Kaven Gill talks about taking over the Chesterton Hotel and introducing a new tea menu

Anyone who remembers the Bignell Park Hotel will be surprised by our newly refurbished property.

In April 2018, we realised our dream to a buy a hotel, having recognised its huge potential and started a massive refurbishment programme to turn the property into somewhere with a distinct identity.

With a background in hospitality and a corporate career in London, I have a strong motivation to put my own stamp on the new premises. Neither am I afraid of hard work.

Working with my mother Rabinder and sister Annie, our collective experience has inspired a new strategy, idea and vision.

Renamed the Chesterton Hotel, our refurbishment programme continues through 2019.

Our new Brasserie Restaurant, offering 59 covers is now open.

Opening onto the front patio, the Brasserie (open to all) combines elegance and sophistication and focuses on the five senses of sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.

We also offer a daily afternoon tea with a selection of exotic teas from around the world for guests to enjoy served with freshly baked cakes, scones and handmade savouries.

But we wanted to add something different to tour afternoon tea menu. Developing our afternoon tea menu, we did not want to serve standard teas so we took time out to find a selection of unusual and interesting teas to accompany our food.

“After extensive research, we found The Tea People, run by husband and wife duo Neeraj and Vishaka.

Originally from Darjeeling, the couple moved to the Reading area in 2005.

In 2009, they established a social enterprise, The Tea People, to support an impoverished school in their home town of Darjeeling which served children of tea garden workers and disadvantaged villages in the area.

“Since then, The Tea People has worked hard to source and import and extensive range of unusual speciality teas from India, China, Kenya and South Africa.

Not only is the Chesterton Hotel now able to offer this wide range of exotic and refreshing teas, but by working with The Tea People, we are helping to support their social enterprise where at least 50% of their net profit goes to social causes.

Guests who order tea or the full afternoon tea experience, can choose their preferred tea brought to the table in individual glass jars.

With the restaurant opened, we are now focusing our attention on getting our Spa treatment room open, scheduled for early summer and a barn style conference room, in the next nine months.

The tradition of a sumptuous afternoon tea combining a delicious selection of savoury dainty savouries with delectable pastries, cakes and freshly baked scones is becoming ever popular.

Chesterton Hotel near Bicester, wants to add something different to their afternoon tea menu.

As well as the more traditional savouries – including smoked salmon and crème fraiche bagel and beef and brie with cranberry sauce – together with sweet treats of seasonal tarts, chocolate éclairs, macaroons, individual Victoria sandwich cakes and freshly baked scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, Kaven Gill (see main piece) has found some extra-ordinary teas from The Tea People to enhance the experience.

Guests who order tea or the full afternoon tea experience, can choose their preferred tea from a selection of black, green and fruit teas and infusions that are brought to the table in individual glass jars.

Caffeine free options include Rooibos from the Western Cape’s Cederberg Mountains in South Africa, Jasmine Green Tea, Moringa Passion Fruit, Turkish Apple and Double Happiness.


For the chance to win afternoon tea for two at Chesterton Hotel, answer one simple question: Where does the Chesterton Hotel get its teas from?

A) The Tea People

B) The Coffee People

C) The Village People

Send your answer, with your name, address and contact number to macky@nqo.com by Thursday February 21.

Usual Newsquest rules apply.

Afternoon tea at The Chesterton Hotel costs £19.95 per person. Book by calling 01869 326550 or go to thechestertonhotel.com