Welcome to our blog....here we will share all our afternoon tea adventures with you...the good, the bad and the wonderful!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Time for Tea.....Grosvenor House Hotel

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends.

This month the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Hotel launched a special new afternoon tea to celebrate the Queen's 90th Birthday. We've visited Grosvenor House Hotel before and loved their afternoon tea treats and brilliant service and so when we were invited back to try this new afternoon tea feast we jumped at the opportunity!

Park Room - Grosvenor House Hotel

Situated overlooking Park Lane with big windows, the Park Room is the perfect setting for a spot of afternoon tea. The room is spacious and comfortable and very welcoming - and the staff are all really friendly and professional, they have the perfect balance! And if you happen to be facing the window you'll have plenty of opportunity for people watching! 

Afternoon tea setting - Park Room - Grosvenor House Hotel

This is a seasonal afternoon tea and each of the afternoon tea treats has a link to the Queen. The feast begins with a homemade raspberry soda, which is light and refreshing and looks so pretty....

Raspberry soda - Park Room

Once we had enjoyed our raspberry sodas and picked our teas from the extensive tea menu the afternoon tea stand was brought out to us. The stand includes finger sandwiches, scones and of course the selection of pastries and sweet treats.

The colours on the stand are fresh and pretty and the sweet treats include a lot of seasonal fruit.....

Afternoon tea stand
Park Room, Grosvenor House Hotel

The sandwiches include a coronation chicken, a cucumber with minted butter, a really good ham sandwich and a prawn with Marie Rose sauce. In addition to the finger sandwiches, which are fresh and well made, there are two open sandwiches - smoked salmon, cream cheese and prawn and a egg mayonnaise.

Finger sandwiches - Park Room, Grosvenor House Hotel

Open sandwiches - Park Room, Grosvenor House Hotel

I really enjoyed the prawn and salmon open sandwich and also the prawn and Marie Rose sauce (can you tell I love prawns!), but if I am honest all the sandwiches were really well made and the bread was fresh. The filling was generous in each sandwich and we were offered more if we wanted them.

Once we were full of sandwiches we moved onto the scones, which were served with clotted cream and the choice from six different preserves (there really was something for everyone!). 

Afternoon tea scones - Park Room

Afternoon tea scones

The scones were fresh and a good size. They looked a little over-baked, but appearances can be deceiving and these were scrummy! They were light and fluffy on the inside and crumbly on the outside - perfect!

We were given plenty of cream and preserve to accompany our scones, and we could have had more scones if we had wanted them.

Finally we got to the top tier of the afternoon tea stand - the sweet treats....

Afternoon tea treats - Park Room, Grosvenor House Hotel

The treats included a chocolate biscuit cake, a strawberry and white peach pavlova, a cherry and Dubonnet jelly, a raspberry and jam shortbread and a Dundee cake made with honey and apricot. 

Each treat was a good size, the ingredients were fresh and the flavours well balanced. Lorna really enjoyed the chocolate biscuit cake (which apparently is a favourite of the Queen) and I thought the strawberry and white peach pavlova was divine! We both really liked the raspberry and jam shortbread - the raspberries were tangy and went well with the shortbread base.

Again, we were offered more sweet treats if we wanted them and during the afternoon tea our tea was refilled regularly by the attentive staff.

Just when we thought it was all over we were invited to take a look at the cake table in the middle of the room. We could each pick something from the table to either enjoy in the Park Room or take home with us to enjoy later. The table was full of cakes such as lemon drizzle cake,  Victoria sponge and a big jar of macaroons.

Cake table - Park Room, Grosvenor House Hotel

The table was also full of the most amazing flower display.....

As we were both pleasantly full from the feast we opted to take our cake home with us. 

This afternoon tea costs £42.50 per person, which for the quality and amount of food on offer is great value. The service at the Park Room is also brilliant, everyone knows the afternoon tea menu really well and can offer advice about the tea menu. All in all a lovely afternoon tea!

I'd like to thank Grosvenor House Hotel for their hospitality. Please remember that although we enjoyed a complementary afternoon tea on this occasion it hasn't effected our taste buds, and all opinions expressed in this article are our own.

If you'd like to know more about this afternoon tea feast pop by the Park Room website.

