Monday, 8 August 2022

Grand Park Lancaster gate hotel - not posh but very nice for bargain price

 On Saturday I took my mum to afternoon tea at the grand park Lancaster gate hotel. It is a group of small hotels and apartments scattered around London. They are not what I would call  posh  but we got nice food and very good service on the day. 

They say you get what you pay for........well we got much more than the £29 Living social voucher that it cost me !!!!! Afternoon tea for two plus a bottle of Prosecco now that is good value as the food and service was very good. 

When I brought the voucher it said it was for an ice cream themed tea but they offer four different ones at this hotel as per website below

    Below is the menu for the one we had..........perfect for the hot sunny day

Indian � Inspired Afternoon Tea

Ice Cream Afternoon Tea(£39.00 for two with 1 glass of Prosecco each)
(£49.00 for two with 1 bottle of Prosecco)

Two great English summer traditions, rolled into one al fresco treat!
Exquisitely presented and perfect on sunny afternoons, our ice cream afternoon tea is a novel new take on a timeless tradition. Served on the terrace, it melds the classic cream tea - delicious, just-baked scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam, with a medley of mini ice cream cones, delicate finger sandwiches in striking colours, and a refreshing ice cream sundae. You can also enjoy it with pink champagne, should the fancy take you.

  • Hummus, cucumber and cheese sandwich (White Bread)
  • Egg and Watercress Sandwich (Brown Bread)
  • Tuna and rocket sandwich (White Bread)
  • Chicken and pepper sandwich (Brown Bread)
  • Plain Scones, Clotted cream and Jam
  • Strawberry & Mango Delight
  • Raspberry Cheesecake
  • Lemon Tart

We got a underground train to Lancaster Station and then struggled to find the hotel as I went the wrong way. We ended up at Grand Park Paddington hotel instead and they directed me to the Lancaster Gate one which was just a 5 minute walk down the road. 

The hotel has a very small reception desk and the restaurant was just to the side of this. There was also a small terrace at the front of the hotel but my mum said it would be too hot to sit in the sun outside. 
The restaurant was small and plain inside with a small bar at the back. 

We sat on a table for two by the window which had  net curtains so could not see much outside. Like I said it certainly was not posh as the table was plainly laid with table mat , small plate and cup and saucer , cutlery and paper napkins. A small vase with a fresh flower would of been nice

Our waiter was very friendly and I handed him the voucher and informed him that no fish for both and no mayonnaise for my mum. I also informed him that we wanted the ice cream afternoon tea.

He brought over the bottle of Prosecco and poured us a glass each before placing the bottle in a silver wine cooler placed on our table. The Prosecco was very nice and well chilled.

Whilst waiting there were a few more people arriving with vouchers like me so it was getting rather busy. 
The tea stand was brought out after only about 5 minutes and my mum got her four sandwiches on a separate plate. 

My mum just had 2 plain chicken brown bread sandwiches and 2 cheese and cucumber in white bread which was perfect for her. I got one of each including a egg mayonnaise one but instead of tuna I got an avocado one which I left as not keen on. 
The first thing my mum said was how fresh and soft the bread was which I agree with. They must of been just made as not a dry edge of bread to be seen . 

Whilst enjoying the sandwiches our glass were topped up with Prosecco from the bottle. 

Next we had the scones which were small but we did get two each and they were all plain ones which was fine. The clotted cream was plenty as my mum does not have it however we had to ask for more jam which the waiter brought to us. 

The scones were warm when the tea stand arrived but had cooled down by the time we ate them. 
They may of been small but wow they were very nice light and crumbly in texture . My mum said they were one of the best scones she has tasted which is complement to the chef . 

Whist eating these we both ordered a cappuccino each as the Prosecco bottle was sadly empty now !!!!!!!!!!

The cakes tasted nice too. we got each a very small lemon tart, cheesecake square a  pot of strawberry and mango cream dessert which was nice and full of fruit flavors. 

