Wednesday 25 January 2023

Mums birthday afternoon tea Intercontinental O2 London

 Saturday we went to the intercontinental O2 hotel for my mum's birthday afternoon tea. I had always wanted to try this one and my mum thought it would be nice to look around the outlet shops too. 

It's a large modern hotel with lots of glass windows with great views across to Canary wharf and the London skyline. 

It is reasonable priced at £52 each for a nice hotel. I could not find any voucher deals for this so just booked it direct online. 

The afternoon tea is served in the meridian lounge which is light an airy with floor to ceiling glass windows. 

We choose a nice round table that had a comfy chair for my mum. 

The table was nicely set with white or and gold china and a crisp white napkin.  The waiter handed us the menu and asked if he we had any allergies. 

We asked if we could swap the salmon sandwich for a extra Turkey one and my mum also  swapped the egg mayonnaise for an extra cheese sandwich. They were more than happy to do this for us. 

We ordered our hot drinks, my mum a cappuccino and I decided to try the chamomile tea infusion. 

After around 15 minutes the tea stand arrived along with a plate of lovely looking sandwiches. 

Our waiter Ganesh explained what everything was and looked after us thought out the Afternoon tea. 

The sandwiches were extremely nice and the bread was much thicker than normal with lots of filling. I must say I really enjoyed them and liked the cheese in tomato bread best whilst my mum liked the Turkey ones. 

I also liked the two mini mushroom vol au vent we got each,  the pastry was nice and crisp. 

Next we had the scones which were slightly warm still. A plain one and candid fruit one which looked nice with green and red pieces of fruit that looked likes jewels inside. To go with these we got a pot of strawberry jam and pot of thick clotted cream. There was plenty of these for both scones and I did not need to ask for any extra...I do like lots of cream on my scones !!!!

The scones were nice but my mum said they were nothing special. 

Before tucking into the nice looking cakes we both ordered a coffee each to wash down the scones. 

All the cakes looked very nice and we got 4 different ones each .....

They were more like desserts than cake and we both thought they looked nicer than they tasted. 

We had the Clementine Ginger Symphony one first which was a orange flavor mouse inside a realistic looking orange sat on a biscuit base. We could not taste the ginger in it. My mum said she liked this one best out of the 4.  

The Pear and Cardamom tart had a real poached pear on top of a crisp buttery pasty case topped with cardamom flavor  custard.  I liked this one. 

Next we had the mini Forest Fruits Rum Barba which was a sponge soaked in a sweet syrup topped with berries. I could not taste any Rum it was just very sweet and wet . We were not that keen on this one. 

Lastly I had the Yuzu and Caramel Chocolate Cube. This was a dark chocolate shell filled with rich Chocolate cream with caramel. It had a unusual  taste to it that was probably the Yuzu and very chocolatey.  

This one along with the Pear were my favorites. 

Feeling very full now I ordered another coffee and as I had informed them it was my mums birthday when booking they brought out a fruit tart on a plate with Happy Birthday wrote on it 

My mum took this away with her in a box as too full to eat it there 

Overall a nice Afternoon tea with good service in a nice modern hotel 

Nearest Station : North Greenwich O2 station - about 10 minute walk
Best bits : The nice sandwiches in thick bread and lots of filling inside plus the amount of food we got. Also the service was good too.    
Worst bits : Nothing to mention   
Value for money : Yes I think it was for the food we got plus they did not charge us extra for the additional hot drinks.  
would I go back? : Yes if I was going to the O2 or they had a different menu that sounded nice. 

Sunday 15 January 2023

My 2022 Afternoon Tea Awards


What a year 2022 was and packed full of afternoon teas. In total I went to 26 afternoon teas during 2022.....that's a lot of scones !!!!!!!

I have decided to host my own afternoon tea awards as a bit of fun for the New year

Nicest scones 

🏆1st place     The Melody restaurant St Pauls Hotel Hammersmith London 

Lovely fruit scones with a hint of cinnamon light and fluffy inside

Runners up

Park Room Marriott Grosvenor House Hotel hotel Park Lane London 

Large scones nice texture inside and 5 different jams to choose from 

Hansom St Pancras Renaissance Hotel Kinds Cross London  

Candid orange scones unusual and delicious with the Lemon Curd 

Morrisons Supermarket Cafe Chingford London 

Large scones with lots of fruit and topped with sugar which gave them a sweet crispy outside with soft centre 

Most unusual afternoon tea 

🏆1st place    Scoff and Banter Tea Rooms Bond Street London 

 This Afternoon tea consists of 4 menu sections from which you get to choose two items each from each of the sections. There are hot items plus desserts at the end  

Runners up 

Kopi Tiam afternoon tea Orchid lounge Pan Pacific hotel London 

This was an afternoon tea with an Asian twist inside a modern 5 star hotel. Great attention to details 

Mad Dogs and Englishman Leigh on Sea Essex 

Great Mary Poppins Theme with lots of props and room decorated to match. They change the theme a few times a year . 

