Monday, 7 March 2016

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Sketch London

Sketch has long been on our hit list of places to visit and on a recent trip to London, we were lucky enough to be able to try out their world famous afternoon tea. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get into the BEAUTIFUL pink gallery, but the kind folks at Sketch were able to fit us into their bar for  a quick tasting session.

Because of the nature of where we were seated, it's a little difficult to give a full experience overview. However, we can talk about the food and my god was it good.

The sandwiches at Sketch are the first in a line up of really special treats, coming in a selection of flavours including coronation chicken, smoked salmon, cucumber and a delicious hand wrapped toastie complete with bow. When it comes to savouries, what really sets Sketch apart is their attention to detail - as you can see from the pics the sandwiches are not only filled inside, but garnished on the outside and beautifully finished (scroll down a bit for the cucumber!)

Definitely one of the most creative presentations we've seen for a while and one to really write home about.

After the sandwiches came the scones. Now, this was the only slightly disappointing part of the experience as you are only given the option of a single plain or fruit variety. Perhaps we've been spoilt or maybe we just have eyes bigger than our bellies, but it would've been really nice to try out one of each. However, that said, the scones are definitely a good size so you don't feel like you're missing out too much by just having the one.

The final hoorah of the meal are the cakes and sweet treats. Now these take the form of a variety of sponges, tarts, mousses and meringues, offering a lightly balanced palate which is neither too stodgy or too sweet. I found it very easy to polish off, which goes to show how well constructed the menu is. Extra points for the marshmallows to finish - such a great addition!

Overall, we were very impressed with the food on offer at the Sketch London Afternoon Tea and whilst we didn't experience the full pink paradise, we most definitely got enough of a taster to make us determined to visit again soon.

Have you ever been for Afternoon Tea at Sketch? What was your favourite thing on the menu?

Whilst we were provided with a complementary afternoon tea for review, all thoughts and opinions are our own!


Saturday, 5 March 2016

Top Picks for Mother's Day Afternoon Tea

What better way to treat your mum this Mother's Day than with some quality time spent drinking tea (or champagne!) and eating lots of fabulous cake! Here's our pick of some of the best places to take your lovely mum this Mother's Day ...

Bettys, York

Bettys was the first tea room I ever visited as a child and has remained a firm favourite ever since. Boasting six locations across Yorkshire, their afternoon tea is a must for anyone travelling through the region, with York’s outlet offering both a casual dining option for passers by, or a reservation only experience upstairs in their Belmont room. Be sure to stop by their in house shop on the way out, to purchase a selection of Bettys signature breads, cakes and preserves - their Yorkshire tea loaf and fat rascal are an absolute must! - Caroline

Great John Street, Manchester

Everything about Great John Street’s afternoon tea is perfect. From its sumptuous library surroundings with sinkable sofas, to their beautiful Kumquat embellished serving plates, this boutique hotel has everything down to a tee (or tea!). Like many venues across the UK, Great John Street hotel offers both a ladies, gents and children's tea, making them the perfect choice for couples or family celebrations. Their new ‘High Breakfast’ makes tea an all day affair, offering a quirky take on the tradition, with Smoked Salmon Benedict, Mini French Toast and Strawberry Smoothies up for grabs. Definitely one to check out. 
Grand Pacific, Manchester

Our second Manchester recommendation is the ‘Asian High Tea’ at Grand Pacific in Spinningfields. Served in two waves (savoury stand first, followed by a sweet) this tea is a twist on the traditional British pastime, swapping out sandwiches for sushi, and scones for sweet spring rolls. With the bar being part of Manchester’s premier Australasia restaurant, it’s impossible to go too wrong. 
Crewe Hall, Crewe

Anywhere that’s good enough for the kings and queens of days gone by, is good enough for us. Served in the Sheridan Lounge fresh from the estate’s Victorian kitchen, the most striking part of this afternoon tea is its surroundings. With beautiful period features and high ceilings running throughout, it’s difficult not to get swept away in the venue’s history. Their champagne option is exactly how you’d imagine a quintessential afternoon tea to be, so if you’re looking for an elegant high tea in traditional surroundings, this is about as perfect as it gets!
Harvey Nichols, Nationwide

Harvey Nichols is a great option for afternoon tea on the go. Located at the heart of five of the UKs  major cities, the premium department store offers a luxury high tea experience at a very reasonable price. With seasonal menus that often include collaborations with prominent chefs, such as Paul A Young, this ever changingafternoon tea is a fantastic option for shoppers and ladies who lunch.

If vintage charm is more your style, Cuthberts’ Bakehouse in Liverpool offers a fun and affordable afternoon tea in a casual setting decorated in turquoise hues and fairy lights. Chosen from a selection of co-owner Matthew’s favourites, the menu varies from season to season but whatever the time of year, Cuthberts will spoil you with a quirky tea stand that’s packed with afternoon tea classics like Victoria sponge, huge macaroons and hearty sandwiches in an impressive selection of fillings and breads– you’ll wonder how you’ll ever finish it all.

Marco Pierre White’s New York, Italian restaurant offers a choice of two fabulous afternoon teas – traditional and Italian. Served on an up-cycled vintage style wine box, the Italian menu brings a fresh twist with a selection of savoury bites including pastrami on rye and bruschetta down to a sweet selection of cronuts, chocolate covered strawberries and polenta cake. Hardcore traditionalists might miss their usual scone fix but the surprise “wow” box that arrives as you finish, featuring mini biscuits and hot dipping chocolate, more than makes up for it. 
Are you treating your mum to Afternoon Tea this Mother's Day? Tweet your photos at @TeacupReview!
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