Sunday, 23 July 2017

The London Carriage Works, Liverpool

As avid afternoon tea goers and notebook hoarders, we’ve compiled a pretty long wish list of teas we plan to visit. Of that list, there are a growing number of local offerings around the North West that we keep adding to in the event of those random, free Sunday afternoons where you just want to do nothing but eat cake and be happy. We did just that and ticked one of those places off the list recently when we visited The London Carriage Works in Liverpool.

Situated on Hope Street, The London Carriage Works is a little off the beaten track from the city centre buzz but with neighbours such as the Liverpool Philharmonic and Everyman Playhouse, it’s in good company in the city’s beautiful Georgian Quarter.

Huge windows joined together by masts of exposed brick mean the restaurant is flooded with natural light (a bonus right there for bloggers like us wanting to take lots of photos!). The environment is laid back with dark wood and red tones throughout, broken up by gorgeous glass fixtures cascading head to toe.

Its afternoon tea offering leans heavily on the classics with all of the traditional fillings and flavours you would imagine but that worked really well here and benefited from some notable updates. Starting with a glass of champagne, we opted to wash our tea down with pots of earl grey and coffee. 

Heading straight to the finger sandwiches, fillings included egg and watercress, cheese and onion, salmon and cucumber, and lightly curried chicken. A good balance of flavours, opting to do away with the standard cucumber, by instead incorporating with fresh salmon - an ATC fave, making this one a clear winner.

Then the scones arrived warm served with clotted cream, fresh strawberries and jam. These were delicious and a good size too with plenty of cream to go around - there is nothing worse than having to be frugal with a cream tea!

Finally the patisserie selection presented a colourful collection of old favourites including Battenberg, lemon cake, chocolate and coconut macaroon, and a chocolate and orange layer cake. A perfectly balanced selection (if that can ever be true of cake) which left us feeling full but not so full that we had to roll ourselves down Mount Pleasant on the way back to the train station!

We really enjoyed this tea. Great setting, tasty food and special mention must go to the great service too, as the staff were really friendly and kept our teapots topped. At £17pp (£26 with champagne) it’s also reasonably priced for a quick stop tea and definitely worth adding to your own tea wish-list for the next time you’re in the city. 

For more information and to book visit: 


Friday, 14 July 2017

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Tale as old as time at Town House, The Kensington

“Be our guest, be our guest, put our service to the test!” – that we did, when we visited London last month for the Town House at The Kensington Hotel, “Tale as Old as Time” Beauty and the Beast themed afternoon tea. Have you ever come across a more magical collection of words in your entire life?

Served in the Town House lounge style dining area, you will be joined at your table by both Lumiere and Cogsworth who bring the Disney charm to a sophisticated and neutral luxury setting kitted out with real silver and egg shell blue tableware.

A selection of savouries are served first including mini Venison Pie, Cheese Souffle, and Beef Ragu & Saffron Arancini. A great starter, full of flavour and choice so you’re bound to love at least one - for us that was the tasty venison pie.

Appetites sufficiently whet, the savoury bites were followed by the part we had been excited to see after months of waiting (we booked this back in February so our anticipation levels were at an all time high) - the main event, a beautiful three-tier stand topped with the most adorable selection of themed sweets you could imagine.

Starting with a selection of fresh finger sandwiches, fillings included cucumber and cream cheese, chicken and cranberry, egg mayo and salmon. The sandwiches were good but there was a paste consistency throughout - perhaps a slice of smoked salmon may have been a better choice to add a little more variety in texture.

Then, the sconnoisseurs of you out there will be surprised to hear that the traditional scone with jam and cream has been replaced by mini brioche baguettes with apricot jam and chocolate spread. We loved that this played on the French theme and can confirm they were absolutely delicious.

Finally on to the sweet selection where not a single detail or opportunity was missed to touch on the Disney style including a Cogsworth chocolate tart, coconut and chocolate macaroon, jelly with rose petal accent (a la the bell jar) complete with cream poured from your very own Mrs Potts, and finally a sweet Chip cup filled with a creamy white chocolate mousse. The jelly was definitely our favourite, subtle in flavour and theme, exactly what we like from a novelty tea, and a great way to finish the meal without leaving too full.

Drinks-wise, we opted for champagne (Anything Disney is enough of a special occasion to require champagne) and two pots of earl grey which came in beautiful, silver teapots. 

Just as a side note, if you’re unfamiliar with London and planning on Google-mapping your way to the hotel – PLAN AHEAD. We discovered that the venue is very un-Googleable when we found ourselves a 30 minute walk away, £12 down in Uber costs and very sweaty and dishevelled on the hottest day of the year so far, a shocking 45 minutes late. Definitely looked more Beast than Beauty on this occasion! If you are planning on using Maps ensure you use the first line of the address including door number rather than venue name, otherwise you might end up at a completely different hotel. You live, you learn and we must say this menu more than made up for the travel mishap.

