Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Malmaison, Leeds



When I was twelve and light up Sketchers were all the rage, I went to Leeds with my parents for a pre-birthday shopping spree. It was great - we spent the day having lunch and wandering around the city’s iconic arcades, before heading home with arms full of shopping bags, feeling like Carrie Bradshaw.

After thirteen years, I thought it about high time for a repeat trip, so last month we took the train over to Yorkshire for a day of retail therapy and afternoon tea at the Leeds Malmaison.




Served in the Chez Mal Brasserie, the hotel's Cocktail Afternoon Tea is the perfect sweet treat for anyone on a day out in the city. Presented on a neat slate stand and accompanied by the hotel’s custom made crockery (look out for the cute cow 'malk' jug!) the tea features a selection of delicious treats which include; fruit scones, hot smoked salmon wraps and lemon polenta cake. However, before we get onto the food in full, let’s talk about the cocktails.



As well as a champagne option, the Leeds Mal also offers a cocktail tea for £25, with the choice of four delicious drinks to accompany your cake. On the day we decided to sample a couple of different options on the menu the menu and went for the Orange Brulee and Patron Espresso Martini.

Now I wouldn't say we're connoisseurs when it comes to cocktails - typically opting for champagne - however there's something about this tea that really invites you to indulge in something a bit different and a bit more metropolitan - and let me tell you, they're delicious.

So what's on the menu? To start off, we were treated to a selection of delicious wraps and sliders, which included hot smoked salmon & creme fraiche, chipotle chicken & avocado and a mini burger. As usual, the salmon was a firm favourite with both of us, however this was closely tied with the avocado wrap, which was an absolute treat. I always love the inclusion of different textures and flavours which stray away from the norm, and whilst this isn't necessarily something that you'd expect from an uber traditional venue, it's something that works really well at contemporary places like the Leeds Mal.




To crown the afternoon off, we finally moved over to the scone and dessert selection, which was perhaps my favourite part of the whole experience, with delicious strawberry & vanilla pavlova, lemon polenta cake, salted chocolate brownies, peach & amaretto cream and a frozen berry summer smoothie served in a a tiny milk bottle. If I had to pick a star from this selection it would have to be the Polenta cake, for its rich, dense deliciousness. Having never tried polenta in a dessert before I can definitely say that it's something that'd I'd be keen to sample again!



All in all we were very impressed with the Leeds Mal's afternoon tea offering and even though it's part of a chain offering a uniform menu, I wouldn't say that this takes anything away from the overall appeal. Definitely one to look out for if you're looking for a spot of afternoon tea to accompany your next shopping trip!

PS: They also offer gluten free and vegetarian options for everyone to enjoy!

Have you ever been for tea at a Malmaison? Let us know what you thought in the comments below.

For more information about the Malmaison Afternoon Tea, please visit their website:

We were kindly provided with a complementary afternoon tea for review purposes, however as usual, all thoughts and opinions are our own!


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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

January Tea-tox with Blendology




It’s generally accepted that nobody looks forward to January. Maybe if it’s your birthday or you’re one of those lucky Instagram folk who spends the post-Christmas season somewhere hot and sunny, you can probably tolerate the glum month that stole Christmas. But for the rest of us mere mortals who wish we could simply hibernate in our onesies until February, it’s simply a case of full on gloom and a few extra pounds to drag out of bed on cold winter mornings.



But there are things we can do to make ourselves feel better. No we’re not talking a hellish juice diet or 5am wake ups for the gym but rather small things you can do to cleanse and refresh the mind and body - lucky for us, one of those things is tea.

We were sent some Blendology ‘functional teas’ to test throughout January, each with its own unique purpose whether it’s to help you sleep or give you an energy burst. Each pouch contains 15 fuso bags of handcrafted, 100% organic (Soil Association certified) tea and is priced at £3.95.

I started with the teas on a particularly challenging week, majorly jet-lagged on my first full week back in the office after the Christmas break, a business trip and no sleep, so it had some pretty sizeable living up to do.

Unable to sleep, first I tried the Sleep tea, made with chamomile, passion flower, linden flower, valerian root and California poppy, each with its own insomnia battling effects. Straight out of the bag, the first thing I noticed was that it’s quite potent for a soothing tea, however the chamomile is the key ingredient here, always a winner in helping you to wind down, and it's naturally caffeine free.



The next day, feeling a slightly more human after a better nights sleep, I went for a cup of Recover tea, designed to help you recoup from a hectic lifestyle - GIVE IT! The first thing you can smell and taste is the peppermint leaf, there to detoxify the body, joined by nettle leaf, burdock root, dandelion root and artichoke leaf. Their functionally is all about cleansing the liver and kidneys, and bonus, reduce those nasty hangover symptoms. I did feel better for it afterwards, less bloated and more refreshed.

The third tea, Energy, is the ideal cup for an power boost in the 3pm work slump. The flavour doesn’t pack as much of a punch as the last but the blend of green tea, yerba mate, ginseng, gotu kola and ginkgo biloba works well to keep you alert without intaking as much caffeine as you would in a cup of coffee.

After a week of trying the teas I did feel more refreshed and I think out of the three, my favourite had to be the Recover tea. It boasts a full bodied peppermint flavour and for me, worked a treat in reducing that feeling of fullness.

Detox is all about finding something that works for you but if like me you're starting your new year detox a little late this year, Blendology is worth a shout for a quick change you can easily make to your daily routine. - Laura

For more info visit www.blendologytea.com


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