A Tea-riffic Idea?

May 28, 2009 11:41am

Gabriel O’Rorke reports from London. London is biting back against the global drop in tourism. A new campaign, dubbed “Only in London,” is taking extreme measures to attract visitors to the British capital in these tough economic times. In its most recent stunt, the campaign took the British tradition of high tea to new levels: the rooftops of the capital’s most iconic buildings. From Kensington Palace to Monument and even Westminster Abbey, tea is being served atop rooftops across the city. All over the capital, from the Camden Roundhouse to the city’s biggest publishing house, Londoners are enjoying a cup of tea on high, accompanied, of course, by a scone with cream and jam, or a slice of Victoria sponge cake. The idea behind the tea-mania is to raise the profile of this centuries-old ritual whilst drawing attention to the city’s architecture. Afternoon tea dates back to 1661 and the reign of Charles II. Global tourism is feeling the pinch in these tough economic times and Britain is by no means immune: international visitors to London dropped by half a million last year. The campaign, aimed at tourists from America, Europe and Britain itself, is organizing a range of events over the coming months to try and highlight what makes London unique.

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