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A very Newbold Bake-Off

"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the ceremony known as Afternoon Tea"

A rather quintessential affair, students in our English Language Centre (ELC)  recently took on the challenge of learning the art of hosting a traditional British tea party.

Split into groups, students carefully followed instructions on how to create their contribution to the tea party, before nervously submitting their bakes to be tasted and judged (much to the dismay Clive Malcolm, teacher of English and Elena Telyukina, Newbold Church’s secretary…)

Once the winning bakes were announced, the students were rewarded by indulging in their sweet treats on beautifully decorated tables in the Newbold Church Centre.

Learning the art of the tea party was a wonderful taste of British Culture. Some of our students share their experiences below:

Written by Jonatan:

“We had a lovely experience – it offered a mix of tradition and innovation with our own take on the famous scone, followed by a spring-inspired Afternoon Tea. After our scone was judged based on a high criteria, and a very interesting presentation about the culture and traditions of afternoon tea, we finally get to the fun part: eat!”

Written by Dayane:

“It was an exciting competition, learning the art of Afternoon Tea. We prepared scones and, as nobody in the group had prepared them before, it was quite challenging. We didn’t know exactly how it was supposed to be, so we followed the recipe, but ended up adding some ingredients that are not traditionally used, as chocolates and coconut. 

We also set a table for an Afternoon Tea with flowers, cups, saucers, plates, jam, clotted cream, tea, milk and the scones. Even though we didn’t win, our scones really did taste good, our table looked lovely and it was nice spending time cooking and setting the table together.”

Written by Cassandra: 

“We all met at the Church Centre for our first day of British Culture. As the topic of the day was food, we started the week with a bake-off competition. The goal was to bake the best scones and dress the best Afternoon Tea table in one hour. 

As there were a lot of us, we had to get into groups of five to six. At first it was a little confusing, as none of us had ever made a scone before. However, we managed to split the tasks. Some were mixing the ingredients, other provided the materials and some dressed the table. Once the hour was up, the judges tasted all the different scones and examined the dressed tables. After a long and hard decision they declared the group number two and tree as the winner.

Afterwards, we all sat at our tables but before we could try this traditional British afternoon snack, Caroline explained to us how it is eaten and how to discern people from different social classes based on how they drink their tea.”