The introduction of afternoon tea has long been credited to the Duchess of Bedford, who in the early 19th century, decided there needed to be a meal to fill the unbearably long gap between lunch and dinner. The phenomenon spread within the British Empire, and in many countries the tradition has remained ever since! From the UK to Singapore, some of the world’s most famous tearooms are worth a visit. Speak to your Personal Travel Manager to book your next tea-inspired trip! After all, who doesn’t love tea and scones?
Betty’s Tea Room, Harrogate
Betty’s Cafe in Yorkshire is England’s premiere tearoom outside London. Since opening their doors back in 1919, the Betty’s franchise has gone from strength to strength and has opened a further five cafes in the North East. The success of Betty’s boils down to their impressive menu, featuring over 50 types of tea and coffee, and a whopping 200 bakery items.
Betty’s tea rooms are so highly regarded, they serve over a million customers a year, attracting tea enthusiasts from all over the world. Tables overlooking the meticulously kept Montpellier gardens are the most popular, with bookings required weeks in advance. The highlight of the menu is Betty’s Champagne Afternoon Tea, which includes a pot of tea, a selection of gourmet sandwiches and a glass of bubbly.
Fortnum & Mason’s Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, London
In 1926, Fortnum and Mason’s grocery store was transformed into a department store offering shoppers exquisite cakes as part of an afternoon tea service. Today Fortnum and Masons houses the most prestigious tearoom in Britain, if not the world.
To celebrate 250 years in the tea trade, and to satisfy increasing demand, the entire fourth floor was converted into a restaurant cum tearoom in 1957. The tearoom was refurbished last year, maintaining the luxurious veneer with hardwood parquet flooring, oak panelling and a grand piano for a centrepiece.
Huxinting Teahouse, Shanghai
Hidden away in Shanghai’s famous Yuyuan Gardens is the Huxinting Tea House. The gardens date back to1559 with the central administrative building becoming a teahouse in the middle of the 19th century, making Huxinting Shanghai’s oldest and well-known tearoom.
The building has the traditional styling of grand Chinese architecture, with intricately carved wood panelling and a curved moustache-esque roof. Huxinting Tea House stands on stilts in the middle of a tranquil lake and consequently can only be accessed by way of a pretty zig-zag bridge, which according to Chinese tradition keeps evil spirits from ruining your afternoon tea.
Huxinting’s tealeaves are handpicked from specially approved farms across China, widely regarded as the country’s best tea producers. The tealeaves are then infused using natural mineral water, free from impurities that could taint the final flavour.
Huxinting Tea House has also played host to Her Majesty Elizabeth II, who popped in for a cuppa with her entourage during her state visit of China.
The Cookie Museum, Singapore
The Cookie Museum in Singapore is South-East Asia’s premiere tearoom and is famous for its tea as it is its biscuits or ‘cookies’.
The Cookie Museum, situated in the Raffles shopping centre, is the relatively new kid on the block in the world of luxury teahouses having opened in 2004. The tearoom is furnished with gold plated furniture and chandeliers harking back to the extravagance of the British Malaya.
The tearoom has a fantastically imaginative menu boasting even more imaginatively named tea and cakes. The pomegranate tea has been named ‘Boticelli’s Birth of Venus’, while ‘Raphael’s First Kiss’ is a white tea infused with peony blossom.
Mount Nelson Hotel, South Africa
The Mount Nelson Hotel sits at the bottom of Cape Town’s Table Mountain within nine acres of manicured gardens.
The hotel has an extensive range of leaf and flowering teas as well as it’s own signature tea that’s a blend of Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon, Yunnan, Keemun and freshly picked rose petals from the garden.
South Africa is famous for Rooibos tea and consequently Mount Nelson Hotel has gone to great lengths to ensure that their Rooibos is the best in the country. All of the teas at The Mount Nelson can be enjoyed within the luxury hotel or alfresco in the beautiful gardens.
Plan your next adventure with your local, personal travel manager. Visit http://www.travelmanagers.com.au/ptm-search/