Have you enjoyed an afternoon tea recently? We'd love to hear all about it - leave us a comment or get in touch over on Facebook!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Time for Tea.....Pretty Things, Horsham

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - today we have another wonderful guest post for you. Recently the lovely Sara Smart enjoyed a spot of afternoon tea at Pretty Things in Horsham. Sara often joins us over on Facebook and when she mentioned a review she had written we jumped at the chance of sharing it with you.

Let's find out how Sara's afternoon tea adventure went.....

I'm a huge fan of tea rooms and afternoon teas in particular, to my friends I'm know as the afternoon tea Queen but I didn't know of a tearoom called 'Pretty Things' in Horsham. It was recommended by a friend for me to try and I'm very glad she did. 

Pretty Things Tea Room - Horsham

It was very quiet when my friend and I arrived but it was only 11am on a Monday morning!!!
We were raring to go (we both love our food) but with salivating mouths we decided to have a wander around the 2 story tea shop to have a look at all it had to offer. It had some beautiful gifts to buy, it seems set out well with lots of tables set with vintage tablecloths and pretty accessories, it is beautifully decorated. 

Pretty Things Tea Room - Horsham

We then went back down to take a window seat and choose from the tempting menu. We quickly chose an afternoon tea to share, we added one of their piggy rolls, which can I say was absolutely delicious and an extra piece of cake. My friend and I are definitely in the 'Joey from Friends' camp when it comes to not sharing cake. 

Afternoon tea treats - Pretty Things Tea Room, Horsham

Well the food didn't disappoint it was delicious, the coronation chicken sandwich had a generous tasty amount of filling, the scones beautifully soft and warm with enough clotted cream for both of us to be very happy. 

Afternoon tea - Pretty Things Tea Room, Horsham

We then, after a suitably acceptable pause, allowing for an extra few cups of tea went to choose our cake. Decisions, decisions!!! After much deliberation over the choices on offer, of which there were a few. There were pretty cupcakes, fruity flapjacks, gingerbread men and various slices of flavoured cakes. My friend chose the triple layered coffee cake and I the apple and blackberry cake. Both were deliciously moist and full of flavour and although I was stuffed, I finished every mouthful. 

Afternoon tea cake - Pretty Things Tea Room, Horsham

We weren't rushed at all and we spent a lovely few hours catching up and eating. So to sum up, the service was very good, the piggy rolls were of the best I've had and the scones absolutely fabulous. I will be back with my husband very soon as he will really enjoy it too.

Wow - don't know about you, but I'm drooling over those tea-riffic photos that Sara has shared with us! That triple layer cake looks amazing! For more photos from Pretty Things pop by their Facebook page (there are rather a lot of scrummy cakes on there!).

A big thank you to Sara for sharing this wonderful afternoon tea adventure with us - we look forward to hearing about more teas in the future! If you've enjoyed an afternoon tea and have some photos to share please get in touch - we'd love to hear from you!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Afternoon tea news.....a royal afternoon tea at Dorsett Shepherds Bush

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends....we're back today with some more afternoon tea news for you!

In celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday, Dorsett Shepherds Bush is launching a special Queens Afternoon Tea for royalists and avid connoisseurs of the traditionally British institution from the 12th May 2016.

Located in the golden atrium of the hotel, Jin Bar is the perfect setting in which to celebrate something special. To commemorate the Queen’s 90th birthday, guests can enjoy an afternoon tea feast: savoury sandwiches filled with coronation chicken, smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese; sweet treats including macaroons, strawberries and cream, Battenberg cake and freshly baked scones served with Devonshire clotted cream and homemade strawberry preserve. 

Of course afternoon tea wouldn’t be complete without a great selection of traditional and herbal teas. Guests can take their pick from a refreshing array of teas including a zesty lemon and ginger infusion, a delicate China green or a palette-cleansing peppermint tea. Alternatively, opt for a light tea made from chamomile flowers renowned for their calming properties, Imperial Earl Grey scented with aromatic oil of Bergamot fused together with cornflowers, or a splendid English breakfast tea blended from the finest Broken Orange Pekoe teas from India and Kenya.

The Queen’s Afternoon Tea experience at Dorsett Shepherds Bush is served daily between 2pm – 5pm from 12th May – 12th June 2016. Prices start at £24.00 per person for a traditional afternoon tea. For more information pop by the Dorsett Shepherds Bush website.

If you enjoy this afternoon tea feast in the next month we'd love to hear all about it - drop us a line or send us a photo!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Friday, 13 May 2016

Cocktail News ..... Rose Garden Cocktail - in celebration of Chelsea Flower Show

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends!

As regular readers will know.....Lorna and I love the odd cocktail or two and so we always love to bring you news of new cocktails as well as afternoon teas! In the run up to Chelsea Flower Show’s floral frenzy, The Mews at Sopwell House has devised a bloomin’ marvellous Rose Garden Cocktail, served in its very own mini watering can.

Rose Garden Cocktail - The Mews at Sopwell House

Yep - the cocktail is served in a watering can! Amazing! Now you can see why we wanted to share this with you!

With Chelsea Flower Show running from 24-28th May 2016, The Mews at Sopwell House hasn’t just stopped to smell the roses – they have mixed them into a summer cocktail.

The cocktail is created from Hendricks Gin, Homemade Rose Syrup, Lemon Juice and muddled Cucumber topped with Soda Water. Once the ingredients have been shaken, they are double strained into a mini watering can along with crushed ice. The Rose Garden Cocktail is available throughout the summer months at £9.95 per watering can.

The Mews at Sopwell House has a strong affinity with Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medallist Ann-Marie Powell. Ann-Marie designed the stunning bespoke gardens at The Mews, which for the first time, will be in full bloom this summer.

For more information about this cute cocktail pop by the Sopwell House hotel website. If you try this cocktail we'd love to hear what you think!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Afternoon Tea News.....Afternoon Tea at Chai Wu, Harrods

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends.

Today we're back with some news on a new afternoon tea that launched last month in the contemporary Chinese restaurant Chai Wu, on the fifth floor of Harrods in Knightsbridge. This afternoon tea adventure embraces the rich history of Chinese tea and indulges guests with a feast of refined cuisine, presenting an exciting alternative to London’s traditional afternoon tea menus.

Chai Wu - Harrods, Knightsbridge

Chinese tea has a cultural and historic legacy spanning thousands of years, yet with its many medicinal and relaxing properties it remains a tonic to the stresses of modern life. Chai Wu’s afternoon tea menu features six Chinese fine teas, such as Chrysanthemum Flower Tea and Ali Shan High Mountain Tea, an Oolong tea slow grown at altitudes of up to 1400m which produces a sweet flavour. A selection of premium teas from the Harrods Own range are also available, including the 1849 Blend, created to celebrate Harrods’ 150th anniversary, and Harrods Bari, planted for Harrods at the turn of the millennium in the hills of Darjeeling.

Afternoon tea - Chai Wu, Harrods - Knightsbridge

Chai Wu’s Head Chef Tong Fatt Kok has created an enticing menu of contemporary Chinese treats incorporating speciality and luxury ingredients. The gastronomic journey will begin with a palate-cleansing baby spinach soup, followed by the arrival of a stunning two-tier stand brimming with savoury morsels. This includes a selection of mouth-watering chopped salads with combinations of fresh ingredients such as; scallop, king crab, avocado with spicy mayo and grilled Shitake mushroom with kampyo, asparagus, avocado and yuzu dressing. Kaya Toast, with a caramel jam filling, is playfully presented as a finger sandwich; a nod to the quintessentially British afternoon tea tradition. Chai Wu is renowned for its expertly made dim sum, featured dishes include; Wagyu beef puff topped with gold leaf; lobster wonton, prawn dumpling with caviar and chicken steamed and fried gyoza.

Savoury afternoon tea treats - Chai Wu, Harrods

Savoury afternoon tea - Chai Wu, Harrods

The first of the sweet courses is Chendol, a hugely popular traditional dessert, where silky liquid layers of plum sugar, red bean paste and coconut milk suspend cubes of jelly and vibrant green rice flour jelly noodles. Finally, a platter of exquisite desserts include green tea cheesecake, mango mousse and a coconut and brown sugar filled pandan pancake roll.

Sweet afternoon tea treats - Chai Wu, Harrods

If you are looking for something a little bit different for your next afternoon tea adventure this certainly looks like a wonderful feast. The afternoon tea is available daily between 2pm - 6pm and starts at £59 per person. For more information pop by the Chai Wu website.

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna