Saturday 25 January 2014

ATC does NYC - An adventure in cake.

Underneath New York City's famous Grand Central Terminal lies an entire world of exotic honeys, bakes, fruits and best of all - cakes! We were lucky enough to visit this hidden gem and sample some of the best treats the city has to offer. 

The Market hall offers so many different varieties of food that it's difficult to decide what to indulge with. We like to think of it as a bit of a snapshot into just a few of the amazing homemade bakes nestled in the Avenues of this vibrant city - a mini New York almost. Eli Zabar boasts a fabulous range of fruit tarts and cakes. But it's their oversized colourful macaroons that really caught our eye - and we can confirm, they're delicious! 

You can spot Zaro's Bakery in various places around the city so we figured their cupcakes must be worth a try. We were right, they're so yummy with lashings of buttercream and enough flavours to appeal to just about everyone. In fact, there's so many, you might just need two. 
Our advice? Get your cupcakes to go and take advantage of one of New York's countless outdoor seating areas. We opted for an outdoor cupcake picnic in the New York Library gardens - made all the more perfect by the crisp Winter air. 

Of course no trip to The Big Apple would be complete without a stroll around Central Park. In the hub of the famous landmark you'll find La Pain Quotidien, a homely hideout serving great coffee, green teas and pastries. A latte and pan au chocolat and we were set for the day. It's reminiscent of a winter cabin, helped naturally by the New York January snow fall and low yellow lighting. 

It's quite a communal space where you're encouraged to share a table but it suits the environment perfectly with joggers popping in for a quick drink and walkers exchanging stories about their cute dogs. It's quite a nice concept actually. 

It's an almost impossible task to decide which coffee shops to venture to in such a big city which is why outdoor markets that serve a taste of what you can find, are such a great place to start. With so many sights to see you have to wonder where to get the time for tea! 

Have you been for a great Afternoon Tea or coffee in New York?
Tweet us your stories! @TeacupReview

Sunday 19 January 2014

WIN a Hope & Greenwood Afternoon Tea Pack

Ever fancied making afternoon tea, Hope and Greenwood style? Well, now you can with out fantastic new giveaway!

Hope & Greenwood Afternoon Tea Goodies

Packed with enough treats to satisfy even the sweetest tooth, this fantastic recipe book has everything you'll need to create the perfect tea party. Covering everything from finger sandwiches to afternoon tea etiquette, Miss Hope will soon have you baking like a pro and teaching your friends a thing or two about the wonderful world of afternoon tea.

Sound good? That's not all...

As an extra little treat, we'll also throw in a box of Hope and Greenwood's brand new Afternoon Tea sweets, to nibble on whilst planning your afternoon tea menu. Coming in three different flavours, we just know that you'll love them as much as us (read our review here)

To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic giveaway, simply follow the Rafflecopter instructions below.

Good Luck!

Lots of love,
Laura & Caroline

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions: Open to UK residents only. Only one entry per person. Competition will close at midday on 31/01/2014. The winner will be chosen and announced on 1/02/2014. The Afternoon Tea Club's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. There will be no cash alternative. Winner will be notified via email. By entering the competition the winner agrees to participate in such promotional activity on our website and Twitter. No responsibility can be taken for any entries which are not received for any reason. 

Monday 13 January 2014

The Afternoon Tea Club at Two - A Year in Pictures

Tomorrow, The Afternoon Tea Club turns two and what better way to celebrate than with a round up of the last year...

January 2013
Two-thousand-and-thirteen was an incredible year for ATC. From making our first appearance in the national press to judging a local afternoon tea competition, we were taken off on a whirlwind of cakey goodness and are yet to come down.

It's hard to believe how far this little blog has come over the last 12 months and we couldn't be more thrilled. In so much as this, we'd like to thank you, our readers, for all the love and support you've given us. Without your afternoon tea suggestions and lovely comments, there wouldn't be a blog, so thank you for everything - we always say that cake lovers are the best kind of people and you continue to prove us right over and over again!

Cuthberts, Liverpool

As a little celebration of the last year, we've put together a short post of our highlights. Here's the recap of 2013...

Featuring in the Easter Sunday edition of the Independent was one of the most exciting things that's ever happened to us. When we were first approached to contribute to the article, we had a surreal moment where we thought 'are we actually afternoon tea experts?' Before then, we'd never considered ourselves as anything other than keen amateurs, but there we were being asked to offer our expertise - needless to say, we were more than than happy to give it and after much discussion settled on ten of our faves for publication. The rest, as they say, is history. 

The 50 Best Tea Rooms

Awards. What can we say about Awards? In 2013, we were lucky enough to be short listed for two - Company Magazine's #StyleBloggerAwards as 'Best Blogging Duo' and the Cosmo Blog Awards as 'Best Food Blog'. The whole experience was out of this world and we felt very honoured to have our blog recognised alongside those of our blogging idols. We enjoyed every minute of the process and look forward to having another go at the title again this year.

The Company #StyleBloggerAwards

As relative newbies to the blogging world, we'd never really been to any gatherings, so were thrilled to have the opportunities at these ceremonies to mingle and get to know other bloggers better - hopefully 2014 will give us the opportunity to do it all again.

Cosmo Blog Awards 2013
Afternoon Tea is our passion and 2013 gave us the opportunity to experience some of the most incredible teas we've ever had. Along with our lovely lady in London, Charlotte, we've visited over 30 venues in the hunt for afternoon tea perfection - and some have been pretty close.

Harvey Nichols 2nd Floor, Manchester

We can't wait to see what the next year holds and hope that you'll join us for the ride!

Lots of love,
Laura & Caroline

Monday 6 January 2014

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: The Marriott Victoria & Albert Hotel, Manchester (Revisited)

As a pre-Christmas treat the V&A Manchester invited us back to sample their new afternoon tea incarnation and boy were we in for a treat:


Last March we visited Manchester's Victoria & Albert hotel for the first time, and although we enjoyed our tea, we felt there was room for improvement. Slightly sparse and simplistic, the old offering was great as a quick bite, but lacked the 'wow factor' for special occasions. 

Flash forward nine months and things couldn't be more different. Completely reinvented, the hotel's new tea menu is both luxurious and quirky, with a full and exciting selection of goodies on offer.

Displayed on lime green boxes, the tea's new presentation is distinctively modern, offering an almost artistic spectacle when spread across the table - perfect as a special treat. The mix of food on offer is good too, with finger sandwiches being replaced by bagels and wraps, whilst the cakes are elegantly displayed as individual portions on ceramic spoons and miniature glasses.


Out of the sandwiches, our favourite was the smoked salmon bagel, closely followed by the mini ham flat bread thins, which were lovely and light and an ideal preparation for the cakey treats ahead.  For the desserts our stand out fave was the Eton Mess (although you'll hear no complaints from us about their victoria sandwich, macaroons or chocolate mousse either!)

Since our last visit, the V&A has undergone a complete transformation, moving from a middle of the road tea to something truly worthy of its stylish surrounds. Everything is deliciously delicious and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

Prices start at £14.50 - for more information please visit their Website!

DISCLAIMER: As is common in the catering and leisure industry, we were provided with complimentary services for review purposes. Whilst this has not influenced our review, we believe in the full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. 
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