Figs, Cleethorpes – March 25th 2017

Not only were we really happy because we were able to have a nice bike ride in the glorious sunshine, we were also happy as we were extremely impressed with this afternoon tea. The only thing traditional about it was that we were offered a choice of tea or coffee and that it was served with a beautiful Royal Albert ‘Old Country Roses’ tea service…so yes, very different, but VERY good!

After locking our bikes up at the library, it was a very short walk to Figs, where we were greeted by their very friendly and welcoming team and then shown to our table at the front of the restaurant, in the sunny bay window. The owner (well, we assumed he was anyway) brought us over a lovely cold glass of bubbling prosecco, which we sipped away whilst having a nice chat and a discussion about the modern, grey decor of the restaurant.

We didn’t have to wait too long before the wonderful looking food was brought out to us.

Usually, this is where we would write out the menu, but we’re not actually about to this time. This afternoon tea in particular is one that doesn’t stay exactly the same all of the time, as it is a Sample Menu, so it doesn’t have a dedicated menu. A few things stay the same, but not everything. So all we can tell you in advance is that; it is called ‘Prosecco & Afternoon Quirky Tea’, it comes with a choice of tea or coffee, it is £19.95 per person and they require a £10pp deposit. On booking however, you can let them know of any foods you really don’t like (for us it is generally just prawns and salmon), so they will try their best to avoid using that.

There was looooads of food and all so well presented. Actually didn’t know where to start.
We had the fish and chips first, which was presented in a cute little terracotta plant pot, with grease proof paper, tartar sauce, a chunk of lemon and a little sprig of thyme. It was beautiful! The batter on the fish was so light…not an ounce of grease, and the chunky chips were super fluffy inside. Gorgeous!
The ham and egg quiche was quite honestly the best quiche I’ve ever tasted! It was so soft and so much flavour.
Danielle thought this next one was a little odd, but I really enjoyed it! It was a mini potato salad, served with crispy bacon and sweet balsamic vinegar. I thought all of the flavours worked so well together and could have quite happily eaten a whole plateful of it.
So, the previous one we didn’t agree on, and this one we didn’t either, but it was the other way round…Danielle loved it and I didn’t. It was a miniature crispy chicken burger in a brioche bun, filled with lettuce, mayo, beef tomato and mushroom. For me, it was just too much but Danielle really enjoyed it.
The other savouries that we had were; a buttery flaky sausage roll; a skewered crispy chicken bite with garlic mayo that was served in a second little terracotta plant pot, lastly and best of all by far (oh my gosh it was amazing!) was a lightly toasted brioche bun filled with a sausage and topped with BBQ pulled pork…my mouth is actually watering just thinking about it.

Honestly, the savouries on this thing were fantastic! And as if that wasn’t enough, the sweets were just as good; soft scones with clotted cream and jam, silky smooth panna cotta topped with a raspberry sauce and THE most amazing amaretto cheesecake I have ever tasted in my whole entire life! We loved that little cup of heaven!

Pros –
*Beautiful tea service
*A great variety of food
*Friendly and attentive service.

Cons –
We would have liked someone to explain what was served to us, instead of us having to guess what we were eating.

We thoroughly enjoyed Figs’ quirky afternoon tea and would definitely recommend it! We give this a 9.5/10!

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The Vintage Tea Room, Teelby – Summer 2016

You will find The Vintage Tea Room in the quaint little village of Teelby. The tea room itself has no car park, but the village has it’s own a couple of minutes down the road…so you get a lovely short little walk, which we very much enjoyed.
This tea room really is a vintage tea room. It is so beautifully decorated with pretty floral wallpaper, bunting, frames and different light fittings. There is lot of war time memorabilia in the windows and displayed on cabinets in their upstairs seating area. Each table is different with a variety of chairs and cute fabrics and even the telephone ring is authentic. It really is a beautiful tearoom.

We were greeted by friendly staff, who were happy to help even when we were being awkward…we’re not normally, it’s because we took our other halves so we’ll blame them.

Afternoon Tea – £12 pp or £22 for two people

A selection of sandwiches
Homemade scone with clotted cream and jam
A selection of cakes
Tea or Coffee

We were brought a cute miss matching floral tea service and the selection of tea and coffee that we ordered.
Danielle and I both chose tuna and cucumber and egg and cress. They came on soft white and brown bread, were very well filled and had small salad garnish.
The scones were plain and really soft, unfortunately 1 of the scones we were brought wasn’t properly baked, but the others were very tasty.
The cake selection they chose for us were carrot cake, toffee/caramel cake, blueberry cake and cupcakes. The toffee and carrot cakes were so nice. Very soft sponge and both had great flavours. The other two were a little dry.

Pros
*Gorgeous setting
*Good selection of fresh cakes
*Friendly staff

Cons
*Over priced for what is included
*Quite slow service. They told us at the end when we paid that they had a big party of people upstairs. We felt that maybe they should have put on extra staff to meet the demands of the day so that it didn’t effect the customers downstairs.
*Would have been nice to choose the cakes ourselves.

Because of the Cons, we have decided to give The Vintage Tea Room a 6/10. We absolutely loved the tea room itself…such a beautiful place, but wasn’t very impressed with the high price of the afternoon tea. We would however go back from lunch as their normal menu sounded quite nice.

 

One extra little note…this tea room only accepts cash. It does say it on their Facebook page, but we seemed to overlook this so had to search to find an cash machine in the area.

 

 

 

The Lowery Hotel, Manchester – Summer 2016

I was a lone ranger for this trip. The other half was going to Manchester for a fitness competition so I thought i’d take my friend along for a spot of shopping as well as being a supportive partner. And whats the best way to top off a shopping trip? That’s right, it’s of course afternoon tea.
My friend and I managed to find a great special price of £40 for 2 with prosecco instead of the usual price of £33.00 pp with a glass of champagne or £22.50 without, so we were chuffed with that.

Sandwiches
*Turkey and cranberry
*Smoked salmon and lemon creme fraiche
*Egg mayonaise and watercress
*Whipped feta and sun blushed tomato and grilled courgette

Cakes and Pastries
*Pimms jelly
*Vanilla mushroom
*Matcha green tea and lemon drizzle cake
*Raspberry and chocolate pot
*Scones with clotted cream and preserves

Included is a great selection of loose leaf teas to choose from.

So, we’re in the middle of shopping in Manchester, completely losing track of time and then think “aaaaargh” because we realised we had about 5 minutes to get to the hotel for our reservation…whoops! So taxi it was. On approach, the hotel really didn’t look too nice on the outside, really dull and miserable, but i’m very happy to say that the inside is completely different. In fact, it’s the opposite in every way. The River Restaurant itself is mainly green and purple in colour, with lots of glass vases, flowers and artwork on the walls…really nicely decorated.
We were welcomed in to the restaurant by a very friendly lady who showed us to a table for 2 by the window with a view of the river that runs along side the hotel. We were asked if we would like some water as well as the prosecco, before the fabric napkins were laid on our laps for us.
We perused the menu and the large selection of teas before the very modern cake stand was brought over to us (I loved that is was so different).

The selection of sandwiches were served on soft white and brown bread. I ate the egg and the turkey sandwiches as they were the only fillings I like. They were both really enjoyable; the egg was really creamy and in a good way was slightly salty, the turkey wasn’t dry at all and the cranberry sauce added a lovely sweet flavour to the sandwich.
My friend ate the other sandwiches and said that she couldn’t taste the lemon creme fraiche in the salmon sandwiches, but she still found them very tasty and loved that they didn’t skimp on the salmon, and she thought the feta sandwiches were gorgeous.

