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Luxurious Afternoon Tea Offers from buyagift:
Do you ever get completely stumped as to what gifts to buy for birthdays and anniversaries of friends, family and loved ones? I really do – especially as everyone gets a bit older and they seem already to have homes full of things…
That’s where buyagift comes up trumps for me.
In which case, gifts that involve doing something lovely, exciting or a bit different – which don’t clutter up the place at home – really are appreciated.
That’s why buyagift is an inspirational concept, with so many fabulous experiences available both here in London and country-wide.
Buyagift offers a host of tailor-made gifts for men, women, couples and children, including cookery, sports, flying or driving lessons, adventure activities, cocktail making, days out, spa days, shorts breaks, dining out and afternoon teas – to name just a few. There’s definitely something for everyone. Most have an element of luxury, they are the kind of things you wouldn’t normally buy for yourself. So, absolutely perfect to treat someone special in your life!
An online service, buyagift is very easy to navigate, with great variety at very reasonable prices. Booking couldn’t be simpler – you get a postal or e-voucher and use that to call up and make your reservation at a time to suit you. Then, you just turn up with your voucher on the day!
April 14th was National Tea Day, and for this quintessentially British celebration it felt very apt to be able to treat a dear girlfriend to a sumptuous afternoon tea in central London. I rather enjoyed being able to browse all the offers on buyagift and choose a tea venue I thought suited us best. We were planning to visit a London gallery earlier in the day before sitting down to a relaxing champagne afternoon tea, so I chose afternoon tea at the JW Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor House on London’s Park Lane, in the elegant Park Room with views overlooking Hyde Park.
A little footsore from our day of walking, it was a delight to step in from an April chill to the warmth and hospitality of the Park Room – a tranquil setting with carpeted floors, soft seating, leather banquettes, and beautiful displays of flowers in soft shades of pink… Adding to the genteel atmosphere was a pianist playing laid back, jazzy tunes on the grand piano.
The Park Room serves ‘Anna’s Afternoon Tea’, which fuses the heritage of Grosvenor House with the history of afternoon tea – a very British tradition usually credited to Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford in the early 1800s. Anna is said to have complained of “having that sinking feeling” during the late afternoon, and to overcome this feeling a light meal consisting of tea (usually Darjeeling) and cakes or sandwiches was served. And the Afternoon Tea ritual was born. I know it was very much a staple in the house where I grew up.
So, perfectly timed at 3.30 pm, we sat down to tea – and were presented with a very good selection to choose from.
My friend picked High Mountain tea, a golden fruity blend with an orchid aroma and a rich aftertaste of chestnuts, made from Si Ji Chun tea leaves from the peaks of Taiwan’s Nantou County.
I sipped on cups of Silver Needle – an exquisite white tea from China’s Fujian Province which was clear, pure and delicate.
And because one never needs an excuse, we both enjoyed a glass of Perrier Jouët Grand Brut, part of the buyagift package .
Food was plentiful and very delicious….
We had a selection of delicate finger sandwiches, all of which my mother would have approved of.
Fresh cucumber with creamy garden-mint butter, beautifully smoked chicken with tarragon and crème fraiche, tender roast beef with creamed horseradish, finely cut honey-roast ham with the obligatory English mustard, and juicy prawns with a classic Marie Rose sauce.
The open sandwiches looked magnificent and tasted just as good – tender smoked Scottish salmon with cream cheese, and tasty Burford Brown egg mayonnaise with chives.
My all-time favourite part of afternoon tea has to be scones and jam with lashings of Devonshire clotted cream. Here they were, beautifully fresh and light, served with a choice of homemade jams.
A selection of appetizing miniature pastries looked very pleasing. I especially loved the deep pink pistachio and pomegranate macaroon and a sweet, nutty salted caramel and peanut Paris-Brest.
With really no room for cakes, we thought it was rather a lovely touch to be invited to take a slice home, and knowing my daughter would be delighted they boxed up a magnificent slice of Victoria sponge – which went down a treat.
What an enjoyable afternoon, very civilized and celebratory, and the perfect end to our day together in the city.
So next time you’re wondering what to get that person who seems to have everything, why not have a look at the wonderful offers available on buyagift? You may well be tempted to treat yourself. We thoroughly enjoyed our central London afternoon tea, but the great thing about buyagift is that they have Nationwide coverage, so whether the recipient of your gift lives in Newcastle, Edinburgh, Leeds or Brighton you should be able to find something just for them!
To choose for yourself, check the buyagift website