Afternoon tea back on the menu

One of England’s quaintest traditions, afternoon tea, has been revived by a new generation of Brits – in time for the Queen’s birthday celebrations in June, according to Tesco.

Our appetite for speciality tea and cream cakes is once again on the rise, helped by the huge popularity of TV series ‘The Great British Bake Off’, the grocery multiple reports.

In the last year, sales of typical afternoon tea-related foods and kitchen items at Tesco have soared. Sales of apple turnovers have risen 35% in the last year, while strawberry and cream slices are up 30%, custard tarts are up 15%, Battenberg cake is up 45% and fresh cream profiteroles are up 10%.

Meanwhile, speciality teas such as Earl Grey, Assam and Darjeeling are up nearly 4%, which is the equivalent of 250,000 packets. The supermarket chain has also seen a rise in popularity for cake accessories such as cake stands, bakeware and tea sets.

To meet this growing demand, Tesco has this week launched a range of upmarket afternoon tea cakes, gateaux, tarts, meringues, sponges, roulades, brownies and cream slices.

They include an Alfonso mango and passion fruit tart and Belgian chocolate and salted caramel tart.

A number of tea time favourites have also been given a twist such as the lemon tart which has been hand-decorated with lemon cream and a white chocolate scroll, and dusted with sherbet to heighten the zesty taste.

Tesco cake range buyer Rosie Bambaji said: “Afternoon tea is one of Britain’s greatest culinary traditions. We know many of our customers have fallen in love with this special occasion once again, so we wanted to help spruce up cake stands across the country with a new range of decadent cakes.
“The trend took off in hotels and restaurants thanks to the huge popularity of shows like ‘The Great British Bake Off’, and afternoon tea has once again established itself as an occasion at home, with shoppers treating friends and family to delicious cakes at informal get-togethers.”

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