Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea At The Park Plaza, Cardiff

When I heard that The Park Plaza in Cardiff were doing a Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea, a twist on the traditional afternoon tea swapping finger sandwiches for mini venison burgers, I just had to book. Spencer and I love afternoon tea, but we also love burgers and steak, this sounded perfect for us.

review of the gentleman's afternoon tea at the park plaza in cardiff

I decided to purchase a voucher for Spencer’s Father’s Day present last year, he loved the idea and couldn’t wait to try it out.

Gentleman's afternoon tea served on black slate in park plaza cardiff wales

When we arrived at the hotel the staff were lovely and friendly, we were seated straight away and introduced to our waitress, who was super lovely and very chatty.

gentleman's afternoon tea with beef scotch egg and yorkshire pudding

The manly afternoon tea came out beautifully presented on a slab of slate. We started off with Chorizo Scotch egg with Bloody Mary mayonnaise, Seared Welsh Sirloin steak Caramelised red onions & garlic mushrooms on toasted ciabatta, Severn & Wye smoked salmon blini with dill crème fraiche & caviar, Mini Brecon Venison burger with juniper berry & red currant mayonnaise, Miniature prawn cocktail shot and Roast Sirloin of Welsh Beef & horseradish stuffed Yorkshire pudding.

Chorizo Scotch egg with Bloody Mary mayonnaise Seared Welsh Sirloin steak Caramelised red onions & garlic mushrooms on toasted ciabatta Severn & Wye smoked salmon blini with dill crème fraiche & caviar Mini Brecon Venison burger with juniper berry & red currant mayonnaise Miniature prawn cocktail shot Roast Sirloin of Welsh Beef & horseradish stuffed Yorkshire pudding

Spencer and I both loved the amount of meat served with this tea, but we were slightly disapointed with the quality of the meat, the seared Welsh Sirloin steak had a lot of fat running through it and was almost impossible to bite into and, unfortunately, the mini burger wasn’t very flavoursome.

Warm chocolate fondant with clotted cream, rum baba filled with Chantilly cream & raspberries at park plaza afternoon tea

The puddings came out at the same time as the savouries but on a slate of their very own, and boy did they deserve their own slate, they were delicious! The puddings were a Rum Baba filled with Chantilly cream & raspberries and warm chocolate fondant with clotted cream. Despite our waitress explaining what was what Spencer and I both made the mistake of thinking that the clotted cream was ice cream!

rum baba filled with Chantilly cream & raspberries

The Rum Baba definitely won the afternoon tea for me. It was delicious and satisfying yet light.

The Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea is such a good concept and is full of interesting and delicious flavours. As mentioned above the quality of the meat did let it down a little for us, but we may have just been unlucky on the day. This wouldn’t stop me recommending this tea to others.

Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea at the Park Plaza, Cardiff is priced at £19.95 per person and can be booked here.

Review : Christmas Afternoon Tea at The Celtic Manor

I recently went along to the popular Celtic Manor resort, Newport, with two of my friends for a festive afternoon tea treat*. The Celtic Manor is becoming more and more well known for their seasonal themed afternoon teas, which comes as no surprise because they really are delightful, both in taste and in appearance.

blog review of christmas afternoon tea at the celtic manor resort newport

As expected the Christmas afternoon tea was full of festive treats including chicken, sage and onion brioche, turkey and cranberry sandwich, mince pies, Mulled Wine and much more.

First up, we were offered Mulled Wine, tea and coffee. The choice of tea is very basic, but there is something suitable for most tastes. It would be nice to see a floral option available but I happily settled for a pot of chamomile tea.

picnic basket of pastries at celtic manor afternoon tea
Shortly after our drinks arrived we received a picnic basket of delicious treats. None of us have any allergies so we all received the same food. The basket contained (L-R) crayfish, mango & chilli blini, Welsh rarebit with Y-Fenni cheese & tomato chutney, chicken, sage & onion brioche and roasted butternut squash & rosemary tartlet.

