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Treat yourself to taste of England; 7 DAYS FOOD & DRINK Afternoon tea is the finest of English traditions. ZOE CHAMBERLAIN highlights the best ones in Brum.


CREAM scones, dainty sandwiches and a glass of Prosecco or two... afternoon tea is the perfect treat. And the custom, which dates from the 1840s is enjoying a resurgence, with hotels and restaurants across Birmingham offering their own indulgent take on the tradition.

Hen parties, baby showers and generally "ladies what lunch" have helped to fuel a surge in bookings.

We love the elegance of this most English of customs so read on and tell us where you think is the best place for afternoon tea.

Browns Bar & Brasserie There's live piano on Sundays at Browns Bar & Brasserie in St Martin's Square, and afternoon tea (right) is reasonably priced starting at PS16 for two. There is an option to add a glass of Champagne or Hendrick's gin and tonic, if you're in an especially indulgent mood. Afternoon tea is available every day at Browns from 2.30pm to 5pm.

Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill Enjoy 360 degree city views whilst taking Champagne afternoon tea, including chocolate brownies, at Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill on the 25th floor of The Cube. This luxury experience will set you back PS30 per person. Available from 12 noon to 4pm Monday to Friday.

Selfridges Feel like Juliet on The Balcony at Selfridges, where a Picnic Tea costs PS29.00 for two, or PS50 including a glass of Moet. Afternoon tea is available from 3pm every day, with cakes inspired by the great fashion houses.

Cafe Opus Afternoon tea costs just PS10 per person and is served every day from 2.30pm to 5pm at Cafe Opus, Oozells Street. It includes finger sandwiches, fancy cakes, scones with clotted cream and fresh fruit preserve, and a pot of tea. And to celebrate the start of British summertime, a free glass of Prosecco is being included with every afternoon tea ordered on March 29.

Hotel du Vin & Bistro Try Hotel du Vin & Bistro, Church Street. This ornate early Victorian red brick building has a magnifi-cent sweeping staircase and granite pillars. You can sample infusions served by an expertly schooled tea sommelier to complement tempting towers of pastries, finger sandwiches and creamy scones. Available every day from 2-5pm. Starts from PS15.50 per head.

Hyatt Regency on Bridge Street offers traditional afternoon tea from noon to 5pm on Monday to Saturday and 12.30pm to 5pm on Sundays. Tea is taken in the hotel's Aria restaurant and starts at PS19 per person.

Hotel La Tour Piano accompaniment makes up part of the afternoon tea experience at Hotel La Tour on Albert Street some Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Served between 2pm and 5pm, this extravagant treat costs around PS20 per person with the option to pay more for a glass of bubbly.

Hilton Garden Inn Afternoon tea at Hilton Garden Inn, Brindleyplace, costs PS16 per person with the opportunity to upgrade with a glass of Champagne for PS9 extra. It's available every day from 2.30pm to 5pm, making it a great way to round off a day's shopping.

Malmaison T stands for temptation at Malmaison in the Mailbox and with reasonable prices, it's pretty hard to resist! Cream tea starts from PS10, full afternoon tea costs PS15 and the price goes up to PS25 with a glass of champagne. Available from 12 noon to 5pm every day.

West 12 Bar and Grill Enjoy fine tea and home-made delicacies at the West 12 Bar and Grill at The Marriott, Five Ways. Cream tea costs just PS9.50 per person, afternoon tea is PS17 and you can add bubbles for PS6.50 extra.

Radisson Blu Feeling blue? Cheer yourself up at Radisson Blu on Holloway Circus where you can indulge in a traditional selection of finger sandwiches, scones and cakes for PS13 for two.


| Marco Pierre White's PS30 per per-|son afternoon tea with Champagne (top) and (above) the delectable treats on offer at Cafe Opus, PS10 each

Selfridges Picnic Tea (above) costs PS29 for two or PS50 if you fancy a glass of Moet |
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Mar 15, 2015
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