8th August 2016
From finger sandwiches and fine china, to the ongoing debate of ‘scon’ vs. ‘sc-o-ne’, Afternoon Tea is one of those classic British traditions that seems to be getting more popular by the day. So popular in fact, that it has its very own week of appreciation, which just so happens to begin today…
In celebration of National Afternoon Tea Week, we were invited to put Malmaison’s brand new Afternoon Tea to the test. Turning the past-time on its head, this Afternoon Tea is bursting with typical Mal personality, making it the perfect place to visit whatever the occasion.
Your first decision is to choose from the classic, champagne or cocktail Afternoon Tea. The latter two are ideal for special occasions or celebrations, whilst the classic is perfect for a more laid back, any-time treat. The tea only variety is £17.50, whilst both the champagne and cocktail options are £25 per person, to include a glass of Mumm NV Champagne, or one of Mal’s signature cocktails: Orange Brûlée, Nutty 43, Patron Espresso Martini or Hendrick’s G&Tea.
First things first, one of the most important aspects of an Afternoon Tea is, well, the tea. With no less than 12 varieties to choose from, each from tea merchants Taylors of Harrogate, the options are all presented at your table in a smart case. From fruity and herbal, to the classic English Breakfast (there’s a decaffeinated option too!), each comes served in a branded Malmaison teapot which comfortably fills three cups. We opted for an Organic Peppermint and an Earl Grey, with lots of refills offered throughout.
The Afternoon Tea is brought to your table on a two-tier rack, complete with slate boards. The bottom tier is where you’ll find all your savoury snacks, whilst the top tier is reserved for the sweet treats. There’s also a separate plate of scones, with a pot of jam and cream.
There are no finger sandwiches in sight at Malmaison, but that’s certainly not a disappointment. Instead, you can tuck in to homemade mini beef burgers served in a freshly baked bun and topped with the chef’s secret burger sauce – a recipe you’ll all want to get your hands on. Also included in the savoury selection is a hot smoked salmon and crème fraiche wrap and a chipotle chicken and avocado wrap, both lightly chargrilled to give it that extra flavour. Whilst the classic Afternoon Tea flavours remain, the wraps give this a cool modern touch, and the burgers ensure this isn’t just designed for the female audience like so many others.
Next it’s time for the top tier, where you’ll find a selection of homemade cakes and desserts. Whilst other places vary their choice of sweet treats, Mal have decided to keep theirs consistent, after all, why change a winning formula? There’s a salted chocolate brownie, which is light and gooey, and a deliciously citrusy lemon and polenta cake, as well as a really moreish strawberry and vanilla Pavlova and a frozen summer berry smoothie served in little milk bottles with a decorative straw. There’s also a rhubarb and custard trifle, topped with crunchy shards of honeycomb. Soft, sweet and quintessentially British, this was definitely one of the highlights of a varied selection of cakes. Both the brownie and the lemon and polenta cake are also gluten free, and there’s the option to enjoy a full gluten free Afternoon Tea too, you just need to ask.
It wouldn’t be Afternoon Tea without scones, and regardless of whether you opt for cream or jam first, you won’t be disappointed with these. The traditional fruit scones are all handmade at Malmaison, served up with a strawberry jam and a classic clotted cream. Light and crumbly, without falling apart under dollops of jam and cream, you’ll definitely want to make sure you leave room to fully enjoy them.
Trust us when we say you’ll want to give everything a try, which means you’ll walk out in need of a lie down feeling very, very full. But whether it’s a for a special occasion, or a relaxed way to spend the afternoon, make a visit to Malmaison top of your Afternoon Tea list.
For more information about Afternoon Tea at Malmaison, or to book, visit: https://www.malmaison.com/food-drink/afternoon-tea/