My personal favourite from this selection was the butternut squash and rosemary tartlet, though it was a tough call. The Welsh rarebit (aka mini, posh cheese on toast!) would have been nicer warm.

christmas afternoon tea at the celtic manor 2015
Once we had devoured our hamper the main event arrived. This consisted of sandwiches and cakes, as you would expect.

The finger sandwich selection was egg mayonnaise with shallot & chive, cucumber & dill creme fraiche, smoked salmon & lemon mayonnaise and turkey & cranberry. I really like how The Celtic Manor apply a slight twist to the standard afternoon tea sandwiches by introducing subtle but exciting flavours.

The cake selection was festive Penderyn whisky & marmalade Bara Brith, Celtic Manor mince pies, Cinnamon spiced carrot cupcakes, white chocolate Christmas pudding truffle, pistachio marzipan cones and glace cherry & apricot florentine. These cakes were perfect for the Christmas theme, though combined they are very rich, I had a bad bout of heartburn and indigestion the day that we went which meant that I didn’t end up eating half of my cakes. Spencer thoroughly enjoyed them when I took them home in the little box provided.

As if we weren’t already full following all of the delicious food we were then presented with warm scones, in keeping with the Christmas theme we each received a cranberry scone and a vanilla & chestnut scone, served warm with clotted cream and strawberry preserve. These were so nice I managed to find room in my stomach!

cranberry scone and vanilla and chestnut scone in picnic basket at celtic manor afternoon tea
We couldn’t help but feel festive after eating the beautifully presented Christmas themed afternoon tea and staring at the fabulously extravagant Christmas decorations in the hotel lobby.

the celtic manor newport main hotel lobby at christmas time
The Celtic Manor are currently serving their Winter afternoon tea, priced at £19 per person Monday – Friday or £27 per person Saturday & Sunday, find out more and book here.

Do you fancy the Christmas afternoon tea?

Afternoon Tea Masterclass at The Celtic Manor
The Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, is fast becoming a foodies heaven. As well as serving delicious food across all of their restaurants they also give you the option to go along and learn how to make the meals at their live cookery demonstrations.
Afternoon tea masterclass at the Celtic Manor resort Newport

