Afternoon tea

I love a good afternoon tea and have been for a few recently so thought it would be good to share my thoughts on some of them. At long long last I have finally got around to publishing the page so I hope you enjoy it and please share your thoughts and favourite places for afternoon tea as well.

GLENEAGLES, SCOTLAND

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This is probably the best afternoon tea I have ever had. The food was incredible, the champagne delicious and the setting exquisite.

Afternoon tea is served in the 1920s art deco bar. The bar is inspired by the glamour of that era and oozes elegance. The large windows look out to the front of the hotel, the long driveway, beautifully kept grounds and rolling Perthshire hills. As you sink into the opulent green chairs, you can imagine ladies and gentlemen in the late 1920s sitting with their tea and scones after having played croquet on the lawn (which you can still do).

We all opted for the champagne afternoon tea which is served with Ruinart Rose Champagne. The House of Ruinart is the oldest champagne house in France founded in the 1800s. This was the time when traditional afternoon tea was born so quite often you will see this champagne served with afternoon tea. I’m not always a massive fan of rose champagne but this one was fabulous. It was so good, we could not stop at just one glass.

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Then came the food. It was served in a huge stand with big square plates which was very in-keeping with the art deco decor. The top plate contained warm bites including mini Findony pork sausage roll, cheddar and leek quiche, a smoked ham and wholegrain mustard roll and a roast beef and roquette pesto milk roll. It was nice to get some warm savoury bites and each mouthful was more delicious than the last.

Next were the sandwiches and cold bites. There was chicken with banana chutney, cucumber, cream cheese and chives, egg and cress and Hebridean crab and red chard. They were all so good. Then there were bilinis with smoked salmon, creme fraiche and edible flowers and choux pastry buns with ash goats cheese which were a lovely addition and something a bit different.

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Then we moved on to the scones and pancakes which were delightful and were served slightly warm with little pots of clotted cream, jam and lemon curd. There were treacle, fruit with Dalwhinnie sultanas and plain (or traditional as they called them) scones and I’m not going to lie, I had one of each. They were so delicious and the lemon curd was just crying out to be eaten.

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Finally it was on to the best bit, the sweet treats. I’m sure you are wondering how I managed to eat any more but when it comes to sweet things there is really no stopping me. The selection was incredible. There was creamy millefeuille, rich chocolately gateaux opera, moist ginger sponge, exotic fruit tart with smooth creme patissiere, delicious chocolate eclair topped with gold leaf, strawberry jelly shot and the most amazing passion fruit mousse. It was mouthful after mouthful of absolute deliciousness. It was heaven!

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So I’m sure you can see why this is one of the best afternoon teas I have ever had. We were so well looked after and the whole experience was so fabulous. It is the ultimate luxury.

FORTNUM AND MASON, LONDON

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This was the first afternoon tea I enjoyed in London with my sister. We had such a girlie day. We had been to Chanel for a manicure and squeezed in some shopping before enjoying this wonderful afternoon tea. My sister is a big fan of the Royal Family and Kate in particular so this was the perfect place for us to go.

Afternoon Tea was served in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Saloon which had just been newly refurbished. The decor and crockery were the traditional Fornum’s duck-egg blue which I absolutely love. The huge orange roses on the table were the perfect accompaniment and made all of the silverware shimmer.

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The selection of finger sandwiches included cucumber with mint butter, rare roast beef with gherkin and caper dressing, egg with watercress, Fortnum’s smoked salmon with lemon dill butter and my favourite Coronation chicken. They were so delicious so you can’t blame us for accepting a second plate when offered.

The scones were served with clotted cream, jam and lemon curd. I loved that the accompaniments had their own special stand. Again we were offered more so we each had an extra scone.

The individual cakes and patisseries were dreamy. There was an intensely rich chocolate gateaux, a clementine and raspberry patisserie slice, a deconstructed apple crumble wrapped in white chocolate, a light and creamy passionfruit mallow tart and a delicious rose-water eclair. They were the most delicious little bites. We were offered more and you could also choose huge slabs of cake from the Coronation Cake Carriage. This time we refused because we couldn’t possibly have eaten any more but it was so nice that they were so generous with the food.

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As for the champagne, we decided to buy a bottle rather than have a glass. It is a good thing to keep in mind as we always end up having at least one extra glass so it can make sense to have the regular afternoon tea and buy a bottle of champagne rather than having the champagne tea and buying an extra glass. As enjoyable as the champagne was, it did however lead us to make a few additional purchases in the store afterwards which I don’t think we would have made otherwise!

This is definitely the most food I have ever had for afternoon tea. It was so nice to be offered so much. We had such a lovely time and we were so well taken care of by the lovely staff. The whole experience from the saloon to the service to the food was so quintessentially British and that was exactly what we were hoping for.

I just have to mention one last thing. Any time my Dad and I have visited London, we have always made a trip to Fortnum and Mason for some macaroons. We love them. The second we walked out of the door, we would dig into the little box and each have one so I couldn’t not buy a few macaroons on the way out for old time sake. Needless to say, my sister and I did not eat one of these when we got out of the store that day. We did enjoy them the next day though.

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Out and about: Afternoon tea | Isabelita's Larder

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