Welcome back to another afternoon tea post from Tea With Me and Friends. This time we are sharing our afternoon tea adventures from our recent mini break in Oxford.
We decided to pay a visit to the Randolph Hotel, which is a five star Macdonalds hotel situated in the centre of Oxford. To be honest Lorna and I had dithered a lot about this mini break and as a result we didn't have any afternoon tea booked. We were therefore really gratefully that the Randolph could accept us as walk-ins on this Sunday lunchtime.
Afternoon tea is served in The Drawing Room, which is a grand but relaxed space within the hotel. The decor is comfortable and welcoming, and the service is friendly and discrete. I liked the muted tones, punctuated with splashed of red.....
|The Drawing Room - Randolph Hotel Oxford|
The china used at the hotel is plain white and stylish and there is a good selection of black, green, white and herbal teas on offer for guests to pick from....
|Time for tea?|
On arrival at our table within The Drawing Room we find a discrete nod towards Alice in Wonderland. For those in know Alice in Wonderland was penned by Charles Dodgson, an Oxford don, after he made up a story to keep Alice Liddell and her sisters amused while on a boating picnic up the River Thames from Folly Bridge in Oxford. Alice enjoyed the story so much that she begged him to write it down.....
Lorna and I opted to try the celebration afternoon tea (well we were on a mini break) and so began our afternoon tea with a glass of champagne. Once we had enjoyed this, our tea and tea stand were served....
Randolph Hotel Oxford
Look at the size of those scones!
We started at the bottom of that pretty cake stand with the wonderful selection of finger sandwiches. Now, there was a slight controversial hint of crust on some of the sandwiches and the cucumber and cream cheese sandwich was a tiny bit soggy....but on the whole we enjoyed the selection....
|Afternoon tea sandwiches - Randolph Hotel Oxford|
The bread was all fresh and soft and the sandwiches cut into fingers. The selection included the previously mentioned cucumber and cream cheese, egg mayonnaise and rocket,
ham, smoked salmon and cream cheese and a rather wonderful turkey sandwich. Now, normally if I hear the words "turkey sandwiches" my heart sinks a little...I'm not a fan of turkey at the best of times and don't really enjoy it in sandwiches. However, this turkey was different as it was complimented with some kind of spice. We couldn't put our finger exactly on what it was, but it was really tasty!
The sandwiches were all a good size, with the fillings being just right (nothing worse than too little or too much filling in an afternoon tea sandwich!)
After we had enjoyed the brilliant selection we moved up a tier to those wonderful scones....
|Time for scones - Randolph Hotel Oxford|
The scones were lovely - a great size, with a wonderful crust and light and fluffy in the middle. They were served warm and tasted fresh. They were served with clotted cream, a strawberry preserve and a wonderful lemon curd.
Admittedly we don't usually mention the scone accompaniments much on the blog, concentrating instead on the main event. However, both the jam and the lemon curd were both so good that I feel they deserve a special mention. The jam was full of flavour...and fruit! The curd was light and tangy and went so well with the creamy clotted cream.
Once the scones had been devoured we moved onto that top tier to enjoy the wonderful sweet treats.....
|Sweet treats - afternoon tea - Randolph Hotel Oxford|
As you'll notice there was a good selection....and there was one of each for both of us (an important factor to Lorna and I). Our selection included something for every taste with mini rhubarb crumbles, dark chocolate mousses, blueberry and lemon slices and mini bakewell tarts.
Every item looked perfect, they were small and perfectly formed. Plus the hotel gets bonus points for remembering to give us spoons for the crumbles (so often we are served something in a small shot glass or dish and have to use the tea spoon to eat it!
My least favourite item was probably the crumble, but that was personal preference (Lorna polished hers off very quickly!). The bakewell tart was lovely, with a crisp shell and tart raspberry and almond filling. But my favourite sweet treat was the chocolate mousse...
Not only did it look wonderful, but it was light and chocolately and if I was being greedy I could have easily eaten another one (or two!).
The celebration afternoon tea costs £36.50 per person, but if you do not want the bubbles a traditional afternoon tea costs £29.50 per person. For more information on the afternoon teas on offer please visit the Randolph Hotel website.
We thoroughly enjoyed this whole afternoon tea experience. The food was of a high quality, there was a good tea selection and the service was friendly and polished. If you happen to be in Oxford and want a good quality afternoon tea, this is definitely somewhere to consider.
Do you have any other recommendations for afternoon tea in Oxford? If so we'd love to hear about them....
Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna