Afternoon teas are becoming all the rage across the UK, now a popular girly day out, hen do or birthday celebration. So, we sent our writer, Esme Fox for tea at three at the Cavendish Hotel to discover what this revived fad is really all about.
Entering the lounge at the Cavendish Hotel I found it to be everything one would expect from the setting for an afternoon tea. Informal, yet refined and elegant, the lounge was decked in colours of pink and chocolate and filled with large comfy chairs and sofas.
The tea began by being plied with summer cocktails, the perfect antidote to one of the most miserable summers many of us have ever seen. First came the Earl Grey ice cup, a fruity fragrant concoction filled with lashings of summer fruits. Next up was the Summer cup martini, something I feel would perhaps not a be favourite with James Bond, but was definitely a favourite with me, with a fresh strawberry flavour - a definite reminder of the missing summer. Lastly was the Sipsmith summer cub cobbler, short and with a decidedly refreshing lemony flavour.
After a slightly tipsy start to the afternoon I was thankful when the finger sandwiches arrived - cucumber of course, coronation chicken, classic egg and cress, and salmon, both light and flavoursome. Other nibbles included sausage rolls and scotch eggs, a nice edition, which somehow made it feel like a summer day’s picnic of my childhood.
Accompanying this was a selection of teas, served in individual pots with a choice of classic English breakfast, fragrant Earl Grey, exotic Assam or even a fruity blueberry.
Next came the obligatory cream tea scones served on a Victorian cake stand with clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam - a treat that no British afternoon tea could be complete without. Small and bite-sized I felt that I could eat as many of these as I wanted without feeling too greedy and only ever having a small amount on my plate.
Luckily I didn’t fill up too much though as I knew there were plates full of mini cakes and deserts still to come, having eyed up trays of them being distributed around the room. Mini Victoria sponges, custard tarts, raspberry cream puffs and bite-sized cheesecakes, the choice was really too much to bare. I would have obviously liked to have tried one of everything but by that time my stomach really just wouldn’t let me, so I opted for just the classic custard tart and mini cheesecake, both delicate and delicious.
And just when I thought it was all over, a bowl of chocolate truffles was brought to the table – chocolate truffles that were so rich that I could hardly even manage one bite. Even though my afternoon tea had last around three hours I feel I could have staggered it even more.
At £18 (cocktails aside) afternoon tea at the Cavendish is well worth it for an afternoon full of delicious indulgence and elegant splendour. Make sure you have only a very light lunch though, and you won’t even need dinner at all. I would definitely be bringing my girlfriends or my mum and my sister next time and couldn’t help thinking it would be a great place for date too. After all, every girl knows the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
Follow us @HolidayChic