I hope you are keeping well.
This weekend I have indulged in a spot of afternoon tea with my friend Alex, we decided to go back to The Aviator hotel in Farnborough where Alex had taken me for a Birthday afternoon tea before. The hotel is privately owned by the TAG Group and overlooks the private airport which is also owned by TAG. Its a contemporary hotel, designed for elite travellers.
We both previously really enjoyed our afternoon tea at the Aviator and were keen to go back....unfortunately our experience this time wasn't quite as good. The presentation of the food was good, and the food itself looked and tasted wonderful....but the service was slightly lacking.
Afternoon tea is served in the Brasserie in the hotel, which is a modern space overlooking the airfield. The afternoon tea food is served on a modern glass cake stand, with plain white china.
|A modern afternoon tea is served|
When we first arrived, there was a Clipper Tea tea box on the table, full of individual tea bags for us to pick from. This is slightly different to the afternoon teas I have experienced before, where you pick a tea from a menu and it is presented to you in a tea pot. However, there was a good selection of Clipper teas to pick from including traditional teas, fruit teas and de-caf varieties.
|The tea selection - I missed the usual tea menu|
I have to say that I'm a bit of a stickler for tradition and although I have no problem with pouring my own tea, I think its a bit weird to be making your own tea. You are left with the tea box and a teapot full of hot water (which was refreshed when we requested), however each time we finished our cup of tea we needed to make a new one. It did feel a little wasteful too as you opened a new teabag for each cup you had.
Once we had our hot water the savoury selection was presented to us. We had warm scotch eggs made with quail eggs, which were really tasty. However, Alex's one was slightly runnier than mine.
The sandwiches underneath were all crustless and really fresh.
|Sandwiches and warm savoury eggs|
I was a little disappointed that the lady who brought these to our table didn't know what was in each sandwich. She pointed out the obvious ones (egg mayonnaise and salmon), but had to go back to the kitchen to find out what the others were (chicken mayonnaise and feta cheese). Each filling came on a different bread, which was lovely as the breads complimented the fillings.
We were not offered seconds of the savouries, however when I requested more egg sandwiches another plate was brought out to us.
We then turned our attention to the scones....
|Scones, clotted cream and jam|
We had one fruit scone each, clotted cream and a little pot of branded strawberry jam between us. The scones were a good size, but I found them a little heavy.
Finally we made it to the bit that Alex was looking forward to the most....the sweet treats...
|Time for something sweet....|
On the top tier we had three different sweets...
A passion fruit and meringue cup which was wonderful, an earl grey and peach mousse which we loved and a little sandwich cake which was filled with a basil cream. I wasn't so keen on that cake, the texture was a little too soft and I wasn't a fan of the flavour.
The earl grey and peach mousse however was pretty amazing, it dissolved on the tongue and had a lovely flavour.
On the second tier we had an orange and liquorice macaroon and a chocolate and hazelnut cake.
I wasn't a fan of the macaroon, mainly because of the liquorice flavour. However, Alex who also doesn't like liquorice loved the macaroon - so it was just a matter of taste buds I think.
My favourite part of the whole afternoon tea was the chocolate and hazelnut slice, which reminded me of a Ferrero Rocher. It was delicate and light and had a slight biscuit base - I could have eaten a lot more of them!
|So good it deserved its own photo!|
You can either have a traditional afternoon tea or a champagne tea, and the price will depend on whether you go during the week or on the weekend.
The traditional afternoon tea costs £19 during the week or £23 on the weekend. If you fancy a glass of bubbles the champagne afternoon tea costs £25 during the week and £29 on the weekend. I'm not entirely sure why it costs more on the weekend, but I think the price offers good value. The food is all fresh and very tasty.
There were lots of little issues with the service on Saturday and unfortunately this let our experience down. Not knowing the sandwich fillings and not offering us milk for our tea (we actually had to ask for milk!) were important things that let the hotel down. It was a shame really as I enjoyed the food we had.
However, I'll leave you with one last image.....
Yes....I actually left some of my scone! I don't think I have ever done that at afternoon tea before!
Thanks for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna