At half past three, everything stops for tea. So says the song, but actually tea is an enduring popular choice throughout the day and whether serving it to delegates at a conference, to customers in a café, or to those enjoying a celebratory high-end tea in a hotel, using the correct servingware is an important part of offering the best service. In fact, in its research Tetley found that the type of vessel tea is served in was the 6th most important factor to delivering a good cuppa.
Nancy’s Vintage Teashop in Newmarket, Suffolk is typical of the growing number of ‘retro’ teashops opening across the country. Tea served vintage style is all about mismatched crockery and a quintessential British flavour.
“I’m quite fussy about what I use,” says owner, Nancy Clack. “I try and keep it to bone china and mainly British and old pieces of Wedgwood, Royal Doulton and Royal Stafford.”
A tea-tray serving consists of a teapot, teacup and saucer with a spoon, sugar bowl and spoon and milk jug. Homemade sandwiches, scones, cream and jam, and cakes and fancies are all presented on a three-tier cake stand. “Our customers love it,” she says. “They say, my grandmother used to have that, or I have that cup at home and never get it out. They don’t have the time, but coming here is their treat.”
However, a good standard of servingware doesn’t have to mean ‘old-fashioned’. Operators seeking a modern take on high-end crockery have plenty of options to choose from. Royal Crown Derby Entertains is a new range by Royal Crown Derby, produced specifically for the hospitality sector – aimed at luxury hotels, restaurants, and even yachts. The range of delicate tableware pieces is embellished with iconic patterns from Royal Crown Derby’s distinguished history.
The Westminster design, sourced from the company’s extensive pattern archive, features a distinctive sweeping motif, which has been set against the pure white finish of the bone china and a signature 22-carat gold border.
The collection comprises all the fundamental ingredients for a formal afternoon tea and is now an integral part of the afternoon tea offering at The Waldorf Hilton, London. The range perfectly complements the occasion, not only looking the part, but in practical terms the teacups are well-sized and easy to hold.
Even in everyday settings such as conferences, workplaces and breakfasts, servingware is an import way to shape customer perceptions. Well-presented, chip-free crockery is a must. Nevilles, suppliers of tableware for the food service industry, suggests operators should use Vitrified Porcelain, conforming to BS4034.
Vitrified Porcelain ensures low water absorption, improved hygiene, increased strength and better heat retention. It is oven, microwave and dishwasher safe.
Choosing hardwearing crockery is a must for tough food service environments, and buyers can look for options with rolled edges and rims on products to improve resistance.
Wherever you serve tea, using the correct servingware will always make it an occasion.
Do you have a unique serving concept? Or perhaps your servingware is your pride and joy? Tweet us @TetleyTeaOOH