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29th March 2012
Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa in Bagshot, Surrey, has achieved the highest accolade of the tea world by winning The Tea Guild's prestigious Top City and Country Hotel Tea Award 2012.
This charming city and spa hotel scooped the top award after impressing The Tea Guild judges with its quality of service, food and tea.
The Tea Guild Awards, now in their 27th year, are considered the 'Oscars' of afternoon tea industry, with the best tea rooms in Britain competing for the hugely coveted honour. Taking afternoon tea is a cherished experience steeped in British tradition and will be particularly popular this year as the British public and many of this year’s overseas visitors celebrate British traditions with the Queens Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympic Games.
The Tea Guild has also awarded 12 special Awards of Excellence in the City & Country Hotel Tea Award category to: Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel; Caledonian Hilton; Great Fosters Hotel; Swinton Park; St Tudno Hotel; Turnberry Resort; The Angel Hotel; The Black Swan Hotel; The Lowry; The Manor House Hotel; The Montagu Arms Hotel; and The Nare Hotel - The Quarterdeck in recognition of their outstanding quality and consistently high standards in tea service. As well as researching and judging The Top City & Country Hotel Tea Award, The Tea Guild’s inspectors have been searching Britain to seek out the annual winners of The Top Tea Place 2012 and The Top London Afternoon Tea 2012 Awards.
The Tea Guild’s judges have taken tea in hotels and tea rooms 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.
Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa was voted into the top spot for the Top City and Country Hotel Tea Award after it gained a near perfect score from The Tea Guild’s inspectors. The judges praised it for its smart and elegant surroundings, attentive and efficient service and tasty sandwiches, cakes and scones. The judges were also very impressed by the choice of teas on offer and the quality of tea served. The judges concluded that: "It was a smooth operation from start to finish. Everyone was made to feel special."
Commenting on Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa winning The Tea Guild’s Top City and Country Hotel Tea Award 2012, Irene Gorman, Head of The Tea Guild, said "The Top City and Country Hotel Tea Award is a fairly new category awarded for the first time in 2010 and which enables The Tea Guild to recognise and highlight the amazing country hotels where tea is very much a part of British tradition. Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa was favoured by the judges for its delightful surroundings, excellent staff offering warm and friendly service, extensive knowledge of teas, and really scrumptious food."
"The standard of entrants this year was incredibly high, with some excellent entries from across Britain. The tradition of afternoon tea has never been stronger, with Tea Guild members busier than ever. More and more people, of all ages, are taking time out to enjoy afternoon tea, and in current difficult times economically this is widely regarded as an affordable treat to look forward to and thoroughly enjoy."
"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. The 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 perfect way to slow down and relax, bringing huge emotional and wellbeing benefits."
Manager of The Ascot Lounge at the Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa, Mr Krzyzstof Prokop, said: "It’s a fantastic honour for us to win this award and we are absolutely thrilled. Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa is proud to be members of The Tea Guild and we place the highest value on the choice and quality of the tea we serve. Our customers demand the very best and we strive at all times to fulfil their expectations. It’s a real team effort here and all our staff work tirelessly to create somewhere special, where the quality of food, relaxing atmosphere and the very best standards are paramount."
- Ends -
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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