Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Very nice Sopwell house afternoon tea and spa- St Albans , Hertfordshire

 Finally got to use the voucher my husband got  me for Christmas two years ago. 

It was a spa day with afternoon tea at Sopwell house in St Albans , Hertfordshire. 



We spent 2 hours in the spa before the afternoon tea at 4pm. It was nice as we could go to it in our white bath robes and slippers provided by the spa. 

The brassiere was nice and Cosy looking with doors leading out to seating in the lovely garden area. It was not warm enough for us  to sit outside. 

After being shown to our table we was handed the menu which included the hot drinks. It did not go into details of the food you get with the afternoon tea just the prices. Traditional afternoon tea priced £29.95 each weekdays or £34.95 weekends. If you want champagne afternoon tea it's about £10 more each. 



The voucher was for traditional one but we decided to order a glass of champagne each. My husband got a shock when we got bill at end as it was Tattinnger champagne £13.95 glass.....it was nice 



 The waiter took our drinks order and said we could have more tea or coffee if we want. The afternoon tea stand arrived and I was pleasantly surprised. 

We had 4 different sandwichs each in nice flavoured bread. There was a egg mayonnaise one, smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese and a chicken one. They were all nice and very fresh. Once we had eaten them all the waiter asked if we wanted anymore. We decided not too as wanted room for rest of the food. 



The scones were very generous in size and freshly baked. We got a plain one and fruit one each with a pot of jam and clotted cream. They tasted very nice and light and fluffy inside. I asked for some more cream and jam to go on my last scone and the waiter brought this over along with two more warm scones. My husband who is not really a scone fan had another one as he even said they were really nice too. 



By now I was starting to feel rather full however managed to squeeze in the 6 cakes on the top tier. We cut each one in half so we could both try each one. Good job really as would not of been able to eat 6 whole ones each !!!!




My favourite one was the rich gooey chocolate square and the Battenberg cake. 

The waiter did however ask if we wanted anymore cakes and I noticed that they gave another table an additional plate of cakes so they could have one each. They were so generous and kept asking if we wanted anymore food . Its a shame that the 5 star hotel I went to on Saturday did not do the same as they never asked if we wanted anything else !!!!!

I was so impressed with this afternoon tea the food was all very nice . 


Nearest Station :  Not sure as we drove there   
Best bits :  Lovely food all very fresh and tasty. Also the service and fact we got offered more food and hot drinks . 
Worst bits : Nothing all good 
Value for money : Yes considering we could have more food
would I go back? : Yes I  would maybe in the summer just for afternoon tea so we can sit outside in the garden 



Sunday, 10 October 2021

Rubens at the Palace hotel disappointing afternoon tea - Buckingham Palace Road , London

 My 2nd birthday afternoon tea and was disappointing. 

So looking forward to this as a five star London hotel and not in been before. I booked the bottomless champagne afternoon tea priced at £75 each however I only paid £45 each as brought a buyagift voucher when they were offering a discount. I never pay full price unless I have to !!!!!



The hotel was lovely but the service let it down. 

We was greeted by smartly dressed doorman who asked us to wait in reception as we were about 15 minutes early. Whilst waiting I went to the bathroom which was impressive and very nice. 




Our table was small and facing the window which out looked onto the street and the palace mews entrance. Great seat for people watching but at same time had our backs to rest of the restaurant lounge. 




We were given the menu and asked if we had any allergies. The waiter then took our order for hot drinks and poured us a glass of champagne. I was rather disappointed that it was unbranded champagne and not Lanson as marked on our glasses and  on the menu should you order per glass. For £75 each I would expect Lansons brand. 



