The Celtic Manor is one of those amazing hotels that feels really special and fancy but manages to make you feel really comfortable and relaxed at the same time. Being a little further out of the city they’ve managed to provide everything for their guests you could ever imagine from a spa, to golf, ice skating and of course a gorgeous spot of afternoon tea, my fave.
Afternoon tea is held in the Mulberry Bar which is just to the right of the main restaurant. It has a bar, chandeliers, little booths and velvet chairs alongside the nicest marble tables that I’m going to have to start hunting for. It’s super glam and the best treat for a birthday or a very extra afternoon with your girlfriends. My Mum’s been really busy recently, as she’s just finished her masters so I thought it would be nice to bring her along with me as it was such a lovely treat.
We were sat in the middle of room in these really high velvet chairs and were given a menu full of all the different teas we could choose from. Me, being super boring went for a pot of classic english breakfast but my mum decided to go for their Danish Pastry tea which smelt incredible! I’ve been meaning to track some down for christmas ever since. They had so many different flavours to choose from including chocolate brownie, apple strudel and spiced orange.
The first course was probably my favourite and consisted of a verrine of cauliflower cheese in a little cup with a side of welsh rarebit. It tasted absolutely amazing, was really thick and creamy and was just classic autumn food that set the tone for a really cosy afternoon.
The next course started with a slate of savoury treats that included roast beef in a Yorkshire pudding, a beetroot macaron with smoked salmon, parmesan shortbread with sundried tomato and pesto, warm leak and pork wellington with London sauce and a selection of classic afternoon tea sandwiches. There was so much food but it was a lovely treat to indulge in everything and try out all the flavours. My favourite was the parmesan shortbread as it was really light and fresh but I thought the macaroons were really clever too.
Next it was time for some cocktails! There are two on the menu to choose from and they were both designed exclusively for the afternoon tea so it felt really special to get to try them. I went for the Tea Collins which is made with raspberry liquorice, lavender tea, Gordon’s gin, Beefeater gin, sugar syrup and lemon juice. It was a really refreshing cocktail with more of a bitter taste and as I’m a lover of g&t’s it was perfect for me. My mum went for the other cocktail which was called the Jaffa Cake and it’s essentially a jaffa cake in liquid form. It’s made with chase orange gin, marmalade vodka, Cointreau, white cacao liqeur, fresh orange juice and a spoonful of marmalade. The rim of the glass is also dipped in chocolate to create a way more grown up and decadent version of our favourite snack.
The last course was the most important as it was time for the sweet stuff, cake! They were so pretty and each one was handcrafted into the most beautiful designs that were almost too pretty to eat. Almost. They included an elderflower and champagne delice with strawberry foam and meringue (cute pink ball), candied hazelnut choux puff with vanilla and praline creme, then a green tea, apple and ginger tartlet (this was my favourite!) and lastly a white chocolate and shortbread truffle cake. This is also followed by two scones with jam and cream in classic afternoon tea style. We couldn’t manage these though so we took them home for my little brother and he gave rave reviews.
The afternoon was such a lovely treat and it would make for a special gift, especially as Christmas is coming up. I think it would be perfect to take a group of friends too, there was loads of food and it’s a memorable place to spend a special occasion. I couldn’t be more grateful that I got to try this out and me and my mum absolutely loved it. If we only we could do this everyday eh…
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Photographs – Sarah Barnes