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the orchard tea garden

A corner of England where time stands still - we read about The Orchard Tea Garden, located in Grantchester, near Cambridge. The statement seems very true. The orchard was first planted in 1868 and very little has changed since. Just like many other splendid things, the custom of having afternoon tea under the blossoming fruit trees was created purely by chance. A group of Cambridge students asked the owner of the Orchard House to serve them tea in the shade of old apple trees, rather than, as usual, on the front lawn of the House. Little did they know that on that spring morning in 1897, they had started a great Cambridge tradition. The word about rural tea in the orchard quickly spread around the colleges. One of the biggest enthusiasts of the new ritual was a poet, Robert Brooke. He soon initiated orchard meetings of the Grantchester Group, whose members were Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The list of personalities who had tea in the orchard include Sylvia Plath, Alan Alexander Milne, Christopher Isherwood, King George VI, Prince Charles. And me, of course. A simple recipe for a pleasant afternoon? A deckchair, a pot of hot tea (with milk, obviously), scones, jams and clotted cream - traditional Cornish thick cream. Orchard Tea Garden also serves morning coffee and light luncheons.

The Orchard Tea Garden, 45-47 Mill Will, Grantchester