Thursday 24 December 2020

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


What a year its been......Lets hope 2021 is better 

I thought our family had escaped the dreaded Covid but both my daughter and husband have got it 

I tested negative and so far showing no symptoms. 

We are all having to isolate till 28th December so a very quite boring Christmas for us. I am sad that I will not be able to see my Mum Christmas day 😞

We must stay positive and look forward to a better 2021 and hopefully lots of afternoon teas 

Saturday 19 December 2020

Homemade cherry scones

 I should of been at my first festive afternoon tea today with my hubby........ All of them are canceled 😭😞

Instead I baked these cherry scones to have at home.......... They are delicious and probably the best scones I have ever made!!

Have eaten 2 still warm with jam and clotted cream..... Not good for the waistline but I  did go for a long walk before so I do not feel as guilty in having a treat

Recipe ( makes about 6-8)

225g self raising flour, plus extra for dusting

1tsp baking powder 

2tbsp caster sugar

50g cold butter cut into cubes

1 egg

75ml milk 

30g Glace cherries halved or dried fruit or both


Put flour, baking powder and sugar in large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub in until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 

In a jug measure the milk and beat in the egg

Add this to dry mixture reserving a tbsp for glazing. Add the cherries or dried fruit. 

Stir together until it forms a dough. Turn out onto floured surface and knead briefly until smooth. 

Gently roll out to 1 inch thickness and cut out rounds with cutter approx 6cm in diameter. You should make 6-8 scones this size. 

Put these on a plate in the fridge until ready to cook. You could also freeze them at this stage. 

Preheat oven to 200C or 180C fan. Place rounds on lined baking tray and brush over the renaming milk and egg mixture. bake for 10 to 12 minutes, they will turn golden brown on top. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly and then eat them whilst still warm...... Delicious 😋 

Friday 18 December 2020

My Christmas cake


Just finished this year's Christmas cake and I am pleased with how it looks 

I used a Mary Berry fruit cake recipe which you can find on below link

It made this large 8 inch cake plus 4 small mini ones baked in a muffin tin.  It was a good idea to make the mini ones as i was able to try the fruit cake before decorating to make sure it tasted nice. It did not disappoint on taste and was very moist and you could taste the brandy !!!!!! I will defiantly use this recipe again next year. 

I kept the cakes wrapped in the baking paper and in the tin for 3 weeks in an airtight container . Every week i poured a tbsp of brandy over them  to keep them moist

I used ready made yellow marzipan to cover them which I did a week before the icing. 

I decided to decorate with a simple Frozen theme. I brought some different sizes of snowflake fondant stamps and made lots of light blue and white ones out of fondant icing in different sizes and shapes. 

Some of them I brushed with glitter and I painted a few with edible silver paint. Then I left for a week to dry out and harden . I also crushed some clear mints and melted them in oven to create the ice shards . It took me 3 attempts to make these as I let them get too hot in oven and boil which caused lots of air bubbles . 

Once all decorations were made i  covered the cake in Royal icing which i made using egg whites and icing sugar with tsp Glucose and lemon juice. This stops the icing from going rock hard. 
I coved the cakes and and made peaks to look like snow rather than a smooth surface which is harder to do. I then carefully placed the decorations on top and on the sides in a random pattern 

I will gift two mini cakes and put them in a small cellophane bag tired with a ribbon. The other one I will cut and share with hubby to make sure it tastes OK before giving out . 

Tuesday 1 December 2020

Christmas afternoon teas in London


Are you looking forward to an afternoon tea over Christmas?
Below are a few that I spotted that look nice ............