I was a little bit half and half with the sweet section of the afternoon tea.
The Pimms jelly was nice but a little bit too strong for me, so I couldn’t actually finish it all. I did however think the presentation of it made it look very appealing, with the colourful fruit and painted white chocolate shards.
The chocolate mousse cup I found to be a little bit disappointing if i’m honest. The mousse itself was really enjoyable and I could have quite happily eaten more of it, but I didn’t like the chocolate cup as it was far too bitter for my taste buds, for the dark chocolate lover it would be great. Compared to the jelly with the painted chocolate shards, I felt that the decoration on it wasn’t very imaginative…I have a fondant icing cutter at home to make the exact same icing flower.
The mushroom choux bun was filled with a goooorgeous vanilla flavoured creme pat and topped with pink and white icing. It was so sweet, which is right up my street. Could have definitely eaten another one of those.
Lastly was the matcha green tea and lemon drizzle cake. The lemon flavouring was there throughout the whole cake. The sponge itself was soft and the topping, which was kind of crossed between icing and meringue, had a great tangy taste to it with the candied lemon rind.

Pros
*Gorgeous stylish setting
*Large selection of teas
*Well baked scones

Cons
*Not enough of a savoury selection
*Had to ask for extra cutely and crockery

Overall, I enjoyed The Lowery for afternoon tea, but I do feel there needed to be a bit more food added, giving it a 7.5/10.
However, if we didn’t come across such a great discount, I do think I would have given it a lower score as I feel £33 per person is quite a high price for what is included.

Waltham Kitchen – Summer 2016

For Danielle and I, this particular afternoon tea was highly anticipated. We have previously been to a few of Waltham Kitchen’s themed pop up restaurant evenings, which we very much enjoyed and would definitely recommend to everyone who loves amazing food, so we just knew that we would be in for a treat when trying their afternoon tea.

When we arrived at their shop, we were greeted by the very friendly and welcoming owners and chefs, Barry and Kerry and was then shown to our table upstairs, by the lovely Mia.
The table was set with matching cups, saucers (cute little ditsy print for me) and two lots of cutlery and plates for each of us, which is a massive double tick for us…we love a pretty matching set and are always happy when we’re are provided with two plates. Who wants to eat their cakes off a plate that has savoury pastry and sandwich filling all over it? Mia then asked us what drinks we would like and told us that our afternoon tea would be brought out shortly…and although we had high expectations for this, it most definitely exceeded them;

Waltham Kitchen Afternoon Tea – £13.95pp

A pot of tea
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A selection of finger sandwiches
Roasted tomato and pesto quiche
Chorizo sausage rolls
Filo nest with chicken caesar salad
Bruschetta with pesto and parma ham
Chicken satay kebabs
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Homemade scone with Chantilly cream and Pimms jam
White chocolate mousse with popping candy
Fresh fruit tartlet
Macaroon
Bakewell tart

This was all brought out on two cake stands, and when they were placed on our table, I think our jaws honestly dropped! It looked absolutely amazing! From the the little crustless fingers sandwiches to the fresh fruit tartlets sprinkled with edible glitter…you could tell that every piece of food was made by them and made very well they were.

The sandwiches that were provided; ham and mustard, cucumber, beef and horseradish, egg mayonnaise, were all very fresh. The white and brown bread was still soft, so clearly hadn’t been sat around waiting to be served to us. I am not normally a lover of beef at all, but Danielle and I both really enjoyed that particular filling…it just melted in our mouths.
All of the savoury selection were so enjoyable to eat. Fantastic flavours and each one so very different from the other, in particular with the sausage rolls, which had a great kick to them. And that caesar salad filo nest…so light and fresh. It was quite a nice palate cleanser before we moved on to our sweets.

I was completely in cake heaven when we moved on to the sweet selection.
We had to start with the white chocolate mousse as it looked so inviting with the wave of chocolate that encased it. At the time, neither of us knew how to describe what we were eating…it was the most amazing mousse either of us had ever had. I think we definitely savoured every mouthful. It wasn’t overly aerated, which i love in a mousse and the popping candy was such a fun little addition. Of course, we had to do the whole childish “listen, can you hear it” thing, with our mouths open. Surely that a rule right?
Everything else was so enjoyable; the fruit tartlet was so pretty with all of it’s colour and sparkle and had just the right amount of pastry to cream to fruit for us, a macaroon is always a welcome addition for me, the Pimms jam was sweet and went so well with the Chantilly cream on the scone (if you also like the jam, they sell it in their shop downstairs with lots of other homemade preserves and chutneys), and the chewy topping on the Bakewell tart was so good!

