I was lucky enough to be invited for afternoon tea by my lovely friend, Mel. We’re both mums of two small children and so when she suggested a Monday afternoon get together involving tea and cake that would be just for us and not to share with any little ones, you can imagine how excited I was!
Mel picked me up and we drove down the M4, chatting all the way about how nice it was to have an uninterrupted conversation and how much we were looking forward to an afternoon of sweet treats.
Upon arrival we were taken to our seats, a great spot in the conservatory of the Olive Tree restaurant on the ground floor. It was a gloriously sunny day and we had a great view of the gardens and of people lazing around in their dressing gowns enjoying a spa day!
When we were asked if we would like some Prosecco with our afternoon tea, we obviously said yes, and the fizz proved to be an excellent amuse bouche! Mel doesn’t drink tea (I know!) so she had a refreshing glass of orange juice and I enjoyed a pot of Darjeeling.
When the tiered cake stand was brought over to our table, it was definitely a feast for the eyes. We were presented with crust-less finger sandwiches with a delicious range of fillings including coronation chicken, Hafod cheese and pickle, cucumber with lemon and mint mayo, honey roasted ham and wholegrain mustard and a mini brioche roll with egg mayo and cress. I liked the fact there were two of each, so no fighting over who got left with the cucumber one! Actually, I’m always pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoy a cucumber sandwich as part of an afternoon tea, although it would never occur to me to make one at home for my lunch. I would definitely recommend the lemon and mint mayo for an extra boost of flavour.
We moved onto the cakes quite quickly. I started my dessert course with the Jammie Dodger shortbread tartlet. It was amazing! I think Mel ‘s favourite was the raspberry and elderflower macaroon which she said was the right balance of sweet and chewy, to which I agreed! The strawberry and white chocolate mousse was tasty too, as was the pressed summer Pimm’s slice.
The pace definitely slowed at this point as we had to sit back and rest between each mouthful. Sensing we were reaching the point we couldn’t eat or drink anymore, the waitress kindly offered to bring the scones out to us in a box we could take home.
We left the restaurant with full tummies and a handbag full of scones, jam and cream which we were looking forward to sharing with our families when we got home. I think the doggy bag made us feel less guilty for indulging and we knew our little ones would appreciate a little treat too.
I’m already looking forward to the next time I can enjoy some civilised cake eating and tea drinking…
Thanks Mel – let’s do it again soon!
We had the Summer Berry afternoon tea which is available until the end of September 2014. Menu here: http://www.celtic-manor.com/resort-afternoon-teas
I was recently approached to support two charity events in Cardiff, both with an afternoon tea theme.
The first was run by the lovely team at Bobath Children’s Therapy Centre Wales. The charity, based in Whitchurch, provides physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy to children in Wales who have cerebral palsy. Bobath organises regular afternoon teas throughout the year in Mumbles, Swansea and Cardiff.
Caroline and Nia, the ladies who drive the charity’s fundraising, contacted me to ask if I could provide crockery for Bobath’s vintage afternoon tea held at St Andrew’s Church Hall in Roath.
The hall was dressed with bunting, tables jam-packed with home-made tea and cake and the team organised music from forties saxophonists, a book stand, jewelry, handbags and a vintage shop. It sounds like it was a real success, raising lots of funds for a great cause.
Another vintage afternoon tea event was held at Canton Community Hall in November to raise money for the neo-natal unit at the Heath Hospital in Cardiff. Organised by a mother who’s baby was looked after in the unit, the event raised more than £1,250 which was incredible. Her and a friend worked hard to organise a bouncy castle, children’s entertainment, a raffle and their friends and family baked cakes and served teas throughout the afternoon.