Catering and hospitality students brought colour, flavour and flair to an afternoon tea challenge at West Nottinghamshire College’s Refined restaurant last week.

As part of their induction process, students who will be learning their trades in cookery and food and beverage service, began their new academic year with a competition to create the most tasty and innovative afternoon tea.

The groups were given two hours to put together a styled menu and table decorations, along with getting to work in the kitchens to make afternoon tea items such as sandwiches, scones, cakes and light bites in the theme of their choice.

The St Patrick’s Day table featured egg mayonnaise red onion sandwich, salad and barbeque chicken sandwich, with a fruit scone with jam and cream and cupcakes with green icing and orange sponge, to co-ordinate with the country’s flag. Decorations incorporated the shamrock design associated with the saint’s day celebrations.

The colourful birthday party-themed tea featured egg mayonnaise and cheese sandwiches, banana milkshake with caramel, butterfly cupcakes and cornflake tarts, amongst a highly-decorated party table, suitable for children and the group dressed up in bright character costumes as entertainment.

Meanwhile the St George’s day group brought a touch of England’s finest with cheese and red onion sandwiches, egg mayonnaise sandwiches, cheese scones, Victoria sponge and brownies. The table was decked in classic red, white and blues with the union flag flying high.

Love was in the air for the St Valentine’s day themed group, who chose ‘for the love of cheese sandwiches’ and ‘BBQ for you’ for savoury treats. Those with a sweet tooth could enjoy the ‘feeling red velvet love’ heart-shaped sponge cakes or the ‘sweet love shortbread’ stack. The table decorations were loaded with hearts, candles and petals to complement the love theme.

It was the St Valentine’s group who were chosen as the winners by the college’s principal and chief executive Andrew Cropley and fellow judges. Andrew praised each group for their efforts and for working “enthusiastically and creatively under timed conditions.”

Intermediate Diploma in Professional Cookery student Byron Scott, 17, was part of the St Valentine’s group. He said: “Our idea for the love theme is something that everyone can enjoy. We cut all the sandwiches into heart shapes. The shortbread has a lovely red raspberry coulis in the centre and we were really pleased with our efforts.

“Being in a competition environment was quite pressurised but I loved it! I’m going to enjoy working in the kitchens, as I love the fast pace.”





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