Whether it’s a weekend away with the girls, a midweek treat for Mum or a lavish yet intimate wedding party, Afternoon Tea is one of our favourite occasions here at the Green House Hotel in Bournemouth.
There’s just something about the sheer non-necessity of it that makes it so, well, necessary as part of the whole pampering experience.
After all, it was invented at a time when “luncheon” simply didn’t exist – Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, is said to have come up with the idea of a little snack and a cuppa as an antidote to “that sinking feeling” in the afternoon when breakfast was a distant memory and dinner still four hours off.
Whether to stave off starvation or not, a cup of freshly brewed tea, a slice of something gorgeous, even a glass of chilled sparkling wine if it feels right, is still one of the best ways we can think off to while away an hour or two in the late afternoon (the Parisians, of course, have the “cinq a sept” but the downside of that is that it doesn’t generally involve cake).
When you book afternoon tea at Arbor Restaurant, the Green House Hotel’s multi-award-winning 2 AA-rosette restaurant, you know you are in for a treat: there will be exquisite finger sandwiches; freshly home-made fancies such as carrot cake and chocolate fudge brownies from our wonderful pastry chef, Beth; warm, just-baked scones (fair-trade chocolate chip or traditional) served with Dorset clotted cream and preserves handmade from locally sourced fruit; and honey from our rooftop hives, too. Plus, of course, a lovely cup of tea.
But not just any old builders’. Here at the Green House, Bournemouth’s most eco-friendly luxury boutique hotel, we take our tea Very. Seriously. Indeed. As you would expect from the 2015 nationwide winner of the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s Environmental Award, we select only suppliers who put quality above quantity, and source their tea ethically and sustainably. One of our favourites is Dorset Teas, based right here in Bournemouth.
It began in 1934 with local man Keith Spicer who started blending teas in his Bournemouth kitchen and, equipped with an old butcher’s bike, delivering them by hand to businesses all around Dorset.
75 years later Keith’s work was celebrated with a wonderful creation called Golden Blend tea. Blenders Tony Warr and Jimmy Medhora, with 57 years of expertise between them, work collaboratively with specially selected tea gardens all over the world to create a deliciously smooth tea that is full of flavour and “inspired by the life, colour and vitality of Dorset”. The company has worked hard to retain its Great Taste Award since 2010 – an amazing achievement.
Dorset Tea’s Golden Blend is Rainforest Alliance Certified meaning its growers, important employers in countries such as India, China, Kenya, and Sri Lanka, meet standards around wages, labour organisation, housing, health care and other areas.
Soil erosion, competition for water, pollution from fertilizers and the need for firewood to fuel tea dryers are some of the environmental concerns associated with growing tea. By following Sustainable Agriculture Network standards, certified growers proactively address these issues. The Rainforest Alliance ensures the standards are as effective for tea as they have been for coffee, bananas and other crops.
All of which means tea that is not only delicious but also guilt-free.
So banish that “sinking feeling” today and book yourself in for a completely guilt-free yet decadent afternoon tea in Bournemouth at the Green House – call 01202 498900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.