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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Monday, 20 March 2017

Ladurée Paris Macaron Moments



Ladurée, the famed Parisian macaron company and luxury sweet choice of bloggers everywhere, has made a frequent appearance on my Instagram feed for as long as I can remember. The perfect afternoon tea accompaniment, their appeal has stretched across the globe, with the brand extending its presence from Paris to a total of 28 different countries worldwide - including four Ladurée houses in London.

With them being such a major player in the patisserie world, it may come as a surprise to learn that until last Saturday, I'd never been lucky enough to try out one of their macaron's for myself. So after a conversation with my friends about how 'amazing' they are, I decided to make a bee-line to the nearest Ladurée cafe with the full intention sampling some of their delicious treats in house.




Unfortunately, time was against me and the cafe proved to be so popular that finding a table was nigh on impossible. Not one to be defeated, I decided to head over to the shop instead to pick up a selection to enjoy at home.

A little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice available, I asked the lady working there for recommendations. She responded with a resounding 'caramel for sure' before hesitantly adding 'there's just so many great ones to choose from though'. After a brief think she pulled out a selection of favourites which included; Vanilla, Pistachio, Chocolate and Cognac for an extra kick.




Having never tried Ladurée before, I didn't really know what to expect. I mean how different could they be?

In all honesty, I wouldn't say that there's a lot to differentiate these macarons from the others that I've tried before, but with the resounding opinion being that Ladurée are the best on the market, it's good to know that afternoon tea venues across the UK are striving to match their high standards. The textures were exactly how good macarons should be: crisp on the outside, giving way to a soft centre, filled with butter cream, whilst the overall flavours were intense, with the perfect amount of sweetness.

At around £13.00 for six pieces, Ladurée are definitely at the luxury end of the spectrum, but I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this won't stop me from returning again soon to try out the cafe for myself.

- Caroline

Have you tried Ladurée Macarons yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

For more information and cafe locations, visit:
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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: 60 Hope Street, Liverpool



Last weekend, I visited Liverpool with my friend Caroline to check out the city's new British Music Experience and take in a spot of afternoon tea at the ever-popular 60 Hope Street.

Located on the award winning 'Street of the year 2012', this beautiful Georgian Townhouse has an abundance of kerb appeal, with sweeping staircases, the occasional flower garland (we literally missed the latest display by a matter of days!) and a quirky luggage installation entitled "A Case History" just a stone's throw away.




Inside, the Georgian features have been largely stripped back to reveal an altogether more modern interior, with neat wooden tables and subtle grey shades across the walls, offering an ideal contrast to the restaurant's original open fire places.

The afternoon's crockery - a mish-mash of Cath Kidston, Royal Albert and Charity Shop chic - made for a wonderfully kitsch experience, complementing the renovated surrounds perfectly. I was particularly drawn to the lovely blue teapots with golden embellishments, that immediately stood out as a focal point on the table setting... before the cake came along to distract my attention!




Presented traditionally on a three tiered stand, the afternoon tea itself offers a good range of food for the reasonable price of £16.95 (without fizz) and includes favourites such as: Cucumber, Egg, Ham and Coronation Chicken sandwiches, Salmon Roulade wraps, Strawberry Scones and a cake selection.

Particular stand outs on the day had to be the seasoned Coronation Chicken sandwiches, which were freshly made to order on soft white bread, and the decadent chocolate and raspberry torte which provided a fitting finale to the afternoon.

The strawberry scones were another highlight which came ready prepared, to save time working out that Jam to Cream ratio or debating which goes first - 60 Hope Street are firmly in the cream then jam camp, by the way!




I have to say that I was really impressed by what 60 Hope Street have to offer and would definitely recommend them to anyone visiting Liverpool for the day. Their food selection is very reasonable and although it only comes with the generic options of tea or coffee, this takes nothing away from the overall experience.

It's a bit of a walk away from the main Liverpool One shopping areas, but this allows the perfect opportunity to really earn your cake - and believe me, the walk makes it taste all the sweeter!



For prices and more information about 60 Hope Street, please visit their website:

What's your favourite afternoon tea venue in Liverpool? Let us know in the comments below!
- Caroline

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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Menagerie, Manchester



An acrobatic aerial hoop, a catwalk down the centre of the restaurant and neon lights just screaming to be Instagrammed, Menagerie, Manchester is the epitome of cool dining.

