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Andrew Gravett

Updated: Oct 2, 2022


Play the Fuelled by Tea Episode with Andrew Gravett

Andrews signature afternoon tea treats at the Langham Hotel

The breadcrumb that led to Afternoon Tea


This is probably one of my favourite stories to share with you. A story of a small YouTube video (the breadcrumb) that led me to discover the joy in knowing more about the details behind an iconic Afternoon Tea and more importantly the creative, culinary thoughts of the man behind it all. Chef Andrew Gravett is the Head Pastry Chef at The Langham London, which happens to be the original hotelier home of Afternoon Tea. Andrew’s incredible career was fascinating to uncover and so were his reasons behind the creative choices he was making for the world famous Afternoon Tea.


Behind The Red Curtain.


I think an experience is made all the more richer by having some insight into how it came to be. I’ve grown up in Ballet and whilst I completely respect the joy in the red curtain opening to reveal a thrilling performance, where you see nothing of the hard work, warm ups, or countless rehearsals that go into making it…. I can’t help but feel that there’s so much magic left unseen or experienced. I think that’s why I loved the initial snippet of the ‘goings-on,’ creative thoughts and hard yakka that we would never get to see usually from a top-shelf Hotel such as the Langham. Well, that was it! I knew I wanted to know more and the Fuelled By Tea podcast just felt like it provided me the best platform to share with others. So you can’t begin to imagine my genuine happiness when Chef Andrew agreed to be a guest. I was over the moon and I confess a ‘smidge’ worried about my complete lack of knowledge to do with his field or indeed his obvious excellence, but I told myself that my wanting to know more was the whole point and that I was so confident that others would want to know more too.


Backstage Pass


Well, Andrew did not disappoint. It was brilliant to hear the details behind some of his decisions. Such as his reasons for choosing the British Biscuit as his theme. Why it was important that it was loved by the Brits who came to visit and how he hoped that the flavours would pull out a memory from their own experiences living in the UK. Whilst giving those from overseas who came to try, a real insight into British culture.


To try and summarise the whole conversation would be such a shame, so I’m not going to try, but I will share a few of the special bits that I took away.


In no order at all, I think about;

  • Andrew’s description of the vanilla cream being black, because that’s the colour of real vanilla! Real flavour, coming from a real source! Fake and pretty is not really Andrew’s cup of tea!

  • His favourite childhood cake, baked by his mum that had a brilliant twist…an orange tuber ware that got me considering the details that I treasured from my own childhood!

  • Learning that there is such a thing as the Pastry World Cup (Coupe du Monde Pâtisserie) “A competition that unveils the latest trends and discovers new talents.” Each country involved puts forward their team and you can’t help but be captivated by the skill and creativity on display by everyone. Such an incredible thing to follow, as I now do! I’m a sport and art lover, so a competition based around creating pastries really ticks all the boxes for me!



Finale.


To sum it up, I think the beauty really is in knowing the details and getting to appreciate the bigger picture that goes into the final ‘show’ that is the Afternoon Tea. The little touches such as a small pot of jam to take home with your scones (if you don't polish them off there), so that the experience can carry on beyond the luxury setting of The Palm Court and into your own home. Why are the Scones served last, rather than first! All the details that help to make this a truly special occasion for those lucky enough to enjoy it, with each consideration carefully curated by Andrew and his team. The royal treatment but with the wish that you enjoy it without concern for the ‘rules,’ rather that you enjoy it the way you like it. That includes the tea that you’d like to have to go with it in Chef Andrews opinion. “Have what you like, that’s what’s really important.’ And that’s good enough for me!


Well that's the story of the breadcrumb that led to Afternoon Tea and a conversation with Chef Andrew Gravett that I cherish being able to share with you all. Needless to say that as soon as I return to the UK for a visit, I’ll be stopping by to enjoy an ‘Oats a million,’ which is at the top of my wishlist… being that it was inspired by my favourite biscuit, slash kryptonite, The Hobnob! Everyone has a biscuit ‘Achilles heel’ don’t they? And with that, it’s time to put the kettle on.


Langham Hotel Afternoon Tea Pastry Menu

 

Where to Listen

See below for all places

Other Places

Spotify

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts

Amazon Music

On the Web


Andrew Gravett Fuelled by Tea Podcast Art

 

Andrew Inspired Playlist


 
The breadcrumb video by Channel 4 Lifestyle that led us to Andrew






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