We really enjoyed this tea, the theme was well executed, not too OTT as we’ve come across in other venues or so subtle to the point where the theme is barely recognisable - just the right amount of Instagram cute! Plus the magic continues with a marzipan cookie in the shape of Belle’s gold dress to take home, which we thought this was a really nice touch.

If you’re a Disney fan, this afternoon tea is a must-do, and good news, due to popular demand the hotel has just extended its run until June 2018, including a festive edition! But hurry, bookings fill up fast.

The ‘Tale as Old as Time’ afternoon tea is priced at £35pp (£45pp with a glass of champagne.) 


Sunday, 25 June 2017

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Wimbledon at The Chelsea Harbour Hotel, London

Whether you're a tennis fan or not, there's no escaping Wimbledon and as the country gears up for the start of this year's annual competition, there are plenty of ways to get involved. 

Now, afternoon tea and sport probably aren't the most natural of bedfellows, but when it comes to Wimbledon, sweets are definitely on the menu, as hotels around the country launch their annual tennis-themed offerings this month. Expect lots of strawberries, cream and prosecco.

Continuing their partnership with Whittard of Chelsea, the Chelsea Harbour Hotel has created a delicious "Wimbledon Afternoon Tea" featuring a whole host of tennis themed treats, served on beautiful turquoise and lavender crockery.

Upon arrival, you're welcomed to the hotel with a choice of tea from the extensive Whittard collection, which includes classic Breakfast, Earl Grey and Darjeeling blends, along with a range of summer floral teas such as English Rose and Piccadilly Blend. For a £2 supplement, you can also try out the brand's 'Speciality Teas' which promise something a little more extravagant for those tempted to try.

During our visit, I opted or the 'English Rose Blend' which is a fragrant black tea with subtle rose hints, which complements the summery vibes of the tea perfectly. It can be purchased from Whittards here and I can definitely recommend it to anyone looking to mix up their tea picks for the summer - safe to say I'll be buying a box for myself next week!

On to the tea itself... Served on a slate three tier stand, the presentation is sleek and conventional, with a chocolate court outline embellishment on the the top, giving a nod to the Wimbledon theme running throughout.

The sandwiches are served on a mixture of wholemeal and white bread, coming in a selection of flavours, which include: smoked chicken with chive mayo, honey ham with black bomber cheese, smoked salmon with horseradish and rocket leaves, and cucumber and mint cream cheese. You can always tell when sandwiches are made fresh to order and I'm pleased to say that this was the case at the Chelsea Harbour - all four varieties were deliciously light and elegantly displayed with a salad garnish.

When it comes to cake, this is where the tennis theme kicks in, with a variety of summer treats to really get the Wimbledon party started. Particular favourites from the selection included the apple and elderflower mousse cake, which comes in the shape of a halved tennis ball and the strawberry and cream tart, to send you to Henman Hill and back. To go alongside these treats were several other afternoon tea classics - which were to die for  - festuring a delectable chocolate raspberry slice and refreshing Pimms jelly. Yum!

All in all, we had a lovely time at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel. On a fine day you can dine on the restaurant's balcony, with views over the Harbour (and the amazing boats docked there!) but if the weather's dull outside, then you also have the option to sit in the hotel's bar or brasserie. During our visit, we were served in the brasserie and whilst the decor was slightly on the tired side, the views out of the window were lovely - and if the newly polished interiors of the hotel's other public spaces are anything to go off, then I daresay a facelift may be on the horizon soon!

If you're looking to do something different to mark the Wimbledon season then give Chelsea Harbour Hotel a look in. The food is delicious and at the VERY competitively priced tag of £22pp (£30pp with a Bellini) it is one of the best value afternoon teas that I've come across in London.

For more information and prices, please visit:

Have you tried a Wimbledon afternoon tea before?

- Caroline

We were kindly provided with a complimentary tea for review, but as usual all thoughts and opinions are very much our own!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Afternoon Tea at Filmore and Union, Beverley

A few weeks ago, our newest ATC member, Charlotte Goss, visited Filmore and Union in Beverley, to try out their healthy afternoon tea. Here's how she got on!

Filmore and Union are not the first restaurant to associate an ethos of ‘everything in moderation’ and healthy living with the classic Afternoon Tea, but bear with me!

This Yorkshire based restaurant has been championing clean, pure foods since opening their first York site in 2012 and thanks to a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign, have exploded across Yorkshire, arriving in the East Yorkshire market town of Beverley last year.

Walking through the door is enough to make you feel cleansed, as you’re whacked with the smell of fruit juice (think smoothie bar) and instantly feel the hygge vibe - very Nordic, natural, light and airy!