The menu online states that you get mini ice cream cones which we never saw. however we did get offered the ice cream sundae that consisted of a scoop of strawberry and scoop of vanilla ice cream each in a sundae glass. 
I got excited to eat it so forgot  to take a photo until I had nearly finished it 

I noticed that we was the only table that got the ice cream......I think most tables were having the chocolate themed tea as they got a chocolate mouse in the pots and a different cake. 
I think we got the best one as the ice cream was nice and refreshing on a hot day

The voucher covered the whole tea and drinks so there was nothing to pay apart from leaving a tip for the waiters who were very good 

Nearest Station :        Lancaster Gate underground  - about 7 minute walk 
Best bits : The lovely scones and the ice cream sundae. Plus the extremely fresh sandwiches and good service  
Worst bits :  Nothing to mention    
Value for money : Yes 100%  for the £29.00 voucher deal 
would I go back? :  Maybe if I can get another good deal  

Monday, 18 July 2022

Caffe concerto afternoon tea - 3rd time

 Saturday me and my mum had a nice afternoon tea at caffe concerto in Westfield Stratford. This is my second afternoon tea at this branch and my 3rd one at caffe concerto.

Every time I have got such a good deal by buying a voucher from Buyagift and using their discount code. The voucher on website last year was on offer at £29.95 but I used a discount code so only cost me £19.95 for both of us !!!!!

Currently on Buyagift it's £42 which is still cheaper than the menu price. 

I must mention that I had a bit of a nightmare trying to book it up. I tried calling and emailing the Westfield branch with no answer and was automatically transferred  to the caffe concerto customer service dept. 

The lady I spoke to said they were fully booked every weekend in the summer and that they only accept up to 4 vouchers a day. She was not helpful at all. 

I needed to return something to a Primark store so decided to call the branch at Bond street as there is a Primark store near there. They were very helpful and said they do not take bookings weekends but we can just walk in and no problem with accepting voucher for afternoon tea. 

Unfortunately we did not make it to this branch as there was a problem with the Central line trains so we ended up at Strafford Westfield in the end. We decided to just go to the caffe concerto restaurant and see if we could get a table. 

The waiter was very nice and said yes there was a nice table in the conservatory and that they accepted the voucher. So in the end it all turned out good and will bear this in mind next time !!!!

We looked at the afternoon tea menu and informed the waiter that no salmon and my mum no mayonnaise. He explained that the sandwich fillings are all ready made so my mum could just have the cream cheese and cucumber which was fine. 

Prosecco Afternoon Tea for two

Selection of finger sandwiches & mini brioche rolls: Cucumber with cream cheese - Egg mayo-mustard. Scottish smoked salmon & soft cheese - Chicken mayo & sundried tomato. Freshly baked raisins & plain scones with Cornish clotted cream & strawberry jam. Assortment of mini cakes. A choice of tea from our world selection.

 - Chicken mayo & sundried tomato. Freshly baked raisins & plain scones with Co

We had our glass of Prosecco whilst waiting for the tea stand to arrive. This went done very well as it was a hot sunny day and the Prosecco was nice and chilled. 

After about 15 minutes the tea stand arrived. I asked if there was some plan cheese and cucumber sandwiches and the waitress said there was two which had just cucumber so I requested some with cheese also as my mum could not eat the egg or chicken ones as these had mayonnaise in. A few minutes later she brought out two cheese and cucumber ones just for my mum. 

I got two chicken mayonnaise with sundried tomatoes which was really nice and two mini egg mayonnaise brioche rolls plus two chicken mayonnaise brioche rolls which I think we're the replacement for the salmon ones. 

They were all nice and fresh and tasty 😋

The scones were warm and a nice size. We got one raisin one and three plain one to share plus a mini pot of jam each and a very small pot of cream to share. Good job my mum does not like cream as more for me 😉 whilst enjoying the scones we ordered a cappuccino each.


Lastly we had the cakes on the top tier. We got a chocolate tart each and macaroon plus a strawberry mouse cake and chocolate mouse cake to share. 

The tart had rich ganache chocolate inside and was delicious as well as the rich light chocolate mouse cake.  

We both enjoyed this afternoon tea before heading to the shops. 

I would definitely get another voucher if on special offer again or if I have a discount code to use as there are so many branches in London we can go to. 

Nearest Station :        Stratford Westfield  - about 10 minute walk 
Best bits : The glass of Prosecco and Chocolate tart plus the chicken sandwiches were really nice    
Worst bits :  Nothing to mention apart from trouble with trying to book   
Value for money : Yes 100%  for the £19.95 I paid including glass of Prosecco each     
would I go back? :  Yes if I can get another good deal  

Saturday, 9 July 2022

Dalloway terrace afternoon tea

Today I had a nice afternoon tea with my friend Michele. It's something we do in July every year and I liked to go somewhere different each time. 

