The aim of this portfolio is to draw upon relevant theories and concepts related to the event and roved the readers with information about a specific event supporting it with annotated visual evidence of the design and managed experience such as photographs, menus, and promotional materials. Moving forward this portfolio will present the afternoon tea experience in one of the most famous and luxury hotels in Edinburgh, The Caledonia Waldron Astoria Hotel.
Main body Tourism, Hospitality and Event sectors tend to provide to their consumers a diversity of experiences as culture, products, places, services, events and landscapes are. Designing an experience should include both producer/manager’s goals and needs alongside with the desires and preferences of customers or audience (Get, 2012). 2. 1 Waldron Astoria Hotel – The Caledonia Waldron Astoria Hotel – The Caledonia, or the ‘”Caleb'” as it has become known amongst residents of Edinburgh, was and still is the epitome of excellence and style.
Completed in 1903, this extraordinary red sandstone construction is a typical Victorian railway hotel, with Corinthian architecture style dominating over other architectural flourishes. The venue inside is significantly big, especially after the refurbishment late in 2012 which cost EYE million and re-opened as The Caledonia, Waldron Astoria Hotel Edinburgh. In 1965, the Caledonia Station which was built around the hotel had finally closed but visitors can still see nowadays signs of this glorious era all over the hotel and especially in the Peacock Alley bar (Stone & Knags, 2014).
Peacock Alley bar hosts the original Hamilton and Inches station clock in a very prominent corner of the venue so that the clock will stand out whopping in the eyes of the guests who enjoy their afternoon tea or their cocktails. Afternoon tea experience is the most important event taking place at Peacock Alley bar as it is already know that afternoon tea is valuable throughout the United Kingdom (Waldron Astoria Edinburgh, 2014). The original Hamilton and Inches station clock 2. 2 What is Afternoon Tea?
Almost like a ritual, afternoon tea introduced in Britain in the middle of the nineteenth century. It is an evolution to a mini meal to stem hunger and postpone the evening meal later on. It is composed by scones with Jam and clotted carme, sandwiches (cutter in thin slices), cakes and sweet pastries. An interesting fact is that the scones were not a common part of afternoon tea till the twentieth century. The afternoon tea was a private social event developed for high society ladies or for ladies who were about to climb the society’s hierarchy.
Tea receptions as they are widely known were Queen Victorians afternoon tea meetings altered into a formal occasion. Around two hundred guests could attend these receptions, usually between pm and pm having always an open invitation for visit during which they could leave or come at any time they would like (Afternoon Tea I-J, 2014). 2. 3 History of Afternoon Tea It all started with Duchess Anna of Bedford complaining of “having that sinking lining” caused by tea consumption after her dinner. By that time it was usual for people to take two meals per day, breakfast and dinner.
Dinner though was quite late at around 8 o’clock, so Anna’s solution was a light snack with a pot of tea in her private boudoir in the afternoon. That increased significantly tea consumption in the beginning of nineteenth century. Duchess Anna of Bedford in her private boudoir enjoying a cup of tea Later on, Anna invited her friends to her summer residency at Wobble Abbey and this summer practice was proved to be quite popular so after her return to London she started ending postcards with invitations to her friends to Join her for “tea and a walking the fields. Many other noble ladies adopted this practice and idea but they moved it indoors, into their living rooms. Noble ladies and afternoon tea experience There are many tourists that still believe that United Kingdom is a country in which everything stops for a tea at half past three. Unfortunately afternoon tea these days in Britain is being enjoyed as a celebration to unique events such as baby shower parties, birthday’s, christenings or even pre-wedding parties are. But most commonly s an occasional pleasure with a group of friends.
Thankfully tourists are able to familiarize to this British custom as much as they like during their holidays (Afternoon Tea I-J, 2014). 2. 4 Waldron Astoria and Afternoon tea At the heart of the hotel, in the sophisticated venue of Peacock Alley, afternoon tea is served in a very stylish way which transpires the prestige and traditions of the authentic Waldron Astoria in New York. Guests here can enjoy their afternoon tea and relax in an informal but still very classy environment under the classical sounds of insist and harpist who plays during the afternoon tea service on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Caledonia won ‘The Tea Guild special Award of Excellence 2013’ due to its exquisite quality and steadily high service standards during the Afternoon Tea service. Peacock Alley Lounge Bar in Waldron Astoria Hotel Afternoon Tea in The Caleb is usually served 12 pm to 5 pm every day. Making a reservation is essential especially during the weekends which are the most busiest part of the week. Tables are being prepared in advance according to the reservation list from the very beginning of the shift till a quarter to twelve at most.
