Monday, January 18, 2010

Tea and Tearooms

I have often been asked the nature of tearooms in our tours. There are some very good reasons for using tearooms in our tours but I would guess the main reason is that you have to eat somewhere anyway! I grew up with the tradition of having Afternoon Tea ( why I am not sure but in the States this is called high tea) each day upon returning home from school. Afternoon tea is the tradition of having a light repast in the afternoon to carry you over until a later dinner. This is served with proper tea cups and good linen. Afternoon tea foods include finger sandwiches, scones with jam and cream and wee small sweets such as millionaire’s shortbread, fairy cakes, lemon curd tarts, jam tarts, strawberry meringues and other assorted goodies. As an adult, my mother and I owned a wee Scottish Tearoom that we ran with my sister Pamela and brother Cameron along with other family members as needed. It was while running this tearoom that Scottish Dream Tours was born. Although we no longer run the tearoom we still enjoy the experience of tea and so I try to incorporate tea and the tea time ritual into our tours as much as possible. We try to include luncheon teas, cream teas and afternoon teas as well as high teas(I will explain the differences in a later post) into most of our itineraries. Some of my favorite places for tea include The Bridge Tea Rooms in Bradford-Upon-Avon. Badgers Hall in Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds. Atholl Palace Hotel in Pitlochry, Scotland. The Kilkenny Ormond in Kilkenny, Ireland. Cupan Tae in Kenmare, Ireland. Samling Hotel Windermere, Lake District. Ashmount Country House Haworth, Yorkshire. Betty’s Tea Rooms York and Harrogate, Yorkshire. Bro Meigan Boncath, Wales. I could list many many more but as you can tell, we like our tea!

My favorite tearoom tours are listed below.
Shannon McDonald Tate

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