To celebrate National Afternoon Tea Week (12th – 18th August 2019), Chris Murgatroyd, Head Chef at De Vere Horwood Estate – a charming mansion house hotel in Milton Keynes – has shared his top tips on how to enjoy the traditional British pastime at home.
The perfect blend
Without doubt the most important element of an afternoon tea is the tea itself. A traditional English Breakfast blend is a firm favourite with guests at De Vere Horwood Estate however, you could tempt your guests with something a little more usual such as a power green tea, for the ultimate teatox, filled with antioxidants and nutrients. Or for the more daring, try a chilli chai tea for that fiery kick. On warmer days, try brewing an iced tea using your favourite tea and add slices of citrus fruits for a refreshing twist.
Sandwiches and scones are the staple of a classic afternoon tea however, you may choose to serve something a little different to cater to everyone’s taste and dietary requirements.
Try experimenting with the fillings in your sandwiches and the flavours of your cakes, for example, you could serve Earl Grey-infused tea cakes, sweet scones with lemon curd, savoury scones with cheddar cheese and chorizo or basil macarons.
Food for thought
Although you may be excited to serve your latest flavoursome concoction, make sure that you keep some of those classic ‘crowd pleasers’ on the menu, namely; egg mayonnaise sandwiches; cucumber with cream cheese and smoked salmon sandwiches; macarons; Battenberg; and éclairs.
Make sure everyone in the group is catered for, and provide more savoury foods such as scotch eggs, quiche and sausage rolls, accompanied with drinks for the non-tea drinkers such as a superfood smoothie for the ultimate health kick.
Dietary requirements now play a huge part of people’s lives with nearly ¼ of the UK now eating a plant-based diet. Include items on your cake stand such as vegan macarons or cakes/ brownies that have been made with avocado as the substitute.
It is hard work being the host and the chef, especially if help is limited, so keep things simple to ensure a stress-free day by preparing as much as you can before your guests arrive.
It’s true that nothing beats a warm scone with lashings of fresh strawberry jam and clotted cream, but you can bake them in advance and then warm them in the oven before serving.
Provide a grown-up treat
Our Champagne Afternoon Tea package is extremely popular with guests being served a glass of Lanson Champagne alongside their tea. Or English sparkling wine provides the perfect alternative to complement to your afternoon tea.
Treat your guests to a glass of CHAFOR Vintage Cuvée, an English sparkling wine from the nearby CHAFOR wine estate. With hints of peach and undertones of baked apple and honeyed fig, it’s perfect paired with afternoon tea.
For an added twist, why not serve your favourite tipple with a splash of elderflower or raspberry liqueur.
Everyone loves a scone and a finger sandwich but if you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to get creative. How about adding a theme? Or even an American twist on a traditional British afternoon tea can be fun and something different. Ditch the macarons and enjoy mini doughnuts.
Set the scene
Afternoon tea isn’t just about delicious sandwiches and cakes, it’s about the whole dining experience from décor to vintage crockery. Rummage in the back of your cupboards and dust off your best cake stands, finest china tea set and polish your silver teapot.
Why not also head to the garden and pick some fresh flowers for a centrepiece, place tea cosies on the table, hang bunting around the room and perhaps create your own personalised menus to wow your guests?
Location, location, location
Why not make the most of the British summertime and take your tea outside. For the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind, explore the great outdoors and bring your afternoon tea with you on a picnic. Or dine al fresco with an afternoon tea set up in your garden so you’re never too far away from your next fresh pot of tea.
Or just relax and let the experts do the work
If this all sounds wonderful but too much of a headache, why not put your feet up and leave it to the experts? Whether you’re with friends or taking a moment for yourself, De Vere Horwood Estate serves traditional afternoon tea in the stylish setting with freshly baked scones with jam and clotted cream as well as finger sandwiches and plenty of sweet treats.