At the arrival of the guests, behind the reception desk, a hostess is waiting in the entrance of Peacock Alley to welcome and show them to their tables. After having their seats, a member of the staff informs the guests about some historical facts of the venue and also how the afternoon tea experience they are about to have, first established and provides them with a menu and explains the options from which they can choose the most appropriate for them. Four options are available: The Caleb afternoon tea, Specialist afternoon tea, Cream tea and of course Children’s afternoon tea.
My rinds and I experienced the second option, the Specialist afternoon tea. Specialist afternoon tea includes: Our Specialist Afternoon Tea change seasonally, with exclusive patisserie and cake creations from our Pastry Chef to create a tantalizing, unique experience. Sandwiches: Roast Smoked Salmon with Horseradish on Lemon Bread Seared Scottish Sirloin with Arrant Mustard on Toasted Sour Dough Sliced Chicken with Tarragon Creme Franchise on Olive Bread Grilled Capsicum and Black Crowded with Pesto and Sundries Tomato Bread Freshly Baked Scones Freshly Baked Fruit and Plain Scones with Clotted Cream and Fruit Preserves
Pastries Tiramisu with Spun Sugar Cardamom and Passion Fruit Delicate Banknote Pie Chocolate Cup Seasonal Scottish Berry Tart Earl Grey and Shortbread Trifle Choux Pastry Swan The cost of this option is в?30 per person. In case somebody wants to add a glass of Peppier Joust Brut is EYE up. With Peppier Joust Blazon Rose is EYE up and with Kirk Royal EYE up. The three racked plate holder with sandwiches, pastries, scones and sweets. Choux Pastry Swan, strawberry tarts, cupcakes and Banknote Pie Chocolate Cup Spun sugar Tiramisu There is also a big list of teas in the menu which counts seventeen different flavors.
The supervisor of Peacock Alleys staff team is responsible to answer in any enquiry and help the guests to decide which flavor is close to their taste. It’s worth mentioning that the tea used is not in bags but they are being placed in the tea pots as a spoon measured portion by the actual herbs. The setting of the porcelains on the table is done in a really simple and handy way so that everybody can follow up and easily use them. Table setting Tea pouring procedure Throughout the whole process of the event the guest can feel the presence of the staff members, without being overwhelmed by it, who are always there willing to alp.
Guests will never find their tea pots empty since the staff is constantly refilling them. 2. 5 Applying theories Taking into consideration the whole experience gained by the afternoon tea event, the most relevant theories that can be applied are : the four realms of experience, the tourist gaze, five steps in staging a memorable experience and last but not least the theatre metaphor. 2. 5. 1 The four realms of experience There are four realms of experience: educational, entertainment, escapist and aesthetic. All these can be combined and add value to the experience (Pine & Gilmore, 2012).
In Waldron Astoria afternoon tea the theory of four realms can easily be applied because knowing about the history of the hotel, the history of the afternoon tea but also tasting different flavors of tea lead this experience to become educational for the guests. They can also have the entertainment realm as they interact with their friends, the staff and of course they are enjoying the live music. It could be escapist because a guest after knowing afternoon tea’s history about the nobles and their relationship with the afternoon tea, he/she can pretend to be one of them and act as an actor of the event.
Lastly, it could be aesthetic due to the significance of the venue, the architecture, the classical music. 2. 5. 2 The tourist gaze The Caledonia hotel is one of the most famous hotels around the world and in Edinburgh particularly well known for its afternoon tea. Visual signs as the old station’s clock makes the place stand out and be unique worth the tourist’s gaze. Familiar activities such as having a cup of tea becomes all of a sudden unfamiliar due to the new aspects in experiencing a new way of having your tea served and consumed.