A trendy hotspot for Manchester’s bustling nightlife, the real magic at Menagerie happens in the day when the home of ‘experiential dining’ puts its own quirky spin on the tradition of afternoon tea. We went along one rainy Sunday to see what the fuss is about.




The environment is stunning and in addition to the quirks mentioned already, the plush teal seating, low hanging lighting and flecks of gold show that the restaurant hasn’t let a single detail go untouched.

There are two types of afternoon tea on offer, traditional and Menagerie, the latter served with alternative 'social sharers’ rather than the usual finger sandwiches. For £10 extra you can opt to have a glass of Moet with either, so of course we obliged - Sundays are for champagne, right?




Afternoon tea is served in one of the most adventurous displays we’ve seen to date, with sandwiches and scones on separate dishes and an assortment of sweets served on a gold ferris wheel style-stand - so pretty!

Sandwiches are smaller than your average finger sandwiches, instead cut into squares with a nice range of quality fillings including ham and mustard, egg, thick cut beef and horseradish, cucumber and cream cheese, and salmon with lemon butter.

Next, the fruit scones are a good size, generously dusted with sugar and served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. As it's pretty much pure strawberry in a bowl, the jam was a little hard to handle due to its runny consistency but once dolloped on top, the flavour was tart and very tasty.




Finally the dessert selection was right up our street, each served in a colourful cupcake case, the cake-carousel included a marshmallow-filled donut, lemon meringue pie, triple layer Victoria sponge and chocolate cake. The Victoria sponge was one of the fluffiest cakes we have ever tasted and the marshmallow donut was an interesting but delicious addition to what was a well-balanced collection of desserts and yes, we did manage to finish them all!

For drinks, guests can choose from either English breakfast tea, mint tea or a range of coffees - it’s not a particularly extensive tea menu but for us it did the trick as we went for our go-to breakfast tea and latte.




Menagerie is a dreamy venue for a cool afternoon tea and at just a short five minute walk from Manchester’s Spinningfields complex, it’s definitely worth checking out, even just to admire the scenery. At £23pp (without champagne) it’s slightly more expensive than other tea venues in the city but the food is good and the presentation certainly gives it an edge. If you’re looking for afternoon tea with a playful twist, you’ll find it here.

For more information and to book visit: www.menagerierestaurant.co.uk


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Sunday, 5 March 2017

Trying our hand at Matcha Tea



We get a lot of green tea sent our way at ATC and sometimes, after several cups, they can start to blend into one. So we were rather intrigued to try something different in the form of Kanuka Matcha Tea based on the traditional Japanese tea ceremony known as ‘The Way of Tea’, said to invoke peace and harmony.




Complete with everything you need to create the ‘Chanoyu’ (ceremony) at home, the Kanuka Matcha Starter Kit includes a 40g pouch of Matcha tea powder, traditional bowl and whisk, and bamboo measuring scoop.

Making the experience as authentic as possible, the tea is sourced from an eco farm in Shizuoka, Japan and claims to be the best ‘ceremony grade’ tea around. So we put it to the test!



To serve one, you will need your whisk, bowl, measuring stick and tea powder.
  • First, pop half a level teaspoon into the bowl. 
  • Then, add around 40ml of cold water and mix into a paste until frothy.
  • Heat around 150ml of water (not boiling, around 70°C) and stir into the paste.
  • Then drink!

Alternatively you can make the tea into a latte by substituting the water with milk and adding honey to sweeten.



The ceremony itself is simple to perform and it’s a good way of taking a few moments out of your day to chill out. Straight out the bag the tea smells gorgeous and to taste, it has a slightly sweet but earthy flavour. It’s recommended that you take two servings a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon to provide you with a burst of energy as an alternative to coffee. I couldn’t tell if it was the act of preparation or the tea itself but I did feel rather peaceful after my little dish of zen.



Plus if you're on a health kick, in addition to its calming benefits, matcha tea, high in antioxidants, is apparently good for maintaining a healthy metabolism and combating high cholesterol - so it’s worthwhile dedicating 10 minutes out of your morning routine to give it a go.

If you’re a fan of green tea and looking for something new, whether it’s for the mind of the body, I would recommend giving matcha and 'the way of tea' a try - Laura

For more info visit: https://www.kanukatea.com/
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