AN award winning Bartington business sold 15,000 scones in two weeks when they were invited to showcase their infamous afternoon tea in Japan.
Ian and Belinda Davenport, from Davenports Farmshop and Tea Room, were invited to the festival in Osaka, which celebrates the best of Great British cuisine, after winning the Tea Guild’s Top Tea Place Award 2013.
And Davenports’ lavender scones proved particularly popular.
“On the first day there were 40 people queuing within five minutes of us opening,” said Ian. “We ended up selling 15,000 in 13 days out there.
“The festival tries to get the best place for each type of food. There was the best Cornish Pasty, best Fish and Chip shop, from Aberdeen, and us as the best Tea Room.
“It’s the 43rd year they’ve held a festival like this one. They love everything about British food and the Alice in Wonderland theme is very popular over there.
Ian and Belinda enjoyed a taste of the celebrity lifestyle while in Japan, but faced an action-packed 13 days.
“We were top billing in the in-house paper and we kept seeing ourselves on posters in shopping precincts and the subway,” added Ian.
“One couple even asked us to sign our names on a book.
“We got over to Suzuka for the Formula One and had a half day in Kyoto, but as soon as we landed after a 22-hour flight we were straight in the department store to train the Japanese chefs.
“It was brilliant though, we were rubbing shoulders with the head chef of the Goring Hotel in London, which is really popular with the Royals and renowned for doing the best afternoon teas.”
Davenports’ new fans have promised they will stop over in Bartington, but he believes the experience was beneficial for the tea room’s suppliers, too.
“We had £6,000 worth of stock shipped out from this country, all the lavender, jam, flour etc so it had a nice knock on effect on our suppliers.
“We’d definitely go back in an instant, the people are so lovely and we must have had our photos taken 50 times a day.
“We’ve had loads of Facebook likes from Japanese people since we’ve been back and we gave out a lot of business cards. People were saying they will come to visit us in Cheshire!”