Tea-connect with a Dobbies afternoon tea

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by Stephanie Anthony |

If you've been missing loved ones through lockdown, what better way to reconnect than over an afternoon tea at Dobbies.

Many of us love to indulge in an afternoon tea – packed with finger sandwiches, delicious cakes and scones topped with clotted cream and jam, it's the quintessential British treat.

It's clear that Dobbies agrees, offering an expanded range of options and even delivering tasty teatime treats through lockdown.

The garden centre franchise recently offered a two-for-one "Tea-connect" deal to encourage people to meet up with a loved one and celebrate being able to reconnect again, and are also including their afternoon tea menu as part of the "Eat Out to Help Out" 50% off scheme for August (available Monday to Wednesday).

Afternoon tea is a ritual which began in Britain in the 19th century. Traditionally, the centrepiece is a tiered cake stand packed with sweet and savoury treats. Scones were not a common feature until the 20th century.

Tea served in a teapot, as well as cups and saucers are another key feature of the classic British afternoon tea.

Bunting and a delicate tablecloth can also help to set the mood.

At Dobbies you can choose from one of the below options to treat yourself with:

Traditional Afternoon Tea

Finger sandwiches, selection of mini cakes, slices and strawberry tart, plain and fruit scones with jam and clotted cream, plus a pot of tea or filter coffee. £10.95 per person

Vegan Afternoon Tea (NEW)

Freshly prepared falafel wraps and vegan sausage rolls, selection of delicious vegan cakes (brownie, orange and apricot slice, banana and berry slice, carrot and pistachio slice), plain and fruit scones with fruit jam, plus a pot of tea or filter coffee. £10.95 per person

Kids' Afternoon Tea

Two flower shaped sandwiches, carrot and celery sticks with cream cheese dip, mini treats: chocolate muffin, mini doughnuts, chocolate strawberry and grapes, plus a Capri-Sun. £5.70 per person

Make your afternoon tea a special occasion and upgrade with a 200ml bottle of Prosecco, for only £6.35 per adult aged 18 and over (payable at point of booking).

Or choose to upgrade your hot drink to a delicious Latte, Cappucino, Mocha, Hot Chocolate or Speciality Tea for just £0.50 extra.

"The staff at Dobbies in Shrewsbury are so friendly, I can’t wait to have an afternoon tea." Hayley Clifford, via Facebook

"Just had our first post lockdown afternoon tea treat – absolutely fabulous. Richard and the team are amazing, working so hard keeping us all safe. Thankyou!" Rachel Vowles, via Facebook

Dobbies began offering its vegan afternoon tea option as part of Veganuary this year, offering diners a plant-based alternative. The limited edition option proved so popular it has continued.

Commenting on the delicious new menu addition, Paul Spencer, Dobbies' hospitality director, said:

“We hope that all afternoon tea lovers will be encouraged to try the vegan cakes and bakes, and hope they enjoy them as much as we do.”

If you're not quite ready to eat out yet, don't worry – you can still get a much-loved cream tea from Dobbies to takeaway.

Simply pre order your cream tea and pick up from outside the store.

There's no need to queue to get in, just choose your selected pick up slot online and the team will have your order ready to collect from an area next to the store exit.

Whether its for you to take home to enjoy, share at a socially distanced gathering in the park, or even a treat dropped off at the door of a loved one. Enjoy a fruit or plain scone with butter, jam and clotted cream plus a tea or regular coffee for just £4.95 per person.

Dobbies aren't the only ones to have offered takeaway and delivery afternoon tea services during lockdown.

Garden centres and cafe's offering the traditional treat have been inundated with demand for delivery to the door services.

In fact data from Google Trends shared by BBC News showed that afternoon tea treats topped the list of most increased searches for "delivery" queries in the UK since lockdown.

One such company offering lockdown delivery was the Cardamon Tea Lounge in Colchester. Customer Amy Schaffer ordered one to be delivered to a friend: 'I went for the "Alice's Dream" afternoon tea, I did it as a surprise for a friend and she absolutely loved it. She was so pleased with everything and said it tasted wonderful – too good to eat almost!'

A spokesperson for Rodda's, the Cornish clotted cream business, suggested the popularity may be to do with a wish for "home comforts".

She said: 'A cream tea is one of those special moments, conjuring up fond memories of time spent with loved ones.'

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