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This year for the Mayor of Basingstoke’s annual tea party, in celebration of couples’ golden and diamond wedding anniversaries, Hospitality and Catering students from Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT) will be designing and creating afternoon tea boxes to be delivered directly to couples’ homes across the district.On the 18 and 19 March, the students will be preparing a selection of finger sandwiches, British scones served with fresh clotted cream and jam, with a variety of dainty cakes and sweet treats including Victoria sponge, French macarons, mini eclairs and choux buns.Faculty Head, Vicki Quilter, said: “We are proud to be able to represent Basingstoke and Deane in this annual event, despite the current restrictions. This opportunity provides our students with a fantastic real-life working event to practice their culinary skills.”Level 3 Patisserie students, Zara Davidson and Amy Fry said: “We’re really looking forward to experiencing a large catering event after such a long time away from customers, and it’s especially rewarding to contribute to making lovely memories for the couples’ who will receive a box. After such a tough year, it has been great to be back in College working with the Hospitality and Catering team to create something with meaning.”Traditionally, the Mayor, Cllr Diane Taylor, would hold the annual tea party at the Restaurant at BCoT which would be decorated throughout with bunting, flowers, vintage china and teapots and music to create a lovely atmosphere. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, this year staff will be delivering the gifted boxes directly to couples’ homes.Cllr Taylor said: "Golden and diamond anniversaries are very special milestones in a couple’s life together. Even though we won’t be able to celebrate in person this year, I would like to offer my good wishes to all couples who are marking this milestone around the borough.Principal, Anthony Bravo, commented: “I am delighted that our students are able to continue with the annual tea party event and work with the Mayor to mark the occasion to deliver something truly special and memorable. We work closely with the Council and other leading businesses and employers to ensure that our students leave BCoT with a good level of work experience and are ready to join the world of work.”The Restaurant at BCoT offers quality dining at pocket-friendly prices with a number of different multiple-course menus over the year, showcasing a wide range of dishes and culinary styles, using some of the finest ingredients from across Hampshire. Run by BCoT’s Hospitality and Catering department, the Restaurant gives students the opportunity to learn, practice and master their skills in the state-of-the-art, industry-standard kitchens.In the Prime Minister’s announcement of the most recent roadmap, the Restaurant at BCoT should be able to reopen indoors from 17 May 2021. Please check our website for further updates and the latest guidance at: therestaurant.bcot.ac.uk
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