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Chef’s coup as official Beatrix Potter afternoon tea is ‘from the manor born’

Peter Rabbit fever is about to grip the nation, and Healing Manor Hotel has joined forces with one of the largest publishing companies in the world to host Official Beatrix Potter Afternoon Teas.

Chef’s coup as official Beatrix Potter afternoon tea is ‘from the manor born’

While James Corden will be splitting the sides of adults and children alike as he lends his voice to literature’s most famous bunny in a film-first, chef Steven Bennett is gearing up to deliver an “enchanting mix of delicious savoury and sweet treats,” designed by him and his kitchen team.

Exclusive to the rural retreat, having been developed there, it is the fruits of a relationship built up with Penguin Books by Mr Bennett and partner Charlotte Hay, who heads up The Creative Larder, offering food styling and marketing solutions. 

Dishes give a nod to all the tales dating back to 1901, and include Mr McGregor’s Vegetable Garden, a homemade pâté, edible soil and vegetable crudités which is served with toasted hedgehog bread, as a reference to Mrs Tiggy-Winkle. Sandwiches are inspired by The Tale of Two Bad Mice, a spring quiche by The Tale of The Pie and The Patty-Pan, and a sun-dried tomato pastry pin wheel, implanted by Tom Kitten in The Tale of Samuel Whiskers. 

Sweets include a white chocolate egg influenced by Jemima Puddle-Duck and a butterfly sandwich from The Tale of Jeremy Fisher. Other sweet treats refer to The Tale of Benjamin Bunny and The Tale of Peter Rabbit, and include a Rabbit tobacco scone, blackberry macaron and Peter Rabbit biscuit. 

Mr Bennett, the reigning Northern Lincolnshire Business Person of the Year, said: “We’re really excited to be working with such a well-known brand and especially one that every generation has grown up with. This has been a project we’ve been working on for a while and it’s great that we’re now able to launch it in line with the new Peter Rabbit film. It’s such an incredible opportunity to be able to host this afternoon tea in Grimsby and Lincolnshire, it’s another step in recognising the area as a growing food-destination. 

“We’re going one step further and have also created an alternative gluten free, vegetarian and vegan adaptation of the menu, to cater for a wider range of dietary requirements. This is something that not only myself, but the whole kitchen team are excited to be able to offer.”

Fusing the great British afternoon tea renaissance with classic children’s literature could well become a merchandising coup, with no other application for trade rights as yet made. 

It comes as the team prepares to re-launch The Portman restaurant within the hotel, having got the on-site pub, The Pig and Whistle, thriving. It is to re-emerge as a tasting menu restaurant imminently. 

Washing down the afternoon tea will be theme-inspired cocktails, from alcoholic Bunny Tail fizz to child-friendly Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-Tail Milk Shake and Peter Rabbit Juice.

It will be available from Wednesday, March 21, and ongoing Wednesday to Saturday, 12pm to 3.30pm and Sundays 2pm to 4pm, at £19.95 for adults and £12.95 for under 12s.

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