THORNTON Hall Hotel and Spa is celebrating after being crowned one of the UK’s top afternoon tea destinations.
The hotel fought off fierce competition to take the title of Best Tasting Afternoon Tea of the Year 2018 in a hotly-contested live final in central London.
Thornton Hall was one of 16 finalists in the inaugural national contest, and the only one based outside the capital.
And the team from the hotel’s award-winning Lawns Restaurant triumphed in the taste stakes with a presentation of its traditional Great Wirral afternoon tea which was served to judges – including the pastry chef from the House of Commons – at the venue on the banks of the River Thames.
The Thornton Hall team travelled to London on Tuesday to prepare ahead of Wednesday’s event at the Westminster Boating Base.
Competitors, including five star London hotels like the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park and The Stafford, had to serve two guests while being watched by a team of five judges who marked them on presentation, service, taste and overall experience.
Awards being contested were Best Tasting, Best Presentation and overall Afternoon Tea of the Year.
Hotel general manager Geoff Dale said Thornton Hall was proud to have brought the trophy home to the North West.
He added: “To be up against many five star London venues and win is quite an achievement.
“I’m so proud of the whole team- the Lawns’ head chef Chad Hughes, our pastry chef Ellie Fletcher and restaurant manager Abdallah Othmani.
“As we were the only countryside hotel we also took our view with us on two pop ups with photos of our gardens, so the judges could really get the Thornton Hall experience.”
The Perception at W London Leicester Square won the Best Presented Afternoon Tea accolade, while Knightsbridge’s Jumeirah Carlton Tower took the overall Afternoon Tea of the Year 2018 award.
Joe Bill, editor of competition organiser Hotel F&B magazine, said: “From dry ice to Disney themes, beer pairing to musical accompaniment, and the traditional to the ultra-modern, the innovation we have seen from the finalists has really blown the judges away.
“The standard of food and tea pairings was exceptional. Some of these hotels have spent years refining their afternoon tea service and they really brought their ‘A’ game to the first ever awards.
“There was a lot of pressure to perform in front of a crowd and in a time limit, and judges were really impressed with the professionalism of the teams.”
For more information about Thornton Hall Hotel and Spa, visit the website www.thorntonhallhotel.com