Today’s post is from a wonderful event that we were lucky enough to attend last weekend. Unfortunately M was still in the process of moving so she couldn’t attend but I couldn’t turn the opportunity down – afternoon tea with a festive twist at the fabulous Celtic Manor.
So now you know the order of the event, how does the menu size up to the occasion?
Check out the multiple courses below – so droolworthy!
Wooaaaah there, I certainly needed to do a fair few laps around the block to work off these treats!
Don’t feel too overwhelmed though, I’ll take you through each course and it will feel just like you were there with me. First of all, take a look at this table decoration, so classic and beautiful. The flowers are so perfect:
The first part of the event was a talk through how Celtic Manor make their mulled wine. They normally use a red wine such as Claret and Port and then warm through the wine with some orange and cloves, and spice the wine with cinnamon. We had a demonstration of this and were allowed to taste the first batch for this year.
So for someone who normally doesn’t drink wine I tend to not have any issues with mulled wine (for some reason after 1 glass I get quite ill for a few days – and no this isn’t because I’m instantly drunk and hungover!). Maybe it’s the heating but it doesn’t seem to affect me so I gladly tried some of this.
Not only was it lovely and warm, it was like Christmas in a cup! Soothing and spiced to perfection I would highly recommend this if you are going to Celtic Manor for absolutely anything over the festive period.
Before long Carl the Head Pastry chef arrived to tell us all about the treats on the menu.
Above shows the first basket of the day – the savoury treats. The crayfish, mango and chilli blini is probably my favourite of the four, with the Welsh rarebit with Y-Fenni cheese and tomato chutney coming in a close second. The other two were also great but my love of cheese and crayfish wins out this time!
Just as a refresher, here’s the full menu. so far we have have the mulled wine and the Festive Savoury Treats. Next arrived the ‘Tower of Wonder’ as I will now affectionately be calling it. Take a look
So many beautiful treats!!! Where on earth do you start?!
I’m pretty set on my routine, I have to eat the sandwiches first and then proceed to the sweet things. It’s just ingrained in me that sweet follows savoury, but I’m getting more open to mixing things up for multiple courses next time as there were so many sweet treats to choose from!
I’d say that the smoked salmon and lemon mayonnaise were my favourite, but the surprise favourite was the egg mayo with shallots and chives – surprisingly good and I’d take a whole plate of them next time.
After I’d polished those off it was time to start on the Hand Made Cakes and Pastries.
They are quite honestly afternoon tea perfection – small and perfectly formed but each one packing a punch. These were hands down the most exciting part of the meal and so I’ll briefly talk through each one in a clockwise direction.
The mince pie has a little twist with a shortbread top and dustings of sugar, I’ve not eaten mince pies for a few years after overdosing on them in 2012. This was a gorgeous start to my plate and has put mince pies back onto my menu – although I’m not sure they will measure up to this one again.
Next is the Florentine slice which has a thick cake base instead of a biscuit. I really liked this as I’m a fan of almonds and the cake base was a lovely twist.
The Carrot Cake cupcake had an apricot jam centre and a huge dollop of cinnamon buttercream. This was very yummy and might have been my favourite of the cakes and pastries. Carrot cake is my favourite type of cake and in cupcake form like this it’s almost possible to put it in your mouth in one bite – it’s gorgeous!
So from left to right:
The waffle cone with pistachio and marzipan cream was super sweet, this was again gorgeous but for someone who doesn’t eat much cream nowadays this was a little too sweet for me personally.
The Christmas pudding is actually a truffle. They make over 3500 Christmas puddings at Celtic Manor each year, containing 56L of Guinness and unknown amounts of rum. They decided this year to create a little more and add it to a white chocolate ganache and then roll it in chocolate to create the exterior seen above. I have to say this was a surprising addition to the afternoon tea, no one really expects a truffle as part of their afternoon tea do they?!
It was hard to break through the chocolate as I didn’t want to ruin it but the truffle inside was really nice and tasted sweet but not overly so and tasted just like Christmas pudding. Definitely worth a try.
Last but not least was the Bara Brith with Penderyn Whiskey and marmalade, topped with marzipan and icing and a lovely Christmas tree. I could taste the whiskey and marmalade as soon as I put it into my mouth and I thought it was really good.
Super full? I was totally overwhelmed with goodies by this point – and then the scones arrived!
A basket was delivered with a Cranberry and mixed spice scone and a Vanilla and Chestnut scone, both warm with pots of jam and cream for you to help yourself.
The Vanilla and Chestnut scone was a lovely change and the chestnut was a great festive addition. However the Cranberry and spice scone was by far my favourite and tasted of Christmas as soon as I could get near it! It was so fruity and smelt so amazing.
All of this was also supplied with a wealth of freshly brewed tea, 6 varieties were available including English Breakfast tea and Peppermint which is what I ordered. I think I had 7 cups in total as it was all so refreshing.
The afternoon was absolutely amazing and it was such a privilege to be invited, here we were altogether for a group photo. It was great to meet some bloggers I have met before and heard of from twitter, and also some new faces.
So what do you think of the utterly fabulous Festive Afternoon tea???
How much do you want to tuck into it and try all of the treats?
You can book yourself in for this Festive Afternoon tea from the 1st of December until mid January, midweek will cost you £26, and Saturday and Sunday will cost £36.