Tuesday, 15 September 2015

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: The Langham Hotel, London

Cherish Finden has long been an ATC inspiration, with her delicate yet  striking cake creations, heading up our afternoon tea wish list since around 2013. Her residency at the Langham has produced some absolutely beautiful teas, with her Wedgwood creation being the latest example of the hotel's flair for afternoon tea. 

Upon arriving at the Langham we were greeted and taken to our table, before being offered a choice of tea and a glass of champagne to start. The choice of tea at the Langham is quite extensive, offering everything from Earl Grey to Darjeeling First Flush, along with a selection of less conventional blends to appeal to even the most ambitious tea drinker.

To start, we were presented with a lemon posset as a pallet cleanser, before being brought a selection of traditional finger sandwiches and rolls. The selection on offer with this tea was very good, including an egg roll and mini ham and cheese bun, alongside traditional cucumber, salmon and chicken finger sandwiches. As with lots of London venues, the food here was unlimited, with offers of additional food coming at regular intervals.

Next up were the fresh scones, followed by the piece de la resistance - the patisserie. Out of all the teas we've been to, I have to say that I was most impressed by these cakes. Each one was individually crafted with colours and textures to deliver a completely unique experience. Just look at these magical names and try and not to drool: 

Wedgwood Tea Cup – White chocolate mousse, tropical jelly and dark chocolate sablé
White Cameo on Blue – Strawberry and white balsamic Victoria sponge
Daisy Teapot – Cinnamon shortbread cookie
Hathaway Rose Motif – English Rose and lychee log
Kouglof – Chocolate, raspberry and lightly roasted pistachio financier

Our favourites had to be the Hathaway Rose Motif and of course the adorable daisy teapot.

We really loved the way the Langham did things a little differently. From allowing you to choose your sandwiches from a fresh selection served on a tray to the ceremony of each individual layer arriving at the table at different intervals, it made for a very special experience. 

To top it off, the Langham, Palm Court is just a beautiful location for Afternoon Tea. It somehow pulls off being grand and delicate all at the same time whilst doing away with those stuffy stereotyped images you might imagine of a traditional London tea venue. 

If you're looking for somewhere extra special, this is where you need to be. 

The Wedgwood Afternoon Tea is priced at £47 per person
To find out more and to book visit: www.palm-court.co.uk/

Afternoon tea was provided to us for review purposes, but as usual, all thoughts and opinions are our own. Prices correct as of September 2015. 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Matilda Tea at The Radisson Blu Edwardian

Last weekend we made what's become our yearly pilgrimage to London, the capital of Afternoon Tea, to try out a very special Matilda-themed tea at the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Mercer Street Hotel. Here's how we got on ...
Matilda Afternoon Tea
To start, there's a pleasant busy atmosphere to the restaurant, a refreshing change to some more traditional Afternoon Tea venues. Plus the number of little hands tucking into stands of cakes and mini pastries showed that these Matilda-themed goodies make for the perfect attraction whilst Roald Dahl's Matilda musical brings a touch of magic to the stage at the Cambridge Theatre next door.

Kicking things off, a good selection of savouries filled the first tier including a generous amount of cucumber finger sandwiches, mini salmon bagels, egg and watercress, and ham and dried tomato baguettes. A really nice selection and the salmon bagels were deliciously moreish.

Next we indulged in two fruit scones each, both a good size as not to fill you up too much before the most important bit of afternoon tea, the cake! The scones were soft, fresh and served with just the right amount of jam and cream - it's always so sad when you run out!

Saving the best 'til last - the cake! Our sophisticated sweet selection included a fluffy Victoria sponge, strawberry tart, chocolate and orange cake and somewhat of a Radisson Afternoon Tea staple, a jelly shot made with elder flower and prosecco. The chocolate cake was definitely our favourite - though we couldn't help but feel a rich piece of chocolate fudge cake (a la Bruce Bogtrotter) might have lent itself more to the Matilda theme!

Overall we enjoyed our afternoon at the Mercer Street Hotel however we couldn't help but notice that this tea was very similar to the menu we're used to seeing at our local Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel which takes the magic away just a little. Perhaps if the Radisson were to include a few more unique pieces or some Matilda-themed accents to this classic selection, it might really stand out from the crowd.

Matilda The Musical Afternoon Tea at the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Mercer Street is priced at £32pp for adults and £16pp for children (including a special Matilda gift). For more info and to book visit: www.radissonblu-edwardian.com

Afternoon tea was provided to us for review purposes, but as usual, all thoughts and opinions are our own. Prices correct as of August 2015. 

Saturday, 22 August 2015

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Marco's New York Italian, Sheffield, Pt. 2

Traditional Afternoon tea

A few weeks ago, we brought you part one of our Marco's Italian afternoon tea weekend, complete with rustic bruchetta and chocolate dip biscotti. Well, this week we're pleased to bring you the restaurant's traditional afternoon tea.

Sweet Treats
A lot more conventional than it's Italian counterpart, the classic afternoon tea features everything you could wish for, including champagne to start, an abundance of finger sandwiches (Beef and Horseradish, Salmon and cream cheese, Ham & Mustard, Mackerel and Beetroot, Cream cheese and cucumbera selection of sweet treats and cakes (Fruit Tarts, filled Brandy Snaps, Lemon Curd Sponge, Chocolate Cake, Dipped Strawberries) and a surprise strawberry treat to finish. Scones also make a reappearance on this menu, making this tea absolutely perfect for the afternoon tea traditionalist in us all.

Strawberry Surprise
As before the service was very friendly, with the manageress being more than happy to explain the details of the menu to us and make sure that we were well looked after.

All in all our trip to Marco's New York Italian was an absolute delight. It's not often that you see themed afternoon teas outside of London, so the range on offer here is a definite bonus. If you're in the area and after something sweet, give them a try!

Tip: If you like a quieter environment, book a sitting for after 3.30 as it was a lot quieter than earlier on.

For more info and to book visit:www.mpwrestaurants.co.uk

Afternoon tea was provided to us for review purposes, but as usual all thoughts and opinions are our own!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Marco's New York Italian, Sheffield, Pt. 1

It's been almost two years since we last visited Sheffield for Afternoon Tea, so when we were invited to come and try the brand new Afternoon Tea menu on offer at Marco Pierre White’s New York,  Italian Restaurant, we thought what better excuse than to hop on the train and pay the Steel City a visit.

Champagne and popcorn.

Inkeeping with the New York Italian theme, there are two types of Afternoon Tea on offer: Traditional and Italian. Luckily for us we didn't have to face the difficult task of choosing which one and got to overload on cake from both (Part 2 to follow). 

Starting with the Italian, the tea arrived presented on a vintage style, vine box turned tea stand bursting with food - so don't make the mistake on filling up on the paprika popcorn beforehand! To begin there's an interesting array of savouries including bruschetta, salmon bagel, pastrami on rye and pulled pork roll. It's an interesting mix of flavours and styles, some traditional Italian and others much more contemporary but there are enough flavours crammed in there to ensure there's something you'll love. 

Italian Afternoon Tea.

For the hardcore-traditionalists out there, you probably won't be over the moon about the skipping over the scones but honestly, there are so many miniatures, sweets and even surprises to follow that you won't even notice. 
Heavy on the chocolate theme (yes please!) the tea featured chocolate chip cookies, chocolate brownies, chocolate covered strawberries, orange and polenta cake and cronuts. The cronuts were absolutely delicious followed by the strawberry milkshake shot - there's a huge trend for a mini milkshake with tea these days and we're absolutely loving it. 

Savoury selection.

And just when you think you couldn't eat anymore, there's an extra surprise waiting for you when you finish in the form of a "wow" box featuring mini biscuits with dipping chocolate. Such a unique touch and one you'll definitely make a little room for. 

The tea side of things was a little less adventurous and we were asked a little while into our food whether we would like tea or coffee. The staff were more than happy to cater to our tea choice but it would have been nice to see a full tea menu. However, we were quite settled with a glass of champagne so the tea could wait!

Mini "Wow".

If you're looking for something a little bit different with a few special touches, Marco's New York Italian is definitely a must try. The staff were really attentive and the food is just delicious. Look out for part two of our review next week!

Marco's Italian Afternoon Tea is priced at £16.00pp or £19.95 with a glass of champagne. For more info and to book visit: www.mpwrestaurants.co.uk

Afternoon tea was provided to us for review purposes, but as usual, all thoughts and opinions are our own. Prices correct as of July 2015

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Bloggers Afternoon Tea Party - Patisserie Valerie, Manchester

Spending our days taking tea for two, we don't often get to meet many other other bloggers so we were very excited when we were invited along to our first blogger Afternoon Tea event at Patisserie Valerie, Manchester.
Time for Tea
Having visited this fabulous high street, Belgian-born tea shop on many occasions for coffee and cake (check out our review), we were rather happy to learn of their brand new traditional Afternoon Tea offering. Served on a three tier stand, this collection of mini treats houses all of the favourites you would expect from a classic Afternoon Tea menu and a little taster of Patisserie Valerie's famous cakes.

The "jam or cream first?" discussion of course came up!

To start we had a selection of finger sandwiches including smoked salmon with cream cheese, classic cucumber, egg mayonnaise and cress, ham and mustard, chicken with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes and for something a little different, a mini vegetable quiche. Our fave was the chicken but it looking around the table, our blogger friends were huge fans of the quiche. 

A couple of good sized scones followed with our own individual pots of jam complete with their own unique message - "Spread a little joy", very cute! Then for the best bit, the patisserie selection which included chocolate eclairs, Victoria sandwich, carrot and walnut cake, double chocolate mousse and a mixed berry mousse slice. The whole table was drooling over the berry slice and we can concur, it was delicious but for us the winner had to be the super indulgent chocolate mousse. 

A taste of Patisserie Valerie.

To top it off we each had a pot of Earl Grey - probably not the most exciting choice we could have gone for being the resident tea experts but you can't beat a classic!

All in all, a lovely afternoon spent with some equally lovely ladies - even with the miserable Manchester rain (Come on, it's July!). 

Patisserie Valerie's Afternoon Tea for Two is priced at £25 and available from most stores across the UK. For more information, visit their website www.patisserie-valerie.co.uk.