customs

An Afternoon Tea Lesson At The Goring

I recently had a fun filled Afternoon Tea lesson with obligatory Champagne in London. This wonderful tradition is quintessentially English and is such an elegant and sophisticated ritual, I decided to take my guest to the Queen’s favourite hotel in London, The Goring. A first visit for myself and my guest! 

The Queen has been known to drop in here, as do many members of the Royal family (it’s where the Kate Middleton stayed before her wedding to Prince William). It's a particularly beautiful hotel, situated close to Buckingham Palace and is rumoured to have a secret tunnel which connects it directly to the palace, imagine if that were actually true!  The Goring is delightfully serviced by well trained, friendly staff and even has an in-house Afternoon Tea Coordinator. The Goring is a holder of the Tea Guild’s Top London Afternoon Tea award and is the only hotel to have received a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty The Queen – for hospitality services. Royal Warrants of Appointment are a mark of recognition to those who supply goods or services to the Households of Her Majesty The Queen, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh or His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. So my expectations were high! 

I was not disappointed! Afternoon tea itself was delicious, with an  "amuse bouche" to accompany the champagne, an abundance of delicate finger sandwiches available and tea replenished in the blink of an eye. I had a hard job teaching my client how to pour tea correctly as the staff kept beating us to it! Many London hotels serve Afternoon Tea at formal dining tables, but we were delighted to be seated at a low table with soft armchairs, exactly as The Duchess of Bedford (who started the fashion of “taking tea”) would have done in the 1800’s. 

If you have ever wondered about the rituals of Afternoon tea, and the differences between hosting a tea party at home or in a hotel, then contact The Etiquette Consultant for your private session. This is not your normal everyday lesson, rather, it’s a luxurious occasion to be enjoyed and savoured in it’s entirety, just as much as the tea (and of course the Champagne)! 

Julia Esteve

The Etiquette Consultant