I have now visited the park, the staff are knowledgeable, friendly and approachable. All in all, a lovely experience and a couple of hours well spent.
If you decide to make a night of it, Young’s award-winning ales take pride of place at the bar alongside London-brewed craft beers, an extensive range of premium spirits, botanical cocktails, a gin library, and an expertly curated wine list.
Situated on Park Road, minutes from the railway station and a short stroll from the town’s main High Street, The Park is run by husband and wife team, Phil and Vikki Harris, there’s never been a better time to visit. The Grade II listed building, home to a Best of British boasts an impressive 44 bedrooms, elegant dining area, cosy snug, and fabulous bar.