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Afternoon tea & a taste of summer in Wirral

28th June 2012

Categories: News

Once a Victorian pastime reserved for ladies of a certain standing, afternoon tea has undergone a resurgence in recent years.

With everyone from fashion models to footballers’ wives getting together to sip Earl Grey and munch on cucumber sandwiches and pastries, it has become quite the 21st century food fad.

And here on Wirral, a number of restaurants have been quick to join the tea party.

Merseyside’s only 3 AA Rosette hotel restaurant, The Lawns restaurant at Thornton Hall Hotel offers a menu to celebrate that special occasion.

Executive chef David Gillmore can put together bespoke afternoon tea packages, including the Champagne afternoon tea package, which offers a selection of finger sandwiches, pistachio macaroons, mini Victoria sponges and raspberry panacotta, a scone with clotted cream and fresh strawberries, and Champagne.

Assistant manager James Wade-Smith says: “We’re delighted to have launched this package for the summer season. Our afternoon teas can be enjoyed on the lawns to the rear of the hotel – a perfect combination of tasty food and summer sun.”

Award winning baker Ceri Newton specialises in afternoon teas in Gorge’Us tea shops in Bebington and Spital.

“Afternoon tea is my favourite meal – little bits of everything naughty, all presented beautifully on a silver stand,” says Ceri.

As well as speciality cakes, the team make sandwiches, using bread delivered daily from a small independent Wirral bakery. All meats are baked on site and the accompaniments are homemade.

“It’s a little cottage industry,” Ceri laughs. “I’m up at 5am every day to start baking. Cakes are my biggest passion. Someone once gave me a great tip – never make cakes you wouldn’t want to eat, because you can’t put enough love into them. I don’t like fruit cake really, so I get someone else to do them, someone who really loves them.”

Ceri’s afternoon teas hark back to the tea gardens of the early 18th century, savouring the ceremony of it all – right down to the china cup and saucer and tinkle of the stirring spoons.

“We serve everything very traditionally,” says Ceri. “There are finger sandwiches, shortcake, cakes, and light scones served with freshly whipped cream , and of course, tea. It’s everything I love, all on a pretty stand.”

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