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

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.

Friday, 3 July 2015

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: The Baltic Social, Liverpool

The Baltic Social

The other week we realised that the ATC hadn't been to Liverpool in forever. So since it was about two years since our last visit, we decided to have a scout around the internet to see what was about, and boy did we find a lot. There has to be at least five or six places that we'd like to try over the next few months, but since we can only do one at a time, we decided to head to one of Liverpool's more quirkier venues for our first foray back into the scene. 


The Baltic Social is a cute little bar just off Jamaica street, right at the heart of the city's coolest hangouts. With a mish-mash of multicoloured furniture, distressed woodwork and exposed brick, this place is one of the cutest I've been to in ages.

A celebration of all things cool and edgy, the bar's Punk Afternoon Tea is about as far removed from traditional finger sandwiches and scones as you can imagine.

To start, we were presented with a tub of popcorn to nibble on whilst the tea was being prepared. However, we weren't left waiting long before a large basket of fries were delivered to the table, making us jump in with a 'sorry, I think you've got the wrong table, we didn't order this', to which the lovely waiter replied, 'they're part of the afternoon tea!'

Music to our ears - Now, we've never had fries with tea before, but it's definitely something we could get used to!


After this we prepared ourselves for the unknown, trying to guess what other treats might arrive and as you can see from the pictures, it was quite different. Presented on vinyl cake stands (sacrilege!), this quirky sandwich selection comprised of mini hotdogs, sliders and delicious BLTs, and if that wasn't enough we were also treated to a stack of pretzels as an accompaniment. Now I'm not a massive meat fan - I'm not vegetarian, but I tend to lean more towards chicken - however, the hotdog was most definitely my favourite of the selection, garnished with crackling and mustard. 

Following this, we were then spoilt with slices of chocolate and Madeira cake and lots of retro sweets and haribo - delicious. 

It's always nice trying quirky teas as sometimes you just want a break from finger sandwiches and patisserie and that's exactly what this place gives you - All in all I'd say that we were pretty impressed. As far as price tags go, it’s great value for money and although you have to share a tea pot, the food and ambiance is definitely worth the spend. If you're ever in the area, check it out!

Read more about The Baltic Social here

The Baltic Social kindly provided us with a tea for review puroposes, but as usual all thoughts are our own!

Monday, 22 June 2015

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Épernay Champagne Bar, Manchester

Tea Stand
Apologies for this sorely out dated post. They say 'time flies when you're having fun' and in this case it has - by about four months. Anyway, a review's a review and as this tea is still very much available, I thought it'd be nice to jot down a few thoughts that I had about Épernay, when I visited back in late February.

For those of you who don't know, Épernay is one of Manchester's best champagne bars, frequented by the city's rich & famous and YoPros alike. Located in the back room of the main bar, their afternoon tea spot is absolutely delightful, with big open windows which allow for lots of natural light - perfect for enjoying glass of champagne in!



Champagne is a must when visiting Épernay, and I was delighted to be greeted with a glass upon arrival. However, if the bubbles aren't really your thing, fear not, because  they also offer a good selection of alternative cocktails for your delectation.

Their food was also good. Whilst not as big a selection as other places in the city, the range at Épernay is certainly interesting. With mini muffin sandwiches, served on a range of breads, and fillings including cheese, tuna and ham, this tea offers something a little different to the usual fingers, whilst the cakes are super soft and delicious. In fact, my only minus point in terms of the food was its colour - or lack of - as you might be able to see from the pics. It's only a small note, but I do like to have a strong visual palette when taking afternoon tea, so I found this a little neutral - however the cakes were delicious (particularly the Bakewell Tart) so I was able to forgive this!


All in all, I'd say that this is definitely worth a try if you're looking for somewhere new to take tea in Manchester. If you go, let me know what you think!

Find out more about Épernay here!

Have you ever been to Épernay? What did you think?

Sunday, 21 June 2015

New in from Whittard: Margaret's Hope, Limited Edition First Flush Darjeeling



The 'First Flush' is considered by many tea lovers, to be the highlight of the spring/summer season, as crops come into fruition and are harvested for our tea-drinking pleasure! 

As a mark of this special occasion, Whittard have produced a special limited edition chestlet of their prized First Flush Darjeeling - Margaret's Hope, which has been cultivated at altitudes of 915-1830m in the Himalayas. Much like a fine champagne, the marker of a good 'First Flush' comes from its originating tea garden and you don't get much better than Margaret's estate, which is considered to be one one of Darjeeling's oldest and best producers.

Sweet and subtle, this tea is a great one to try if you fancy indulging in something a bit special - we love it!


Read more about Margaret's Hope and see prices on the Whittard site!

Have you ever tried a Darjeeling 'First Flush'?

We were sent a sample of tea to try, but as usual, all thoughts and comments are our own!