23/08/2005 - 22:00

C Restaurant revives the high tea tradition

23/08/2005 - 22:00

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“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”

C Restaurant revives the high tea tradition

That’s what Henry James wrote in The Portrait Of A Lady, and what C Restaurant is taking to heart as it relaunches the tradition of high tea.

It is a return to the most English of English traditions – drinking tea with delicate trimmings, such as scones with jam and cream. Among the trimmings offered by C Restaurant are cucumber and smoked salmon finger sandwiches (with the crusts cut off of course), and miniature custard and fruit flans.

According to tradition, the desserts are as much a part of the ceremony as the tea, with miniature petit fours whisked to each table on tiered platters.

And then there’s the tea. English Breakfast and Earl Grey join less familiar varieties such as Rooibos, Green Sensha and Chai Tea, all served in white and porcelain tea pots.

These match nicely with the linen-print covered menus reminiscent of the Victorian era when such tea ceremonies were commonplace.

Something that hasn’t been borrowed from those times is the option of enjoying your tea with a baby Piper Heidsieck champagne which, tradition be damned, goes quite pleasantly with all types of tea.

C Restaurant has committed to teatime at 2pm, Sunday to Friday, for the foreseeable future, providing its rather splendid surroundings to celebrate this odd sense of occasion, when the only occasion is tea.

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