Sunday, 4 March 2018

Afternoon Tea Mother's Day Gift Guide

In case you hadn’t noticed the influx of pink, florals and gin sets filling up the shelves on the high street, Mother’s Day is just around the corner (11th March, FYI). Nothing says “I love you” quite like tea and cake, so what better way to show the special woman in your life how much you care than with some afternoon tea-inspired goodies? Whether you’re looking for the perfect little something for your coffee queen or a bit of a tea adventure, our Mother’s Day gift guide has got you covered.

1. Clipper Organic Infusions | RRP £2.39 available to buy online here 
Florals, for Spring? Groundbreaking. If you did the flowers thing last year, maybe a floral tea could do just the trick? All made with pure ingredients and a clear conscience, Clipper's range of organic infusions and green teas are your go-to gift. Try Flower Power Infusion made with elderflower, hibiscus & limeflower or the wonderfully named, Calmer Chameleon Fusion with chamomile, honeybush & cinnamon which can be bought separately (20 bags per box) or as part of the Clipper's Tea Organic Infusions Sublime Selection which includes six different flavours presented in a neat gift box. 

2. Cake stand, teapot and teacup & saucer, Matalan | RRP from £4 to £10 available to buy online here 
If you fancy hosting your own Mother’s Day afternoon tea party, Matalan’s range of affordable teacups, teapots, cake stands and much more has everything you need to throw a party even the Hatter himself would be jealous of. Our favourite has to be this adorable gold polka-dot teapot but with pieces in the range starting from as little as £4 there’s something to suit every style and budget.

3. Elizabeth Shaw Luxury Biscuits | RRP £1.79 available to buy online here 
Tea and biscuits anyone? One is always better with the other so if tea is already on the cards why not try a selection of luxury biscuits from British chocolatier, Elizabeth Shaw. Choose from a variety of flavours including Raisin & Hazelnut, Coconut & Hazelnut, Raisin & Cocoa and Mint & Cocoa, topped with smooth milk or rich dark chocolate, available from all major UK supermarkets.

4. 'Queen of Caffeine’ bone china mug, Bespoke Verse | RRP £12 available to buy online here 
Most will tell you being a mother is the best job in the world but it’s also a busy one. So for those who like a good caffeine boost to kickstart the day, sip in style with this sweet bone china mug from Bespoke Verse. The website specialises in a range of poetry-themed gifts and homeware including a rather brilliant “Ode to Poldark” mug which we might have to steal for ourselves (sorry mum!). 

5. Personalised teacup and saucer, Find Me A Gift | RRP £14.99 available to buy online here 
The folks at Find Me A Gift have got Mother’s Day sorted with a dedicated gift section but we’ve done the searching for you (you're welcome) and our favourite has to be this personalised cup and saucer. Make mum the perfect breakfast in bed complete with a brew that comes decorated with your own personal message and mini cupcake print. Plus you can complete the set with a matching teapot. Beats any old card, don’t you think! 

6. Taste Tripper | RRP £19.50 (one person) or £35 (two people) available to buy online here
If you want to try something different, then this little yellow envelope may just have the answer. Taste Tripper takes you on a tour of some of London’s best cafes, bars and boutiques with a range of curated Explorer Packs created by people who just really love food. The Central London Explorer Pack includes four coffees, one tea and three chocolates to collect across Notting Hill, Chelsea, Soho and Covent Garden, plus recipes, fun facts and a map to help you navigate your guided taste tour. Get the two person pack and make a day of it!

What are some of your Mother’s Day afternoon tea-themed gift suggestions? Let us know in the comments and join in the conversation on Twitter and Instagram.

Photography: Caroline
Words: Laura

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Afternoon Tea at The Vicarage, Holmes Chapel

Back in January we took a trip to Knutsford to sample the afternoon tea menu at The Courthouse pub and hotel, part of the Flat Cap Hotels group. It was the perfect kickstart our 2018 afternoon tea calendar, so last week when we were invited to try its sister venue, The Vicarage in Holmes Chapel, naturally we hopped on another train with high cake-expectations. Here’s what we thought … 

First things first, our only pop culture reference to this small Cheshire village is that it is the home of a certain former One Directioner, Harry Styles, so we may or may not have stopped off at his former place of work for a small slab of rocky road to take home. But famous musicians aside, this is a beautiful area and The Vicarage is in a prime spot, just moments away from the village centre and gazing out into the picturesque winter countryside.

