Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Fancie, Ecclesall Road, Sheffield

Last week we were invited by the fabulous folk at Fancie Sheffield to sample their latest Afternoon Tea - being the tea lovers that we are, we were only too happy to oblige!

Time for Tea!

Environment 

Laura:
Arriving up the Ecclesall Road strip, there is an eclectic mix of eateries, unique boutique shops and student hangouts. Subtly positioned along this vibrant mix, Fancie’s Canteen and Bakery sits modestly with a white exterior and understated logo but with a fabulous display of cakes that are sure to lure you in.
Once inside, any false impressions of an overload of pink and fluffy are lost and replaced by bare brickwork (one of my favourite things –just ever!), natural wood, mismatched vintage china and gorgeous centre pieces.This is afternoon tea meets Sex And The City power lunch. 

Cakey Treats

Our table was already set with floral teacups and seal-top jars holding flower arrangements and all important sugar cubes. I loved the red lantern house table decorations as the pillar-box shade worked to bring the rest of the table to life.
The seating arrangement was also really nice. A mix of painted garden furniture, wooden chairs and recently fitted bench seating in the bay ofthe window. There are a great range of table sizes too which makes Fancie the ideal place for a quick coffee catch up or a full on afternoon tea treat with the family.

Cute Accessories

Caroline:
With four outlets across Sheffield and a selection of cupcakes to die for, Fancie‘s distinctive yet versatile interiors mark its unique appeal, offering a selection of eclectic designs to suit all tastes. 


A contrast to its original Cath Kidston-esque sister, their new flagship bakery on Ecclesall Road offers a relaxed warehouse-style environment, ideal for an informal afternoon tea. The exposed brickwork walls and rough wooden floors, create a rural feel which is quite different to anywhere we’ve been before, whilst the quirky crates and old-school-style blackboards accent this theme perfectly - I particularly liked the luggage tagged glass bottle which marked our table and the fairy light lined windows, which I thought added a very pretty contrast to the wooden interior.


Food
Laura:
The one thing I am always looking for with every afternoon tea we try is that one unique feature that sets it aside from the rest. Fancie has just that. If not for its gorgeous vintage china coupled with contemporary tea stands and hotchpotch furniture, the menu alone makes it worth the trip.
To start, we had a fantastic range of sandwiches, with more than enough to set us off in style. Fillings included classic cucumber, cheese and chutney, ham and whole grain mustard – gorgeously thick slices by the way,and smoked salmon. The salmon was my favourite although I did love the hot mustard filling with the ham – yum!


Next up – and might I add, what was Fancie’s trump card for me – amazing home-made puff pastry sausage rolls. I had never come across this before with afternoon tea and I just thought it was a fabulous idea. It made a typical party nibble feel grown up and posh – I’m not ashamed to say my share may have included some of Caroline’s too!
Then came the scones – an afternoon tea staple, yet even this key layer came presented with a twist. With a touch of cinnamon these werepre-cut into bitesize pieces which had a real homemade rustic texture. They were simply gorgeous and a great alternative to the traditional treat. There was plenty of Catherine’s Choice Jam and Clotted Cream to go around too!


And finally, it has to be said, one of my favourite afternoon tea desserts is a gold old cupcake and since these are a staple at Fancie, we were treated to four of their signature flavours – Victoria Mini, Chocolate Mini, Hazelnut Mini and Butterscotch Mini. I tried the Hazelnut and Butterscotch, they were both lovely and fluffy with perfectly smooth buttercream – I could have happily eaten them all. To accompany, we were treated to a few more bitesize favourites including a chocolate tiffin, chocolate brownie, Rocky Road and strawberries. I am a huge fan of Rocky Road so I was super excited to see that on the menu – chock full of marshmallows, just the way I like it!
We were also given a choice of Twining’s loose leaf infusion teas. As a recent Peppermint Tea convert I choose this option which came with plenty of refills.
This is one afternoon tea were flawless presentation definitely lives up to the taste.

Yum!

Caroline:
Traditional but with a distinctly Yorkshire twist, the Fancie Afternoon Tea is certainly something to behold. Presented on simple, modern stands which contrast wonderfully with their glass tea pots and beautiful vintage tea services, this tea has all the classics and then some - also offering a few unexpected twists along the way.

The menu itself is vast and includes lots of flavourful goodies such as: Finger Sandwiches - Cucumber, Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese, Cheese & Chutney and Ham & Wholegrain Mustard (Four of each); Mini Fancie Sausage Rolls(Yum); Fancie Scones (with Catherine’s choice of jam and clotted cream); and Fancie Cakes (too delicious to mention without getting hunger pangs, but here goes: mini Victoria Cupcake, Nutty-Rocky Road, Chocolate Brownie/Tiffin and Chocolate Cupcake!

Scone Slices

Out of this selection, my favourite had to be the Scones which were served in bite-size slices with lots of jam and cream - an absolute god-send for a messy scone eater like myself, and everso dainty. Other favourites included the Cheese and Chutney sandwiches, which I enjoyed so much that I had to steal some of Laura’s to satisfy my craving for more (they are seriously good, made with brilliantly soft bread). Off the top tier I LOVED the tiffin, which as a longstanding favourite of mine was a more than welcome addition to the cake selection - especially alongside the nutty bite-size rocky road and strawberry bites which were little pieces of Heaven.

Tea

For my tea, I went for the old faithful Earl Gray, which as usual, didn't disappoint. (I particularly liked the eclectic mix of vintage china and modern glass tea pots, which offered a quirky and off-beat dynamic to the tea taking ceremony.)

Teacup

Service

Laura:
The service at Fancie was spot on. Our order was taken rightaway and we were approached at just the right intervals. The staff were very friendly and happy to chat with us when taking our order – a really lovely team.

Caroline: 
In alignment with its setting, the service at Fancie was warm and welcoming, making our afternoon very enjoyable. The service style was friendly, with staff displaying a good product knowledge and enthusiasm for the brand.

 
Overall Thoughts

Laura:
Fancie has found the perfect balance between vintage and contemporary by combining the best of tradition with the practicality of modern dining. By thinking outside of the box, Fancie’s talented chefs have created an afternoon tea that stands out for its creativity and attention to detail. Two hours on a train is a long way for cake … but so worth it.

Caroline:
I really loved our day out at Fancie and would recommend to anyone. For excellent food in a relaxed and informal environment, you really can’t go wrong - a great place for students, families and business men alike - pay them a visit soon!

Cupcake Rating:


Fancie is located on Ecclesall Road, Sheffield. Afternoon Tea is served between 2-5pm, and priced at £12.95 pp. For more information, menus and how to book a table please visit their website HERE

LOOK OUT FOR OUR REVIEW OF THE ORIGINAL FANCIE CUPCAKERY LATER THIS WEEK!

DISCLAIMER: As is common in the catering and leisure industry, we were provided with complimentary services for review purposes. Whilst this has not influenced our review, we believe in the full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.  

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