While pre- (and hopefully post-) pandemic times would see us heading out to restaurants and cafes to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and the like with loved ones, lockdown has forced us to instead turn to at-home celebrations, which goes some way to explaining the 95 per cent rise in sales of cakes for afternoon tea at Waitrose last year.
The trend for afternoon tea has no doubt been further bolstered by its presence in the hit Netflix series Bridgerton. In the last week alone, searches for afternoon tea food and drink are up over 1000 per cent versus the same week last year.
Champagne sales are also up 52 per cent (it seems lots of us are looking to elevate the traditional teatime event with the addition of bubbles), plus sales of cake stands at John Lewis have increased by 16 per cent compared to last year.
With a third national lockdown currently in place (and with no official end date yet set), the trend for afternoon tea is certain to continue. And so in response to demand, Waitrose has released a range of 30 new cakes that are perfect for afternoon tea.
The new range includes show-stopping triple-layered cakes and a wide variety of birthday, anniversary and baby celebration cakes with adorable novelty designs including a narwhal, a beehive and a colourful dinosaur, ranging from £14 – £40.
The show-stopping designs are made exclusively for Waitrose by the renowned Fiona Cairns bakery in Leicestershire, which uses only the best quality ingredients and hand decorated finishes for their cakes.
Rosie Hancock, bakery product developer at Waitrose comments: ‘We saw sales of teatime cakes rise last summer by 95% which led us to develop a new offer of afternoon tea and celebration cakes, reflecting the demand for celebratory food and drink.
‘With the current lockdown restrictions, we’re all seeking ways to make birthdays and other events really special – even if we can’t celebrate them with others outside our household. Cake is one of the little luxuries we can enjoy at the moment, so indulging in a treat of afternoon tea is the perfect way to celebrate an occasion.’
The new range of afternoon tea cakes is available to shop online at waitrose.com now.