The Vicarage is a 17th Century Grade II listed country pub which has been restored to deliver just the right balance of contemporary and country chic. Afternoon tea is served in the attached conservatory which is oozing in natural light - a food bloggers best friend, we can assure you. Similar to The Courthouse, the style is very relaxed but The Vicarage really embraces its rustic surroundings with wooden furnishings restored with a neutral white colour palette, homely bookshelves and mismatched crockery including a commemorative Royal cup and saucer, which we were huge fans of. 

We were greeted straight away and offered a choice of tea or coffee, of which we choose one of each. Hot beverages arrived at the table promptly but our afternoon tea did take a rather long time to follow. Perhaps this isn’t usually the case and whilst it would have been preferable to have been informed of the wait time beforehand, we were sat comfortably enjoying our surroundings so this wasn’t a massive issue.

When the food did arrive however, it was presented beautifully on a floral three-tier stand, garnished with fresh strawberries. To begin, the savoury selection included egg and mayonnaise and ham finger sandwiches along with two open variations featuring pepperade and salmon bruschetta. To find a good dash of colour amongst a savoury selection is a rare and welcome touch and the flavours were well balanced, particularly the pepperade which we thought was delicious and could have happily eaten an entire plate of each!

Next, the scones were huge, adding to that home-cooked feel where portion sizes are always a little more generous than a traditional tearoom. We were pleasantly surprised to find these were cherry scones, which is one of our all-time favourite flavours and accompanied with jam and clotted cream. Sadly, one of the scones was a little undercooked so we stuck to just the one between us - fortunately there was enough to go around, and it was tasty.

Finally, the patisserie selection was good, even just to look at, with lots of textures and accents going on to keep things interesting, if a little citrus-heavy but that's completely dependent on personal taste. We each had a miniature chocolate orange slice, frangipane and lemon tart. Our favourite was a toss up between the frangipane and the chocolate orange. One, because the first was different and two because, well ... chocolate. You can't really go wrong.

Overall our afternoon tea at The Vicarage was good. Service was great, the environment was beautiful and though there were a couple of things that could be improved upon for next time, this is a really lovely spot for an afternoon in the country side, and at £15pp it is a steal. 

Plus, the restaurant will be serving up a special savoury afternoon tea just in time for Mother’s Day -  March 11th, FYI. We’re big fans of a savoury tea option and would recommend giving it a try if mini pies and toad in the holes are more your thing than delicate finger fare.  

For more information and to book, visit: 


Sunday, 14 January 2018

Win Afternoon Tea for Two at The Courthouse Knutsford

Feeling inspired by yesterday's review and fancy winning your own trip to The Courthouse in Knutsford? Read on...

To get your new year well and truly started in style, we've joined up with the lovely folk at The Courthouse in Knutsford, to offer one lucky reader the chance to win afternoon tea for two at their beautiful restaurant in 2018. 

For your chance to win, simply complete the Rafflecopter options below - winners will be announced on Monday 22nd January. 

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to UK residents only. Competition will close at midnight (BST) on 21/01/2018. The winner will be chosen and announced on 22/01/2018. The Afternoon Tea Club's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The Afternoon Tea Club is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied by third party connected to this competition. Winners will be responsible for their own transport costs to and from the venue. There will be no cash alternative. Winner will be notified via email/social media. By entering the competition the winner agrees to participate in such promotional activity on our website and Twitter. No responsibility can be taken for any entries which are not received for any reason.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Afternoon Tea at The Courthouse, Knutsford

If, like us, you have decided against January dietary resolutions thanks to a mountain of excess chocolate still in your cupboards post- Christmas, we can highly recommend beating the January blues by taking some time out for afternoon tea. Last weekend, we took heed of our own advice and ventured to The Courthouse Hotel in Knutsford, but despite being a literal former-courthouse, this is not a place to be judged for indulging your cake-loving sins. 

