Visit London Blog » the goring http://blog.visitlondon.com Enjoy the very best of London Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:29:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Fancy a Cuppa? London’s Top 10 Tea Attractions http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/07/fancy-a-cuppa-londons-top-10-tea-attractions/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/07/fancy-a-cuppa-londons-top-10-tea-attractions/#comments Tue, 02 Jul 2013 14:09:20 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=34104

Tea is a British institution – and obsession. For Londoners, a cup of ‘Rosie lea’ (as the cockney rhyming slang goes) is a social occasion, an icebreaker and a cure for everything. Explore the history, current trends and endless varieties of tea at these tea-lightful London attractions.

Mad For Tea exhibition at Fortnum & Mason
Until 28 July, fancy London department store Fortum & Mason is hosting Mad For Tea, a free exhibition all about the cuppa. You can admire fine silver, teapots and tea cosies from the past, discover new styles from contemporary designers and learn about the importance of tea in Britain. Want to get more hands on? Book a place on one of Fortnum & Mason’s upcoming tea workshops or talks, including Tea Tasting: An Introduction on 27 June, Afternoon Tea Q&A on 11 July and the Tea Lecture on 25 July. Don’t forget to buy some of the store’s famous own brand tea on your way out.

twinings_smallTwinings Strand Shop & Museum
Twinings Strand Shop & Museum has a long and fascinating history. Bought in 1706 by Thomas Twining, the shop was originally one of London’s many coffee houses – but came to be known for its unique sideline in tea. As tea became more and more fashionable, business boomed – attracting the likes of Jane Austen and Charles II. Today the store boasts a Sampling Counter, Loose Tea Bar and a fascinating miniature museum – featuring old teapots and caddies, vintage advertising and packaging, and old Twining family photos.

The Way of Tea at the British Museum
Still quick-dunking your teabag in a cup of boiling water? Learn how it’s done properly at The Way of Tea, a free demonstration of the Japanese tea ceremony at the British Museum’s Mitsubishi Corporation Japanese Galleries on 12 July and 26 July. As well as the demonstration, given by members of the Urasenke London Branch, there’ll be a short history of “tea drinking and gathering” in Japan.

Stock up at Tea Palace
Through its stores in Covent Garden and Chelsea, tea emporium Tea Palace does a roaring trade – selling a selection of more than 120 fairtrade teas and infusions, including flowering teas, herbal Tea Tonics and organic teas. You’ll also find tea-related gifts and accessories, from quirky teapots to swing infusers.

Tea Masterclasses at The Chesterfield Mayfair
How did tea first come to Britain? Are tea bags or loose leaves better? Why are teas different colours? These and more fundamental tea questions are answered by tea experts Jane Pettigrew and Tim Clifton in their comprehensive Tea Masterclasses at The Chesterfield Mayfair. As well as tasting teas and learning how to properly brew, the day course includes lunch and afternoon tea provided by the 4-star hotel.

A proper cuppa at Yumchaa cafés
You won’t find any tea bags on offer at Yumchaa, which firmly believes in the superiority of loose leaves. The typical teabag, they say, “contains mostly tea dust and broken leaf particles”. Oh dear. Thankfully Yumchaa is on hand to offer quality, blended teas – from Soho Spice to Chelsea Chai – brewed in the traditional way. You’ll find Yumcaa café/shops in Camden Lock, Soho, Camden Parkway and Tottenham Street.

Afternoon tea at The Goring
There are many places to enjoy afternoon tea in London, but The Goring has topped them all by winning The Tea Guild’s Top London Afternoon Tea Award 2013. The five-star hotel has been serving afternoon tea since it opened in 1910 and currently offers three afternoon tea options: The Coronation Afternoon Tea to celebrate the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation, Traditional Afternoon Tea and Bollinger Afternoon Tea. Enjoy yours on the sunny terrace overlooking The Goring’s private gardens or inside the cosy lounge.

Tea artefacts at the Museum of London
Keep an eye out at the Museum of London and you’re sure to spot fascinating relics from London’s tea trading and drinking past. Just a few items on display include a cup and saucer featuring suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst’s ‘angel of freedom’ logo, a 19th Century doll’s house tea service and a ‘chop book’ used to document tea dealings between London dock officials and Chinese sailors.

Seasonal Tea Library at Brown’s Hotel
Brown’s Hotel offers a delicious afternoon tea in its dedicated English Tea Room, but not many people know it also has a Seasonal Tea Library. Curated by tea traders Lalani & Company, the library consists of a carefully selected collection of teas, sourced from top family-owned tea gardens around the world. Pop in to sample varieties from the Summer 2013 Library collection, such as Himalayan 2nd Flush Grand reserve (Darjeeling 2011) and Jade Mountain Roasted Oolong (Taiwan 2012).

Bubble tea at Bubbleology
The latest trend in tea right now in London is bubble tea. A Taiwanese creation, bubble tea is fruit or milk tea served ice cold or hot with tapioca balls, which can be sucked up through a large straw. Bubbleology’s five stores (in Soho, Knightsbridge, Notting Hill, Westfield Stratford and South Kensington) offer seven milk tea and six fruit tea varieties, including Ginger Red Tea, Mocha Pearl Tea and Mango Green tea.

Fancy another cup? Try one of London’s best afternoon teas

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Hotel News: Five New Hotels, Chelsea Flower Show Afternoon Tea and Happy Birthday Hilton http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/04/hotel-news-five-new-hotels-chelsea-flower-show-afternoon-tea-and-happy-birthday-hilton/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/04/hotel-news-five-new-hotels-chelsea-flower-show-afternoon-tea-and-happy-birthday-hilton/#comments Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:51:09 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=32606

This month, we begin by wishing happy birthday to the London Hilton on Park Lane, the first Hilton hotel to open in the UK, which turns 50 this week.

New Hotels

As spring arrives, so does a bumper crop of new London hotels. Here are London’s hottest new hotels:

Great Northern Hotel – Relive the romantic age of train travel at the Great Northern Hotel, which re-opened this month. The hotel, which was London’s first railway hotel, has undergone a £40 million refurbishment and offers a quiet oasis in the hub of King’s Cross and St Pancras. The 91-bedroom hotel has been refurbished to exude “timeless elegance with a hint of modernity”. Room rates from £250

The Apartments by The Sloane Club – For stays of seven days or more, try a luxury serviced apartment in the exclusive neighbourhood of Sloane Gardens. Apartments are set in two beautiful late 19th century buildings and guests have access to a 24-hour concierge. Rates from £220 per night excluding VAT. Opens this week

One Leicester Street – A new boutique hotel comes to London on 1 May. One Leicester Street is the first hotel from the Unlisted Collection to open in the capital. Opening on the site of the former St John’s Hotel on the edge of Chinatown, the property will feature 15 bedrooms, a restaurant and bar. The restaurant will be headed by Michelin-starred chef Tom Harris. Opens 1 May

Nadler Soho – Boutique hotel brand base2stay is becoming Nadler Hotels, and opening a new property in London. The Nadler Soho promises “affordable luxury” with stylish rooms and Local Ambassadors on the front desk providing an introduction to the best bars and restaurants nearby. Opens late May

Xenia – Coming to South Kensington next month is Xenia hotel, situated in a restored Victorian building with contemporary interiors. The boutique hotel includes 99 bedrooms, an Italian restaurant, and a bar with a herb garden terrace. Opens in May, room rates from £160

Chelsea Flower Show

Even if you haven’t got tickets to this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, you can still be there in spirit thanks to London’s hotels.

Belgraves – A Thompson Hotel in Knightsbridge will be transforming its terrace into an edible garden for the duration of the show (21-25 May), with edible flower cocktails, and food and flower pairing classes. Both the Landmark London and the Royal Garden Hotel are offering floral-themed afternoon teas during Chelsea Flower Show week – reservations recommended.

Extra, extra

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Croquet at The Goring Hotel http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/05/croquet-at-the-goring-hotel/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/05/croquet-at-the-goring-hotel/#comments Thu, 06 May 2010 09:44:14 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=8928 Croquet Playing croquet at The Goring Playing croquet

Yesterday I enjoyed a rather spiffing game of croquet on The Goring hotel’s beautiful lawn. The hotel is celebrating its centenary this year, and is marking its 100th summer in London with a croquet and afternoon tea package.

As someone with absolutely no hand-eye co-ordination (I’ve played entire games of bowling without knocking down a single pin), I didn’t have very high expectations for my croquet skills. Despite croquet experts Jaques of London being in attendance, I admit I didn’t pick up much in the way of rules (in fact I’m not sure there were any!)

Croquet involves attempting to hit the ball through various hoops on the lawn using a mallet. One must assume the most unladylike of positions in order to hit the ball – straddle it, bend your knees and whack it as hard as you can! But I didn’t do too badly, and happily cheating (“nudging” the ball, pushing opponents’ balls out of the way) seems to be entirely acceptable!

It all made for a fun evening and I can imagine how lovely it would be to spend a leisurely afternoon trying to finish a game.

In typically British style, everything stopped for tea after a couple of hoops and we were treated to delicious sandwiches, scones, cakes and Fortnum and Mason tea.

Afternoon tea and croquet at The Goring, available 22 July to 26 August 2010, £45 per person

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