The 7th-13th of August, marks National Afternoon Tea Week in the UK, a time to celebrate one of Britain's most beloved pastimes.
At Hattingley Valley, we think there's no better way to enjoy a proper afternoon tea, than with a glass of our award-winning English Sparkling wine! That’s why, we've put together some of our favourite afternoon tea and English sparkling pairings for you to enjoy during afternoon tea week.
The History of Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea holds a significant place in British culture. Its history dates back to the 19th century when it was introduced by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, who found herself feeling hungry in the late afternoon and requested a pot of tea and some light snacks to be brought to her room in between lunch and dinner. This daily ritual soon became a social event, with the Duchess inviting friends to join her for afternoon tea.
Since then, afternoon tea has become synonymous with elegance and indulgence. It typically consists of a variety of delicate finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones served with clotted cream and jam, and a selection of delectable cakes and pastries. It is often accompanied by a pot of hot tea, although nowadays, many people opt for a glass of the best English sparkling wine to elevate the experience.
National Afternoon Tea Week, celebrates this timeless tradition, and it has become an annual event eagerly awaited by tea enthusiasts. It's the perfect opportunity to discover the best afternoon tea experiences, whether at a fancy tea room or in the comfort of your own home.
Hattingley Valley Sparkling and Afternoon Tea, The Perfect Pairing
Pairing sparkling wine with food is a true art form that can elevate your dining experience to new heights. When it comes to afternoon tea, the right pairing can make all the difference in creating a truly indulgent and luxurious affair.
When selecting a sparkling wine to accompany your afternoon tea, it's important to consider the flavour profiles and characteristics of both the wine and the food. Here are some of our top suggestions for pairing our Hattingley Valley premium English sparkling with your favourite afternoon tea bites:
Classic Reserve with Finger Sandwiches
Our Classic Reserve NV pairs perfectly with cucumber sandwiches. The wine's crisp acidity and notes of light orchard fruit beautifully complements the refreshing flavours of cucumber.
More of a ham and mustard fan? No fear, our Classic Reserve stands up to that too, with its bold and fruity profile complimenting the sweet and salty richness of ham and well-balanced acidity cutting through the powerful punch of mustard.
Sparkling Rosé with Scones Jam & Cream
What would an afternoon tea be without Scones, jam and cream? We won’t confide which we put on first, but we will say that we like our scones accompanied by local New Forrest strawberries. Of course, our Hattingley Valley Sparkling Rosé beautifully compliments this afternoon tea staple with its delicate aromas of summer fruits and creamy texture from oak ageing.
Blanc de Blancs with Lemon Drizzle Cake
The citrus aromas and bright acidity of our Blanc de Blancs 2015 pairs wonderfully with tangy lemon drizzle cake. With one of the tasting notes for this wine being Candied Lemon, we don't think we could find a more complimentary pairing.
Kings Cuvée with Savoury Bites
For those who prefer savoury treats during their afternoon tea, our Hattingley Valley Kings Cuvée is beautifully full-bodied, with delightfully toasty flavours. Its richness and complexity from oak ageing complement dishes like quiche or cheese straws.
Or why not try it with some local Hampshire chalk stream trout on toast, with a pinch of Alresford watercress to top it off? Grown just minutes down the road from our Hampshire Winery. Find out more about our local charms and Hampshire experiences on our Plan Your Trip Page.
Of course, all of our sparkling wines have one thing in common, they are uniquely British. So whichever you decide to pair with your afternoon tea it's bound to be a luxurious and most patriotic affair.
Top Tips for Hosting Afternoon Tea at Home
If you're planning to host an afternoon tea party at home, we have some tips to help you create a memorable and luxurious experience.
Get out Your Best China
Mugs and side plates certainly won’t do for the ultimate luxurious afternoon tea. Now, don't go out and buy a whole new tea set, but do get out your teapot, best teacups and glasses to serve your tea and bubbles. Of course, if you are looking for the perfect flutes for drinking premium English Sparkling, look no further than our Hattingley Glass Flutes for pure refinement in every sip.
Choose Your Favourite English Sparkling
Afternoon Tea is a thoroughly British affair, so we think it would only be right to choose the perfect English Sparkling to accompany it. Of course, choosing your favourite producers is one thing, but then there’s the variety itself to choose. Will you go Rosé? Or a classic Champagne blend like our Classic Reserve NV. If you are stuck for a choice, why not try our Hattingley Range Case to sample our variety of English Still and Sparkling Wines and compare your favourites within the Hattingley Range?
Variety is Everything
When it comes to your menu, include a variety of treats to cater to different tastes. Offer a selection of finger sandwiches with various fillings, freshly baked scones with a range of jams and clotted cream, and an assortment of mini cakes and pastries. Don't forget to include some savoury treats like quiche or cheese straws to balance out the sweetness.
It’s All in the Details
Don’t forget the details. Afternoon tea was, after all, born out of a time when manners and society were king. In an ode to those elegant times gone by why not decorate your space with a floral centrepiece? Make sure to provide a range of tea options for guests to choose from, and don't forget to have plenty of napkins and plates available.
There you have it, with these tips and pairings, you are ready to host the perfect tea party filled with delectable treats and indulgent delights just in time for Afternoon Tea week. Cheers to a week filled with deliciousness and joy!