I was invited along to the Afternoon Tea cookery demonstration* with the pastry chef Karl and his assistant. The demonstration was held in the bright and airy Garden Room. There were only three rows of spectators meaning that everyone had a decent view, there were also two large TVs enabling us to see the intricate processes with ease.
On entering the room there were recipe cards on each chair, these were great to follow along and will enable us to attempt to re-create the recipes ourselves at home.
Karl made five cakes in total, he went through the process of making each one in great detail and we got to sample each cake.
First up were the Strawberry & Elderflower Cream 99’s. These were beautiful. I wish I’d made a note of the fillings used as the recipe is just for the cones. I would like to attempt the vanilla cones myself as they were very light and look super cute.
This was the Pate De Fruit ‘Jammie Dodgers’. This was nice but very wobbly, so wobbly that the jelly part fell off mine and onto my camera! We have the recipe for both the Pate De Fruit and the shortbread biscuit.
The lemon & Raspberry Trifle with Pistachio Biscotti packed a punch. These were bursting with flavour and were very refreshing. We were provided with the recipe for the trifle, the curd and the biscotti.
Freeze Dried Berry & Almond Battenberg. I’m not the greatest fan of Marzipan but I gave this a go and I did actually enjoy it, though I couldn’t eat too much of it. The flavours in the battenberg were strong enough that the sweetness of the marzipan wasn’t too overbearing. The lovely red sheen on the top of these is from a spray can of red chocolate, I need spray chocolate in my life!
Last but by no means least Karl made the Queen of Pudding Tarts. We weren’t given the recipe for this one, I guess they can’t give away all of their secrets! These were delicious and I could have happily eaten the whole tray.
As well as making cakes for us they also decorated a few to their afternoon tea standards. Karl and his team made making all of these look like child’s play, I’m sure if I tried to make them they would turn out no where near as tasty or pretty as this.
Karl and his assistant did a great job of talking us through the recipes, making the cakes under pressure and answering all of the questions that were fired at them. It was a fantastic experience and the day wasn’t over yet…
After absorbing all that information and cake we retreated to the comfortable sofas and enjoyed a rose infused G&T, in adorable teacups. Why do drinks taste nicer in teacups?
As if we hadn’t already been spoilt enough we were then taken through for the Summer Afternoon Tea, the theme for which is Very Berry Garden Party.
Once we were settled in we were presented with a selection of six teas, I would like to see a few more tea choices on the menu as I really like floral rose scented teas which are never an option at The Celtic Manor.
As well as a pot of tea each we were also given a glass of raspberry lemonade.
The first part of the tea was served in this cute little hamper, Alice‘s part is slightly different to mine as she is a vegetarian. The standard contents are a Leek & Snowdonia Red Devil cheese tartlet, mini brioche bridge roll with Wentlooge egg mayonnaise and cress, Chorizo, basil and spinach frittata, Coronation chicken wrap. All of these were delicious, the frittata being my favourite.
The main event! Again, mine and Alice’s differ slightly due to them catering to her Vegetarian requirements. The finger sandwiches were to share and we had one plate of cakes each.
The standard sandwich selection consists of hilltop honey roasted ham and grain mustard, smoked salmon with cream cheese and chives, cucumber with lemon and mint mayonnaise and Hafod cheese and pickle sandwich. Picking a favourite sandwich is difficult, I usually go for salmon because it is my favourite sandwich filling, but, the lemon and mint mayonnaise in with the cucumber made that sandwich extra special.
The cakes were different to the ones that we had sampled earlier on which was great as it meant that we got to sample a lot of different cakes. These were raspberry and elderflower meringue, blueberry and vanilla cream tartlet, apple and blackberry pastry puff, strawberry, white chocolate and almond mousse and citrus scented red berry pate de fruit. I can’t pick a favourite of the cakes, I enjoyed them all so much! The only downside with the cakes was that Alice received the mousse which isn’t suitable for vegetarians, I’m sure they would have happily changed it if this was mentioned but it seems like such a shame when they managed to cater everything else specifically for her and missed this one small thing.
As you can probably imagine by this point we were very full, yet, there was still more food to come…
The goji berry and chia seed scones were served warm in a cute picnic basket along with strawberry preserve, berry curd and clotted cream. I liked the addition of the curd as well as the usual jam and cream, it was nice to have the choice of something a little bit different.
I really recommend the cookery demonstration, with afternoon tea costing £32 on a Saturday and the demonstration costing £40 it really is worth spending that extra £8 per person. You are greeted with tea and coffee, get to watch the cookery demonstration, sample the delicious cakes & a rose infused Gin & Tonic, take the recipes home with you and enjoy the standard afternoon tea on top.
Despite this being very good value for money it may be a little out of budget for some, but don’t let the prices put you off, the same delicious afternoon tea is served Monday – Friday for the fantastic price of £24. There is also a new vintage afternoon tea served in the Manor House on a Sunday costing £28 per person and a cream tea at the Newbridge on Usk priced at £10 per person.