The menu sounded very nice especially the honey and white chocolate scones 

ROYAL AFTERNOON TEA
SANDWICHES

Smoked scottish salmon & horseradish cream cheese
Coronation chicken & toasted almonds
Ham, cheese & tomato chutney
Egg & watercress
Cucumber & cream cheese

SCONES

Traditional plain & honey & white chocolate scones served with homemade seasonal fruit preserve & clotted cream

PASTRIES

Gin & tonic macaron a gin & tonic is the queen’s tipple of choice. This macaron has an uncanny g&t flavour without the addition of alcohol
Lemon & elderflower cube an ode to the duke and duchess of sussex’s baby archie: the royal couple’s wedding cake flavours showcased in a baby box
Peach mousse grown in the orchards at windsor castle, peaches are queen elizabeth ii’s favourite fruit
Earl grey & chocolate orange crown jewels our earl grey cheesecake and chocolate mousse crown jewels are a homage to her majesty, the queen’s love for tea and especially earl grey tea
Seasonal Rubens éclair inspired by prince charles’ sustainability farming


When the afternoon tea stand arrived it was very tall and placed on the floor next to our small table. The cakes on top looked very fancy.

We wasted no time in tucking into the sandwiches on flavoured breads, We got five different ones each and they were all very tasty and fresh. I liked the coronation chicken and the ham and cheese one best. 



The restaurant was getting busy now and our champagne glasses had been empty for about 20 minutes so we had to ask for a top up and also another glass of tap water.  For a 5 star hotel I expected better service as they did not even offer us any more sandwiches. Not that we wanted any but a good hotel afternoon tea should be offering more and checking if everything is ok with it. 

Next we started on the scones  and the waiter  asked if we wanted any more tea of coffee. 



The scones were not warm but may of been to begin with. They were light and fluffy inside and very nice. We had to ask for another pot of homemade jam and cream as there was not enough for 2 scones each. Although the scones were very nice I did not think the white chocolate and honey one tasted that much different. 

The five  cakes looked very nice but they were more like a dessert than cakes as all very creamy mouse like inside. Even the eclair looking one was not choux pastry just a soft mouse coated in a flavoured glaze like jelly. They were generous in size but as only got one of each type we had to cut them all in half which was a bit messy to do as very soft. 



Not at any point during out time did we get asked if we wanted any more food or if everything was OK . We also had to ask again for out champagne to be topped up. 

I was so looking forward to this afternoon tea as good reviews and a well know 5 start hotel..........Left feeling a bit disappointed. 




Nearest Station : Victoria station - about 6 minute walk
Best bits : Nice sandwiches on different breads and nice scones
Worst bits : Overall service and cakes at the end 
Value for money : No not for £75 each with cheap non branded champagne 
would I go back? : No sorry I do not think I would  










Friday, 8 October 2021

Pretty pink afternoon tea at Lo Bella in Loughton, Essex

 First of 4 birthday afternoon teas......

Keeping it local for a change and went to this little pretty cafe in Loughton Essex with my 2 friends and my mum.  I booked it a few weeks ago as I know sometimes they close for private parties and wanted to make sure they had a table for us. 



The afternoon tea is priced at £16.50 each including pot of tea or you can swap for one cup of coffee . Extra charges for additional drinks apply. Which I think is a bit mean as it would not hurt to let us have a second drink for free as not much cost to them.  I just think these little things do make all the difference when reviewing or recommending to others. 




Anyway I do not want to  moan too much as the afternoon tea was very nice indeed. 

I loved the inside of the café as it was pink which is my favourite colour and decorated with lovely flowers and angel wings on the wall.  Very pretty with lovely tables and chairs. The cups and saucers and plates were either pink or blue with gold edge and the cutlery was also gold. Each table had a China crown shaped bowl containing the sachets of sugar. 




We all ordered our drinks and 2 afternoon tea stands were placed on our table. 



The sandwiches were extremely fresh and must of just be made. We had a good selection consisting of ham and cheese with pickle, egg mayonnaise, cream cheese and cucumber and smoked salmon. There were lots of sandwiches on the bottom tiers and we probably got about 8 each . Very generous and tasted nice. 


Next we tucked into the scones, one fruit one and one plain one each with little jar of jam and pot of clotted cream.  I do not think the scones were homemade or freshly baked but they did taste very good. I think the plain one may of been a clotted cream one as it tasted rich and creamy inside. I could only eat one and a half scones as wanted to save room for the cakes. 




We had 3 different small cakes each. My favourite by far was the red velvet which had a thick layer of cream cheese frosting.....




