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28th March 2012
The best place in London to enjoy a sumptuous afternoon tea has been named as The Athenaeum Hotel, which has scooped The Tea Guild's prestigious award for the capital for "Top London Afternoon Tea 2012".
Now in their 27th year, The Tea Guild Awards are considered the ‘Oscars’ of the tea world, with world-famous London hotels and tea rooms competing for the highly coveted honour.
Taking afternoon tea is a cherished experience steeped in British tradition and will be particularly popular in the capital this year as the British public and many of this year’s overseas visitors celebrate British traditions with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympic Games. With these British celebrations in the capital in mind, The Tea Guild has also awarded special Awards of Excellence to the following establishments in London in recognition of their outstanding quality and consistently high standards in tea service: Brown’s Hotel; Claridge’s; Four Seasons Hotel Park Lane; Grosvenor House Park Room & Library; Sofitel London St James; The Capital Hotel, The Chesterfield; The Connaught; The Dorchester; The Goring; The InterContinental Park Lane; The Lanesborough; The Langham; The Milestone; Hyatt Regency London The Churchill; The Montague on The Gardens; The Royal Garden Hotel; The Royal Horseguards Hotel; The Savoy; The Ritz and The Wolseley.
As well as researching and judging the Top London Afternoon Tea Award 2012, The Tea Guild’s team of expert inspectors have been searching Britain to seek out the annual winners of The Top Tea Place and The Top City and Country Hotel Afternoon Tea Awards 2012. The Tea Guild’s judges have taken tea in hotels and tearooms in London and across Britain to find the finest tea experiences and all visits have been anonymous to ensure the results are completely fair and accurate. The anonymous judges awarded points for the variety, flavour and knowledge of the teas offered, together with the quality of food, service, décor, ambience, and presentation. With 125 points to be lost or gained on the judge’s scorecard, only those tea establishments achieving the very highest standards across a number of categories can make it to the top.
The Athenaeum Hotel gained the top spot for London tea destinations after hugely impressing the Tea Guild judges with its exceptional service, great quality tea and extensive knowledge by the staff. The Athenaeum Hotel, in the heart of bustling Mayfair, London, was voted into the top spot after its tea room, The Garden Room, gained a near perfect score from The Tea Guild’s inspectors. The judges praised it for its tasteful intimate style and fine furnishings, as well as friendly and efficient staff and excellent selection of scones, sandwiches and cakes. When it came to the tea itself, once again The Athenaeum Hotel surpassed expectations with an excellent selection of teas, and knowledgeable and friendly staff that excelled firstly in advising customers on the choice of tea blends on offer and then serving those teas perfectly. The judges concluded that The Athenaeum Hotel offered “a very enjoyable and relaxing tea experience in splendid surroundings.”
Commenting on The Athenaeum Hotel winning The Tea Guild’s Top London Afternoon Tea 2012 Award, Irene Gorman, Head of The Tea Guild, said: “Year on year the nominees for this prestigious award become ever more challenging, but taking tea at The Athenaeum Hotel in The Garden Room gives a demonstration of exactly how special afternoon tea has become. The elegant surroundings make afternoon tea a memorable occasion and an experience to cherish, aided by delightfully friendly, efficient and knowledgeable staff, and with delicious food and teas faultlessly presented. It is easy to understand why this leading establishment attracts so many, both the young and the old, to take afternoon tea.”
“The standard of entrants this year was incredibly high and this was especially true in London, which has traditionally been the home of some of the finest afternoon tea experiences within many of the world’s finest and most elegant hotels and establishments. In the capital as elsewhere in the UK, the tradition of afternoon tea has never been stronger, with Tea Guild members busier than ever. More and more people are taking time out to enjoy this great British tradition of afternoon tea.”
“Afternoon tea is now the most fashionable way to catch up with friends. It is increasing in popularity, be it for after a busy morning’s shopping, a business meeting, a special family occasion, a romantic date or a truly memorable experience for the bride to be and her girlfriends. Tea Guild member establishments all have a wide variety of teas to choose from, including favourites such as white and green tea as well as special blends that are often unique. Modern life can be very hectic and demanding and taking afternoon tea is the ideal way to slow down and relax, bringing huge emotional and wellbeing benefits.”
Food and Beverage manager at The Athenaeum Hotel, Mr Ronny Wilbald, said “As a proud member of The Tea Guild we are delighted and honoured to receive this hugely prestigious award. All of the staff at The Athenaeum Hotel are passionate about creating a memorable guest experience and when it comes to serving the perfect afternoon tea, we strive to get every detail just right. The Athenaeum Hotel’s Garden Room afternoon tea is a time-honoured indulgence, practiced by generations of tea lovers.”
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Notes to editors:
The Tea Guild is part of The UK Tea Council Ltd (www.tea.co.uk), which is a non-profit making, independent organisation dedicated to raising the profile of tea in the UK.
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