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    New Business Ritual in UK - Afternoon Tea

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    The very English tradition of afternoon tea is finding its new renaissance in London. According to the London hotel Claridge's, afternoon tea is becoming the new business lunch. Claridge's recently won the Tea Guild's award for best afternoon tea in London, and says tourists, Brits and business people are increasingly coming back to tea. Let's take a look.

    Taking afternoon tea in the UK as a business ritual seems to be a trend whose time has come.

    This quintessentially British pastime is no longer the preserve of visitors and ladies who lunch.

    London hotel Claridge's recently won the Tea Guild's award for best afternoon tea in London.

    Beverly Elliott is one customer who wanted to take tea at Claridge's to celebrate a special occasion - her fiftieth birthday.

    Beverly Elliott, Claridge's Customer]:
    "It's nice to get dressed up and it's nice to come somewhere special for a special birthday."

    But Claridge's say besides those visiting for pleasure, business people are increasingly holding business meetings over tea rather than lunch or dinner.

    [Thomas Kochs, General Manager, Claridge's]:
    "You see a great deal of the fashion industry, you see a lot of our female business clients using the afternoon tea period for meetings, you see a lot of celebrations."

    Luxury sports car maker Aston Martin says they prefer doing business over tea.

    [Jeanette Green, Brand Communications Director, Aston Martin]:
    "It encourages you to relax and talk and that's what, from an Aston Martin perspective, we like to do rather than the formality of formal lunches or dinners."

    It seems even at a time when consumers are tightening their belts, an altogether more classy kind of cuppa is now in vogue. Whether for business or pleasure.