Afternoon Tea : The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny
I’ve blogged about High Tea at The Angel Hotel in Abergavenny once before, you can read that post here, we went again in November and as it is over a year since the last time I went I thought it was worthwhile writing about it again. I had nothing but praise for the food and service the last time around, so how was it one year on?
I bought Spencer a voucher for high tea for two for his birthday back in February, as is life time flew by and we still hadn’t booked in so decided to go for our Wedding anniversary in November. The voucher came nicely presented printed on card.
On the last occasion that I visited The Angel Hotel we paid an extra £2 per person for a private room, this time we sat in the dining room along with the other diners. This was a lot more formal and quite uncomfortable at first. The tables are very close together and you can hear the conversations of the diners all around you, and they can also hear your conversation. As the room started filling up it became a little more relaxed but still felt very formal, hence the not so great phone photos as the setting just wasn’t right to pull out my big DSLR!
The afternoon tea is served on vintage crockery which is how I like it, I find that vintage crockery adds a certain charm to it.
The high tea came with a layer of sandwiches, a layer of pastries, a layer of cakes, an individual tiramisu each, a warm scone each, cream & jam and of course, tea.
We received two of each sandwich and pastry so were able to try one each, however, there is only one of each cake. We opted to cut each cake in half so that we both got to try each one. The good thing about this is that you get to sample a wider variety of cake, the obvious downside is that you may not want to split your favourite cakes!
One of the things that I love about The Angel is the huge choice of tea, you can view the menu here where you will see that there is a lot of choice.  The menu seems to have been updated since our visit as I can’t find the teas that either of us chose on this menu. Spencer had a black vanilla tea and I had some form of rose tea. We were offered other teas but we were both satisfied after one pot each.
We were both so full by the time that we ate the sandwiches and pastries that we ended up taking all of the cakes home with us. These were taken away and boxed up for us ready to collect on the way out.
At the time of booking I mentioned that I was pregnant so couldn’t eat certain things. Upon arrival the waitress checked with me what I could and couldn’t eat pretty much straight away. They adapted the sandwiches to me which is why my sandwiches look a little samey as I had some duplicates instead of those that I couldn’t eat. The pastries weren’t adapted for me which resulted in Spencer stealing a few of mine!
High Tea at The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny is currently priced at £26.80 per person.

Festive Afternoon Tea at The Celtic Manor

On Saturday I was lucky enough to be invited along to the stunning Celtic Manor Resort & Spa, Newport for a preview of their 2014 festive afternoon tea* and for an introduction to their new blog. I’ve been to The Celtic Manor a few times previously, I’ve attended a Wedding reception there, several work’s Christmas parties and afternoon tea two years ago. The afternoon tea has changed since I went and is now seasonal, they are currently serving their Autumn tea, the delightful festive tea will be served from 01 – 24 December.

Our private room was suitably decorated for Christmas, with Michael Bublé playing in the background and crackers waiting to be pulled we really did get into the Christmas spirit.
We were greeted with champagne on arrival (Bucks Fizz for pregnant me!), Jess and India from the social media team spoke to us about the new blog and their plans to engage with fellow bloggers going forward (this was their first ever bloggers event), the head chef then came out and spoke to us about the tea that we were about to eat. On the week leading up to Christmas they serve an average of 250 – 300 festive afternoon teas, crazy!
With the afternoon tea comes a glass of Mulled Wine served in a pretty special teapot in the cutest cosy ever, I declined the Mulled Wine but there were a lot of satisfied slurps from around the table so I assume that it was good.
The bottom layer includes delicious finger sandwiches, a gorgeous Caerphilly cheese & leek tartlet, miniature brioche with prawns Marie Rose and a miniature bagel with smoked salmon, cream cheese and chives.
The second layer hosts three Christmas cakes with a difference. A Penderyn whiskey and marmalade festive Bara Brith, Celtic Manor mince pies (the shortbread top is to die for) and a delightfully decorated white chocolate Christmas pudding truffle.
The third and final pretty pastel layer contains pistachio marzipan cones, toasted sweet chestnut bouche Noel and glacé cherry & apricot Florentine.
As if we weren’t already struggling at this point we were then served warm candied citrus peel and gingerbread spiced scones. Thankfully there are white boxes on hand so that you can take some of your yummy food home for later, I don’t think any of the eleven of us managed to eat it all!
As if they hadn’t already spoilt us enough The Celtic Manor also provided us each with a lovely goody bag containing the cutest cinnamon biscuit with the hashtag for the event hand piped onto it, unfortunately mine was knocked in my bag and a bit of the icing fell off, but you get the picture. They also gave us some Elemis products from their spa.
Thank you so much to the Celtic Manor for such a lovely day, and massive congratulations to India for overcoming your fears and hosting your first event! Below are some of the bloggers from the day.
 India, Gemma and Jess
 Ellie, Hannah, India, Jess and me