The Courthouse is a beautiful venue and in keeping with its foundations, dining takes place within the docks with an impressive bar as the focal point. The walls are covered in a sprawling collection of artwork, and if you look closely, some incorporate cool imagery of famous mugshots such as that of Elvis and even those of fiction, like Sirius Black - just our kind of place. 

The venue offers several afternoon tea options. We went for traditional, served on pretty, mismatched floral tableware, but for those more adventurous, there are alternatives that include champagne and another that has been inspired by the current trend for gin. Despite not being massive gin fans ourselves, we can imagine that one goes down a treat. 

To begin, finger sandwiches arrived perfectly fresh and came with four different fillings on a couple of different breads; salmon and crème fraîche, beef with horseradish, egg mayo, and cheese and onion. A good balance of fillings, and we’re always happy when salmon is on the menu. A good intro.

Next, despite taking our usual long break to take photos, the scones were still warm when we eventually tucked in and served with good amount of jam and cream. Plus, they were lightly spiced which we can assume has been adopted from their recent Christmas menu offering. Delicious.

Finally the pastries were also channelling a winter vibe thanks to a colour palette of greens and deep reds. We each had a green apple macaroon, chocolate orange profiterole, miniature battenberg, and berry mousse dome. The profiteroles were a favourite, a nice seasonal twist on the much-loved dessert, alongside the berry dome which was tart but complementary to the rest of the pastry flavours on our plates.

Finally we washed this all down with a few cups of coffee and a generous pot of earl grey, and were left feeling pleasantly full, not wanting to move from our gorgeous surroundings.

At £15.95 per person, traditional afternoon tea at The Courthouse is a steal, and if you're feeling the pinch in the wait between Christmas and January paydays (don't worry, we feel your pain!), the venue is offering 2 for 1 packages on afternoon tea until the end of the month. Bargain!

Overall we loved our afternoon at The Courthouse, the venue is beautiful with its subtle balance of tradition and quirkiness, and the food is fab. If it's a January pick me up you're after, you will find it here.

For more information and booking, please visit:

Words: Laura
Photography - Caroline

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

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Afternoon Tea at the Cat Cafe Manchester

In case you haven't noticed the recent feline inspired theme on our Instagram posts and gift guides, we are definitely unabashed cat people. So when we heard about Cat Cafe Manchester's new Christmas afternoon tea we couldn't wait to give it a try! 

Our first tip would be to book ahead. The cafe only allows a small number of visitors inside at any one time (as not to overcrowd the cats!) and there was a hefty queue of people waiting to go in when we arrived on Sunday afternoon. £12 will get you an hour of kittie time with all hot and cold drinks included plus £1 for every additional 5 minutes spent in the cafe. Afternoon tea is priced separately at £8pp. 

The cafe itself feels like you've stepped into someone's living room/ pet shop, spaciously kitted out with comfy sofas, cushions and enough tunnels, bridges and boxes to keep the stars of the show entertained all day. Upon arrival we spotted a few cats hidden away on high shelves and curled up sleeping by the counter complete with a 'do not disturb' sign and completely unfazed by their adoring fans - truly, cats after our own hearts! 

Drinks are ordered over the counter where you will find a selection of cat-inspired cakes and tray bakes to choose from. We opted for breakfast tea and a latte before indulging in hot chocolate generously topped with marshmallows and cream a little later on.

Afternoon tea comes with two types of finger sandwiches; turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, and cheese and chutney. There are four of each, it would have been good to have maybe one one more option in there to add a bit of variation but nonetheless, good stodgy fillings and perfectly fresh.

The scones were good too, though shop bought as no hot food is prepared on site, they were very tasty and served with a good dollop of jam and cream.

To finish we tucked into slices of chocolate yule log, mini mince pies and two super cute gingerbread cat cookies. A really sweet mix of treats and just enough to leave us feeling full. 

Later on, as though unleashed to the public (or paparazzi due to the entire cafe clamouring to take photos), more cats appeared from behind the counter ready to play. If we could have taken them all home, we would have definitely left with meowing pockets and handbags.

For more information and booking please visit:

Words: Laura
Photography: Caroline 
© The Afternoon Tea Club. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig