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The art of afternoon tea

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Mastering the art of afternoon tea can be a tricky task, luckily the team at The Arundell Arms in Lifton have some top teatime tips for creating a feast of fab finger food, super sandwiches and splendiferous sponges

Arundell Arms

Size does matter

Avoid the dreaded toppling tower on your tea stand by cutting sandwiches into neat triangles and removing the crusts. Voila, beautifully balanced sarnies that not only fit splendidly on the stand, but also show off those delectable fillings.

Size does matter. To avoid any sloppy sarnie scenarios, make sure sandwiches can be picked up in one hand, and eaten in two to three bites.

Flavour thrills

Struggling to select the most flavoursome fillings? Head chef, Steve Pidgeon, says: ‘Smoked salmon with cream cheese and cucumber, and beef with horseradish are our most popular. Chicken and mayonnaise is also a great option.’ Make sure the flavours you choose aren’t too overpowering – remember, there’s still all that tempting tea and cake to come.

Flavour isn’t the only thing that’s important. We all know tea and talking go hand in hand, so come up with easy-to-eat sandwich fillers that won’t have your guests chewing frantically on their mouthful rather than joining in the chit-chat.

Sweet treats

With all this freshly-acquired expertise, you’ll be providing the most supreme of sandwiches, but how do you satisfy that teatime sweet tooth? Chef de partie, Tracey Yelland, gives a few suggestions: ‘We like to include a light cake with tea, perhaps a mousse or mini trifle, and always some chocolate-dipped strawberries in the summer. Afternoon tea is a great way for us to play with seasonal flavours and test new ideas.’ Feel free to be daring with your desserts and experiment with something new.

With the hotel’s picturesque location being smack bang on the Devon/Cornwall border, the ever-contentious scone debate remains: cream or jam first? Steve and Tracey felt they couldn’t possibly comment, so it’s up to you to decide…

The Arundell Arms Hotel and Restaurant, with its stunning countryside location and friendly service, is the perfect place to enjoy a delightful, homemade afternoon tea, from 3pm-5.30pm daily. Enjoy a classic Devon cream tea for only £6.95, or push the boat out and treat yourself to the full afternoon tea for £15. Booking essential.

Also try

Strawberry scones

Add a bit of luxury to the everyday scone and serve with fresh sliced strawberries and thick clotted cream

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