Best service 

🏆1st place    Park Room Marriott Grosvenor House Hotel hotel Park Lane London 

Lovely 5 star Hotel with great service. We was offered additional glasses of Champagne at no extra charge as there was a slight delay with bringing out our food. The manager took time to chat to us and was interested in my feedback. Nothing was too much for them and they made us feel special. 

Runners up

Scoff and Banter Tea Rooms Bond Street London 

The manager took time to chat to us and explain the different items of food on offer. He made sure we were well looked after by the waiters. 

Podium Restaurant Hilton Park Lane London

Been here many times and always get good service with a smile. 

Best looking cakes 

🏆1st place  Kopi Tiam afternoon tea Orchid lounge Pan Pacific hotel London 

 All four cakes looked beautiful and so much detail on them 

Runners up 

Podium Restaurant Hilton Park Lane London

Had an Easter theme to them with flowers and butterflies and chocolate egg shell. They looked very pretty 

Kona Taj 51 Buckingham Gate London 

Cakes all had a Queens Jubilee Theme to them. 

Best ambience and setting for afternoon tea  

🏆1st place Hansom St Pancras Renaissance Hotel Kings Cross London

Beautiful high glass and metal roof which lights up when it gets dark. Relaxed open plan  lounge in center of hotel. Great for people watching 

Runners up 

Rabot Hotel Chocolate Borough Market London 

 Lovely balcony overlooking the market below. It has heaters and blankets so can be used all year round. You feel like you are outsiude but you still under the roof of the market . 

Clermont Hotel Charing Cross 

The afternoon tea is served in a glass lounge on the front of the hotel with views over the stand. it is light and airy with gold pillars and lots of velvet cushions in bright colors. It has a slight art deco feel to it

Best value for money (not taking into account voucher prices)

1st place Morrison Supermarket Cafe Chingford London 

£12.99 for Afternoon Tea for two is hard to beat !!!!! By no means luxury surroundings or service but food was very nice and fresh. Scones are lovely

Runners up 

Boundary Cafe Potton Bedfordshire 

Went here as part of my friends Hen Do . It is a cafe within a Cricket Club grounds so once again not posh by has a homely friendly feel to it. It cost £15 each and for this we got so much food including sausage rolls plus delicious homemade cakes. We got to take all the leftovers home with us 

Podium Restaurant Hilton Park Lane London

One of my favorite afternoon tea venues as lovely food and service and great price £32 each for such a nice hotel 

My Top 3 Afternoon Tea for 2022

Park Room Marriott Grosvenor House Hotel hotel Park Lane London 

Kopi Tiam afternoon tea Orchid lounge Pan Pacific hotel London 

Podium Restaurant Hilton Park Lane London

Sunday 1 January 2023

Last Afternoon tea for 2023 and did not disappoint - Renaissance Hotel St Pancras London

 New Year Eves my hubby and I went for our yearly afternoon tea at the fabulous St.Pancras Renaissance Hotel in Kings Cross London. 

This was our third visit to this hotel and will not be our last.

We both love the ambience inside the lobby with its high metal beamed ceiling and brick walls. The food and service has always been very good too. 

When we arrived it was fairly busy and most of the tables had a reserved sign on them. The lobby was busy with people checking into the hotel and walking in with shopping bags. Its a good place to people watch whilst enjoying an Afternoon tea. 

Upon being seated I was asked for the voucher which I had used to book this up a few weeks before Christmas. I got the voucher from Buyagift using a voucher code so it only cost me £91.20 instead of £120 for two with bottle of bubbly to share. 

Were were handed the menu and asked if we had any allergies. They said I could swap the sandwich with trout for same but with humus instead which was fine. 

The service was slow to start as they were busy. We waited about 20 minutes for the bottle of Chapel Down English sparkling brut to be brought to out table in an silver ice bucket and stand. We then got out teas of which I ordered the lemon herbal one and my hubby the Afternoon black tea. There was an extensive range of different teas to choose from. 