Afternoon Tea is served daily, from 12pm until 4pm and is priced from £19.95 per person.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 car opens Silverstone’s Festive Experience
Silverstone’s Lap of Lights Christmas experience was officially opened this evening by the World Championship winning Mercedes-AMG Petronas W10 Formula 1 car driven by Anthony Davidson. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas team embraced the Christmas spirit and decorated the car in festive lights which caused quite a spectacle for those fans who were lucky enough to be at the preview event and included NHS and Emergency Service employees and their families as well as staff from Silverstone.
On completion of the opening laps Anthony was delighted to meet Santa who, having given a cheery wave to the passing 2019 Formula 1 World Championship-winning Mercedes, took a short break from his busy schedule to get a closer peek at the F1 car as it came to a halt on Hamilton Straight.
In addition to the spectacle of the opening laps, visitors got to experience the Lap of Lights Ice Trak and Lodge which were open to all and bursting with festive atmosphere. Ice Trak is the first ever skating rink to feature at the world famous motor racing circuit and many took to the ice to enjoy the novelty of skating around the Formula 1 pit lane and garages. The Lodge was buzzing with the sound of families enjoying activities such as axe throwing, curling and musical entertainment and the children’s cinema and Santa letter corner were particularly popular.
Speaking to Sky F1 David Croft as he got out of the car Anthony Davidson said “That was really exhilarating in the dark following the lights around the circuit although it was a bit scary at times! The team has really enjoyed getting into the Christmas spirit and putting on this very sparkling show for everyone who has joined us here this evening!”
Silverstone Managing Director, Stuart Pringle, commented “Anthony and Mercedes-AMG Petronas have put on a great show for us tonight and I could not think of a more fitting way to open Lap of Lights. I have had to reassure Father Christmas that the rest of our nights will be run at a more subdued pace as I think he got a bit of a shock this evening when he saw the stunning W10 approach his grotto at speed! After 11 months of planning it is great to see so many families here having fun and I look forward to welcoming many more over the festive period.”
Lap of Lights ticket prices start at £30 per car including all occupants. Ice Trak is from £8 for adults, £6 per child. Entry to the Lodge is free with a Lap of Lights ticket. The event opens on 26 November and runs through to 3 January (closed on 29, 30 November and 25 December). Full details and booking at www.silverstone.co.uk
Enjoy St Albans Food & Drink Festival returns this September
The St Albans Food & Drink festival, now in its 14th year, features an exciting programme of events across September including Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park, Stars at the Bars and the Oaklands Farm to Fork.
St Albans, in Hertfordshire, has a remarkable history and reputation for food and drink and the month-long event is hugely popular with locals and visitors looking for an incredible foodie experience.
There will also be a 24-hour photography challenge, pub quizzes and iconic film nights, livestock events, street food nights, Bollywood dancing, live radio events and pop-ups a plenty – it truly is a jam-packed festival with something for everyone.
Manager of St Albans Bid, Denise Parsons, said…
“We are delighted to sponsor the festival which celebrates our food and drink heroes who have gone above and beyond during lockdown. There is something for everyone to enjoy, including live music which is hugely welcomed and adds to the vibrancy of our outdoor events.”
Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park event on 10th-12th September in Verulamium Park brings together special chefs, artisan products and top musicians for one big party- with live music from big names such as All Saints, Basement Jaxx, Gabrielle and the Lightening Seeds.
The awards for the district’s best food and drink businesses are one of the festival highlights but due to the pandemic have been scaled down to one prestigious award this year. Nominations for the Kate D’Arcy Award, recognising an individual who has given exceptional customer service to their community during the pandemic, are open until Monday 23rd August and the nominees will be invited to a presentation event on Monday 20th September at St Michael’s Manor Hotel.
The festival culminates with the incredible FEASTIVAL street event on Sunday 26th September. The central streets in the town centre will be peppered with over 100 food and drink stalls, street entertainment, bars with live music, art and crafts activities, cookery demonstrations, face painting and fun for all ages.