This afternoon tea is priced at £40 each and I booked it via this is a website I used quite often as has lots of afternoon teas and it also shows the menus which is handy. However for this particular afternoon tea the menu was different to the one on the hotel website which has the new summer menu below for the current menu offered

Dalloway terrace is in the Bloomsbury hotel near Tottenham Court underground station. It has a lovely outdoor all weather terrace decorated with pretty artificial flowers. It has a canopy roof so can be used all year round. To get to the terrace we walked through the Coral room which is a lovely lounge  bar with comfy seating. I think they also can  serve the afternoon tea in here. 

Once seated we looked at the menu and informed the waitress we do not eat fish and my friend does not like coronation chicken. 

I ordered a red berry tea and my friend a cappuccino. We also got a glass of tap water as it was a hot sunny day. Even though we was in the shade under the canopy it was still hot . 

It took about 20 minutes for the tea stand to arrive and the 4 sandwiches each came on our own plates.

I liked the coronation chicken one best followed by the egg mayonnaise mini roll. When the waitress asked if we wanted any more I ordered another one of each of these two. 

My friend unfortunately did not like her sandwiches much so asked if she could just have plain cheese ones. These were brought out along with my extra ones. It's nice to know that they can make them up fresh to order and can cater for different requests. 

Before starting on the scones we ordered another drink each . This time I ordered a cappuccino as had had enough of the fruity tea. 

The scones were generous in size and we got a golden raisin one each and a lemon one each. Unfortunately they were no longer warm but still tasted freshly baked. We got raspberry jam and thick clotted cream to go with them . Both of us like lots of cream on our scones so we had to ask for some more. This was brought out to us with more jam too. 

Both scones tasted lovely and it was a nice change to have one with a slight lemon flavor.

Finally we tucked into the cakes ....we got four different ones each on our own plates. 

I must say I was disappointed with these as the flavors were unusual and tasted and looked nothing special.

We both liked the pink strawberry mouse one and neither of us liked the jelly one . It had weird texture and no flavor to it so we both left it. 

The lemon and basil cake sponge was hard and dry and the cheesecake was nice but had a very strong ginger flavor.  I was surprised that there was not a chocolate cake as must people like chocolate. 

We had a lovely time chatting away and the service was very good. Extra hot drinks were offered along with more food if we wanted it. 

Nearest Station :        Tottenham Court Road  underground  - about 5 minute walk 
Best bits : Pretty terrace and nice scones plus good service    
Worst bits :  The cakes which were disappointing   
Value for money : Yes as we was offered  extra food and hot drinks.    
would I go back? :  Maybe when they change the menu  

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Urban meadow cafe Doubletree Hilton -Hyde Park London

 Nice afternoon tea with my mum. Had a buyagift voucher that I got in 2020 for this afternoon tea that I paid £21.75 for including a bottle of Prosecco for two. 

This will be my third visit here as have been before with hubby for afternoon tea and also 3 course bottomless brunch.  It's not a posh hotel but modern in design with a lovely outdoor terrace which is perfect for a sunny day. The restaurant is light and airy with a nice leaf design. 

When we arrived I asked for a table outside but they explained that they do not serve afternoon tea outside but offered us a table that was by the open doors leading onto the terrace. It was like we was outside so suited us fine. 

I handed over the voucher and explained to the waiter that no fish for both of us and my mum no mayonnaise . He said that there were 3 different sandwiches and they all contained mayonnaise as pre made fillings. My mum decided to just order a bowl of chips and I would have the sandwiches without the salmon one. After a few minutes a waitress came over and said they could do my mum vegetarian sandwiches that had no mayonnaise so she cancelled the chips. I think the waiter did not understand but it was all sorted in the end. 

The waiter brought over our bottle of Prosecco in a ice bucket and poured us a glass each. It was nice and chilled and perfect on a warm day. 

We had to wait about 20 minutes for the tea stand to arrive as I think they had to make up my mums special sandwichs. We did not mind as we had the lovely Prosecco to drink whilst chatting away. 

The waitress brought over the tea stand which looked nice. 

We got 4 finger sandwiches each in brown and white bread. I had egg mayonnaise, cucumber and two chicken ones. My mum got cumber, cheese and tomato and a veggie filled one. She said they were nice and very fresh. I liked my chicken ones best. 

We both ordered a cappuccino before starting on the scones. 

The scones were small and we only got one raison one each with a small pot of jam and pot of clotted cream to share. It's a good job my mum does not like clotted cream as it was a very small pot and I do like a lot on my scone !!!! 

The scone was warm and nice but would of liked another one !!!!

Lastly we had the cakes which looked nice however we only got three small ones each. There was a chocolate sponge cake , pink strawberry cheesecake and a macaroon. I liked the cheesecake best it was nice and creamy. 

The waiter asked if we wanted another drink and I ordered just an Americana coffee whilst my mum finished her last glass of Prosecco. 

Before leaving I asked if the voucher covered everything and they said yes nothing to pay. So we just left a cash tip on the table as the service had been good. 

The afternoon tea is priced at £20 each if you book via which is not a bad price but if paying this  I would like perhaps another scone each and cake for this price. 

Nearest Station :        Queensway underground  - about 8 minute walk 
Best bits : Chilled bottle of Prosecco    
Worst bits :  Only one small scone each  
Value for money : Defiantly for my voucher but full price £20 each without Prosecco is an average price    
would I go back? :  Yes if I can get another great voucher deal  

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Fab Mary Poppins theme afternoon tea at Mad dogs and Englishman - Leigh on Sea Essex

 On Saturday my friend Michelle took me to a wonderful afternoon tea at a quirky tea room in Leigh on Sea Essex. She has been there before for the Harry Potter theme and Beauty and the Beast and kept telling me how good it was. This time the theme was Mary Poppins so I was looking forward to it very much. I think it is priced at £38 each on weekends. 

As we walked through the door it took my breath away as it looked so magical inside and there was so much too see. Even the waitresses were dressed up like Mary Poppins !!!!!

There were open umbrellas hanging from the ceiling, merry go round horses on the walls, lots of fairy lights and flower garlands plus hats scattered around the rooms. Also as you walked in there was a old bicycle with wicker basket plus a roof top design against the wall. They seemed to of thought of everything relating to Mary Poppins ....I was so impressed and it all looked so pretty. 

The only thing I will mention is that it seemed a bit dark inside and having poor eyesight I struggled to read the menus. 

Mary Poppins menu

There was a separate menu for the drinks and for extra money you could have a cocktail from the wide choice available. 

Our table was decorated  with white and gold china plus a glass bottle containing cold milk for the tea and coffees. It was so busy and you need to book well in advance as it is very popular

I decided to try the Cherry Lane tea for a change and it arrived in a very large silver teapot. I think it needed longer to brew as not much flavor to it. 

Fist we got a tea stand with a plate of sandwiches each and on the top plate a hot piece of breaded fish and some chips in a newspaper style small cone. These were hot still and we also got a small jar of ketchup and jar of tartar sauce. 

We got 8 sandwiches each two of each type which included  brioche egg mayonnaise rolls, chicken coronation, ham and pickle and cucumber and mint. They tasted delicious and were very fresh. 

I liked the chicken ones best of all 

Next to arrive on our table was a black bowler hat with a stripped  paper bag inside containing two large warm fruit scones. On our table we also had two mini jars of jam plus a dish of clotted cream. 

Before we could eat these another stand was placed on out table that contained the cakes.....

Wow it looked amazing and I loved the little wooden musical merry go round 

The scones tasted very nice and generous in size 

By now I had almost finished my pot of tea so ordered a coffee. Cafeteria coffee is included but  if you want cappuccino or latte this will cost extra. 

The waitress brought me a large silver coffee pot which was nice and hot.   

Next we started on the cakes and sweet treats......



The glass contained Eton Mess topped with candyfloss and there was even a chocolate spoon with a spoonfull of sugar on which was actually popping candy. We both liked everything and by the end all the plates were empty and we felt full and very content. 

It was such a quirky well thought out themed tea and I will defiantly be going back for the next theme 

Nearest Station :    Not sure as my friend drove us there. 
Best bits : The theme and decorations plus the  food and service was all good  
Worst bits :  I do not think there was any to mention 
Value for money : Yes defiantly for such a quirky place with good food   
would I go back? :  Yes already looking forward to the next theme