Can you believe that British folk sup their way through 165 million cups of tea every day? In fact, despite the high street chic of coffee, apparently, we still drink more than twice as much tea as coffee.
Of course, the Chinese have been drinking it for centuries – the story goes that the delights of tea drinking were an unexpected discovery made by Chinese Emperor and herbalist Shen Nung, when some tea leaves fell into his boiling cauldron; he tasted the brew and the rest is history. It reached our shores in the mid 1600s at a time when coffee drinking was already popular and once it became affordable to the masses, it took off in a big way.
While tea aficionados get a bit sniffy about tea bags, they now account for about 96% of the tea we drink. There’s an understandable popularity about them because they’re so quick and convenient, but the flavour truly is a world away from some of the finest loose leaf teas that are now quite easily available from specialist importers. We’re currently working our way through the delights of some first flush Darjeeling black tea and a divine white tea with an incredibly delicate flavour, so we know first hand that compared to a standard tea bag brew, it’s like comparing chalk and cheese!
The tradition of taking ‘Afternoon tea’ is credited to the wife of the 7th Duke of Bedford, Anna Maria, who was allegedly partial to a cup of tea and a bite to eat during the mid afternoon to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner and the habit was copied and adopted as a social occasion by many other ladies of the era. It became synonymous with drinking tea from the finest china cups, accompanies by dainty portions of food such as sandwiches, scones and cakes presented on beautiful crockery.
If you want to get fancy about your tea, a proper afternoon tea is an event to be savoured even today and is a perfect way to while away an afternoon after some retail therapy (especially if you go the whole hog and splash out on a champagne afternoon tea!)
Top places for afternoon tea in London
Afternoon tea at the Waldorf Hilton with its historic pedigree, this has to be one of the most prestigious places to head for afternoon tea in London. And there’s no telling who you might be in the company of – all sorts of stars have passed through their doors over the years, Gertrude Lawrence, Elizabeth Taylor, Pavarotti, Pierce Brosnan, the list goes on…
Afternoon tea at the Goring the famous hotel that achieved glittering status when it was selected as the base for the Middleton family wedding party before the Royal Wedding in 2011. For a taste of the ambiance you can tuck into a traditional afternoon tea in Garden Bar and Terrace.
Afternoon tea at Curve restaurant bar– with the afternoon tea for 2 for £30 offer they have at the moment, this is a good one for the budget conscious to enjoy a bit of indulgence whilst overlooking the waterfront at Canary Wharf and there’s even a glass of champagne thrown in.
More afternoon tea offers for London and the UK
Don’t forget it’s Father’s Day in the UK on Sunday June 19th, so it’s the perfect day to treat Dad to something nice to say thank you for everything he has done for you over the past year.
If you want to keep him well away from the barbecue on the big day, why not check out some of the latest restaurant deals and treat him to a nice meal somewhere?
A few of the best restaurant deals and offers for Father’s Day include…
Cafe Rouge – Birmingham Harborne – Dad’s Eat Free all day take your Dad to Cafe Rouge in Harborne, Birmingham and you won’t even have to pay for him. Deals don’t get much better than this!
City Cafe – Manchester – Eat as much as you want Father’s Day buffet – head to City Cafe in Manchester and tuck into their special Father’s Day buffet for £15.95 per person, a great way to keep check on the budget and as a nice bonus, Dads get a special gift bag too.
Shaka Zulu – Camden Town, London – Father’s Braai Day 3 course South African inspired buffet – if everyone really wants a barbecue, but no-one wants to sweat over it, Shaka Zulu in London’s Camden Town have the ideal solution, a South African inspired ‘Braai’ or barbecue buffet. Tuck in for £19.95 per adult or just £8.50 for children under 12.
If these don’t grab you, there are lots more Father’s Day deals from restaurants around the UK – Father’s Day restaurant offers.
Whilst we are probably more used to Mother’s Day in March, it actually falls quite late this year in the UK, being on Sunday 3rd April, so there is still plenty of time to plan a nice surprise for your Mum.
Although it’s often thought to be a very modern celebration, folklore shows that a day known as ‘Mothering Sunday’ was celebrated in England as far back as the mid 17th Century. It was always celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was typically a time when those who lived and worked away from their parents would go back to visit their family, usually taking some sort of gift or cake with them.
By the 20th Century, a new tradition had emerged that saw children giving flowers and cake to their mothers on Mothering Sunday and the modern day celebration was firmly established on the calendar when the USA introduced ‘Mother’s Day’ after the Second World War (although in America, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May).
If you are looking for somewhere to take your Mum out for a nice meal, here are some of our hot picks for Mother’s Day restaurant offers around the UK.
Mother’s Day with elegance and style in Surrey
The distinguished and historic Oakley Hall in Basingstoke, Surrey will be a perfect choice for anyone looking to treat their Mum to a day of elegance and sophistication, with a meal to match.
For £39.50 per adult, and £14.95 for children under 12, Oakley Hall have a special Mother’s Day offer with menu choices including delectable options such as Seared Fillet of Brill served with Saffron Crushed Potato’s, Buttered Spinach and White Wine Dill Cream, or Roast Loin of Pork with Sage and Onion Stuffing, Crackling and Apple Sauce, served with Fondant Potato and Garden Vegetables Thyme Jus.
The deal is for three courses with four choices for each course, followed by truffles and coffee.
Mother’s Day where Mums eat free in Edinburgh
Diners will be hard pressed to beat the Mother’s Day offer at Metro West End restaurant in Edinburgh, because Mums get to eat free when accompanied by at least one paying adult.
The Mother’s Day offer, is for the three course Sunday Roast Menu at £19.95 per person and there are four main course choices including favourites such as beer battered coley fillet with chips & salad and traditional roast beef all the trimmings.
Quintessentially English in Gloucestershire
Simply oozing Cotswold charm and character, The Swan at Southrop scooped the Good Food Guide’s Restaurant of the Year award in 2010, so their excellent food draws diners from far and near.
Their Mothering Sunday menu offer is for three courses for £29.50 per person, but they are keeping their usual children’s menu available too, to ensure that the whole family will be catered for.
And if you’d like to browse the latest Mother’s Day restaurant offers in cities around the UK, here are some quick links.
Restaurants with offers for Mother’s Day Birmingham | Edinburgh | Glasgow | Liverpool | London | Manchester