WHY IS TEA ENGLAND’S NATIONAL DRINK? Complete English Tea Course.
Caroline Hope’s Afternoon Tea Course is perfect for those wanting to really explore all aspects of traditional English tea time. The workshop will lead you through the basics of tea tasting, traditional baking and tea party presentation. This, in turn, will take you through to understanding the social complexities of English tea time and the history of afternoon tea.
The complete course has been designed to run over four consecutive days; however, if you are in London on a short visit or wish to shorten or lengthen the course then please contact Caroline to arrange a more personalised schedule.
AFTERNOON TEA COURSE, DAY ONE: THE ART OF MAKING AND TASTING TEA
This full-day class is all about tasting tea, how to brew the perfect tea, and understanding how the character of tea has changed in the UK since its arrival here three hundred and fifty odd years ago. You will have the opportunity to taste and examine at least 20 different teas and compare the differences between origin and blended tea; learning to identify depth of flavour, the ‘briskness’, and the creaminess or astringency of the tea liquor.
Caroline will cover all the brewing basics such as correct water temperature, water quality and brewing times. By the end of this workshop you will have a thorough practical understanding of tea, and you should be able to confidently identify many different types of black and green teas by their look, smell and taste.
AFTERNOON TEA COURSE, DAY TWO: THE HISTORY OF ENGLISH TEA DRINKING
This study day commences at the famous Victoria & Albert Museum to learn about the history of afternoon tea through the designs of tea paraphernalia. Touring through the British Galleries, we shall see the effects of tea and ‘chinoiserie’ on British culture and design. You will learn about the journey of tea from its origins in the Far East to its arrival in Europe. In addition we shall study how the manners and customs practised whilst drinking tea at the English tea table have been transferred to food. These, in turn, have then further evolved into the Afternoon Tea now served in London’s famous hotels.
After a light lunch at the museum, we shall visit some specialist antique dealers to look at porcelain, silver and linens, the equipage for making tea, plus some further places of interest relating to London’s tea history.
AFTERNOON TEA COURSE, DAY THREE: CREATING YOUR OWN AFTERNOON TEA PARTY
PREPARING THE FOOD
Time to start baking (and tasting)! You will learn the skills you need to make and bake delicious cakes for a traditional English tea party. Caroline will share her secret recipes for the perfect Victoria Sponge cake, tasty traditional scones, and crumbly melt-in-the-mouth shortbread. By the end of this workshop you will have at least three delicious recipes that you can use for your own afternoon tea party, and all the skills you need to master recipes for other delicious treats.
HOSTING THE PERFECT TEA PARTY
Caroline really believes that afternoon tea should fun. This class is dedicated to learning how to be a relaxed and confident hostess. You will learn some great tips on how to prepare and store food beforehand, those all-important dos and don’ts, and what your role as a hostess really encapsulates. Finally, we shall relax and enjoy a tea party that you have created together, from preparing the sandwiches in advance to presenting your cakes on the tea table. By the end of this workshop you will be able to confidently host your very own afternoon tea party, understand tea party etiquette, and learn to enjoy your own tea party as much as your guests will.
AFTERNOON TEA COURSE, DAY FOUR: EXPERIENCE TEA BUYING AND AFTERNOON TEA IN MODERN LONDON
On this final day , our journey takes us through the streets of modern London to see tea culture in context. We shall make our way to the West End to visit some of London’s best tea merchants including Twinings on the Strand, Higgins in Duke Street, Postcard Teas, Fortnum & Mason and Waitrose (under John Lewis in Oxford Street). This is also the perfect chance to buy gifts or treat yourself to a special tea. The course ends with a deluxe Champagne Afternoon Tea at the 5 star Intercontinental Hotel that overlooks the grounds of Buckingham Palace.
WORKSHOP PRICE: £1500 for ONE person and £1800 for two people
To schedule a suitable date and discuss any specific requirements please contact Caroline to book your bespoke four day workshop.