Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends! We hope you are well today.
So, this week I went on a very special afternoon tea adventure.....a couple of weeks ago we received a lovely email from Valerie from Portland who enjoys a good cup of tea and reading our little blog, inviting us to join her for a spot of afternoon tea during her holiday in the UK. I was so delighted to receive the email, and even more delighted when I realised I could make the date Valerie had suggested. Unfortunately Lorna couldn't join us this time, so Valerie will just have to come back to the UK soon so we can all have tea together!
|The Goring, London|
Valerie suggested The Goring for this afternoon tea adventure, somewhere I have heard lovely things about but never visited myself, and so I eagerly accepted the kind invitation. For those who don't know, The Goring has been serving Afternoon Tea since it opened its doors over a century ago and it just happens to be the place where Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, stayed the night before her wedding to Prince William.
The hotel is a family-owned luxury hotel, which first opened its doors on 2nd March 1910. It truly is a beautiful hotel, and the service we experienced was warm, friendly and faultless.
We were seated in the opulent Bar & Lounge area of the hotel, the section we sat in had a cheerful yellow colour scheme...from the walls to the seats to the china....everything looked bright and cheerful.....
|The Goring, London|
Our afternoon tea adventure began with an appetiser....a little cauliflower and cheese delight, topped with toasted rice....it sounds a bit odd I know, but bear with me as it actually tasted rather lovely and was a nice, light start to the afternoon tea....
|Afternoon tea appetiser - The Goring|
The appetiser is served in a small shot glass and has a smooth texture which works well with the toasted rice topping.
Once we had finished these the afternoon tea stand was brought out.....
Are you drooling yet?
So, as tradition dictates we started at the bottom of that beautiful cake stand with the traditional finger sandwiches. The selection included Salt beef and horseradish mayonnaise, Ham & mustard, Smoked salmon & soft cheese with dill and Cucumber with mint & crème fraiche served on either white or brown bread.
|Afternoon tea sandwiches - The Goring|
The sandwiches were perfect fingers and the bread was soft. They were well filled and everything tasted fresh and well balanced. I even enjoyed the salt beef as the horseradish mayonnaise was light and not at all overpowering.
Once we had finished our sandwiches (and declined seconds) we moved up a tier onto those scones....
|Afternoon Tea scones - The Goring|
We had one fruit and one plain scone each and they were served with clotted cream and preserve - a choice of strawberry or raspberry. The preserves were particularly good, full of flavour and very fruity. However, the scones I'm afraid we found a tiny bit claggy right in the middle. They did have a great flavour though, and I think if there were a little smaller in size they would have been perfect.
We were offered more scones and sandwiches on several occasions throughout the afternoon tea, and the waiters made sure our teacups remained topped up.
Finally we moved onto the top tier of the stand...those scrummy looking cakes and pastries....
|Afternoon tea sweets - The Goring|
Our selection included:
Sea buckthorn curd
White chocolate mousse and passion fruit
Raspberry pistachio and violet tartlet
Now...I know you might be asking "exactly what is Sea buckthorn curd Rachel?" And to be honest until I got home and turned to trusty Google I had no idea what we had eaten!
Apparently Sea buckthorn are orange berries...found on Scottish coasts....they look like this.....
|Sea buckthorn - orange berries|
In this case they have been made into a curd and combined it with a lovely buttery biscuit base (it's the yellow treat with the three white flowers in the photo above). They had a light, fruity taste...the texture was a bit odd at first but both Valerie and I decided we enjoyed it once we'd finished it!
The Opera cake with that mini macaroon was a delight - the coffee and chocolate really well balanced. We also enjoyed the tartlet, the combination of raspberry and violet was unusual but worked well.
But the stand out sweet treat for both of us was the White chocolate mousse and passion fruit ball....
|Sweet treats - afternoon tea at The Goring|
This white chocolate ball was a delight to eat, inside the shell is a light white chocolate mousse and in the middle of that a ball of passionfruit. Its fruity, delicate and not too sweet - really scrummy!
The tea menu at The Goring is extensive and includes black, white and green teas, an Oolong Tea and a variety of fruit and herbal infusions. I went for the The Goring Afternoon Blend which is a blend of Assam and second flush Darjeeling - it was light tea, bright in colour which I enjoyed without milk. It made a lovely accompaniment to the afternoon tea feast.
|The Goring Afternoon Tea Blend|
All the staff we encountered during our visit were professional but very friendly, adding to the wonderful experience.
We enjoyed The Traditional Goring Tea which costs £42.50 each, but you can add a glass of Bollinger and it will cost £52.50 per person. This afternoon tea would make a lovely treat for celebrating a special occasion and I think the cost is reasonable considering the quality of the food and the general experience (you leave feeling well looked after). For more information about this afternoon tea please visit The Goring website.
I had such a lovely afternoon with Valerie and I hope she returns to the UK again soon, it was so nice to natter to someone who is passionate about a good cup of tea and enjoys a spot of afternoon tea as much as Lorna and I do.
|Valerie enjoying a spot of afternoon tea|
Have you visited The Goring for a spot of afternoon tea? What was your favourite part of the experience? Leave us a comment - we'd love to know what you thought.
Thank you for popping by today,