Monday 20 May 2024

Afternoon tea at sea on P &O cruise

 My husband and I were lucky enough to go on a 7 night cruise around Norwegian fjords. The scenery was breathtaking and we had nice weather too. 

Most of the food is included in the cruise price however there are a few restaurants that charge extra like the glass house tapas menu. The afternoon tea served  at the Market Cafe is charged at just £8.95 each which we did not mind paying extra for using our free on board spend money. 

I could not go on this ship without sampling their afternoon tea and adding to this blog!! Unfortunately I only took a few photos. 





The menu below includes a hot drink of our choice 



Once we had placed our order the table was laid with art deco style plates 


The glass of sparkling wine we got from the glass house bar and was included in the drinks package we had. This was our third glass so far that afternoon!!!!

When the food arrived I was pleasantly surprised that it was served on a silver plate stand. 

We got 3 sandwiches each that were made of thin slices of bread rolled up will fillings inside. The cheese and onion one was my favorite and my lucky husband got to have my salmon one as extra. They were very nice and fresh and I liked the different types of bread used. 




Next we had the Eton mess scone which we cut in half. It was already filled with cream and topped with meringue and strawberry. After this we got a plain scone each that was freshly baked and crispy on the outside yet soft in middle. They only gave us enough cream and jam for one so we had to ask for more. As you know I like lots of cream on my scones. Whilst eating our scones we both ordered a cappuccino each. 



We then had the cakes that we cut in half. 


There were 5 different to share. First we had the Victoria sponge that looked like a sandwich. It was filled with cream and jam.  Then I cut the blueberry tart in half. This was nice and filled with a creamy custard and blueberry. The pastry was thin and crispy just like it should be. 
Then we had the banoffee ice cream pie that was delicious with creamy vanilla ice cream and caramel. 
We should of had this first as the ice cream had started to melt. 
Then I cut the red berry heart in half and it was filled with a creamy mouse on thin biscuit base with a berry fruit center. We saved the chocolate one to last and this was very good too. 

Overall a lovely afternoon tea with fresh sandwiches and nice flavored cakes. 



Thursday 4 April 2024

Easter afternoon tea at Conrad hotel London

Had a lovely afternoon tea on good Friday with my husband. It was at the Conrad hotel London and my first visit here. I got such a great deal by purchasing a voucher from virgin experience website. Afternoon tea for two with a bottle of Bollinger champagne for £118.80. Note this price was after using a Virgin Experience voucher code. This is a good price as the Bollinger is priced at £110 on the hotel bar menu!!!






The afternoon tea is served in the Orchard room which is off the reception area. 

Upon arrival we were shown o our table that was nicely laid with white tablecloth and floral china. 




The menu sounded nice and I was pleasantly surprised that there were no fish or seafood sandwiches.  The waitress asked for the voucher and then explained the afternoon tea to us. 



We were poured a glass of tap water and my husband ordered the breakfast tea whilst I ordered a cappuccino. 

Moments later the Bollinger arrived and after filling our glasses it was placed in a silver ice bucket on a stand next to our table. 


We waited about 20 minutes for the tea stand to arrive and it looked really nice with lots of food on it. The waitress informed us that the scones would be brought out later and served warm from the oven. 




We got five different sandwiches each as below 

British apple, cucumber, mint and parsley cream cheese

 Egg, truffle and celery mayonnaise

 English Tunworth and fig jam

 Lake District roast beef with sweet onions and horseradish

 Sutton Hoo chicken, sage and yoghurt mustard 

They all tasted lovely and my favorite was the Sutton Hoo Chicken sandwich and the egg Truffle mayonnaise roll. 




Whilst tucking into these our glass was kept topped up with Champagne from the bottle which seemed never ending !!!!  Either that or we were drinking slow for a change. 

Next we had the cakes as the scones had not been brought out yet. We got our own plate of cakes each that consisted of the below 


Devonshire Bramley apple cake

 Devils dark chocolate sponge, beetroot and cherry mousse 

 Dandelion honey and cobnut delice

 Rhubarb custard tart





I liked the apple cake and the Rhubarb custard tart best but they were all very nice and different in taste. 






After these I ordered another coffee and my hubby a fresh pot of tea. Finally the Bollinger bottle was empty. 

When the scones arrived they were nice a warm and we got the four different ones which is nice and unusual.

Jersey butter scones 

Raisins and candied peel scones

 Dark chocolate stracciatella scones

 Blueberry and lemon scones

 Served with Cornish clotted cream Chocolate and hazelnut spread Seasonal fruit jam Lemon curd




So we got to try them all we had half of each one. They were lovely and fresh with a nice light texture inside. I must say they did not seem to taste that much different however it was nice to have the different toppings.  I had the Nutella on the chocolate one, Lemon curd on the Blueberry scone and the lovely jam on the other two halfs. 

I had to ask for more clotted cream which they promptly brought for us. 



We had a lovely afternoon tea and the food was nice and plentiful and service was good too. 

We did not get offered any extra food but I am sure they would off if we had asked. 


 Nearest Station : St James Park Underground Station 3 minute walk across the road 
Best bits : The bottle of Bollinger and the lovely sandwiches and cakes 
Worst bits : I just felt that the room lacked ambience     
Value for money :  Yes defiantly for what I paid.
would I go back? : Yes I would. 



Tuesday 12 March 2024

Copped Hall Mothers Day Afternoon Tea - Essex

 On Saturday the historic Copped Hall Manor House in Epping hosted an Afternoon Tea for Mothers day. 

This was our second visit to this venue as went last year in November for its annual Pudding Club event.  If you love your old fashioned puddings and desserts you must try this .  It can be booked via the link below which lists all the events hosted there throughout the year. 

https://www.coppedhalltrust.org.uk/index.php/13-other-events/46-all-events

COPPED HALL is a fine Georgian mansion that is currently under restoration. It is superbly sited on a ridge overlooking its landscaped parkland. The mansion and gardens are situated on a site of ancient human habitation. Many important buildings, from the Medieval, Tudor and Elizabethan eras were demolished prior to the present mansion being built and enlarged by the Victorians.

From 1986-1995 a campaign was successfully fought by a committee comprised of representatives of local conservation societies against repeated large scale aggressive development proposals for the mansion and parkland. Three of these individuals set up the Copped Hall Trust which finally saved the mansion and gardens by purchasing them in 1995. The Corporation of London had already saved the surrounding parkland in 1992. The aim of the Trust is to permanently protect the site, carefully restore Copped Hall and its gardens for educational, cultural and community benefit. Copped Hall and its gardens are STRICTLY PRIVATE, open only for advertised events.

The Afternoon tea cost £25 each and included tea and coffee as much as you like plus a welcome glass of prosecco upon arrival. 
We had a lovely table for two beside the window looking out onto a small part of the gardens. The table was nicely laid with floral china and tea stand plus a menu and leaflet explaining  the history of afternoon tea. 




 







The food was all handmade by the volunteers along with a small gift each containing a homemade chocolate, square of rocky road and little pink chocolate heart. 














The sandwiches were lovely and fresh and the bread was nice with seeds in. Unfortunately the only sandwiches my mum could eat were the Brie and Grape ones which she said were very nice.  As either of us liked the salmon ones or prawn Vol au vents they brought some plain cream cheese ones that they made especially for my mum. 


After the sandwiches we were brought a new coffee pot of hot fresh coffee and there was a already a jug of milk on the table. 






The scones were homemade and sadly not served warm however they were nice and we got a pot of jam and clotted cream each.   The fresh strawberries were a nice touch too. 






For the cakes we got 4 each that consisted off Bakewell slice, Blueberry and Lemon slice , Ginger cupcake and a Chocolate mini tart. These were all very delicious but our favorite was defiantly the Blueberry and Lemon one as lovely and moist. 



The whole afternoon tea was lovely and we got offered as much tea or coffee as we wanted. Also for those who did not eat all the food they handed out boxes so you could take the leftovers home.

We will defiantly book this again and have already got my tickets for this years Pudding Club event in November. 
Well done and thanks to all the volunteers who served us and made the cakes 



Nearest Station : There are no stations nearby and we drove there as plenty of parking available on site 
Best bits : The nice fresh sandwiches and homemade cakes     
Worst bits : None to mention    
Value for money :  Yes I think so as unlimited tea or coffee and also got a welcome glass of prosecco
would I go back? : Yes will defiantly go back 





Tuesday 30 January 2024

Bottomless cake at Jack and Beyond - Battersea high street , London

 


On Saturday I took my mum to a Bottomless cake event at a lovely independent café called Jack and Beyond in Battersea London. I saw it advertised on social Media last year and being a cake lover I knew I had to go there. I also knew that my mum would love it too. 




It is priced at £22 each for 90 minutes of Bottomless cake and you can add  bottomless hot drinks
or prosecco to this. We opted for the hot drinks at additional £6 each which seemed good value.





The cafe was very small inside with just 3 tables however there were plenty more tables outside weather permitting. Due to this you have to stick to the 90 minute time slot you booked it for. 
The two young men working there made us feel welcome and explained the cake and drinks menu to us. 


 
There are 7 different cakes to choose from so to start with we got a slice of each one on a slate plate to share.  I ordered a Mocha and my mum just an Americana coffee with milk on the side. There was a big choice of hot drinks to choose from.  


Just so you know we cut all the cake slices in half so we could both try each of them 
We started with the seasonal cake which was a Black Forest cake  that had a lovely creamy frosting filled with a cherry compote. The chocolate sponge was so light inside lots of cherry compote between the layers. 
Next the Red Velvet which is one of my favorites as I love a cream cheese frosting. This one was nice however the sponge did not have much of a chocolate flavor but it was nice and moist.

To follow this we went for the classic Victoria Sponge which is always a firm winner in my eyes. 
Lovely light vanilla sponge filled with raspberry jam and a lovely creamy frosting that was not too sweet. 

Then it was the turn of the Lemon and elderflower cake that I was really looking forward to tasting. 
The cake was lovely and moist however I could not taste the lemon.   Once again the frosting was creamy with just a hint of Elderflower in it.  

The forth on to try was the Chocolate and Peanut butter that was a vegan cake. This was delicious and had the texture of banana bread with a hint of cinnamon was was lovely. I loved the peanut butter frosting that went so well with the sponge. It certainly did not taste like a vegan cake. 

Before starting the next cake we ordered more drinks each. This time I had a flat white coffee




Next to try was the carrot cake which is another favorite of mine. The sponge was nice and light but I think it could of done with some walnuts added to it. Most carrot cakes I have had in the past contain walnuts or some other kind of nuts. The frosting on this was nice with just a hint of cinnamon. 

Finally we had got to the last of the cake slice which was a crumble topped cheesecake.  We thought this would be our least favorite but how wrong was we !!!!  The biscuit base was so buttery and just the right thickness. On top of this was a thick creamy vanilla cheesecake topped with a crumble and blueberries. We both really enjoyed this one and managed to eat it all. 




After eating three and a half slices of cake each we were surprising feeling very full.  I realy wanted to have more slices of cake especially the Victoria sandwich one but I was pretty full up and so was my mum. In the end we decided not too as did not want to make ourselves feel sick and bloated on cake. 

We bought thought that we would be able to eats lots more cake but as they say ' Eyes bigger than your belly'!!

It is hard to say what our favourite cake was but I liked the Victoria sponge, Chocolate banana peanut butter one and the cheesecake was nice. 

They have a black chalk board on the wall with the peoples names of who has the record for eating the most slices of cake.  In the lead currently is someone called James who ate an astounding 21 whole slices which is nearly two  large cakes.  

For us the bottomless cake price was not worth it and we would of been better off just buying 7 slices of cake however we were light weights that day and I am sure most people manage a lot more slices than us. 

It is a lovely café with friendly staff and a large range of delicious cakes and biscuits and worth visit. 
 




  Nearest Station : Not sure as we went to Victoria Underground Station and then got a bus there 
Best bits : The large choice of delicious cakes all made fresh on site also big choice of hot drinks    
Worst bits : None to mention    
Value for money :  Yes if you can eat five or more slices each.
would I go back? : Maybe if I was in the area. 











 























Wednesday 3 January 2024

Dorchester Christmas afternoon tea - Park Lane London

 My last afternoon tea for 2023 was at the famous Dorchester Hotel on Park lane. This is one I have been wanting to go too for years but it is so expensive. Luckily of me my daughter and husband got me a voucher for my birthday for a Champagne afternoon tea there for two.   Of course my husband insisted he went with me !!!!

It is priced at £135 each for the Festive tea with a glass of Champagne which has to be the most expensive afternoon tea I have been to so far !!!  The standard Champagne afternoon tea is £30 less so they are just charging more as its Christmas time. 

Was it worth it ?  You need to read this blog to find out ........






From the outside of the hotel I thought it would be bigger and more grand but once inside I was impressed 



The reception had a large crystal chandelier hanging down next to a large Christmas tree 



The floors were very shinny and there were more smaller Christmas trees along the sides leading to the famous Promenade where the afternoon tea is served. 



We arrived early so our table was not ready yet so we waited in the foyer which had pale green velvet sofas with pink cushions. 







I went to check out the bathrooms which were large inside and impressive. there was a seating area with dressing table and mirrors to check hair and make up.  The hand soap and hand cream was in a silver metal pump bottle so you could not tell if it was an expensive brand of not. This is something I always like to check out in the hotels bathrooms. 








Once our table was ready we were escorted along the finely decorated corridor called the Promenade to our table that was near the end and close to the silver piano. There was a man playing the piano and singing plus another man playing on a double base. They played some lovely songs throughout the afternoon tea service. 

Our table was nicely laid with crisp white tablecloth and napkins. The china was white and pink and there was a small vase of fresh flowers on each table.



The menu was handed to us and were  offered still or sparkling bottled water.  I felt it was too posh to ask for tap water so we ended up paying £9 for a bottle of still water. 



Our waiter asked us if we had any allergies and if we wanted the afternoon tea with a glass of Champagne. I explained that I did not like fish so could I have an extra turkey sandwich instead. 





We were poured a large glass of Champagne each which went down well whist deciding on what teas to order. I thought the  herbal tea section on the menu was small and not much choice. 









When the sandwiches arrived they looked very nice and we got our own plate of 5 finger sandwiches and a tiny beetroot and and brie tart that was very nice. All the sandwiches were nice and fresh with lots of fillings. When asked if we wanted anymore I asked for more turkey and cranberry ones and the egg one. My hubby got 2 more Salmon ones.  





After eating all the sandwiches the waiter arrived with a little ice cream dessert as a palate cleanser. 

It was tiny but extremely nice and refreshing.

It had an unusual rose flavor and filled with ice cream that I think was Earl Gray Tea flavor. 

All I know is that we both thought it was lovely and could of easily eat another one. 






After this the waiter brought out the scones and accomplishments plus a tray of nice looking cakes.







The scones were still warm and we got a fruit one and plain one each. They were nice and shinny on top and well risen. 


To go with them we got a large dish of clotted cream and two different jams. A Strawberry one and then a cherry one which I liked the best. 






I ordered a cappuccino and my husband some more tea. When the waiter brought over a fresh teacup and saucer my husband said the old one was fine to use which the waiter replied  'Its not a problem you are  at the Dorchester' !!!!

My coffee arrived in a large cup and it was piping hot and very nice with a creamy milk froth. 


By now we were feeling a bit full and wishing we had not had the extra sandwiches offered to us.

The cakes were the last thing to eat and we got four different ones each. I did not think they looked very Christmassy in the decoration 



The first one we had was spiced fruit tart on the right. This was a thin crisp pastry base filled with spiced sweet mincemeat and topped with a brandy light whipped cream. It was supposed to have lemon curd but I do not remember tasting this however it was very rich and nice. 




Next was the red topped one, Grapefruit and Champagne. I liked this one a lot as the Grapefruit was very sharpe with the Champagne and the yogurt mousse cream complimented this. 









Then we had the wreath shaped one that was a profiterole with pistachio cream and red berry fruit. 

I liked the flavors of this and the pistachios made it crunchy on top.



Lastly we had just enough room to eat the final cake. This was called Mont Blanc and made of a Chestnut cream filled meringue. Nice but not my favorite

We asked the waiter for the bill and I noticed that he had given the other tables a little green tin each with the bill. We did not get this so I had to ask him and he apologized and then brought us out a small boxed tin each. It contained a little iced fruit cake which I thought was a nice gesture. 


Upon paying for the bill there was a small confusion over the value of the voucher I got for my birthday and they did not deduct the correct amount off the bill. We did not realize until after paying and spoke to a manager who said she would refund the difference back to our card after New Year. 

We did not think this was very professional for the hotel to get the bill wrong and having to wait for the credit to our card. 

Overall the setting and music was lovely and we got good service. however I have been to other hotels that are much cheaper and received just as good service and food.  


Nearest Station : Green Park station - about 15 minute walk
Best bits : The little ice cream palate cleanser  and the fresh sandwiches with the little beetroot tart    
Worst bits : Probably that they got the bill wrong at the end.   
Value for money :  No I think there are just as good afternoon teas out there for less money.
would I go back? : Sorry no probably not but glad I have experienced it .