Happy National Afternoon Tea Week! I mean, this week is only second best to Christmas in my opinion. A week dedicated to afternoon tea?? How British and how delightful!
We were super lucky and were invited back to the Celtic Manor Resort to try their new Summer Berry afternoon tea – we were obviously never going to say no but especially not when the treats looked this beautiful!
Unfortunately M had a last minute trip away, so my mum was the very worthy guest and we had a lovely mother/daughter afternoon.
As usual we were greeted on arrival and were taken to our table in the Olive Branch restaurant, we had a table next to the window and we even had some sun on the day which was really nice. It’s been rare to have any sun recently so being sat near the windows was lovely!
We had a quick browse of the menu on arrival (I do love a good menu and as expected the card used for this was really good quality and had everything you needed to know on it including any dietary requirements).
Having some extra information about the options available was great, especially with or without prosecco or champagne. I was driving this day and my mum doesn’t drink so we didn’t have any, but they had some virgin cocktails available which we both decided to try – more on this below.
I particularly loved seeing the different teas they have available and the descriptions, I love tea and loose leaf teas are a real treat. We decided to stick with English breakfast this time, but I have previously tried the Earl Grey and the Whole Peppermint Leaf options and both were very tasty.
The menu also detailed all of the food available throughout the afternoon tea, this is something I strongly believe should come with every afternoon tea. If you’re anything like me, when the food is brought to you I can only ogle and drool and any explanation about what item is which goes out my brain as soon as I’ve heard two of them! So it was really useful to refer to throughout and remind myself of everything I’d tried.
When the first selection appeared I just knew it was going to be a good one!
The top plate contains the savoury selection:
Goat’s cheese and pesto mousse with pickled shallots
Smoked salmon, cream cheese and caviar blini
Baked tomato and chilli tart with minted pea salad
These were all very tasty! I’d find it hard to pick a favourite part of the afternoon tea but I do love savoury snacks and these are some of the best I’ve tried. The salmon blini is a classic favourite, but the goat’s cheese and pesto mousse were a really good combination, and the baked tomato and chilli tart wasn’t too spicy anyway but the minted pea salad on top was a great contrast.
That plate did not last long!
Then we moved onto the sandwich selection:
Roasted ham and wholegrain mustard
Mini brioche bridge roll with egg mayonnaise and cress
Chicken tortilla wrap with garlic mayonnaise and baby spinach
Hafod cheese and spiced carrot relish
As I’ve already mentioned I love savoury food, but I rarely eat sandwiches as I just feel like there are so many other options for lunch. However when I do eat them I really enjoy them and these were a great variety. Every one of them was really fresh and you could tell the ingredients were good quality, I could have eaten ten of the mini brioche rolls and the spiced carrot relish was something I’d like to buy in a jar and take home with me!
As mentioned we had some virgin mojitos with our afternoon tea, and this is how they looked:
They were really refreshing and exactly what we needed in between each bite, I’d definitely recommend trying this if you don’t want to indulge in anything alcoholic.
Next up we have the absolutely stunning sweet treats section of the afternoon tea:
How beautiful is it!
I think I could photograph these cakes and pastries all day, they’re so dainty and well presented.
Red berry and vanilla shortbread ‘Jammy dodger’
Summer pudding with citrus creme fraiche
Raspberry and chocolate cannelloni
Strawberry mousse and almond tartlet
As well as these we also had two freshly baked scones each, one vanilla and one raisin served with strawberry preserve and clotted cream.
We couldn’t wait to tuck in!
Of the hand made cakes and pastries, special mention has to go to the summer pudding with citrus creme fraiche (top right) – I’ve never tried anything like this and it was perfect amounts of sharp and sweet at the same time, it was so good it made my mouth water! I’d order this on its own if I could!
Our other favourite was the raspberry and chocolate canelloni (bottom left) as we didn’t expect the chocolate inside but it wasn’t overly rich either.
To be honest everything was extremely tasty and I couldn’t find fault with any of the food at all. The scones were really fresh and we smothered them with appropriate amounts of jam and cream (jam first for us!) before they melted into our mouths.
Overall the Summer Berry afternoon tea is a lovely combination, there are a large amount of sweet treats but they are very light. The savoury options are classic but have either a twist or a local touch to them (love that they use Hafod cheese from Wales!).
The cakes and pastries were really beautiful, so delicate and fresh and would definitely impress anyone arriving for afternoon tea. We saw lots of other guests whose faces lit up just like ours did when the selections arrived!
I’d definitely recommend doing this for anyone looking for a catch up with friends (with some champagne perhaps?!), having some quality family time like me and my mum, or even a celebration like a hen party. Me and my mum both really enjoyed it and would definitely go back again (maybe one day she might even come on a spa day with me!)
It is hard to find a criticism even though I’ve tried to think of one. I expected to need to alternate savoury and sweet as I have needed to do with many other afternoon teas. Some have been so sweet and rich that I’ve barely eaten any cakes without feeling too full, and was a bit concerned when the savoury was brought out first and separate to any sweet options. However this wasn’t necessary with this afternoon tea because it isn’t overly sweet and I think this is helped by the large amount of berry flavours. It genuinely was perfect and dare I say it…….maybe the best luxury afternoon tea I have ever had??
It’s a winner!
P.s. thanks to my mum for joining me and putting up with the ridiculous amount of photos I took before being allowed anywhere near the food! xx