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 .



Monday 1 January 2024

Last but one Christmas afternoon teas for 2023 - St Pancras Renaissance hotel Kings Cross London

 Finished this year on a good note with just having my last two Christmas afternoon teas for 2023. 

The Hanson lounge at St Pancras Renaissance hotel is one we have been too for the past 4 years and then we had our final afternoon tea at the famous Dorchester hotel. 

For the Hansom festive afternoon tea I got a voucher from Buyagift priced £91.50 which includes a discount code. It was for two people with a bottle of English Sparking wine.   The menu was priced at £65 per person with a glass of champagne so we got a good deal. 

We love this hotel as inside it is very grand with the impressive  high iron ceiling which is lit up at night.

 The afternoon tea disappointed us this time as the sandwiches were soggy liked they had been made in advance and frozen. This was a shame as the fillings were all nice and our waitress looked after us throughout.

The bottle of chapel down English wine went down a treat. 

The scones were nice but very small.

After the scones we got a plate of four mini Madeleine  sponges that had a slight lemon and thyme  flavor 

For the cakes we got four each and they were nice but not amazing 

Cranberry & Faisselle Bauble
Mont Blanc Tartlet, Blackcurrant & Sweet Chestnut
Choux Croquant, Hazelnut Cream
Mandarin, 70 % Dark Valrhona Mousse

We both enjoyed the experience thanks to our lovely waitress but the sandwiches did let it down and the cakes did not have much flavor.
Let's hope it is better next year as we will come back as its become a Christmas tradition for us. 

Nearest Station : Kings Cross St Pancras  station - about 7 minute walk
Best bits : The lovely lounge and lighting plus the Chapel Down Sparkling wine and the service    
Worst bits : The soggy sandwiches that spoilt it   
Value for money : Yes defiantly with my voucher and for such a  nice hotel.
would I go back? : Yes I would go back and hope they sort out the sandwiches next time