B Bakery Christmas Afternoon Tea Bus Tour
Enjoy a festive themed afternoon tea on board a bus taking in the London sights and Christmas lights
Prices start from £45 each    

Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea Chesterfield Hotel 
I have been to this before and it was very nice so. Indulge in a selection of festive sandwiches and freshly baked cranberry and chocolate scones, followed by a decadent array of seasonal sweets. All of this is served alongside your choice of tea and a warming Mulled Wine Taster.
Price £47.50 each 

The Ned Festive afternoon tea

I had a lovely afternoon tea at the Ned in the summer. I loved the open plan style here and it had such a lovely atmosphere. The food was very good too. I am temped to go to this Christmas one myself Price £45 each

Haxells at Strand Palace Hotel
Enjoy festive savoury bites and sandwiches followed by scones and festive cakes for only £30 each .
I have not been here but the menu sounds really nice and good value

Swan, Shakespeare's Globe
I have wanted to try this afternoon tea for a while as the venue looks nice. The festive menu sounds really good and includes Christmas cake scones, After Eight macaroon and Bailys infused chocolate mousse
£34.50 each

Sheraton Grand London Park Lane
I have been to an afternoon tea here and it was lovely and i would go back. The Christmas menu looks nice and i like the sound of apricot and cranberry scones
Price £44 each 

The Rubens at the Palace
Festive savoury and sweet treats on offer here including Christmas turkey pie and specaloos scones what ever that means !!!!! There are also 6 types of sweet pastries that have a Christmas theme .
Price £49 each including glass of mulled wine

Saturday 28 November 2020

White chocolate and cranberry homemade cookies

 Its beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.............

Christmas tree and decorations up today and baked some cookies 

The large ones are White chocolate and Cranberry and the others are from Costco and you just bake them yourself

My homemade ones are by far the nicest !!!!!!

They are super easy to make see recipe below 

Cranberry and White chocolate cookies 

Makes approx 12 

125g margarine 

100g light brown sugar 

125g caster sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

225 g self raising flour

pinch of salt

100g white chocolate chips 

100 g dried cranberries 

1.. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy . Then mix in the egg and vanilla extract

2. Add the flour and salt and mix well then add the chocolate chips and dried cranberries. Stir until mixed evenly 

3. Put the cookie dough in fridge for about an hour to firm up 

4. Preheat oven to 180 fan and line baking trays with grease proof paper 

5. Use your hands to make balls about the size of a golf ball or smaller if you want more cookies 

6. Place on a baking tray with a gap between them , you can normally fit  six on each tray 

7. Bake in oven for approx. 12 to 15 minutes until they go slightly brown on the top 

8. Leave on baking tray to cool 


I made double the mixture and have frozen half of the cookie dough balls to bake another day 

Sunday 1 November 2020

Cafe Concerto Afternoon tea - Green Park , London

Saturday 31st October  

Halloween and  i went to an Afternoon tea at Cafe Concerto Green Park branch. My mum had an afternoon tea voucher which my brother and daughter in law brought her for Christmas. I choose this branch as it was not far for my mum to walk from the station. 

Sadly after yesterdays lockdown news it will be my last Afternoon tea for a while.......

Inside it was large with two seating areas , we was told to choose any table towards the back of the restaurant which was up a few steps. It was very nice inside with a contemporary but grand design. There was some nice background music playing too.

I noticed that on a table in the corner was a  glamorous blonde haired lady who had a very distinctive voice......

It was Gemma Collins from TOWIE

The waiter asked for the voucher and told us we could have two hot drinks and then gave us the full cafe menu. I noticed the coffee was expensive at £3.95 , forgetting we were in Green Park and not my local coffee shop.  

We both ordered a cappuccino each and explained to the waiter that we did not eat salmon and my mum does not like mayonnaise. She said this was fine and they could make the  chicken  one without mayonnaise. 

About 10 minutes later the tea stand arrived . We got  two sandwiches each and two little rolls each. We both got a cucumber and cream cheese and chicken and tomatoes one each which tasted nice a fresh. Two mini rolls were egg mayonnaise and then two which i think were avocado which neither of us liked !!!!!!


We got two scones each, plain and fruit plus a pot of jar each and pot of clotted cream to share. As my mum does not like the cream there was extra for me ...Yummy.

