The Cutty Sark built in Scotland in 1869, is now located in Greenwich, where she marked her 150th birthday this year I was invited to celebrate 150 years of the Cutty Sark by learning more about the ship and enjoying afternoon tea underneath her hull!
A Brief History of The Cutty Sark
The Cutty Sark is a British clipper ship, most famously known for transporting tea from China to British shores. She was one of the last tea clippers to be built and certainly one of the fastest in her prime.Her time in the tea trade was cut short by the opening of the Suez Canal, which provided steamships a much shorter route from China. She went on to transport other cargo including wool from Australia.It was during this period that she earned the title of the fastest ship, as the Cutty Sark completed the journey from Australia to the UK almost a month quicker than any other vessel.The Cutty Sark’s journey from tea clipper to museum was a convoluted one. It was in the 1920s that a retired navy captain recognised a ship in Falmouth Harbour as the Cutty Sark and chose to purchase her. She was used as a training ship for cadets, where boys would live aboard and train for a career in either the Royal Navy or the Merchant Marines.
The Cutty Sark Preservation Society was established in 1953, to bring her to permanent berth in Greenwich. Where she remains until this day as an icon of the bygone era of sailing.
Exploring The Cutty Sark
Your ticket gives you access to the ship so you can explore the museum and learn about the vessel’s history.There are artefacts, interactive displays and a great deal information available that will give you an in-depth history of the ship and how it evolved over the years from the tea trade until modern day.You are also able to go on the deck of the ship and walk around, even heading into the captain’s quarters and to the wheel, to get an idea of what life was like onboard. One of the highlights of being on deck is the incredible views you have over Canary Wharf.Afternoon Tea on The Cutty Sark
It is incredibly fitting that you are now able to enjoy afternoon tea directly under the copper hull of the Cutty Sark – a clipper built with the purpose to transport tea to Britain.Afternoon tea is served in the Cutty Sark Cafe, located underneath the ship. It has to be said that the surroundings for this quintessential English treat are stunning. The ship hangs over three meters above the ground encased by a unique steel and glass designed roof.
You’ll be presented with an afternoon tea stand offering a selection of sandwiches to enjoy including the classics; salmon, cucumber and ham. The next layer includes an array of mini desserts such as macrons, millionaire shortbread and some truly delicious brownies. Finally, there are homemade traditional raisin scones with clotted cream and a pot of strawberry jam.
You have the choice between a bot of English Breakfast tea or coffee, all served on the most darling dishes.
The cost of the afternoon tea is £31.50 per adult, this also includes entry to the Cutty Sark.
If you are looking for a unique destination for afternoon tea in London, I’d definitely recommend heading to the beautiful area of Greenwich and enjoying the Cutty Sark’s offering. You also have the opportunity to explore a piece of nautical history whilst you’re there.
This post is sponsored by Royal Greenwich Museums. As always, all photography and opinions are my own.