Sunday 25 January 2015

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Chocolate and Orange Scones by Sconnoisseur

A few weeks ago the guys at Sconnoisseur (cool name, right?) sent across a lovely parcel of Chocolate and Orange scones for us to try out. Now, I'm not usually a fan of chocolate orange treats - show me a Chocolate Orange at Xmas and I'll run for the hills - but after looking through the Sconnoisseur site and seeing the team's commitment to using only the finest ingredients and luxury combinations, I knew I had to give them a go.

For around £11 you can buy a box of four individually wrapped scones, with jam and tea, and whilst this may be a little more expensive than supermarket varieties, the Sconnoisseur presentation really makes the product, offering a bit of luxury for those after a treat - just look at that box!

Flavourwise, they don't disappoint either with the subtle blend of chocolate and citrus combining really well to create a zesty but dense scone - making for a lovely alternative to the traditional raisin and a far cry from the overpowering chocolate orange sweets I've tried in the past.

All in all, I'd definitely recommend Sconnoisseur to anyone looking to treat a loved one to Afternoon Tea at home - a great way to inject a bit of luxury into your celebrations!

Take a look at the full range of Sconnoisseur goodies here

What's your favourite variety of scone?

Tuesday 13 January 2015

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Carlo's Bake Shop, Las Vegas

If you’re a fan of any TV show that involves cake then you’re bound to have come across Carlo’s Bake Shop on the popular TV show Cake Boss. On a recent trip to Las Vegas we were lucky enough to sample some of the sweet treats this famous bakery has to offer.

Carlo's Bake Shop, Las Vegas.
Yeah we won’t lie, we got in to a bit of a daily routine of stopping by the shop for a morning croissant and latte – the novelty certainly didn’t wear off!

But the main attractions that caught our eye were the wonderful biscuit miniatures - presented in a cute Carlos Bake Shop box. This bite size box was perfect for taking home to share … or eating in the hotel and then rushing back to buy some more for friends back in good old Blighty.

Biscuits to go.

The biscuits come in all shapes and sizes with pink and green sprinkles, jam and chocolate flavours alternating through each one. Apologies for the post-US Airways-battering, evident in the photo. That’s either the airline’s fault for poor transportation or ours for failing to take a decent photo before munching on the first batch – we’ll take the fall for this one.

The taste? As you would expect from one of the US’s favourite bakers: buttery perfection.

Have you tried any famous bakes? Tweet us at @TeacupReview #FamousCakes


Saturday 10 January 2015

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Manchester House, Manchester

A few weeks ago, we donned our finest attire and headed to one of Manchester's most exclusive restaurants and bars to sample their afternoon tea menu. Here's what we thought:

Manchester House is one of those places that always has rave reviews. From its towering city views, to its impressive menus, this restaurant has quickly become the talk of Manchester's dining scene, with everyone and their mother wanting a piece of the action. 

As the restaurant is almost always booked up, we were delighted to hear that their Afternoon Tea was something that we'd be able to get in for on relatively short notice - and boy were we excited!

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by one of the bar's lovely hostesses who was ready and waiting to show us to our table - even in spite of us being around 10 mins late - so sorry to keep you waiting!

We were very excited at the prospect of trying food from Manchester House and really wanted to love it, and whilst we didn't hate anything that was put in front of us, we couldn't help but feel let down by its quality. The sandwiches in particular were disappointing, presenting a simple trio of cucumber, cheese and egg, alongside a ham bagel/roll, which I found to be quite limited and not what I'd anticipated. The cakes were better, offering a good selection of Northern inspired treats such as the Eccles Cake and Manchester Tart, however, again I still felt slightly uninspired by the colour schemes and options available - I'd rather have had something a little more delicate and patisserie style. 

Whilst the Manchester House afternoon tea didn't exactly rock my world, their full menu is still something that I'd definitely like to try. Their reputation in the city is second to none and I don't doubt, that I would be impressed if given the chance to sample their savoury delicacies.

When spending money on a premium afternoon tea, I like to be wowed - perhaps with an original presentation like the IC Westminster's recent Chelsea Flower Show Green House, or an unlimited supply of food like the Milestone hotel - but unfortunately on this occasion, I wasn't.

I had very high expectations of Manchester House, and whilst their offering was by no means bad, it definitely didn't live up to my imagination. 

On a brighter note, the views and surroundings are definitely some of the finest that the city has to offer, so if you're looking for a comfortable and elegant surround then you will be impressed by what Manchester House has to offer.

For more information and prices, please visit their website here

Have you tried afternoon tea at Manchester House? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!

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