Student number: 21184301
Tutor: Peter Cross
Professional Pastry Techniques 1
Title: Afternoon Tea Report
The Science of Gluten
Gluten free afternoon tea
In this report investigations will be carried out to determine what the current trends in items served in afternoon teas are as well as the way in which afternoon tea is served. Other factors that will be looked at include the changing clientele of establishments that serve afternoon tea. The range in price and quality of afternoon teas around the country and the type of places that choose to offer afternoon tea will also be investigated. Now, afternoon tea has been around since the early nineteenth century when tea first started to become popular in the UK. It ‘s invention is often credited to the 7th Duchess of Bedford (http://www.teamuse.com/article_001203.html) who it is thought used it to stave off a “mid afternoon sinking feeling”. This was most likely as a result of it being commonplace in these times to only eat 2 meals a day, Breakfast and dinner with dinner being commonly served as late as 9 in the evening. The solution to this was to have a small pot of tea, with a light snack, usually a sandwich or cake of some sort at around 4pm. This is still the traditional time for afternoon tea to be had and many afternoon teas are very careful to keep to traditional items when serving afternoon tea as it is seen as an important part of British history and culture. Some more modern places are keener to adapt and branch out as will be explained later on in the report.
To carry out this investigation research would need to be carried out into what afternoon teas are available and how they vary depending on factors like location, type and price. To this it was concluded a number of establishments would be chosen in cities across the UK and investigate what they had to offer. To do this their websites would be looked at in the hope that they would give me some useful information regarding their afternoon tea menu without me having to visit them in person. This quickly became a problem as it became apparent that the main players in the afternoon tea market, such as the Ritz-Carlton and the Savoy, both of which at the most expensive range of the market had very vague menus for their sweet items on their afternoon tea menus. This could be to so that competitors do not know what they are selling but could also be that because from a business point of view, afternoon teas are a great way to use up anything that is left over. This could have been quite limiting however, after looking at cheaper places it was discovered that they offered far more detailed menu descriptions such as The Milestone and The Goring. Another thing that was looked at over the course of this investigation was the clientele that visit establishments that are serving afternoon tea. It was discovered that an increasingly large amount of Japanese tourists are visiting afternoon tea establishments. This is because Japanese people are very keen on a sense of history according to the Japan times something that many British establishments excel at providing. This is according to the Japan Times which says: “What Japanese people tend to appreciate most about Britain is its sense of tradition. The idea of setting aside time in the afternoon for tea is attractive, since it appeals to the Japanese love of continuity” this clearly demonstrates why more and more Japanese people choose to eat afternoon tea, though this could also be down to their superior economy enabling them to have more disposable income to spend on things like afternoon tea. Other clientele areas that are increasingly choosing to eat afternoon tea are the so-called ladies who lunch. These are the kind of women who are wealthy enough to be able to afford...
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