In no way did this disappoint and was by far one of our favourite afternoon teas. We couldn’t find one Con and therefore give Waltham Kitchen a massive 10/10! We highly recommend a visit.

Just an additional note – booking is essential as it isn’t something they provide everyday. And they do also cater for large parties with enough notice.

 

 

 

Healing Manor – May 31st 2016

Well, what a miserable day today was for an afternoon tea trip! The horrible weather meant that we couldn’t get on our beautiful bikes and have a lovely little ride down there. But, we didn’t let that get us down…there is no way we were going to miss this one.
We had been only once before to Healing Manor for afternoon tea…about 2 years ago I think…and we weren’t overly impressed with it. I had it on very good authority that there was now a new chef in the kitchens at the manor and that afternoon tea was changing. We decided to give it a little while to get sorted, before going back today, in the hope that we would not be disappointed for a second time…I can tell you now that we definitely were not!!

We were shown to a table that was all set up ready for us, with a lovely view of the garden and the moated island. The room itself is very well lit and is nicely decorated with a white and grey colour scheme and one feature wall at the end of the room which ties in very well. Each table had a crisp white cloth and different dark wood chairs around them.
We were asked what kind of tea we would like and if we would like a jug of water bringing to the table. I don’t think I need to tell you what tea we chose…we don’t like change in our tea :o)
When our tea was brought over, we were told to let a member of staff know when we were ready for a refill…that was already the first ‘gold star’ moment, as last time, we had to pay for extra tea.

We didn’t have to wait for very long at all for our afternoon tea to be brought to the table. I won’t bother typing out the menu as I have added a photo of it at the bottom, but when you look at it, you’ll see that it doesn’t do it justice at all. You get much more than expected that’s for sure. We honestly couldn’t believe it when it was served to us;
Two slate trays, one filled with savoury and the other sweet and then a two tier cake stand with even more of a sweet selection on it…wow.

We decided to start with the celeriac and apple soup. To be completely honest…we were slightly hesitant at first. I’d never had celeriac before and immediately thought “there is no way i’m going to like this”, but wow was I wrong! It was amazing! Still hot, even though we’d been sat staring at everything for about five minutes, a nice thick consistency…completely different to anything i’d ever tried before. I’m finding it so difficult to describe because it tasted so different…all I can say is, I could have eaten more, and coming from a fussy eater, that is good!
The cute little sandwiches that were cut into squares were all really lovely. Both the white and brown bread were soft and the fillings were all very tasty. Danielle in particular very much enjoyed the cheese and pickle…in fact, she wouldn’t shut up about how much she loved the pickle haha! I really enjoyed the gammon and mustard. I have never been a fan of mustard, but this was lovely. It almost gave the sandwich a sweet taste, which is always a good thing in my book. (I should say at this point that we swapped out the salmon for chicken and mayonnaise)
We have now reached Danielle’s favourite savoury…the scotch egg. It had a brilliant crispy outside that was nicely browned and a golden gooey centre. The meat was so flavoursome…could really taste all of the seasonings.

The second slate serving tray was such a treat! Toffee popcorn milkshakes and miniature apple crumbles.
The milkshakes – at first we forgot what flavour the milkshake was, but as soon as you take a sip, you immediately realise…the flavour came through so well that there was no way of not knowing. My favourite sweet by far was the apple crumble…this was my turn to not stop going on and on…it was absolutely delightful! Light, sweet and fruity with a custard surprise in the centre. The crumble topping even had a surprise…POPPING CANDY! It honestly was the best apple crumble i’ve ever had EVER!

Next we had the soft sultana scones which were so tasty with their sweet, crisp exterior. They came with strawberry Tiptree jam, clotted cream and what we think was a home made orange jam/marmalade…what ever it was, it was beautiful! Danielle put it on half of her scone, but I enjoyed it so much that I just had to eat it from the pot…I couldn’t leave it.

The two tier cake stand had a lovely selection of cakes on it, as well as the two scones;-
*A gooey chocolate brownie,
*Sweet treacle tart,
*Soft ginger cake,
*A cute teeny tiny pink macaroon, filled with cream and freeze dried raspberries,
*Baked vanilla cheesecake, and
*A cake that almost had the flavour of a battenburg, except that it was a chocolate cake.
We enjoyed all of these cakes, but our favourite was the chocolate battenburg type cake. It was gorgeous. There were 3 different consistencies within this cake…the top was a harder texture with a very tasty sticky glaze, the middle of the cake had a chocolatey cream running through it, and the bottom was a soft chocolate sponge. This coupled with the added almond flavour…just delicious.
Although it sounds like there was a lot of cake on that stand, and yes, we were most definitely stuffed by the end of all of this amazing food, we really liked the fact that the cakes were not served as humongous pieces. They were perfect sizes to be a bit more than just a taster of what the chefs in the kitchen at the manor can do with their baking skills.

Pros
*Lots and lots of tea.
*The selection of food was fantastic.
*Friendly and attentive staff.
*Definitely value for money.

Cons
*We really did struggle to think of a con…the only thing we can think of was the tea service could have been a little more thought about. Miss matching jugs and tea pots etc is absolutely fine, but it is nice to have a matching cup and saucer. But this is just us being picky…it in no way affected our experience.

 

We rate this experience a 10/10! We are very impressed with all of the changes that have been made since our last visit and would happily go back again for many more visits. Well done to the team of chefs…you have definitely improved Healing Manor!

 

I think it is important to say that the afternoon tea at Healing Manor changes on a weekly or sometimes even a daily basis. This is because everything is made fresh in their kitchens for the day, and depending on what gets added onto the afternoon tea is down to which desserts they make for service that day. So if you decided to go…there is a high chance that you won’t have what we were served today. I bet it’ll still be fab though :o)

The Victoria Tea Room at The Pier – April 8th 2016

Danielle and I were very much looking forward to this one. As we had previously been to The Pier to try out their ‘Festive Afternoon Tea’, we were intrigued to find out what their normal/everyday selection would be like.

This time around, we were able to get on our bikes being as though it was such a lovely day. The ride up to The Pier itself is really nice on a clear sunny day as it is such a great view…the black canopy against the white and the amazing stained glass window with the 3 owls in it…just brilliant! (Who doesn’t love an owl ey?)

The Tearoom itself is very traditional and is beautifully decorated with natural colours, dark wood and marble and glass windows for views of Cleethorpes beach and out into the Humber. Each table had a small white vase on, which matched the crockery, and held faux white roses.
When we were shown to our table, I asked for a glass of water (I was worn out after that bike ride) and was very quickly brought an ice cold jug with 2 glasses by a very friendly lady who was only too happy to oblige. She asked if we would like a hot drink to accompany our afternoon tea…as usual we chose good old regular tea. We could see from the promotional menu on that table that they did have different varieties to choose from if we fancied it.

Now on to the main event…

Afternoon Tea – £15.95 pp – booking is essential.
*Selection of finger sandwiches – salmon and cream cheese, egg and cress, ham and mustard, cheese and pickle all served on brown and white bread.
*Selection of savouries – cheese and tomato quiche, vegetable samosa, mini sausage roll.
*Plain and fruit scones with cream and preserves
*Selection of homemade French pastries and fancies – mini battenberg slice, mini chocolate gateaux, mini vanilla sponge topped with fresh raspberry.
*Freshly brewed tea or coffee.

