01 September 2017
TIME FOR TEA AT THE BALMORAL
September 2017, The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte hotel in Edinburgh, has launched a Scottish tea menu that will be served by a team of specially trained Tea Sommeliers.
Enjoyed in the city’s iconic Afternoon Tea venue - Palm Court – the hotel has become the first in the world to offer a full Scottish tea menu poured to perfection by professional Tea Sommeliers. As a result, visitors will be able to taste everything from Island Green, a green tea grown at Scotland’s newest tea gardens on the Isle of Arran, Isle of Lewis and Isle of Harris to The Famous Scot, a flavoursome black tea grown at Perthshire’s Dalreoch Tea Garden by The Wee Tea Plantation. The new selection of teas can be enjoyed on their own by the pot or alongside homemade scones and sandwiches as part of the hotel’s award-winning Afternoon Tea.
Having launched the very first Scottish tea with The Balmoral in 2014, The Wee Tea Plantation owner, Tam O’Braan, has spent the last three years working with other garden owners to provide the hotel with a tea menu made up of Scottish grown tea. To complement this exclusive new menu, it was only fitting that Palm Court create the UK’s first dedicated team of sommeliers. "It has taken some time to nurture enough gardens to meet the hotel’s needs. The fact that this is possible
makes it a very exciting moment for Scottish food and drink and we’re delighted to be sharing it with the UK’s mostly highly trained tea team.”
The Balmoral’s Executive Chef, Jeff Bland, who is known for showcasing only the finest Scottish produce in the hotel, is delighted to have a tea menu that celebrates the national larder and the very best of tea culture. “Many tea connoisseurs visit The Balmoral for our wide selection of loose leaf teas, and we are thrilled that they can now enjoy the very best that Scotland has to offer both in terms of taste and expertise. With training from the team at The Wee Tea Company, our staff now not only have a professional knowledge of serving the teas to a Five Star standard but the providence, harvest and processing involved. As a result, guests can enjoy exceptional locally grown tea served with the theatre and knowledge befitting of this ancient ritual.”
The Balmoral Afternoon Tea costs £40pp and is available from noon – 5pm daily.
The Tea Flight Experience, which includes a sample of three Scottish teas selected by the hotel’s Tea Sommeliers costs an additional £15pp.
For more information visit /hotels-and-resorts/the-balmoral-hotel/restaurants-and-bars/palm-court.
To book call 0131 556 2414 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Ends
While 90% of the tea menu at The Balmoral’s Palm Court is Scottish grown teas three of are from overseas: Darjeeling, Assam and Rooibos. Like champagne, these teas are geocentric teas only ever from those regions. However, these teas have been carefully sourced from Glenburn Tea Estate in The Himalayas. A grower originally based at the foot of the Brahmaputra River started by Edinburgh entrepreneurs as the Scottish Tea Company in 1859. The Prakash family has run the tea garden for generations and took over from the original Scottish owners in 1947 and since expanded into the Brahmaputra Basin and Cederberg Mountains, South Africa, known for the famous Assam and Rooibos teas.
Palm Court is an Edinburgh institution that is as glittering as its glass dome and Venetian chandelier. Set within the heart of The Balmoral, Palm Court was fully refurbished in September 2013 which transformed the room into a light and airy Afternoon Tea lounge. Subtle local references are made throughout the decor with walls are adorned with specially commissioned hand-painted De Gournay wallpaper with well known follies of Edinburgh incorporated into the landscape.
Many hotels claim to have landmarks on their doorstep, few can say their doorstep is a landmark. The Balmoral is a grand railway hotel located at Edinburgh's most prestigious address, No 1 Princes Street. The Balmoral offers 188 opulent suites and contemporary rooms. Excellent cuisine is guaranteed in the Michelin-starred Number One restaurant or the informal Hadrian’s Brasserie. Afternoon Tea is served in the refurbished Palm Court and the hotel boasts a collection of over 400 Scottish whiskies at Scotch. Expertly blended cocktails are shaken and stirred to perfection at The Balmoral Bar and signature Forte Organics are available at The Balmoral Spa.
The Wee Tea Plantation
Agronomist Tam O’Braan has worked in five continents in a career of researching growth of crops in marginal conditions before returning to Scotland and starting his idea for Scottish tea in 2011. The Wee Tea Plantation uses modern methods for growing camellia sinensis at the foot of Scotland’s highlands in Amulree. The tea was served first at The Balmoral in 2014, and are now sold in some of the finest establishments in the world including Fortnum & Mason - London, Mariage Fréres – Paris.
Recognised within the tea industry, The Wee Tea Company is the first to offer this level of tea training to its customers. Normally given to one person in a tea room, there are 12 modules and three one-to-one training sessions involving the tasting, making and a written study of teas. The Balmoral is the first hotel in which an entire staff has been trained to this elite standard.
Tea Growers Association - Scotland
The success of The Wee Tea Plantation has lead to eighteen spin-off gardens all working in partnership and forming a Tea Growers Association in Scotland. Unique teas have been grown and developed in Aberdeen, Peebles and Dumfries & Galloway, Inverness-shire, The Isle of Mull, The Isle of Lismore, The Isle of Lewis, The Isle of Harris and two on The Isle of Aaran. Eight more teas are planned before the end of 2018 and a processing center for freshly picked tea leaf has recently been constructed at Perth & Kinross.
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