Around 10 minutes later the plate of sandwiches arrived. 

They all tasted nice but I especially liked the beef with horseradish in a crispy pastry case and also the cucumber one with mint was nice. 

The waitress brought over the scones on a plate wrapped in a white napkin to keep them warm. We also got a small dish of lemon curd, two mini pots of strawberry jam and a little dish of clotted cream. 

We got an orange one and plain one each. 

They were still warm and very crumbly and light inside. The orange ones was delicious and I had this with the lemon curd and cream. It had small bits of candid orange inside was quite unusual. 

We had to ask for more clotted cream to go with out plain one which the waiter promptly brought to us. 

Whilst enjoying the scones the waitress brought over 2 plates of cakes and placed them on the metal floor stand next to our table. 

These looked fabulous and very Christmassy in design 

My hubby ordered another pot of the same tea and I just ordered an Americano coffee. 

The first cake I had was the red bauble shaped one which had a spiced ginger flavor cream and Christmas pudding mixture inside sat on a biscuit base. It was OK but not my favorite
I then had the snowman choux bun which had a sweet crispy outside and filled with a praline cream......this one I did really like !!!
Next was the green sparkle coated cake which had a pistachio cream and cherry filling on a biscuit base. I saved the chocolate box one to last complete with its chocolate bow on top 

This had a thick dark chocolate shell filled with a creamy coffee mouse which was very nice. This and the choux snowman were my favorites. 

We spent a good two relaxing  hours enjoying the good food and bubbles chatting about the good year we had in 2022 and planning 2023

Nearest Station : Kings Cross St Pancras  station - about 7 minute walk
Best bits : The lovely lounge and lighting plus the nice fresh sandwiches and warm scones   
Worst bits : None but if I have to write something  just think they could of offered us more food  
Value for money : Yes defiantly with my voucher and for such a  nice hotel.
would I go back? : Yes I would go back yes as my both love it here  

Happy New Year to you all and here's to many new afternoon teas in 2023

Festive afternoon tea at Eastwell manor hotel and spa

 As a treat for myself and hubby I booked a night away after Christmas at Champneys spa at Eastwell manor in Kent. And I course I just had to book the afternoon tea whilst staying there. 

Eastwell manor is a large impressive manor  house set in extensive grounds in Kent. 

The spa is in a separate building and some rooms are in the Mews cottages rather than the main house. 

The afternoon tea is served in the cozy dark wood clad drawing room with its high ceilings

As it was Christmas we decided to go for the bottomless champagne tea for 90 minutes which was £65 each. The standard afternoon tea is only £35 each. 

Our table was nicely set with floral china and we did not have to wait long for the champagne to be poured and our chosen teas to arrive in it's silver teapots. 

The tea stand arrived and our waiter explained what was on it …. however by the time we  had drunk 90 mins of champagne I could not remember what we had !!!!!!

Along with the 4 sandwiches each we got a sausage roll which was still warm and nice. 

If I can remember correctly for the sandwiches we got turkey and cranberry, ham and mustard , egg mayo and cheese and cucumber. They tasted nice and very fresh. 

Next we had the scones a plain one each ands a fruit one. They were freshly baked and nice and light inside. These were served with strawberry jam and clotted cream. 

During the service our waiter kept our glasses topped up with the Champagne and my hubby ordered more tea and I ordered a cappuccino. 

The top plate was packed full of little cakes, two of each type

We had the tiny mince pie first which had sweet crisp pastry followed by the Christmas tree shaped shortbread biscuit.  Next I had the oblong tart which was filled with a banoffee type custard which was creamy and sweet. I liked this one best I think.   Then I had the chocolate ball shaped cake which I think was cherry and chocolate flavor. Finally the red velvet cake square which was nice too.

By the time we had finished all the food and had 90 minutes of Champagne I was extremely full !!!

Overall a nice way to spend a wet and windy afternoon and we were looked after by the waiter. 

Nearest Station :        Not sure as we drove and its in the Kent countryside 

Best bits : The champagne and scones of course followed by the sausage roll   

Worst bits :  None to mention  
Value for money : Yes if you compare it too the price of some afternoon teas in London hotels.   
would I go back? :  Probably not as not close to home and the Spa was not the best I have been too. It would not be worth driving for an hour and minutes just for an Afternoon tea !!!