Strabane’s ‘Afternoon Tea Expert’ hosted a very special event in the Bishop’s Gate hotel in Derry recently.
Eileen Donaghey, who is the owner of the Instagram account, ‘@Afternoontealondon is the biggest Instagrammer in the UK for afternoon tea.
Originally from Strabane and a former pupil at Strabane Convent Grammar, when living in London, Eileen set up the Instagram account as a way to explore the city and to improve her social media skills. Today the Instagram account has reached 12,000 followers and has a following globally.
Eileen regularly is contacted to give recommendations of the best places to go in London.
February’s event, which was exclusive to bloggers in Northern Ireland, saw Eileen teach about the history of afternoon tea and she also gave basic etiquette tips to the guests.
Eileen normally runs these events in London but decided to launch them in the North, as she has now relocated back home.
Over the course of the event, guests learned: How to pour your tea, the answer to ‘is it milk or tea first’ and how to break the scones correctly and if it is jam or cream first.
“Being from the North West, hosting the first event in Derry seemed like the obvious choice,” Eileen explained.
“The service and quality in the Bishop’s Gate is noticeably better than some of the other bigger Belfast hotels and I
consider it to be the best in Derry.
“It was wonderful to be able to do the first event there and to meet other bloggers from around Northern Ireland.
“Feedback afterwards was excellent and all the guests enjoyed their experience.”
Alongside the group events, in 2019, Eileen is going to focus on corporate entertaining and private one-to-one tuition. She has already been booked by her first corporate client who is a Belfast solicitor firm as a treat for their staff.
The idea behind the private tuition is for tourists in London who want to fully immerse themselves into the culture of afternoon tea. Eileen has already had her first client from Vancouver.
Eileen also consults for hotels who want to improve their afternoon tea offering and can advise on the food, experience, marketing and pricing.
One of the guest’s feedback from the recent Derry event was: “I recently attended the Afternoon Tea hosted by Eileen at the Bishop’s Gate Hotel.
“It was such a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon surrounded by other ladies and learning about the history of the afternoon tea (fascinating facts about where it originated and little bits of history you don’t even consider) whilst enjoying the delicious food.
“I would highly recommend trying this delightful experience!”
• You can follow Eileen on Instagram @afternoontealondon or visit her website www.afternoonteaexpert.co.uk