Saturday, 26 April 2014

Edible Garden Chelsea Flower Show Afternoon Tea at the InterContinentalLondon Westminster - Preview

As you may know, the Chelsea Flower Show season is fast approaching, which can only mean one thing - lots of beautiful floral themed teas. 

Providing a focal point to this year's London offerings, the InterContinental Westminster have once again teamed up with Laurent Perrier to launch their edible garden tea, complete with decorative greenhouse and free flowing champagne - yes, you read that correctly, free flowing champagne. What a dream.

If last year's summer tea is anything to go off, we're definitely in for a treat - Be sure to check back here on the 19th May for our full round-up from the edible garden!

Will you be trying the Edible Garden Afternoon Tea this Summer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us at @TeacupReview!

Priced at £44pp the InterContinental London Westminster Edible Garden tea will run from 28th April - 26th May. Please see their website for more information and menus. 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Neighbourhood Manchester

Neighbourhood prides itself on being a cool, New York style bar and with its dark interior, mirrored tables and mesh panels, you can definitely feel the NYC vibes. Situated in Manchester's swanky Spinningfields complex, the bar is almost hidden away in the Avenue, giving it an exclusive feel and shaped up to be quite the hip venue for Afternoon Tea. 

Neighbourhood Manchester.

The place is already set for tea when you arrive and the entire bar adopts a similar theme with floral pieces mimicking that of the tea set.
It's an impressive look and makes the most of the current trendiness in Afternoon Tea which has resulted in the popular bold cups and saucers we see at our table.

Classic Miniatures.

You can choose to sip your champagne first or begin with tea. Tea or champagne? Champagne or tea? A silly question really and one we promptly answered with the bubbly option.
There is a standard choice of tea however, a simple but classic everyday brew. It would have been good to have a choice here, perhaps a signature tea to match the Mad Hatter theme.

Afternoon Tea. 

The afternoon tea itself looks absolutely lovely. It's got colour, texture and dares to be a little playful, adding jelly drops to the top layer.

The sandwich selection consists of cucumber and chive cream cheese, ham and mustard, egg mayonnaise and ATC favourite, salmon with lemon butter. The choice here was good, with a nice range of fillings but we couldn't help but notice the bread was a little dry.

A spot of tea. 

Things are done a little differently at Neighbourhood, after all this is a Mad Hatter's tea party and the scones are housed in with the rest of the cakes. It's been so long since we've had cherry scones so these were a pleasant surprise, however more particular tea goers might not like that they've been saved the duty of deciding what goes first the jam or the cream, as it's already been done for you. Nevertheless we liked that they were different and can confirm they were delicious.

Sandwich Selection.

The scones were joined by slices of carrot cake, Victoria sponge and chocolate tart. The flavours here were nicely balanced with a little something for every palette, inspired by a very traditional Afternoon Tea menu.

To finish there are green and red jelly bites presented on spoons which are a fun palette cleanser to end the tea. However a dash of flavouring or splash of alcohol might have livened these up a touch - or does that say more about us?

Jelly Wonderland.

The tea was nice and balanced but there wasn't anything particularly Mad about it. Instead, everything on the menu was quite typical. Of course why change an age old, winning formula, but it just felt it needed something to make it stand out before we could truly feel as though we had fallen down the rabbit hole.

Floral Centrepiece. 

For one of Manchester's premium champagne teas at £33 per person we're not too sure if it quite lives up to its price tag. There are others in the city offering much more for much less.

With a venue as attractive at this, and credit must be given for how fabulous this place looks, we reckon if Neighbourhood were to strip the Mad Hatter label or add a few unique touches it might become quite the Afternoon Tea hotspot.

Neighbourhood is located in Spinningfields, Manchester. Champagne Afternoon Tea costs £33pp. For more information please visit their website.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Afternoon Tea Club Discovers: Tea Pairings

We just came across this cute little Whittards video that we think you'll love. Focussing on tea pairing, this short clip made us smile and taught us a thing or two about perfect couplings. Enjoy!

Do you pair your tea and cake? What's your favourite blend?

Laura & Caroline

The Cake and Bake Show 2014, Manchester

This weekend was a particularly cake-filled affair, as we shelved our diet plans and headed into Manchester for a weekend of baked indulgence at the Cake and Bake Show 2014.

Armed with my trusty camera and blogging buddies - Sarah, Katie, Anna and Alex - we headed into Manchester Central on Friday to fuel our treat habit with a whole lot of sugared indulgence.

Having attended last year's disappointing Cake International (which, I must add, is in no way connected to the Cake and Bake Show) I entered the show with a little trepidation. However, my fears were soon alleviated, as I realised that this show was going to be anything but disappointing. Complete with its own cake jungle, The Cake and Bake Show is everything that I'd hoped of Cake International and much much more. 

The great thing about this annual show, is the inspiration that it offers aspiring bakers, and from sugar craft stalls to competitive bake-offs, there's something for everyone. One of the most impressive things on display was a giant cake elephant, which a team of bakers worked on throughout the weekend as a centre piece to the exhibition's Cake Jungle. 

Other highlights included the celebrity demonstrations, which took place throughout the weekend, from baking stars such as GBBO winners Frances Quinn and John Whaite, Rosemary Schrager, Simon Rimmer and Mr Cake Boy himself Eric Lanlard.

As you know, Mr. Lanlard is a firm favourite with us ATC ladies, so it was an absolute delight to be able to watch him doing his thing on stage (if only briefly), whilst Frances Quinn was a true pro and a pure treat to watch. 

Unfortunately, we didn't get the opportunity to meet any of our baking heroes this time 'round, but there were plenty of chances throughout the day to nab an autograph and photo, for those willing to queue at the various book signings and classes taking place. 

Showcases aside, there were also lots of opportunities to indulge in cakey treats at the various stalls. On this front I must admit, I went a little bit crazy, sampling anything and everything available. Some of the best things I tried were the Cheshire Cheese Comapany's fine array of fare and the Little Round Cake Company's Black Forest layer cake & Meringues - yummy!

However, all caked out by the samples available, I opted (somewhat unconventionally) to purchase a selection of bread and cheeses. For these I went to the Snowdonia Cheese Company and More Artisan Bakery, and bought an unbelievably delicious cheese & onion focaccia, and Black Bomber and Red Berry Cheese to take home for my tea - no regrets whatsoever!

All in all, I had an absolutely fantastic weekend at the Cake and Bake show, and will definitely be back again next year!

If you missed out this time, fear not, because the Cake and Bake Show 2014 is coming to Earls Court London this Autumn. Check out their site for more information about tickets and dates. This is a definite must for any cake lover!

Did you visit the Cake and Bake Show this year? What did you think?

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