The Manor House Hotel in Wiltshire and the Black Swan Tea Room & Patisserie in Yorkshire have picked up top accolades in this year's Tea Guild Awards.
The 14th Century Manor House Hotel in Castle Combe was awarded the Guild's newest award, Top City and Country Hotel 2010, after gaining a near perfect score from inspectors for its range of teas, quality of service and food.
Afternoon tea can be taken in any one of the hotel's six lounges, in the hotel bar or outside on the lawn in the summer. It serves 15 different loose teas and staff are fully briefed on how they should be served.
Irene Gorman, head of the Tea Guild, said: "The staff are incredibly helpful and friendly and demonstrate real flair and passion for afternoon tea, ensuring the customer receives the best possible experience. In particular, the judges were extremely impressed by the staff’s knowledge and experience of tea, ensuring the tea is served properly and enjoyed to its fullest.”
Top tea room
The overall award given by the Guild, Top Tea Place 2010, went to The Black Swan Tearoom and Patisserie, Helmsley, on the edge of the North York Moors.
Judges said it was 'one of the best' visited for 'condition and service: "It is a beautifully presented tearoom, well run with friendly, knowledgeable and smartly attired staff," they added.
The tea room, situated in an old coaching house, is renowned for its afternoon tea of finger sandwiches, miniature cakes, patisseries and homemade scones made using local produce and for its tea club, introduced by manager Alison Souter.
On Tuesday, London hotel The Langham was announced the winner of this year's Top London Afternoon Tea place. Sixteen other London venues and 53 places nationwide were also given Awards of Excellence by the Tea Guild.