The scones were slightly  warm and the plain one was a bit dry compared to the fruit one. 

After eating the scones we ordered an Americano coffee each and then started to tuck into the 6 cakes on the top plate. Unfortunately there was only one cake of each type so we decided to cut them all in half . 
First we had the macaroons which were very nice with lots of flavour. We got a lime green one and i think the other one had caramel flavour filling but a slight rose flavour to the macaroon.....very nice indeed. 
Secondly we had a blueberry tart which had creamy sweet custard inside mum liked this one. 
Next we eat  the chocolate one which was hard to cut as it had a white chocolate disc  on top of a soft velvety chocolate mouse. 
The pink cake had a strawberry flavour and was a mouse on a sponge base topped with jelly. 
Then to finish there was a small pot of lemon cheesecake. 
All the cakes tasted really nice 

After eating all the cakes we both felt rather full. I asked the waiter if there was anything to pay for and she said just two of the coffees.....I queried this as we had been told by another waiter the voucher included two drinks . She said that it only included the first drinks . 

I spoke to the first waiter who said the two drinks were NOT each and for both of us just one drink each. 

I thought this was a bit bad of them as second drink was only an Americano coffee and it would not of cost them much extra to give to us for free. 

Nearest Station  : Green Park-  about 6 minute walk    
Best bits : I think the flavourful macaroons and sandwiches which were nice and fresh 
Worst bits : Charge for extra coffee each 
Value for money :Menu price £36.95 for two. Yes if they were to offer at least two hot drinks each !!!!!
would I go back?  :  Yes probably at some point 


Sunday 25 October 2020

Morrisons food boxes - Afternoon tea box £15

 Sunday 25th October 

As i was so impressed with the afternoon tea in the Morrison's cafe i decided to try their Afternoon tea food box which you order online and get delivered at a date that suits you. There are lots of different food boxes to choose from and you can get them delivered to a different address as a gift . Another reason for ordering this was as there was an offer  code to get £5 off so only cost me £10 !!!!!

 I got a text to confirm the time slot and it arrived well packaged with the fridge items wrapped up with two cool bags. 

As you can see from the photo the box contained everything you would need for an Afternoon tea at home I added up the estimated value of each items to see if it was good value. It added up to about £12.50 in total so i guess the £2.50 extra is for delivery. As I only paid £10 it was good value to me. 

Morrisons The Best All Butter Sultana Scone 4 Pack
Rodda's Classic Cornish Clotted Cream 227g
Mini Tiptree Strawberry Jam 42g X 4 mini jars 
Morrisons Lemon Bakewells 6 per pack (I GOT APPLE PIES INSTEAD) 
Morrisons The Best Chocolate Cake
Egg Mayo Sandwich Filler 250g
Cheese & Onion Sandwich Filler 250g
Medium White Loaf 800g
Morrisons Red Label Tea Bags 40's 125g
Cravendale Semi skimmed Milk ltr

The only thing i was disappointed by was that on the website it listed lemon bakewell tarts but I got apple pies instead.....would of much preferred the bakewell tarts. Not sure if they swap the cakes often or just that I was unlucky !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We sat down this afternoon and enjoyed the food  along with a bottle of English sparkling wine instead of the tea which was included.

I still have lots of food left including chocolate cake, bread and sandwich fillings . Also we only needed two mini pots of jam and have half a tub of clotted cream left. Perhaps they should include a pack of 6 scones as it could easily feed six  6 people then. 

Would I order this again  ?  

Yes I think I would as it was exciting opening the box and then getting it all ready . Also the scones were really nice from the Morrison Best range as was the chocolate cake

Saturday 24 October 2020

24% off Buyagift -ends midnight Tuesday 27th October

 Just seen that buyagift are offering 24% off vouchers..... Just enter code MAGIC at checkout. Grab yourself a afternoon tea voucher or buy one as a Christmas present for a friend or loved one. 

