Sunday, 23 July 2017

The London Carriage Works, Liverpool



As avid afternoon tea goers and notebook hoarders, we’ve compiled a pretty long wish list of teas we plan to visit. Of that list, there are a growing number of local offerings around the North West that we keep adding to in the event of those random, free Sunday afternoons where you just want to do nothing but eat cake and be happy. We did just that and ticked one of those places off the list recently when we visited The London Carriage Works in Liverpool.



Situated on Hope Street, The London Carriage Works is a little off the beaten track from the city centre buzz but with neighbours such as the Liverpool Philharmonic and Everyman Playhouse, it’s in good company in the city’s beautiful Georgian Quarter.

Huge windows joined together by masts of exposed brick mean the restaurant is flooded with natural light (a bonus right there for bloggers like us wanting to take lots of photos!). The environment is laid back with dark wood and red tones throughout, broken up by gorgeous glass fixtures cascading head to toe.



Its afternoon tea offering leans heavily on the classics with all of the traditional fillings and flavours you would imagine but that worked really well here and benefited from some notable updates. Starting with a glass of champagne, we opted to wash our tea down with pots of earl grey and coffee. 



Heading straight to the finger sandwiches, fillings included egg and watercress, cheese and onion, salmon and cucumber, and lightly curried chicken. A good balance of flavours, opting to do away with the standard cucumber, by instead incorporating with fresh salmon - an ATC fave, making this one a clear winner.

Then the scones arrived warm served with clotted cream, fresh strawberries and jam. These were delicious and a good size too with plenty of cream to go around - there is nothing worse than having to be frugal with a cream tea!



Finally the patisserie selection presented a colourful collection of old favourites including Battenberg, lemon cake, chocolate and coconut macaroon, and a chocolate and orange layer cake. A perfectly balanced selection (if that can ever be true of cake) which left us feeling full but not so full that we had to roll ourselves down Mount Pleasant on the way back to the train station!



We really enjoyed this tea. Great setting, tasty food and special mention must go to the great service too, as the staff were really friendly and kept our teapots topped. At £17pp (£26 with champagne) it’s also reasonably priced for a quick stop tea and definitely worth adding to your own tea wish-list for the next time you’re in the city. 

For more information and to book visit: http://www.thelondoncarriageworks.co.uk/ 

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Friday, 14 July 2017

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Tale as old as time at Town House, The Kensington



“Be our guest, be our guest, put our service to the test!” – that we did, when we visited London last month for the Town House at The Kensington Hotel, “Tale as Old as Time” Beauty and the Beast themed afternoon tea. Have you ever come across a more magical collection of words in your entire life?



Served in the Town House lounge style dining area, you will be joined at your table by both Lumiere and Cogsworth who bring the Disney charm to a sophisticated and neutral luxury setting kitted out with real silver and egg shell blue tableware.

A selection of savouries are served first including mini Venison Pie, Cheese Souffle, and Beef Ragu & Saffron Arancini. A great starter, full of flavour and choice so you’re bound to love at least one - for us that was the tasty venison pie.



Appetites sufficiently whet, the savoury bites were followed by the part we had been excited to see after months of waiting (we booked this back in February so our anticipation levels were at an all time high) - the main event, a beautiful three-tier stand topped with the most adorable selection of themed sweets you could imagine.



Starting with a selection of fresh finger sandwiches, fillings included cucumber and cream cheese, chicken and cranberry, egg mayo and salmon. The sandwiches were good but there was a paste consistency throughout - perhaps a slice of smoked salmon may have been a better choice to add a little more variety in texture.



Then, the sconnoisseurs of you out there will be surprised to hear that the traditional scone with jam and cream has been replaced by mini brioche baguettes with apricot jam and chocolate spread. We loved that this played on the French theme and can confirm they were absolutely delicious.


Finally on to the sweet selection where not a single detail or opportunity was missed to touch on the Disney style including a Cogsworth chocolate tart, coconut and chocolate macaroon, jelly with rose petal accent (a la the bell jar) complete with cream poured from your very own Mrs Potts, and finally a sweet Chip cup filled with a creamy white chocolate mousse. The jelly was definitely our favourite, subtle in flavour and theme, exactly what we like from a novelty tea, and a great way to finish the meal without leaving too full.

Drinks-wise, we opted for champagne (Anything Disney is enough of a special occasion to require champagne) and two pots of earl grey which came in beautiful, silver teapots. 



Just as a side note, if you’re unfamiliar with London and planning on Google-mapping your way to the hotel – PLAN AHEAD. We discovered that the venue is very un-Googleable when we found ourselves a 30 minute walk away, £12 down in Uber costs and very sweaty and dishevelled on the hottest day of the year so far, a shocking 45 minutes late. Definitely looked more Beast than Beauty on this occasion! If you are planning on using Maps ensure you use the first line of the address including door number rather than venue name, otherwise you might end up at a completely different hotel. You live, you learn and we must say this menu more than made up for the travel mishap.



We really enjoyed this tea, the theme was well executed, not too OTT as we’ve come across in other venues or so subtle to the point where the theme is barely recognisable - just the right amount of Instagram cute! Plus the magic continues with a marzipan cookie in the shape of Belle’s gold dress to take home, which we thought this was a really nice touch.

If you’re a Disney fan, this afternoon tea is a must-do, and good news, due to popular demand the hotel has just extended its run until June 2018, including a festive edition! But hurry, bookings fill up fast.



The ‘Tale as Old as Time’ afternoon tea is priced at £35pp (£45pp with a glass of champagne.) 


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