Just 20 miles and 20 minutes by train from London St Pancras International and excellent road connections, St Albans is easily accessible, making it the perfect day or staycation destination.
Where to stay?
Accommodation in the city centre ranges from small and intimate bed and breakfasts to large hotels including the stunning country style Manor hotel, St Michaels Manor, the luxurious Sopwell House and the Victorian Grade II listed Torrington Hall.
Find out more details about the St Albans Food & Drink Festival and where to stay at EnjoyStAlbans.com
Foodie Related Notes:
- An historic inn-keeping city, St Albans has the most pubs per square mile in the country and is home to England’s Oldest pub, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, as confirmed by The Guinness Book of Records.
- Did you know the hot cross bun originated in St Albans. The ‘Alban Bun’ was created by Brother Thomas Rocliffe, a 14th Century Monk at St Albans Abbey, who developed the recipe and would feed the poor on Good Friday.
- The city is famous for its café and pub culture with a fantastic range of award-winning eating and drinking establishments.
About St Albans:
- St Albans is one of the best-kept secrets in UK tourism. A historic gem of an English Cathedral City just 20 miles and 20 minutes by train from London is easily accessible by road with links to the M25, M1 and A1(M).
- The city’s colourful history and heritage can be seen in the Roman remains and the beautiful medieval architecture and picturesque buildings that look spectacular all year round.
- A fabulous shopping destination, St Albans is home to an array of innovative independent retailers and well-known chains.
- There are lots of green, open spaces and parks, making St Albans a family-friendly destination.
Treat yourself this October to Halloween Town Festival tickets
Look who’s coming to Bedford for Halloween Town Festival… We have no tricks but we do have this treat for those who wish to enter our exclusive competition. TrendLife Magazine are giving away a pair of tickets to Halloween Town Festival at The Great Meadow Bedford.
Halloween Town Festival or simply HTF Bedford is a three day festival taking place from Friday 29th October to Sunday 21st October. We have also got the best tickets in town for Friday’s Craig David Presents TS5.
It’s been a minute since the launch of HTF & everything is shaping up to be a sensational weekend of music for Bedford residents. HTF has grown from a 2 day festival into a 3 day show-stopper adding in The Levellers, Peter Hook & The Light & Dreadzone on Sunday 31st October.
Over the coming weeks we’re going to be revealing what to expect from Halloween Town Festival, the experience inside and how you can participate with the festivities.
Halloween Town Festival Dates
Craig David heads up Friday at Halloween Town Festival Bedford with his world renowned TS5 party experience! Expect massive old-school anthems, chart-topping house hits & garage classics from the man himself. Special guests Nathan Dawe, Majestic, Sean Harvey and DJ Wreckdown will join the event.
Purchase limited tickets –> Click here
Andy C and DJ EZ co-headline Saturday night at Halloween Town Festival Bedford, delivering an unmissable evening of ‘Drum & Bass’ and ‘Garage’. Special guests Shy FX & Stamina MC, David Rodigan, Kings of the Rollers and Katalyst will join the lineup.
Purchase tickets –> Coming soon
Experience The Levellers live in The Big Top at Halloween Town Festival, The Great Meadow, Bedford on Sunday 31st October 2021
Levellers are still going strong after 30 years in the game; and are celebrating the anniversary of their seminal platinum-selling album Levelling The Land with a new live performance date in Bedford. During the summer of 1991 Levelling The Land redefined the UK’s musical landscape.
Purchase tickets –> Coming soon
Halloween Town Festival tickets Competition
TrendLife Magazine are giving away a pair of tickets for two lucky friends to attend Halloween Town. For a chance to win, find our Halloween Town Festival post on Instagram and tag a friend in the comments. Make sure both you and your tagged friend are both following us.
- Visit our Halloween Town Festival post on instagram.
- Tag ONE friend in the comments section. You can tag as many friends as you want as long as you use a new comment.
- Ensure both you and your tagged friends are following @trendlifemagazine