Friday 16 October 2020

Superb science themed afternoon tea - Ampersand Hotel - South Kensington London

 Wednesday 14th October 

I went to the Science themed afternoon tea at the Ampersand Hotel as a post Birthday treat from my mum which was so lovely in every way. 

I booked it via as they were doing special half price offer Tuesday to Thursdays up to end of October. It was priced at £22.25 each and worth every penny of that !!!!! 


Smoked salmon & avocado buckwheat blinis
Brioche with roast beef, watercress, cornichons
Chicken with sundried tomato & lemon mayonnaise bun
Seasonal quiche 

Homemade white chocolate and cranberry & plain scones
Served with Cornish clotted cream and homemade strawberry preserve
Passion fruit curd in a squeeze tube
Toppings: freeze dried raspberry, freeze dried pineapple, crunchy caramel

Pear, ginger & mixed berries jelly in a petri dish
Dark chocolate & caramel planet mousse
Chocolate spaceman 
Plum & lime macaron
Coconut & orange half-moon cake 
Mini dinosaur biscuit & milk chocolate fossil hidden within chocolate "soil" 

It was served in The Drawing room which was small and cosy with lovely velvet and patterned fabric armchairs and sofas. It was a bright and modern decorated room. The tables were nicely laid out with China plates from Villeroy and Boch. My mum always likes to look at the bottom of the plates  to see what brand they are. 

Once seated the waiter handed us the menu and checked for any allergies. They seemed very accommodating and offered us alternative sandwiches and also made my mums without mayonnaise. We both ordered a cappuccino and glass of tap water. I noticed that there was only one other table in not busy at all. This is surprising as it is such a good deal at half price!! 

The waiter brought out a little kidney dish with glass jugs and syringes ... He gave as a little card with instructions on how to make our own lemonade. It was a bit confusing but we managed to make a little jug each with the fruit flavours..... It did not taste that nice but was fun to do. I think if you had children with you they would love making it

After about 15 minutes the afternoon tea stand arrived and we got a whole stand each. I think this was only because we had different sandwiches each as I noticed the other table only got one stand between the two of them. 

The waiter explained what was on the stands and then poured water onto a China dish on the top stand to create smoke from dry ice...... Great effect 

Once the smoke had stopped we tucked into the sandwiches. I had two chicken ones , a mini quiche and a little brioche beef roll which was lovely . My Mum enjoyed her sandwich choices too . We both thought the quiche was a bit bland however the pastry was nice. I think it would of been nicer if it was warm. We were surprised to be offered more sandwiches which we turned down as wanted to save room for the scones and cakes. 

The scones were still slightly warm and we got a white chocolate and cranberry one each plus a plain one. There was a small pot of jam , plenty of clotted cream and a tube of mango puree, This looked like a toothpaste tube and it even had the silver foil seal which you had to piece with the top of the lid. 
As if that does not sound nice enough we also got 3 glass test tubes which contained dried raspberry , dried pineapple and salted caramel balls . We sprinkled these on top of the cream and jam on our scones, it gave them a lovely crunch and extra flavour....Delicious and such a good idea !!!!!!!

The white chocolate and cranberry scone was so nice I asked the waiter if we could have another one. He said yes but we had to wait about 15 minutes as they had to bake them fresh for us. It was well worth waiting for and we got some  more cream and jam to go with them. 

We were now feeling rather full but this did not stop us tucking into the cakes....

    First we had the coconut orange moon cake which was nice and had a crumbly texture . The green spaceman was made out of white chocolate. Then we had the jelly in the Petra dish which was OK and went well with the science theme. The macaroon looked and tasted amazing. I loved the little pipette of lemon syrup which you squeezed onto it ...this changed the flavour and went well with the plum and lime flavour . Lastly we had the chocolate ball which looked like a planet with the chocolate ring around it. I thought it was just a hollow ball on a circle of cake but was i was a soft creamy chocolate mouse which was really nice. 

