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New afternoon tea at Lavenham hotel Celebrates WWII US bombardment group

Enjoy a Masters of the Air themed afternoon tea at The Swan at Lavenham

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A new afternoon tea menu at The Swan at Lavenham Hotel and Spa celebrates the US 487th Bombardment Group who were stationed at nearby Lavenham Airfield during WWII.

They were part of East Anglia’s Friendly Invasion by USAAF personnel as told in Apple TV’s current series, Masters of the Air, based on Donald L. Miller’s non-fiction book of the same name.

Named after the bomber boys, The Swan’s 487 Afternoon Tea: Episode One features a modern take on sweet and savoury delights, which might have been enjoyed during 1940s wartime Britain.

The sandwich selection includes a ‘Wartime BLT’ on brown bread with corned beef, lettuce, tomato and Branston pickle, which was invented in the late 30s and eaten by the wealthy. There’s also the strange sounding but delicious ‘Lemony egg on white bread’, lemon was added to egg to improve the flavour. More traditional sandwich fillings include smoked salmon with cream cheese, and cucumber and dill.

For the next course there’s a choice of either sweet or savoury wartime inspired menus.

A celebration of the RAF Lavenham bomber boys wouldn’t be complete without the use of local St Peter’s Brewery 487th Commemorate Ale. The sweet menu’s ‘Wacky’ chocolate cake contains a dash of the beer plus camouflage butter icing.

US service personnel brought their favourite flavours to the UK including peanut butter, which features in large red, white and blue macarons topped by the American flag. An old fashioned lemon posset with Chantilly cream, lemon sherbet shards and chocolate M&Ms, and an apple tart with a wartime favourite mini toffee apple complete the sweet menu.

In contrast the savoury menu features St Peter’s 487th Ale in a spam fritter. Very popular during the war years, this dish has been made more appealing with the addition of a special apple chutney, which was a staple stored in the Chef’s Nan’s Anderson air raid shelter.

Other tasty delights include two potato-based dishes reflecting the need to be inventive due to flour rationing, namely ‘King Ed’s biscuits and Piccalilli’ and ‘Potato Rarebit with brown sauce gel’. Devilled quail ‘Two Eggs’ with caviar on a toasted brioche is a nod to the airmen being given two eggs when they were flying instead of the rationed one egg.

The sweet menu also features plain and sultana scones with clotted cream and jams, while the savoury includes ham and prune, and cheese and chive scones with butter whipped to make it stretch further.

Served from 12noon until 4pm Monday to Saturday, and 2.30pm until 4pm on Sundays, the 487 Afternoon Tea: Episode One is priced at £27.50 per person or £36.50 with a glass of Prosecco. Booking is essential at least 24 hours ahead by either calling 01787 247 477 or online at, where you will also find more details.

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