Posted in Kafevend Blog
There was a definite feel of autumn in the air earlier on this morning, but we've certainly had a longer summer season this year than we have had in quite a while. We hope you've been able to use this to your advantage, perhaps even enjoying an afternoon tea or two along the way. For those who have indulged in this genteel hallmark of British culture, it's likely you'll have been to a tearoom, café or hotel for the occasion. And yet not all afternoon teas are served in a conventional setting; today's blog explores afternoon teas on the move!
If you're a steam railway enthusiast there's no need to go hungry. The majority of lines up and down the country offering train rides the old fashioned way, also provide a traditional afternoon tea option, so two treats rolled into one! The Bluebell Railway in Sussex is a typical example with dainty sandwiches and cakes, scones and shortbread served alongside a pot of Indian tea. West Somerset Railway capitalises on its West country pedigree with not only a cream tea option badged as 'steam and cream', but also a cheese and cider lunch train. Services that include the afternoon tea option, whichever line you might be thinking of visiting, are both limited and very popular, so if this sounds like your idea of heaven, always book ahead.
For those who just can't see the attraction of a steam train, perhaps buses are more your thing. We're talking here specifically of the red London buses of yesteryear. Covent Garden's B.B. Bakery decided to add a new dimension to their customers' afternoon tea experience by renovating a 1960s bus. Launched earlier this year, passengers get a leisurely hour and a half tour of London's most iconic sights: Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Royal Albert Hall and the like, while simultaneously partaking of a scrumptious feast. Sounds like a fantastic way of killing two birds with one stone, doesn't it?
As one might expect boats are fertile ground for a sophisticated afternoon tea and there's more than one type of boat offering such an occasion. You could try any one of a number of Thames cruises; should house boats hold a fascination for you, there's Whittington's Tea Barge at Reading. And how about the Steam Yacht Gondola on Coniston Water, where you're presented with a picnic hamper, carefully prepared by the nearby Bluebird Café, with everything you'll need for a stylish tea, including crockery and linen napkins.
Travelling teas aren't just restricted to land and water either; you could partake of an afternoon tea deli box as part of your Virgin Atlantic economy class flight. British Airways does a very tempting looking one too, though you would need to be travelling first class! Perhaps most exceptional of all was an event organised by Virgin Balloon Flights during Bristol's 2012 International Balloon Fiesta. A lucky few experienced an open air tea party, accompanied by none other than Twinings Tea, while floating some 1,000 feet in the air above Bristol! This appears to have been a one off, but was, without a doubt, the most unusual location for afternoon tea that we've heard of to date!