Once the cakes were gone the waiter placed a small wooden box on our table and informed us that we needed to use the paintbrush to dig inside to find a surprise....
This was a lovely end to a great afternoon tea 

We were both very impressed with this afternoon tea . The food was excellent  as was the service 

Nearest Station  : South Kensington High Street-  about 4 minute walk    
Best bits : The venue , service and the food  - basically everything 
Worst bits : None it was excellent 
Value for money :Yes and even at full price it was good for the quality of food and service  
would I go back?  :  Yes defiantly  

Sunday 11 October 2020

Amazing sweet treats at Cake and Bubbles - Cafe Royal , Regent Street London

Saturday 10th October 2020 - MY BIRTHDAY

I booked this months ago as a special treat for my birthday. I had seen the restaurant on Masterchef and knew i wanted to go there as the desserts looked amazing and so different. The dessert are the creation of Albert Adrià ,voted The World’s Best Pastry Chef by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

The restaurant is attached to the side of Cafe Royal and is small in size and clad with Siena marble and has large windows looking onto Regent Street. It has an elegant and sophisticated feel yet relaxed and ideal to watch the world on Regent Street go by. It was very busy when we got there and all the tables were full . Our reserved table was in the window perfect for people watching.

The menu was small in the choices but sounded amazing and very different . We decided to have a bottle of champagne with the afternoon tea as it was my birthday after all !!!!!! Having already spent over £70 in the wine bar at Fortnum and Mason prior I decided to go for the cheapest bottle on the menu which was still £65. It was called N.V. Sophie Baron, Grande Réserve and very nice too.

The first course on the menu was Cakes & Bubbles Chocolate Cork, Baklava pistachio pillows, Golden Egg Flan and “After Eight” strawberry and chocolate marshmallow

First we both had the pistachio pillow .....OMG it was amazing. Light crispy pastry filled with a sweet cream and chopped pistachios. We both were blown away at how delicious it tasted. 

Next we had the golden egg which contained a creamy mouse with caramel in the bottom. Unfortunately the egg shell was not edible

Third came the chocolate cork which contained a hazelnut praline covered in a thin layer of chocolate sponge. It had the cake and bubbles name stamped into it which was cute and made it look more like a cork

THe last thing of this first course was the chocolate and mint marshmallow which was a strange shape

It was soft , light and fluffy in the centre with a slight rose taste and then at the end the mild taste of mint hits you . Very clever play on flavours and most enjoyable.

The second course was a surprise as the waiter handed us a real red rose each which had shiny sphere on top in the middle resting on the rose petals. It looked like a rain drop. The idea was to eat the sphere off the burst in my mouth releasing a liquid flavoured with lychee, raspberry & rosewater. Amazing and so clever. We get to keep the roses  and take them home.

Last course was the one I was most looking forward to trying

The cheesecake which is for the adventurous: A new concept of the cheesecake, with Baron Bigod cheese, hazelnut and white chocolate. We got one each with a tray of little round biscuits which I guess are supposed to be like the biscuit base on a traditional cheesecake. It was so clever how the white chocolate coating looked just like the wax coating on a cheese. I excitedly dug my spoon into the chocolate shell and out oozed a soft velvety cream. This was defiantly worth waiting for as it was so creamy and not too sweet with a tiny hint of cheese. We used the crunchy biscuits to mop up the creamy cheesecake filling ...delicious . I wish I could of had another one I liked it that much.


Nearest Station : Piccadilly Circus - about 4 minute walk
Best bits : The cheesecake however all the desserts were amazing
Worst bits :None
Value for money : The afternoon tea was priced at £34 per person which I guess is OK considering how different and amazing the food tasted and looked. However it was only sweet stuff and no sandwiches .
would I go back? : It was very different and special but now I have been I probably would not go back unless the menu changed.