Afternoons fuelled by teas-tosterone, 17/04/2011
by Herald Scotland
IT has experienced something of a rebirth in recent years with hotels, cafes and even bars clamouring to offer cakes on a stand, triangle sandwiches, scones and freshly brewed fine tea.
Now men are being offered a slice of the action thanks to afternoon tea getting the macho treatment.
The Gentlemen's Afternoon Tea is being launched by a Glasgow venue, keen to capitalise on a surge in popularity for the quintessential British treat.
The Corinthian Club is hoping to target businessmen or those looking for quality "bromance" time with their mates.
The Gentleman's Afternoon Tea, which is being launched on Easter Sunday, will be served in the venue's Bootleg Bar and includes "manly" selections of dishes including miniature char-grilled steak baguettes and glazed oysters with a bloody Mary relish.
Pudding has also been given a dash of the masculine with whisky ice cream accompanying a warm double chocolate brownie.
If the food isn't tempting enough, the price includes a mint julep cocktail served in a silver tankard and a complimentary cigar on the private second-floor smoking terrace.
Whether the lure of tea and scones is enough to tempt men away from the traditional pub domain remains to be seen. However, the price works out at less than a lengthy pub session at £25 a head with upgrades available on request for champagne or a fine malt.
Rodolphe Combes, general manager of The Corinthian Club, said: "It is so popular with the ladies that we couldn't leave men out. Glasgow isn't the same as London or New York so we are just testing the reaction.
"It is probably more aimed at the businessman but could also make an unusual birthday present for the man in your life.
"Every day we fill around five or six tables with ladies having afternoon tea. Where the women go, the men will follow."
Afternoon tea, traditionally served around 4pm, became popular in London in the early 1800s.
Legend has it that the Duchess of Bedford, one of Queen Victoria's ladies in waiting, came up with the idea of a late afternoon meal to overcome the "sinking feeling" she felt.
It has become such big business for leading hotels in London that some are putting on six sittings a day to cope with demand.
Luxury London hotel Claridge's was named as the best venue in the British capital to enjoy afternoon tea by the UK Tea Guild last week.
It is the second time in recent years that Claridge's has been awarded this accolade having won before in 2006.