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

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Time for Tea...Gladstone's Library

Hello there,

Welcome back to another afternoon tea post from Tea With Me and Friends....today I would like to share with you a rather special afternoon tea adventure that I enjoyed recently with Alex.

Alex's sister Louisa works at Gladstone's Library in Hawarden, North Wales and she invited us to attend a rather tea-riffic "Museum at Night" event, which was held at the library and celebrated Alice in Wonderland.

An afternoon tea adventure at Gladstone's Library

Gladstone's Library is a residential library which pays tribute to William Gladstone. It was founded by Gladstone himself and, following his death in 1898 became the national memorial to his life and work. It is a beautiful Grade 1 listed building and we were really privileged to be able to enjoy afternoon tea in one of the reading rooms.

Gladstone's Library

The room was full of vintage china and scrummy treats for everyone to enjoy....as you can imagine there were plenty of teapots to keep us in tea...

Lots of teapots! 

As this afternoon tea event was part of "Museums at Night" ,that have been taking place between 13th-16th May, this afternoon tea adventure was enjoyed at night time. 

Once everyone had arrived, we took our seats and the tea stands were served....

Afternoon tea
Gladstone's Library

The library also has it's own bistro called Food for Thought, which serves lunch to non-residents every day, and everything we enjoyed at this event was made on site by Chef Alan. 

We began with the freshly made cucumber sandwiches on the bottom tier....

Afternoon tea sandwiches - Gladstone's Library

There was just one variety of sandwich on offer, but the bread was soft and the sandwiches very fresh (not at all soggy). The sandwiches were buttered and filled with thinly sliced cucumber. There wasn't a crust in sight and the fingers were a good size - not too big and not too small. 

A very tasty start to our afternoon tea adventure!

Next we moved onto the freshly made scones....

Afternoon tea scones - Gladstone's Library

These were served with whipped cream and strawberry jam. They came pre-sliced, which was a bit unusual, but to be honest they were so fresh this made no difference. 

The scones were a good size and texture - very enjoyable!

Scones dressed the
Tea With Me and Friends way!

At the top of the cake stand were the most amazing biscuits...something quite unusual on a traditional afternoon tea menu, but they made a very enjoyable addition....

Afternoon tea biscuits - Gladstone's Library

They were big, chewy and had large chocolate chips in them .....I don't I need to say anything else about them....they were scrummy!

As well as the food on the stands there were also various large cakes dotted around the room which we could help ourselves to. I didn't manage to take any photos of the whole cakes (I was a little distracted by the rest of the scrummy food) but I did remember to take a snap of the slice I enjoyed....

Afternoon tea cake
Gladstone's Library

Now, this cake reminded me of one of my favourite Mr Kipling cakes when I was younger....the "Manor House Cake" (yes I was a weird child)...only it was much better! 

It was a scrummy golden sponge, filled with raisins and walnuts. It was everything a cake should be!

All in all this was a wonderful afternoon tea, the food was good quality and very fresh. Particular attention had also been paid to the smaller details, including the theme, which all added to the experience. I know everyone at the library worked really hard to put this event on and their efforts didn't go unnoticed.

Alice in Wonderland inspired
afternoon tea - Gladstone's Library

Once we had enjoyed our tea, the lights were dimmed and we enjoyed a series of readings from Alice in Wonderland. Each reading was unique and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening.

Gladstone's Library

Now, this was a special event - part of the event calendar at Gladstone's Library, but no fear as you can enjoy afternoon tea at the library Monday - Friday between 3pm-4pm. Afternoon tea costs £7.95 per person and includes a cup of tea or coffee, sandwiches with a choice of fillings, a fruit scone with cream and jam and a piece of sponge cake. Booking is essential, please visit the Gladstone's Library website for more information.

We were really privileged to enjoy afternoon tea in this beautiful building, I'd like to thank Louisa for telling us about this experience. 

So, over to you - have you enjoyed an afternoon tea adventure in an unusual location? We'd love to hear all about it, drop us a line!

Thank you for popping by today,

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