Friday 30 August 2019

23% off Buyagift

Just to let you know buyagift are offering 23% off vouchers up to midnight 1st September. Grab yourself a afternoon tea voucher and save some money. Use code PAYDAY at checkout. May not work on all vouchers!

Wednesday 28 August 2019

Huttons cafe in park , Wickford Essex

Wednesday 28th August 2019       

My friend Michele had told me about this cafe called Huttons which serves a nice afternoon Tea for only £12. She has been about 8 times so must be nice !!!!! We arranged to go on this day as I had the week of work. Her daughter who knows the owners well now booked a table for 3 of us as you do need to book in advance. My friend warned me not to expect anything posh as just a cafe inside a park but she said the food was good.

It was a lovely sunny day so we sat outside. We ordered our hot drinks (all included in price) and waited for the food to arrive. First a wooden try full of different sandwiches was placed in the middle of our table. They had the crusts still on which made a nice change and cut into triangles. There were 5 different types: chicken, bacon and avocado, ham and mustard, egg mayo, cheese and pickle and turkey and tomato on white and granary bread. We had 20 triangles  between 3 of us....needless to say we could not finish them all.

The waitress asked if we wanted any more drinks, which she brought out along with a tray of scones and cakes.

There was a scone each and a whole pot of clotted cream each, way too much cream even for me.
The chocolate brownie was very soft and gooey in the middle, we all thought it was slightly under cooked but still tasted nice . The cupcake had a vanilla frosting on top and was also very tasty. As we could not finish them all  I took some home for my son who I knew would appreciate them.
All in all a lovely afternoon with my friend and her daughter

Nearest tube : Not relevant as we drove there , car parking available
Best bits : Food and price 
Worst bits : Brownie needed cooking a bit more but that's just a small thing as they still tasted good
Value for money : Yes definitely - you can have more than1 drink  
Would I go back?  : Yes  if my friend invites me !!!

Royal Horseguards Hotel, Embankment London

Monday 26th August 2019

Visited this large impressive 5 star hotel on a very hot bank holiday Monday with my hubby. I can always tell a high class hotel by the toilets....they had Elemis hand wash and cream along with soft white flannels to dry hands. We had been here previously for a meal which was nice so decided to try the afternoon tea as got a good offer. You should know me by now , never pay full price if I can help it !
After a very hot and sweaty  train ride to Embankment station and short walk we arrived outside this grand and very large hotel. The door was held open for us  by a smartly dressed doorman.

The afternoon tea was served in the lounge room which consisted of different size tables and large velvet armchairs and  sofas. All the tables were nicely set with a little green plant in a glass pot, dainty cup and saucers along with crisp white napkins and silver cutlery. There was also a menu on the table which showed the different options and prices. I had booked the champagne 2 for 1 offer that they were doing on for £49 till end of August. The table that was reserved for us sat 4 so we had plenty of space. It was by the window which was nice, unfortunately the view was just to the street outside not the Thames.

The waitress asked if we had any allergies and then brought us a glass of champagne each. This was very much welcomed as we were both thirsty. She then asked what hot drinks we would like before returning with the afternoon tea stand which I must say was full to the brim.
There were 6 different sandwiches- crayfish , salmon, cheese, egg, ham and chicken all of which were fresh and tasty. My favourite was the ham in sun blush tomato bread. The scones were very large and we had 2 each plain and raisin, served with a pot of clotted cream and jam. The jam was not the best I have had as more like a jelly than jam which made it harder to spread. I must say after eating the scones we were both feeling rather full.  I have never been one to waste food so after a 10 minute rest I reached for the  red cupcake, it tasted very good followed by the ginger cake (not so good) chocolate tart and lastly lemon cheesecake which was very soft and creamy.
We spent about one and half hours in the lounge eating and drinking but then had to wait about 15 minutes to get the attention of the only waitress that seemed to be serving. My hubby started to get irritated  but I was OK with it as I could see how busy it had become.

Afterwards we decided to head to the bar terrace for just one last drink before heading to the station. I would recommend going there as it was very nice and called the Secret Herb Garden sponsored by Fever Tree, I had a very nice gin cocktail.

Nearest tube : Embankment   , approx. 6 min walk
Best bits : Relaxing lounge and tasty scones 
Worst bits : None to mention  
Value for money : Yes I would say so as included glass of Champagne 
Would I go back?  : Yes I think I would but not for a while as so many other ones to try !!!!!

Friday 23 August 2019

Buyagift discount code ACT QUICK

Hi everyone
I have a code you can use to get 23% off Buyagift voucher. Valid till midnight on Monday 26th August.. Use it to get an afternoon tea voucher, there are some great choices available.

I have just purchased the below 2 champagne afternoon teas for total of £70.07 after discount

Sunday 18 August 2019

Montcalm bottomless afternoon tea - Marble Arch

Saturday 17th August

I had already purchased a Buyagift voucher for this one and as usual got a great deal, normally it's £59 but I got an extra 23% off so only cost me £45.43! I would highly advise signing up to Buyagift as they will send you special discount codes from time to time which are so worth it.
I phoned up on the Thursday to book for the Saturday as I had heard the weather was not going to be all that great (Saturday turned out OK in end and no rain). What better way to spend a rainy afternoon than getting merry on Prosecco and eating cake whilst sitting in a nice hotel lounge. I told my husband he had to come with me which at first he was not happy about as the England Rugby match was on TV. Thank goodness for  catch up TV !!
First impressions when we arrived outside the hotel was that it was very nice and grand as the doorman greeted us and welcomed us into the lobby.
It was very small inside, and as I looked up I noticed the modern chandelier gleaming above our heads. The Crescent restaurant was directly opposite the lobby entrance and looked very busy. We was shown to our table (only table left) which was tucked away at the back in the corner. As I sat down I noticed how loud it seemed in the room with everyone talking. My husband explained it was because there was no soft furnishing to absorb the sound. I must say the room was not impressive and did not have a relaxed atmosphere.

The waitress handed the menu to us and explained that we had one stand between us and unlimited Prosecco. The menu didn't go into detail what sandwiches or cakes we would be getting just the price and different types of teas. After asking if we had any allergies she brought us over a bottle of Prosecco, poured us a glass each and left the bottle in an ice bucket stand beside our table. Normally with bottomless teas they just come round with bottle and top up your glass.. By leaving the bottle I guess they can monitor how much you have had. Almost 2 bottles in our case !!!

It took just over 30 minutes for the tea stand to arrive. My husband noticed that a couple who were seated after us got theirs before so spoke to the waitress who said it was coming soon. Just then the manager arrived at our table with new bottle of Prosecco and apologised for the delay.
Finally it arrived.....Pretty coloured sandwiches made it a bit different to what I've seen before, as expected they were fresh and tasty. We had 2 scones each, plain and raisin with a generous pot of jam and clotted cream. The cakes looked very delicious but sadly they all seemed to lack in flavour which was disappointing.

Nearest tube : Marble Arch   , approx. 5 min walk
Best bits : Coloured bread sandwiches and warm scones 
Worst bits : The room it was served in and the cakes  
Value for money : Have had much better for about the same price
Would I go back?  : No - but may have too at some point as brought another voucher for same restaurant by mistake ! Will try to swap for something else as you can with Buyagift

Friday 16 August 2019

Urban Meadow cafe Double Tree Hilton

Saturday 3rd August

I thought i would treat my husband to this afternoon tea at Urban Meadow café opposite Hyde park. My theory is if I occasionally take him then he can't moan about all the others I go to without him. Anyway he loves them even though he may not admit it to his friends. It gives him a chance to dress up and wear one of his many jackets , shirt and tie. I warned him it was not as posh as ones we have done in the past  since I had already googled photos of the restaurant, but as we were going to the Gherkin bar after, we still dressed up.

This was again a voucher deal on wowcher £29 for 2 including bottle(!) of Prosecco, plus I got an additional discount again so only cost £24.65 for both of us. You would pay that just for the bottle of Prosecco which I must say tasted very good . I told you I was a bargain hunter !!

It was a lovely sunny day so we decided to sit at a table outside within a walled courtyard overlooking the pavement opposite the park. It was quite when we arrived but by the time we left 2 hours later the tables were pretty much all taken. I noticed there were about 4 other tables having the afternoon tea too. They probably got the same deal as me.

The waitress asked if we wanted to start with the Prosecco first ....silly question of course. She proceed to open a bottle at our table, poured us a glass each and left the bottle in an ice bucket.
It took about 15 minutes for the tea stand to arrive but that was fine as we sipped our Prosecco (yes my hubby likes Prosecco too) and people watched.
The afternoon tea came on what I can only descried as a mini wooden picnic bench. There were 4 different sandwiches- coronation chicken (my fave), egg mayo, salmon with dill  and cucumber and cream cheese. All of these were very fresh and tasted good. We had a fruit scone each with jam and cream then tucked into a delicious chocolate brownie, moorish macaroon and a lemon cheesecake which all  tasted good. Needless to say we left nothing and felt rather full.

There was no additional charges to pay but of course we gave the waitress a tip as we was very pleased with the food and service.

Nearest tube : Queensway  , approx. 4 min walk
Best bits : Prosecco, sitting outside and the tasty fresh sandwiches  
Worst bits : Nothing really to mention - just do not expect  it to be like a posh hotel inside
Value for money : Yes defiantly 
Would I go back : Yes but I think only in summer months so can sit outside

Peter Rabbit™ Afternoon Tea At The Terrace On Piccadilly

Monday 22nd July 2019- 8 out of 10

I decided to treat my lovely daughter to this afternoon tea and Spa at the hotel Le Meridien Piccadilly so we could spend some time together since she recently moved out. It has only been 7 days and I miss her already! We both had to take the day off work as the wowcher offer was only valid weekdays but that didn't matter. . It cost £59 for both of us including entry to the hotel spa .
First impressions, as we were led into the glass roof atrium situated on the roof terrace was, 'WOW this should be good'. Sitting high above Piccadilly the glass atrium filled the room with natural light creating an oasis of calm along with the greenery. 
I noticed there was a small balcony outside that you could sit on but as my daughter does not like risking insects buzzing around her she preferred to sit inside. Personally I love sitting outside - we need to make the most out of the British summer since it does not last very long !

Unfortunately this afternoon tea did not include a glass of bubbly so I just had a boring glass of tap water and then coffee instead of tea . My daughter ordered a glass of Diet Coke which was extra charge and then a herbal tea.  
After asking if we had any allergies  and us declining, they brought us out the most beautiful stand of food as shown opposite. I was well impressed on looks alone and my mouth had already started salivating even before tasting any of the goodies.  

The waitress started to explain what was on the stand but all I could think of was the cute flower pot and Peter Rabbit which were completely edible ! Below is the menu we had 


    • Mr mcgregor’s garden (v)
      Vegetable garden baguettini with cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, radishes, pea shoots and red pepper hummus
      Caught in a twist
      Smoked salmon and sun - dried tomato pinwheel
      Hill top house
      Traditional ham and cheese on granary bread
      Farmyard friends (v)
      Devilled eggs on basil bread
    • Scones 
    • Fluffy plain and raisin scones served with clotted cream and sweet strawberry jam 
    • Pastries 
    • Flower - pot hideout
      Edible chocolate pot with chamomile mousse, blackberry, chocolate ‘mud’ and sponge cake
      Magnificent mushroom
      Strawberry ganache filled mushroom with a crunchy meringue stem 
      Every bunny’s favourite
      Moist carrot cake topped with cream cheese and chocolate carrot
      Blackberry bushes
      Open blackberry macaroon topped with crème pâtissière and a blackberry garnish
My favourite sandwich was the devilled eggs on basil bread, we both found the ham and cheese on granary bread to be a bit dry.  Scones were OK but nothing special , have had better . Now to the patisseries; I loved the blackberry macaroon as it was very moreish and the  carrot cake was nice with a hint of spice and creamy sweet topping. I do love a carrot cake. My daughter on the other hand is very fussy and does not like cakes with fruit in so it meant I got to eat hers too. Now the flower pot which looked better than it tasted was made out of painted chocolate with a chamomile mousse inside and a chocolate cake base with blackberry sauce. All I can say is that the mousse had a very unusual taste which I found OK but my fussy daughter definitely did not like. Unfortunately I could not eat hers too as by then was full up . 

When we finished we asked for the bill and I was shocked to find that they had charged me £5.50 for the additional black coffee. When I queried this and waitress said that the first coffee was included but any additional would be charged . I have been to many afternoon teas and have never been charged extra for a second cup of coffee and certainly not £5.50 for a small black coffee! If in Harrods maybe -  but they only charge £5 in their cafe! Anyway we were just wanting to go to the hotel spa and relax, so we did not bother to argue and just paid for the extra plus 12.5% service charge - well my daughter did anyway.

Now talking about the relaxing spa not even bother to go there. The pool was cold and they only had a steam room which had a awful aroma - nothing relaxing about it one bit. So not worth getting changed for in our opinion.  

Nearest tube :Piccadilly Circus  , approx. 7 min walk
Best bits : The Peter Rabbit theme was cute and very different, lovely room light and airy  
Worst bits : The charge of £5.50 for second cup of black coffee 
Value for money : OK considering the unusual theme as very different
Would I go back : Not sure , I would not rush to go back but never say never !

Corus Hotel Hyde Park

Saturday 13th July  -  7 out of 10

I went here with my friend Michele who too loves an afternoon tea. There was no special occasion just that her husband was away so it made sense to have a nice girlie day together. I do not need an excuse for treating myself to a afternoon tea... I deserve it !!
 We purchased this as a voucher from Groupon for £29 for 2 with glass of prosecco each . And being the bargain hunter i am, found additional discount so only cost us £24 for 2 of us !!

Upon arriving we was shown to our table in a small conservatory style room overlooking the street and opposite Hyde Park. It was plain in decor but light and airy with about 8 tables. We had a lovely table by the window but had to ask the waitress to turn off the air condition as it was so cold. Once they did this it was fine.
We was offered tea or coffee and both had a Americana coffee as you will come to know i am not a tea drinker. They also poured us a glass each of prosecco. Fortunately for me my friend does nor drink alcohol so i got double bubbles!!  A bonus whenever i go afternoon tea with this particular friend. We were asked if we had any allergies, which fortunately we don't but explained that neither of us  like fish.  About 10 minutes later the food arrived on a 3 tier stand and waitress explained what each item was.
Click link for the afternoon tea menus available

We both tucked our way into 4 different types of sandwiches one of which was a wrap style with ham, rocket and mustard. We both found the mustard to be a bit too hot for us. We had 2 Cucumber and cream cheese  and then an egg - all of which were very nice and fresh. Next we had the scones which  are my favourite bit - apart from the prosecco! They gave us 2 each ,one plain and one raisin one with jam and clotted cream. .....yummy. Then to finish 4 little cakes each which were nice too . There was a ginger carrot one , chocolate brownie, fruit tart and mini cupcake. This is different to the menu on line so I assume they change them every so often.
All in all it was a very good value afternoon tea for the money and would probably go back if i got another voucher deal rather than paying full price of £25.95 each

Nearest tube :Lancaster Gate , approx. 6 min walk
Best bits : Sandwiches nice and fresh , got 2 scones each one plain and one raisin, good service
Worst bits : None really 
Value for money : Yes especially for what i paid
Would I go back : Yes I think I would

My first time ....

My first afternoon tea experience was over 10 years ago for my 40th birthday. I went to the famous Ritz Hotel in London with a group of friends. At this time there were only a few hotels in London that did afternoon teas, but now the majority of good  hotels in London offer them. It was a very grand and luxurious experience with a very grand price to match!!! The food was never ending  but hey ,you can only eat so many sandwiches and cakes . If you wanted a glass of bubbly expect it to be  expensive, but is an obvious must if you are spending that amount of money and celebrating!

My 40th birthday at the Ritz
Wow I look so young sitting at the back matching my mum in pink which is my favourite colour

My next afternoon tea was probably about 4 years later upon discovering Groupon , Wowcher and Afternoon . I purchased a discount voucher for a chocoholic afternoon tea at Hilton Park Lane Hotel , the Podium restaurant. I took my Mum and it was a lovely experience. What I remember most was the top layer on the stand , there sat on a chocolate marble plate(!) were beautifully decorated cakes. Yes that's right, the whole plate was made from white chocolate (my favourite) marbled with gold . My Mum couldn't believe  it was made of chocolate and edible at first glance.
The whole experience was amazing , which is why I went back with my daughter, and then again with my husband , a  close friend and then if that wasn't enough, I took my son back again with my Mum! Each time is slightly different because at certain times of the year they have a theme like Easter or Christmas.

Photo of the one of the chocolate plates i had during a visit to the Podium afternoon tea

Since this I have been to over 30 different afternoon teas hence my nickname 'Queen of afternoon tea' which has lead me to start this blog!