Afternoon tea has become incredibly popular over the last 10 to 20 years. Pretty much anywhere you go now, you have the option of sitting down and enjoying a mid-afternoon treat with the brew of your choice; a haven for tea-lovers. Or, quite honestly, for anyone who enjoys feasting with friends.
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I don’t exactly recall my very first experience of afternoon tea, but it has been a tradition, a kind of compulsory event when we visit, for my mom and I since I can remember. We love it! Not only is it the perfect opportunity to spend quality time together, we’re obsessed with checking out new places and launching ourselves into the degustation that is so diverse from experience to experience.
A Great British Tradition
Typically speaking, afternoon tea isn’t afternoon tea without a few basic elements. Beginning with crust- less sandwiches, moving on to scones with clotted cream and jam, and finishing with a few extra sweet treats. All of which are beautifully presented in tiers. The thing with afternoon tea is that it varies so much depending on where you go and how much you spend. A good afternoon tea will present several different teas along with the food in a very detailed manner, and sometimes you will also have a selection of savories to go with the sweets.
It’s also a great opportunity for wearing something a little on the special side! Traditionally, ladies wear dresses, which I would recommend if going with a group, or if you’re going to a very special venue (or if you simply just want to!) For a fine hotel or spa, heels are a great choice and dressing up on top whilst keeping casual on the bottom is a safe option.
I’m wearing Side Zip Skinny Trousers in berry by Wallis, with a white, high-neck, lace top from boohoo. To finish the look I opted for classic, black, pointed court shoes from New Look.
A Sweet Summer Setting
The Royal Berkshire Hotel is an impressive mansion set on acres of landscaped grounds. It was a beautifully sunny day on our visit, making the venue all the more remarkable. On arriving at the hotel, we were welcomed into The Polo Bar and Lounge; an English, rustic setting in front of the fireplace. A selection of loose leaf tea or grand cru coffee is suggested on the menu, and the tea was brought over and served immediately. I opted for a traditional Darjeeling, my mother going for a peppermint green tea.
Indulgence at its best!
When the food shortly followed, needless to say our first impressions certainly lived up to our expectations. A large tower of tiers, displaying all the elements of an Afternoon Tea. Plus, as all of the treats struggled to fit on the middle tier, the last of the goodies were beautifully presented on a white chocolate drizzled platter on the side.
Tuna and cucumber
Cucumber & cream cheese
The Sweet Treats:
Carrot Cake, Cinnamon Frosting
Chocolate and Praline Tart
Elderflower and Lime Mojito Jelly
Served with Clotted Cream & Strawberry Jam
The Delicacies in Detail
Soft, fluffy bread (without the crusts) and an adequate amount of filling, the sandwiches were a great start to waken the taste buds and satisfy our savory needs. Next, I like to take a small element from the sweet tier before launching into a scone, covered with a dollop of clotted cream and a helping of jam. The scones were fresh, dense, and a perfect rendition of the British specialty. The sweets were freshly made and come in a variety of forms offering diverse tastes. The Elderflower and Lime Mojito Jelly, a unique component of this Afternoon Tea, was refreshing and appreciated. The Mango Éclair was extremely light, subtle in taste, and probably my favorite part. The Chocolate and Praline Tart was lovely and rich without being too stodge, which the same applied to the cheesecake. The Carrot Cake was moist without being too sweet, although by this point we had eaten so much we struggled to finish!
For me this was a lovely experience of Afternoon Tea. There was plenty of food with a variety of choice, a selection of teas and everything was of high quality. The service was good, with a member of staff never too far away in case we needed anything. However, if you are someone that prefers a constant looking after, don’t expect a server to come and see you every 5 minutes! I would definitely recommend The Royal Berkshire Hotel for Afternoon Tea, and if you’re looking for an outing with kids, they even offer a children’s Afternoon Tea.
Afternoon Tea at The Royal Berkshire Hotel (Pennyhill Park’s sister hotel)
The Royal Berkshire Hotel
Ascot SL5 0PP
Cost: £25 Per Person, children’s afternoon tea: £12.50 Per Person
Dress code: none
This post is not sponsored. The afternoon tea was was financed personally and all opinions are 100% my own! Oh, perhaps a little influence from my mother.
Where have you been for afternoon tea? Are you more sweet or savory? Do you say scone like stone, or scone like gone?? Let us know in the comments below!