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

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Time for Tea..... Warren House

Hi there,

A wonderful afternoon was had today at Warren House, an elegant Victorian mansion in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey.  Rachel, Mum and I enjoyed a champagne afternoon tea with luxurious chocolate coated strawberries - a decadent addition to a traditional tea.

The china was contemporary and clean and the teas seemed to be a selection of Twinings tea bags (I'm not a tea snob and found my jasmine green tea to be very refreshing, but if you are an aficionado then this detail may be important to you) although I am unsure of the exact choices available as we were not offered a menu to peruse.

The food was delicious and the sandwiches had a home-made feel about them with a controversial hint of crust remaining.  The warm scones were delicious and we all enjoyed having our very own pot of cream to ourselves, particularly myself as although I enjoy sharing many things, food is not one of them!  The warm cakes that accompanied the scones were another variation from the norm that worked very well.

The pastries have a whole paragraph to themselves as for me they were the highlight of the afternoon.  Beautiful, bitter dark chocolate complemented rich Chantilly cream in the delicate profiteroles and the chocolate and caramel slice was to die for.  The minature carrot cupcake was moist and the shot of raspberry mousse was a refreshing, tangy alternative for your taste buds.

At £23.50 each for the classic afternoon tea, we felt this offered pretty good value as there were plenty of sweet treats and a good variety. If you want to sample the champagne afternoon tea that we had today that is slightly more expensive at £38.50 per person, but includes a glass of champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries.

Warren House provides a magnificent backdrop for your afternoon tea and and we enjoyed ours on the terrace which overlooks immaculate landscaped gardens and is a lovely place to relax the afternoon away.  It was a typical British summer's day (for all you non-Brits out there, that means it rained!) but we kept our stiff upper lips in place and stuck it out until the sunshine reemerged although we knew we could have easily been moved inside upon request.

The one problem with sitting outside was that the staff sometimes seemed to forget we were there.  However they were all charming when they were with us so maybe they were just trying to maintain an unpressurised environment, it's just a shame to run out of tea at afternoon tea.

However, I cannot leave you with that thought as overall our afternoon at Warren House was relaxing, pleasant and delicious.  This tea in the suburbs is definitively competition for the big city hotels.

Thank you for popping by today, we'd love it if you left us a comment to say hi!
Lorna & Rachel
Square Meal

Friday, 26 July 2013

Time for Tea......Great Fosters

Hello there!
Its that's time again folks - time for tea! This is another guest post from our lovely friend Becca, who has recently sampled the delights that are on offer at Great Fosters, a beautiful Grade One listed hotel situated in 50 acres of gardens in Egham, Surrey.
During the summer months you can enjoy afternoon tea served on the terrace, overlooking the beautiful gardens - a wonderful setting for tea! Luckily for Becca the sun shone during her visit.
Becca opted for the Champagne Bollinger Rose Afternoon Tea on this occasion, but there are several different choices to tempt you, including a Pimms Afternoon Tea. Becca's menu included a glass of rose champagne, finger sandwiches, scones, pastries and cakes and of course the all important tea (or coffee!).

Served on pretty china, Becca reported that there was plenty of variety when it came to the food and a generous serving of sandwiches, scones and pastries. Even with the generous servings the group were also asked whether they wanted anymore - a good thing to note if you have someone with a big appetite in your group!

The finger sandwiches included cream cheese and cucumber, smoked salmon, ham and mustard and of course egg mayonnaise (afternoon tea wouldn't be complete without an egg mayonnaise sandwich in my opinion!).

All the cakes and pastries were delicious (and this is high praise coming from the savoury loving Becca!!), but she particularly enjoyed the macaroon that was served on this occasion.

At £35 as head this afternoon tea is definitely a treat, however the generous portions, tasty treats and beautiful surroundings makes it a good one!

We've got lots more teas planned in the coming weeks....including another burlesque tea and a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed tea! We hope you will join us on our adventures!!