We also got a gooey Oreo brownie square and a slice of lemon iced loaf cake. Not sure if they had been home made but they all tasted delicious 😋



At the end I took our leftover cakes home for my son to try, he said they were nice too. 

We had a lovely afternoon tea at Lo Bella and would go back again




Nearest Station : I drove but Loughton underground station is a 15 minute walk  
Best bits : The décor inside and the lovely fresh sandwiches and red velvet cake 
Worst bits : Nothing apart from having to pay for additional coffees
Value for money : Yes it is as food very nice
would I go back? : Yes I defiantly would 


Saturday, 18 September 2021

Piglets Pantry afternoon tea box delivery

I  have not had an afternoon tea for a few weeks and was missing them .......So I decided to order a home delivery one after seeing the voucher on Buyagift website. It also helped that i had a £10 discount code to use for Buyagift . It cost £35 including delivery for the classic  afternoon tea box for 2 so using my voucher it only cost me £25 !!!!!!  I hardly ever pay full price for anything if I can help it. 

You can also purchase this direct on their website plus other delicious baked goods including pies 

Piglets Pantry

The box arrived on Friday as planned and when I opened it I was pleasantly surprised 


It was delivered in a large pink box which contained another smaller pink box above . There was some dry ice bags inside to keep it cool. 

It contained the following :


2 HAM HOCK & MATURE CHEDDAR QUICHES
2 TRADITIONAL SCOTCH EGGS
2 MINI TRADITIONAL SAUSAGE ROLLS
2 MINI SAUSAGE ROLLS WITH CHEESE AND PICKLE
2 BUTTERMILK SCONES
2 RODDA’S CLOTTED CREAM
STRAWBERRY JAM
2 CARROT CAKES
1 BLUEBERRY BANANA AND LEMON CURD CAKE
1 LEMON DRIZZLE LOAF CAKE
2 TEA PIGS TEA BAGS

I took the box to my Mums on Saturday for us to share together. I like to get my Mums feedback as she has been to many afternoon teas with my  and loves a cake too . 

We decided to set it up properly on a cake stand so we could imagine that we was in a nice hotel 

My mum warmed up the savouries and scones in the oven ......




All of the savouries tasted lovely , crisp buttery pastry  with delicious fillings. I think I liked the sausage rolls best. 




Next the plain scone which was so fresh and light ......so nice with the strawberry jam and clotted cream included in the box . We got just one scone each ....I would of like another one but I guess I should not be greedy as still had the cakes to eat 






Finally the cakes .....we got a whole carrot mini loaf cake each plus to share a lemon drizzle one and banana and blueberry loaf cake.

My favourite was the blueberry banana one and my mum liked the carrot cake best . They were all very  nice and we enjoyed eating them with a cup of coffee.  They tasted very fresh as did all the food 



Overall a extremely nice and good value afternoon tea box that I would recommend. 


 

Nearest Station : N/A - Home delivery afternoon tea box 
Best bits : The freshness of the food and how well it was packaged. Also the amount of food plus delicious pastry savouries.
Worst bits : None
Value for money : Yes i think it is
would I go back? : Yes thinking of ordering another one soon , maybe the Autumn one they do .





Sunday, 29 August 2021

Superb indian inspired afternoon tea - Kona at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate London

 I said I wanted to try the Jasmine Indian afternoon tea at Kona Taj51 after having the Queen of Hearts one there.....and yesterday I did just that and it was even  better than I expected !!!!!!!!!!



It is priced at £45 each the same as the Queen of Hearts tea but if you buy a voucher from Buyagift when they have a discount you can save up to 25% . This is what i did as always on the look out for bargain and to save money!!!!

I took my husband as i knew my mum would not like the spicy food as she is a very plain food person. My hubby was very impressed with the grandeur of the hotel especially the lovely courtyard garden. 



We arrived about 15 minutes early and shown straight to our table for 2 in the corner of the room. We were the first to arrive for the 2pm seating. The table was laid differently to the Queen of Hearts theme tea with lovely gold sun shaped mirror plate charger and the china had gold on to match. 



The waitress handed us the menu and asked if we had any allergies. There were lots of different teas to choose from. My husband ordered his tea and I had a cappuccino . The menu sounded amazing 

Jasmine afternoon tea menu

First we was brought a small glass of salty caramel Lassi topped with a toffee crunch stick........it tasted delicious i could of easily had another one. The crunch stick was nice too. 



After this the waitress brought out 3 trays of food ......there was so much and it was presented lovely on gold trays and dishes. I could not wait to get stock in



The gold mitrrored tray had the savouries on and they consisted of  Darbari Sandwiches Spiced Creamed Cheese, Kachumbar Pinwheel in Beetroot Bread ,  Curried Egg Mayo Pinwheel in Sun-Dried Tomato Bread, Royal Namkeens Chicken Tikka Wrap, Spiced Paneer Bhurjee Puffs and Spiced Potato Toast with Fig Chutney. The pastry ones were still warm and we both liked the Paneer Bhurjee puff best followed by the Chicken Tikka wrap. All of them were lovely and we were offered more but declined as wanted room for the sweet cakes. 



We ordred more hot drinks before tucking into the Meetha Gulabi Scones with Kismis and Almonds, served with Homemade Alphonso Mango Compote, Cinnamon Clotted Cream. The scones were pink in colour and tasted of rose and almond ......so different to the traditional scone and I enjoyed them very much. It was so nice to have mango compote and cinnamon clotted cream rather than just plain jam and cream. 





I was starting to feel full up now but still had a bit of room left for the tray of amazing looking cakes 



The gold leaf design tray had the following sweet desserts on Gold Leaf Gulab Jamun and Cheesecake ,Gajar Halwa Macaroons,Pistachio, Crusted Fruit and Cardamon Flavoured Srikhand Tart, Short Glasses of Royal Saffron Rice Pudding and Chandni Foam, Chocolate Rasmalai Cups, Anglo Indian Rose de Cookies. The attention to details was amazing, there was a white chocolate truffle chocolate on a stick in the rice pudding and little filled chocolate tea cup plus a lime segment that was made from while chocolate. It looked so life like my husband thought at first it was a real lime. I must also mention the star anise on the fruit tart was made from chocolate too

They were so different to your normal afternoon cakes and I enjoyed them very much.




 2 hours later and feeling extremely full we happily paid the service charge as the food and service had been excellent . We both enjoyed the whole experience and would defiantly go back.




Nearest Station : Victoria station - about 10 minute walk
Best bits : Excellent service and so unique amazing food . Also the amount of food we got for the price.
Worst bits : None
Value for money : Yes defiantly
would I go back? : Yes I would for both types of afternoon tea. 


Sunday, 22 August 2021

Afternoon Tea and vineyard tour with wine tasting - Chilford Hall Vineyard

 Had a lovely weekend away visiting the Chilford Hall Vineyard in Cambridgeshire. This is the second vineyard we have visited and our plan is to visit a different one each year. We are not wine connoisseurs but maybe after a few more years could be experts!!!!!!! So far we have learnt quite a lot and also spent a lot of money in buying the wines after.

The vineyard tour and tasting lasts 2 hours and cost £25 each which includes an afternoon tea . This i think is very good value as before the tour we got offered complimentary teas and coffees whist waiting for it to start. Out tour guide was extremely informative and we learnt so much about the growing of the vines and the different types of grapes.  

After tasting 5 different types of wine the glasses were cleared away and the afternoon tea stand delivered to our table. We were also offered tea or coffee




We had to share 4 different finger sandwiches and a cheese straw each , the sandwiches were nice and very fresh. We had one fruit scone each and a pot of jam and pot of clotted cream each. I was disappointed that the scone was not homemade and just from a packet however I still enjoyed it. 


Lastly we tucked into the top plates of mini cakes which were all shop brought rather than homemade.

We cut each one in half and they looked and tasted very nice.




Overall not a bad afternoon tea considering the main event was the vineyard tour and wine tasting 

Nearest Station  : Its in the countryside so no stations nearby    
Best bits : Mini cakes   
Worst bits : Homemade scones would of been much better and perhaps another sandwich each  
Value for money : Yes it is at only £25 each with the tour and tasting 
Would i go back   :  Yes maybe but there are so many other vineyards to visit