We’ve all heard of afternoon tea, the traditional cream tea, high tea, low tea, even a champagne tea, but have you come across a “Gentleman’s Tea” before?
This is a rising trend here in the UK, in keeping with an all “British” theme to proceedings, more and more hotels and afternoon tea venues are offering “manlier” afternoon tea tiers to appeal to the gents.
Many venues are taking inspiration from the classic Gentleman’s Club (a members-only private club set up within the British upper class men in he 18th century), such as Whites’s, Brook’s or Boodle’s which provided an outlet for gambling, witch would have been illegal outside of these clubs at this time.
Many of these Gentleman’s Clubs were very prestigious, some with waiting lists of over 16 years to become an approved member. Each club had very different sets of rules, waiting lists and facilities or services on offer to their members, but they were in most cases a “second home” for men to relax, socialise with friends, eat good food and even sleep overnight.
It is said that the Gentleman’s Club was a sanctuary for the man of the house to escape from his family world.
Nowadays, we have the likes of the private members houses, following the same ideals of the Gentleman’s Club (offering fine food, drink, meeting places and accommodation) such as Soho House or the Groucho Club. Many private members’ clubs are now the perfect way to conduct professional business whilst enjoying the perks of the club in question.
With the resurgence of this luxury members’ club style dining, the Gentleman’s Tea can be found on many menus across the country alongside the usual afternoon tea. The difference being that amongst the wedges of Victoria Sponge and finger sandwiches, you can find treats such as miniature fish & chips, burgers or sliders, hot pies, mini Yorkshire puddings, pork pies, sausage rolls, scotch eggs and steak sandwiches.
Not only are these sort of menus offering great and unique food options, they are offering pints of real ale, malt whiskey and tailored cocktails to match the food. The Sanctum Soho Hotel is even said to serve a tankard of Jack Daniels and a cigar – much more “Rock n’ Roll” according to their owner, Mark Fuller.
Men love tea and cake just as much as the ladies, but not all men love rose petal finger sandwiches and floral vintage china to drink their Earl Grey tea from. With more men than ever indulging in afternoon tea for business and pleasure, hotels, restaurants & bars are upping their game – it’s really quite exciting.
Some gentlemanly themed afternoon teas are now also offering a game of backgammon, chess or poker alongside it to while away a few hours.
I recently asked Twitter what my followers thought about the idea of a “Gentleman’s Tea” and would appeal to them in place of dainty cakes and finger sandwiches – here’s just some of the responses I received (and yes, I managed to correct myself to say *thoughts* instead of *tights* haha), a HUGE thank you to everyone who responded with their thoughts, this is just fantastic:
Personally, I think “the Gentleman’s Tea” is a superb idea, I’m a girl (last time I looked) and I don’t see why this can’t be a new fashion in itself. This is a trend that will grow in popularity over the coming months, you mark my words!
Afternoon tea is always being adapted and explored with venues across the world, so I’m more than happy to embrace this new offering and sample any that might come my way – the more the merrier I say.
(And if I can sample my own dedicated “Gentleman’s Tea” very soon, I will be one very happy afternoon tea aficionado!)
So, my question to you is this…
Have you sampled a Gentleman’s Tea?
If so, where? And how was it?
If you haven’t, then tell me what does/would appeal when it comes to afternoon tea?
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