We took up a sunny spot in the window upstairs, overlooking Beverley square, and without too much perusing of the menu, allowing salad envy to kick in, we quickly ordered the 100% gluten free afternoon tea with prosecco – hey it was Friday.

The fizz arrived in two gorgeous glasses, followed by our juice shots – delicious, fruity and packed full of the good stuff. Following this, our afternoon tea arrived - much to my surprise on wooden boards instead of the classic three-tiered cake stand.

Let's start with the open sandwiches: We had Salt Beef, gherkins and sweet American mustard (we held the gherkins); Smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill, with spinach and Homemade hummus, spinach and roasted vegetables. The toppings were a flavour sensation, with some good pickling going on with the roasted veg.

Now gluten free bread is not really my bag, I always find it just a touch dry. These toppings on a crusty sour dough though, oh boy I’d be in heaven.

The scones had a spicy note, as a cinnamon lover this was right up my street and served with berry compote and greek yoghurt, I felt no shame in gobbling them all. The cakes were ‘little bites’ perfectly balanced with fresh blueberries and strawberries. We also had raspberry and polenta muffins which were gorgeously moist, fudgey chocolate brownie bites and seeded muffins.

Overall an impressive spread for £36 for 2 (£28 tea/coffee option) and a bonus when you’re not bursting out your jeans waddling out the door. An ideal spot if you are gluten free or just looking for healthier options. Plus, it’s doggy friendly (we left our naughty pug at home mind)

A full list of restaurants, menus and online booking can be found at:

Have you ever tried a healthy afternoon tea? Tell us about your experiences below!

- Charlotte

Tea Clubber Bio - Charlotte Goss
Hello I'm Charlotte (Chaz), Cake/ Coffee addict and Pug enthusiast from a little market town in East Yorkshire! Charity Fundraiser by profession and Founder of baking business 'Rebel Cakes'. Famously nicknamed ‘pudding face’ as a child… and it stuck!


Sunday, 14 May 2017

A Blooming Great Tea Party

I’ve recently started investing insane amounts of money into crockery, with the dream that I’ll one day have a kitchen of my own to use it in. However, until that day arrives, everything is being put to good use in my various photoshoots and tea parties at home. Most of the time I don't need too much of an excuse to eat cake, but when it comes with the added benefit of helping a good cause, there's no stopping me.

This June (23rd-25th), Marie Curie are encouraging everyone to get in the kitchen and host a Blooming Great Tea Party, in support of patients with terminal illness. Whether this is a full afternoon tea at home or an office bake off, they're looking for people to get together with friends and family, over a slice of cake to help raise money to assist their vital work. 

Most of us will know someone who's needed the assistance of Marie Curie over the years, so why not make this your good deed for today and dust off that cake stand? And if you need any more inspiration than the fact that you can essentially enjoy some guilt free cake - take a look at our top tips for hosting the perfect tea party below.

Top 5 Tips for Hosting the Perfect "Blooming Great Tea Party"

1. Be Creative – It’s your home and your menu, so go wild. If you don’t like finger sandwiches, swap them out for pastries. Not a fan of tea? Fill up that coffee cup. Don’t like cake? (Are you okay?) Crack open the biscuit tin… the possibilities are endless.

2. Can’t bake, won’t bake – Let’s face it, as much as we all enjoy eating cake, some of us just weren’t born for the kitchen. Don’t let this put you off though, embrace your lack of baking skills and take the opportunity to source some of your favourite shop-bought treats to enjoy. The main point of the Marie Curie ‘Blooming Great Tea Party’ is to enjoy some quality time with friends for a good cause, so don’t feel like you have to be a regular Mary Berry to get involved – Afternoon Tea doesn’t discriminate. However, if you do fancy a turn in the kitchen, take a look at the Marie Curie recipe page for some cakey inspiration.

3. Set the Scene – Dust off your finest china and get fancy. Afternoon tea, doesn’t have to be about finery, but if you’ve got it flaunt it. Take out those champagne glasses and polish that silver cake stand to set the perfect afternoon tea scene. Don’t have a cake stand? No need to worry, why not invest in some pretty paper plates and patterned napkins, to create the perfect party table, with some home-made bunting to match.

4. Host it your way - By all means, if you want to throw the tea party to end all tea parties, then go for it, but if you just want to have a few friends over for a cuppa and a slice of Victoria Sandwich, then that's allowed too. There are plenty of resources on the Marie Curie website to help you along the way, including invites, posters and games name it and they've got it covered.

5. Get the Office Involved – For many of us, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to prepare afternoon tea and work a 9-5 job, so why not get the office involved? Host a bake off for charity or book out a meeting room and invite your work pals for tea over your mid-morning catch-up.

So what are you waiting for? Request your pack today and get planning your Blooming Great Tea Party.

- Caroline

Will you be hosting a Blooming Great Tea Party for Marie Curie? Share your plans in the comments below or tweet us over at @teacupreview

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