The Great British Bake Off is over for another year.
If it’s left a macaroon-shaped hole in your life, you might like to know that this doesn’t have to mean an end to cakes, pies and all things scrummy. Reading about out hotels, lodges and camps (research purposes, you understand), I’m struck by the frequent mention of freshly cooked bread, cakes and treats. Afternoon tea seems to be one of our greatest exports and even in the most apparently un-British of locations you’ll be offered a freshly baked delicacy with your cup of Rosie Lee. Read on!
The cosy library of Cape Grace Hotel on Cape Town’s V & A Waterfront is a suitably upmarket location for tea. Opt for the classic cream tea – home-made scones, strawberry jam and cream, or splurge on afternoon tea which also includes finger sandwiches and a selection of hand-crafted sweet treats. Who needs dinner anyway?
The tea lounge in the Viceregal Palace at Ananda in the Himalayas is a magnificent setting for a formal occasion. Don’t be overawed by the opulent surroundings but concentrate on sipping your cup of tea and nibbling the selection of snacks proffered by your uniformed waiter. You’ll soon feel right at home.
The view from Lagoon Camp in Botswana is postcard perfect with the Kwando River stretching the length of the horizon. High tea is served before the afternoon game drive or boat ride. Re-charge your batteries with both sweet and savoury morsels washed down with iced tea and homemade lemonade.
Imagine yourself on Rodrigues Island, Mauritius’ little brother. You’re sitting on the terrace at Cases a Gardenias, a small B&B run a husband and wife team, sampling ‘Marie’s Island Produce’ which includes jams, homemade bread and cakes and the best honey on the island courtesy of the bees who live in the colourful hives in the garden. Delicious!
Meanwhile, in the Ecuadorian Andes, Hacienda Zuleta has its own dairy producing fresh milk, cream, butter and cheese, plus they bake their own bread. So, put your feet up in front of the fire, spread a generous dollop of freshly-churned butter on still-warm bread, sit back and enjoy. Simple pleasures are often the best of all.
On the banks of Lake Naivasha you can indulge in what many judge the finest afternoon tea in Kenya, with a variety of tempting home-baked cakes, pastries and biscuits. This is Elsamere, former home of George, Joy Adamson and, of course, Elsa, everyone’s favourite lioness. It’s the ideal setting for tea, with hippo-mowed lawns sweeping down to the lake
Are you reaching for your cuppa and hankering after a confectionary creation yet? Then maybe it’s time you treated yourself to a break and some gorgeous home baking. Where do you fancy? I’m sure we can arrange it!