What makes a perfect afternoon tea?

Ascot’s dining team reveals their must-haves for a beautifully indulgent afternoon tea

James, head chef

“It’s all about the sandwiches for me. They should be delicious, dainty, delicate — and packed full of flavour. I like to see a variety of breads — white, granary, even sourdough — and of fillings. There’s always going to be a place for the classics, such as ham and hot mustard, Cheddar cheese and pickle, and of course smoken salmon and cream cheese. But we’re starting to see chefs getting more advertours with their choices, and it’s always nice to be surprised with something you haven’t tasted before.”

Mary, restaurant manager

“I’m a huge tea fan, so my favourite bit of settling down for afternoon tea is choosing the tea itself. If you usually stick to an English breakfast, now’s the time to be adventourous and choose something different — if you don’t like it, you can always get a fresh pot of something else off the menu. Currently I’m really into Lady Grey, or rooibos if I fancy somethng caffeine-free.”

Nadia, pastry chef

“Given that I’m a pastry chef, of course I’m going to say my favourite bit is the cakes. Anytime I sit down for afternoon tea, I can’t wait to see what delights the waiter will bring over for me to try. There have to be scones of course — with lashing of clotted cream and homemade jam — but other than that, the sky’s the limit really. I love to see a chocolate cake, and a bit of French flair with a macaron. Usually, though, my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I end up taking something home with me to tuck into later.”

Afternoon tea is included in all of Ascot’s fine dining packages at the QIPCO British Champions Day on 21 October. Find out more here

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