Rachel & Lorna

Monday, 22 July 2013

Time for Tea.....Reform Social & Grill (Vintage Tea)

Hello there - Happy Monday!

Well this weekend I had a rather lovely afternoon tea experience at The Reform Social & Grill which is at the Mandeville Hotel, London. I took my friend Alex there for a Birthday treat as I know she enjoys afternoon tea. I called ahead and mentioned it was Alex's Birthday and I have to say that they really did spoil us - on arrival we were each given a complimentary cocktail to celebrate and when tea was served they sang Happy Birthday to Alex! A lovely surprise - thank you!

I have experienced the Vintage Tea before and was looking forward to experiencing it again, one of the attractions (as well as the sweet treats) is the wonderful free flowing champagne that is served alongside tea. If you fancy something a little bit different you can also try the Gentleman's Tea which offers a slightly more masculine selection of savoury items.

Last time I had the Vintage tea the sandwiches weren't really the highlight for me as they were a little dry, and I have read negative comments from other people who have tried the tea. However this time I was pleasantly surprised....the traditional selection of salmon, cucumber and egg came on lovely soft bread and were perfectly cut into fingers!

After the sandwiches we naturally turned to the scones, although there were only two served to start with, more warm scones were delivered to us as soon as we asked. The cream was clotted and the jam came in cute little jars.

Finally we reached the top tier....the sweet treats....and what a lovely selection we had (although they weren't all to Alex's taste!). The meringue kisses were light and airy and the cherry cake was yummy, complete with a cherry hidden in the middle. My favourite though was the slice of mini Battenberg cake!

All in all I was really pleased with this afternoon tea experience - at just over £30 each we were well fed and the champagne was indeed free flowing. All the staff were extremely friendly and made this experience extra special!
There are lots more tea experiences happening this month.....so we hope to see you again soon! After reading this post we'd love to know your thoughts - please leave us a comment and say hi!
Thanks for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna
Square Meal

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Tme for Tea.....Bea's Vintage Tea Rooms

Hello there!

If you're in the UK I hope you are enjoying this fab weather - summer is finally here! Last weekend I was lucky enough to spend some time in Bath with my friend Becca. We stayed in a fab boutique hotel called Henrietta House which is about a ten minute stroll from the centre of Bath. The hotel is gorgeous, filled to the rafters with vintage furniture....and they serve an amazing breakfast! On top of everything else every member of staff we met was so incredibly friendly - I'd definitely stay there again!

While in Bath we did some of the fab tourist things like exploring the Roman Baths, but we also made sure that we made time for some afternoon tea! Well, it would be rude not too! Now, we were spoilt for choice in Bath, but we opted for a trip to Beas Vintage Tea Rooms which is located near the Fashion Museum (also worth a visit!).

When you step through the door at Beas its as if you've stepped back to the 1930s/1940s....with a lovely interior stuff full of vintage items and wonderful music playing in the background. One of the first thing I notice was their amazing patisserie cabinet full of scrummy looking cakes...... 

The menu has a good selection of breakfast and lunch items.....but of course we were there for a spot of afternoon tea! The tea was served on a three tier cake stand and included a lovely selection of freshly made finger sandwiches, a scone each and a large slice of cake - we were given two different slices which we then cut in half again so we could share the flavours!

The sandwiches were very traditional with both egg and salmon featuring, along with cucumber. The scones were a good size....not too big and not too small, I wasn't disappointed that there was only one each. One piece of cake was traditional Victoria sponge which was generously filled with fresh whipped cream and summer berries. The second piece of cake was lemon, filled with a delicious lemon curd and topped with meringue.
All in all this was a rather lovely tea, served on pretty china and coupled with the elegant surroundings it was a wonderful way to spend an hour or so! The price was just under £20 for two people, which is good value (as we left rather full) however you then need to add the cost of your drink onto your bill as tea is not included - we found this a little strange, but we'd still visit again.
So if you happen to be in Bath, Beas Vintage Tea Rooms is definitely worth a visit!
Thanks for popping by today,
I wonder where we'll be going for tea next?
Rachel & Lorna

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Time for Tea......Hyatt Regency The Churchll

Hey there,

As the smoke is still clearing after the 4th of July fireworks to the west, it seems a good idea to let you know about the recent visit our fab friends, Becca & Becky, made to the Sex & the City par-tea at Hyatt Regency The Churchill.  As you can imagine there is a strong American twist on the typical afternoon tea here so maybe this one is not for the traditionalists among you.  However if you fancy something a little bit different then this is it!  

Fancy something a little bit different?
Delectable mini burgers and hotdogs take the place of finger sandwiches and there is, of course, a cool cocktail to wash everything down.  The cocktail in question was the Flirtini, a delicious champagne based, fruity drink.  The cakes and pastries were fabulous, even tempting the savoury lover at the table to finish every single one.
If you are a fan of the TV series or movie Sex in the City you will enjoy the nods to the main characters including a pink stiletto for Carrie and an appletini jelly for Samantha. There is definitely a hint of Manhattan glamour to this afternoon tea!

The fabulous Flirtini cocktail!

At £38 for a standard tea and £47 if you fancy the cocktail too, this is a little bit of a treat....but the food does keep coming, you just have to ask for it! Overall a wonderful afternoon was had.  The service may have been a teensy bit slow at times but the friendly and apologetic staff (not to mention the cocktail!) made up for this. Maybe us Brits aren't the only ones who can pull off the perfect afternoon tea..!

Thanks for popping by today, if you've enjoyed this review please leave us a comment to let us know!
Rachel & Lorna
Square Meal

Monday, 1 July 2013

Time for Tea - 140 Park Lane

Hello there!

This weekend Lorna and I had a lovely afternoon tea at 140 Park Lane in London. The tea itself was a prize for four people that I had won, and so two of my work friends accompanied us to this tea - Rebecca and Marissa.

The afternoon tea voucher
Tea is served in the bar area of 140 Park Lane, which is the bar and restaurant attached to the Park Lane Marriott Hotel. Its light and airy and located on the corner of the building, giving a lovely view out across Hyde Park from one side.
When we first arrived we were all treated to a glass of champagne, which is always a lovely thing especially on a warm sunny afternoon! We were also given the menu to select our teas....as well as the usual suspects there were also several fruity teas with wonderful names such as Granny's Garden (which was very sweet!). After we'd made our tea selections they were served to us in rather nice, plain white modern china - no chintz to be found here!
Once we were settled with our drinks, the main attraction was served.....
Now I have to say that we were all rather impressed by this tea....we found the usual sandwiches, scones and dainty cakes waiting for us...but as we delved into the napkins in the middle tier we found that we were also treated to a warm buttered crumpet!
The sandwiches were all fresh and tasty and included the usual egg mayo and salmon, but also a tasty combination of cucumber and mint (the first cucumber sandwich that I actually enjoyed!). All served on different types of bread.
The scones if I'm honest were rather large....in fact we only managed one scone each! Well, we needed to leave room for the cakes didn't we??
We did manage to sample every cake on the plate....some of us managed more than others! I'm pleased to report that everything was fresh and as tasty as it looks in the photo! Among the tasty treats was a rather lovely piece of lemon and poppy seed cake (probably my favourite), a cute mini banana cupcake topped with a piece of dried banana and that amazing mini fruit tart that you can spy at the front.
Although this particular tea was a prize, I happen to know that you would pay £23 for an English tea and if you fancied a glass of bubbles with that it would be £27.50. For what we consumed I think that is amazing value - we may not have been offered more as you often find in fancy hotels, but there was more than enough to eat anyway!
If you fancy a tasty mid-range tea you can't go wrong with 140 Park Lane!
Thanks for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna
Square Meal