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!
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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:
www.filmoreandunion.com

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!

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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 suggestions...you 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. https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/teaparty

- 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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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Proper Tea, Manchester




In spite of its traditional customaries, sometimes Afternoon Tea should be less about the formalities and more about friends getting together for a chat over some good cake and tea. That’s exactly the order of the day at Proper Tea in Manchester as we discovered on a recent sunny Sunday afternoon.

Nestled amongst the city’s Cathedral, Proper Tea is a rustic haven of mismatched teapots, homemade pastries and stripped back furniture on checkerboard tiles.




If you fancy treating yourself to more than a coffee and quick slice of one of the many cakes on the counter (all of which looked AMAZING), Proper Tea's Afternoon Tea offering is a reasonably priced option, presented in your standard three tiers but with an interesting arrangement.

To start, the top layer comes two stodgy toasted sandwiches, each filled with pastrami, gherkins and cheese. A really good alternative to the finger sandwich assorted we’ve come to expect from but considering it’s such a huge part of the meal, it would have been nice to have had a choice of sandwich filling (Caroline’s not a fan of red meat and I’m not on great terms with cheese - nothing to declare any dietary requirements over - however a quick switcheroo and we were sorted) so we would recommend asking if there's a choice when you arrive. 




In addition to this, the savoury palette continues on the next tier with spinach and cheese and tomato pastries, mini toad in the hole and veggie pies. We’re big fans of a gentleman’s afternoon tea so we liked these a lot and the range of flavours was really good.

Finally the bottom tier features a pretty array of mini cakes and giant scone to share - a heart shaped scone none the less! There are 6 miniature sweets, all completely different so you’ll have to fight over who gets the chocolate and hazelnut, but the eclectic selection means Proper Tea has covered all basis from pistachio to raspberry and lemon and everything else in between.




Overall this is a really nice Afternoon Tea, it's quite different than a lot of other similarly contemporary teas we've tried and the tea shop itself is a gorgeous environment. It's definitely the kind of Afternoon Tea you would want to spontaneously pop in on one weekend. Plus it hosts a fantastic range of loose leaf teas for you to try so if you're a tea obsessive or a just a fan of a good old breakfast tea, you will be spoilt by this extensive menu.

Sparkling Afternoon Tea is priced at £20pp.
For more info and to book visit: http://properteadeveloper.com/



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Friday, 14 April 2017

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Edgar House, Chester



Easter is upon us which means chocolate upon chocolate, easter egg hunts and cute baby chicks and bunnies. For those who like their weekends filled with cake and tea, that also means welcoming in those Easter themed Afternoon Tea menus. We spent the afternoon in Chester to try out Edgar House’s new Limited Edition Spring Afternoon tea.



Situated inside the City Walls overlooking the River Dee, this beautiful Georgian building is the ideal setting for a spot of Afternoon Tea and cake on a sunny spring afternoon.

Tea is served in the Twenty2 restaurant, a boutique lounge-style dining room kitted out with plump, studded seating, colourful artwork, a stunning fireplace and bookshelves which make you feel as though you’re sat in someone’s front room, albeit a luxurious one.



Food comes served on your standard three tier setting. The first layer includes a good selection of sandwiches on an interesting range of breads with fillings including, thick cut ham and tomato, cheese and onion, egg and mayo and pastrami. 




To follow, scones are served warm (though by the time we had spent our obligatory 20 minutes taking photos, they had started to cool!) with jam and cream. These could probably have benefited from a little more jam between two guests, but the scones themselves were really tasty and fresh.



Finally the sweet selection offers a vibrant mix of flavours which play on the seasonal theme with two easter chick chocolate truffles joined by rich chocolate tarts, lemon cake and mixed berry mousse. The mousse was delicious but as it’s Easter, we loved the chocolate trend running through the dessert palette and made sure we scoffed every last bit. 

To accompany we each went for a standard Earl Grey and coffee - does the job! 



Overall this is a lovely Afternoon Tea in a really beautiful setting. At £19.75pp it’s priced on parr with similar teas in the area and £2 of every Afternoon Tea goes to Clatterbridge cancer charity - cake with a conscious, that’s what we like to see!



If you’re in Chester this Summer, we would highly recommend stopping by for Afternoon Tea or even just to sample the al fresco dining on the terrace and watch the world go by from the Walls. 

For more info and to book, visit: http://edgarhouse.co.uk/


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