As always, we asked for no salmon in our sandwiches so we were very kindly brought more egg and cress. We enjoyed the ham and mustard sandwiches the most, which is odd as mustard isn’t normally my thing, but it was really nice. The slices of ham were nice and thick and there wasn’t too much mustard in them to make it too strong. The egg was great, but was let down as there wasn’t enough filling in them and Danielle said that there was too much pickle in the cheese and pickle so that was really all she could taste. (I wouldn’t know…I haven’t yet found a cheese I like so didn’t eat those ones).
The selection of savouries were brilliant!! So so tasty. As I said, I don’t like cheese, but I did manage to eat most of the cheese and tomato quiche because the cheese wasn’t at all strong or over powering, so I was super chuffed with that.
The vegetable samosa was so good that we wanted more. The pasty was buttery and flaky with a tomato and pesto vegetable filling…sooooo tasty!
Silly me forgot to write down what we thought about the sausage roll…I can however tell you that we really did enjoy it. The pastry was great on that too.

The favourite for us by far though was the cakes and scones…they were amazing! We loved the adorable sized scones with the little pots of strawberry jam and clotted cream…both the plain and sultana were absolutely delicious. The chocolate gateaux was so soft and chocolatey and just the right size…any bigger and it would have been a bit too much for us. The texture of the vanilla sponge cake was really light and had just the right amount of tasty vanilla flavoured cream on the top. The final cake, which we absolutely loved – the battenberg slice…the only thing we didn’t like about this was that were wasn’t enough of it. It was amazing. Could have eaten the whole of the cake it was cut from.

There was one point during our visit that let the whole experience down. When we moved on from the savouries to the sweet, we asked for a change of plates and cutlery as there was a very tasty dressed salad on the tea stand which we had been eating, so we didn’t want to mix the cakes with the yummy dressing. One of the ladies who had been to our table previously sorted this out for us. When she came back with the clean plates, we noticed her having a little look in our notebook where we write about our experiences…not a problem, didn’t mind that at all, it’s all going on here anyway. We then noticed her go over to another lady who worked there and whilst chatting to each other, kept glancing over at out table. Half way through our cakes, one of the ladies came back over to our table and asked if we would like her to box up our cakes, to which I replied (even though it was quite obvious we had not yet finished) “no thank you, we’re still plodding on through them.” That instantly made us both feel like we had outstayed our welcome at the tearoom, so after that we didn’t hang around. Now maybe, it wasn’t because they could see we were writing about our experience, maybe we had taken a while, but for Danielle and I, afternoon tea is an elegant, leisurely experience that we very much enjoy…it is not to be rushed, it is something you take your time over, a social experience shared with friends. We don’t like to just plow through it and say “right, that’s it, all done, bye then.” So sadly, this really did let it down for us.

Pros
*Lovely setting
*Very well presented
*Great selection of cakes

Cons
*Needed a bit more filling in the sandwiches
*Wasn’t enough tea provided
*Made to feel like we had outstayed our welcome.

We rate this experience 7/10. If it was just about the food, it would have been a bit higher.

 

Florence’s, Scartho – 31st March 2016

So we finally got to visit Florence’s in Scartho which we have been wanting to try for a while.

We walked in and was wowed straight away by the look of the cakes on the counter. All looked fabulous and yummy. We were taken to our table which was set for two at the window,  a low coffee table and comfy leather chairs to relax in.

We chose the regular afternoon tea which was £6.50 per person with Tea or Cafe Americano and included –

  • A choice of white or granary bread with a choice of 5 fillings – egg, tuna, ham, beef  or cheese. We shared egg and tuna. The bread was very soft, possibly a farmhouse loaf and very fresh. The sandwiches were very well filled and the fillings were tasteful and we both enjoyed them a lot.
  • Along with the sandwiches (which came on a 2 tier cake stand each) was a handful of ready salted crisps and a salad garnish.
  • You then chose either a slice of cake or a scone. We both chose a slice of Red velvet cake. Which was the cake of the week!  It was a moist sponge with a creamy filling and a very good size. It was finished off nicely on top with dried raspberries.
  • With the afternoon tea we chose to have a pot of tea.

The pros of our visit are –

  • The large slice of cake we had
  • Very well filled sandwiches with a good choice of fillings
  • A friendly enviroment
  • Good interior
  • Nice and bright

The cons –

  • Could really have done with some more tea. We really didn’t feel we had enough.

We gave this afternoon tea experience a 9/10 and will be going back to try the luxury afternoon tea.