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Royal Afternoon Tea

9th May 2018

Afternoon tea has been a great British tradition since the 1840’s, while nowadays it’s seen as an indulgent treat and a great excuse for a get-together with friends and family. Queen Elizabeth II herself enjoys afternoon tea at around 4pm every day, with her beloved corgis running around at her feet. She usually sates her appetite with scones and a cake or something savoury, along with Earl Grey or Darjeeling tea.

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It paints a classical British picture, but is it possible to recreate afternoon tea that’s fit for a Queen outside palace grounds? The answer lies in the Royal Warrants of Appointment.

These Royal Warrants, or their earlier equivalents, have been around in Britain since the time of Henry II of England, all the way back in the 1100s. Royal Warrants are awarded to those who supply any goods or services to royal households. A stamp of approval carrying the utmost prestige, any product or brand with a Royal Warrant confirms quality, impeccable reputation and an essence of the exquisite. There are currently more than 800 Royal Warrants in existence for goods enjoyed by the British royal family.

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When it comes to food, there’s plenty of choice of providers who hold a Royal Warrant to create truly magnificent meals. As a result, our Royal Afternoon Tea sources ingredients from many of them. This includes Tiptree jam, Tate & Lyle, Dukeshill ham, Coleman’s mustard and smoked salmon from H. Forman & Son. Our Royal Afternoon Tea menu also includes ingredients from The Bread Factory, port by Taylor’s and James Baxter potted shrimp – all Royal Warrant holders. Our tea comes from Darvilles of Windsor – a company which has held a Royal Warrant since 1946 – who continues to supply tea to Windsor Castle to this day.

As well as a huge spectrum of royal-approved ingredients, our Royal Afternoon Tea menu also includes favourite foods of various members of the royal family. Try Eggs Drumkilbo – a favourite of the late Queen Mother which consists of a creamy combination of superior shellfish and eggs. Tuck into orange and cardamom shortbread – a favourite of Her Royal Highness – and enjoy some local Regent’s Park honey too.

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Importantly, our new Royal Afternoon Tea menu also welcomes Meghan Markle to the royal family. Reflecting Meghan and Prince Harry’s choice of wedding cake flavour, we’re serving organic lemon and elderflower macaroons.

We serve all these goodies with a sense of fun, characterised in dainty cakes topped with crowns and a strawberry Eton Mess finished with a sophisticated chocolate stamped with both The Athenaeum logo and the Queen’s head. The whimsical crockery is by Ali Miller, a fellow Londoner and a quintessentially British artist. With stalwarts from her collection and other pieces made bespoke for our Royal Afternoon Tea, the teapots, cake stands, plates, cups and saucers feature illustrations of butterflies and decks of cards emerging from teapot spouts, and other fantastical imagery.

For an added sparkle of all things royal, have a glass of champagne to accompany our Royal Afternoon Tea – make it a glass of Bollinger to complete the occasion full of esteemed Royal Warrant producers.

Raise a glass, or a cup of tea, and enjoy an occasion fit for a sovereign at The Athenaeum.

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