Cafes are, without a doubt, a typical haunt for most students, as a little hybrid between the soulless confines of a library or the unproductive, lazy environment of your bedroom they are an ideal place to curl up in for a couple of hours to do some work. I’ve spent hours in Nero or Starbuck sipping a single chai latte leafing through books, typing away on my laptop, saying hi to the hordes of students I see milling in and out.
Afternoon Tease isn’t that kind of cafe. Not that you couldn’t spend an afternoon there doing work, though the chic wooden benches and tables aren’t as enticing as Nero’s squishy sofas for that sort of thing, your reasons for going to Afternoon Tease should have far more to do with your rumbling belly than your mounting work load.
Before Mother’s Day I had been to Afternoon Tease a handful of times for the delicious coffee and more delicious cakes. It’s actually a little bit distressing when you’re faced with a counter laden with a huge array of luscious looking cake, you just want everything. But after getting a chance to sample some savoury options at her special Afternoon Tea (the misleading name may make you think this this a regular occurrence. But its not. It was special. And great. Really, really great.) I’m definitely going to have to find time to go sample her lunch menu…which changes daily so I can go ALL THE TIME.
Afternoon Tease’s afternoon tea (…the start of a tongue twister maybe?) followed a traditional afternoon tea format (mini savoury sandwiches, a scone with clotted cream and jam, followed by an array of sweet treats) yet was anything but traditional. Instead of a typical cucumber or flavourless coronation chicken sandwich there were delicately flavoured quiches, smoky mustard and ham sandwiches, succulent smoked salmon and cream cheese, and rich prosciutto and caramelised onion tartlets. I mean I was pretty much stuffed after that alone. Never one to give up easily I still valiantly devoured the accompanying scone, which was light and crumbly, smothered in homemade jam and clotted cream
Afternoon Tease is, of course, famous for its baked goods, so as if all that wasn’t enough we were presented with mini versions of some of the delightful cakes that grace their counters daily. There was chocolate Guinness cake with cream cheese frosting , lemon drizzle sponge, and some decadent, fudgy brownies, alongside some exciting unfamiliar options like a very boozy individual banoffee pie (absurdly good), earl grey macaroons filled with a lemon buttercream, and topped off with homemade marshmallows!
Now even I, someone who loves, thinks about, and delights in eating cake more than most people, found it difficult to get through all of that. Though I’m confident I certainly could have had I applied myself properly, my mother’s somewhat disapproving eye kept me from gorging till I burst. Luckily we were given the option of taking whatever we couldn’t finish home in these adorable little Afternoon Tease stamped cardboard boxes, much to the joy of my brother’s coworkers as he brought them into work the next day (but not before I cheekily indulged in half a chocolate Guinness cake as a midnight snack!)
It was a completely lovely day out, and a really nice way to spoil my mum – all at the extremely reasonable price of £16 (with the option to have a glass of prosecco or a bloody mary for a few extra quid, which we obviously took mmm yes please). Afternoon Tease really had thought of everything you could want, coupled with excellent, friendly service, the experience only deepened my fondness for this great little cafe!
If I had to say one negative thing (and I feel I probably do after gushing away for 500 words or so) it would be to serve tea brewing in a teapot as opposed to having individual tea bags in the cups, considering you had to pay for additional cups of tea, it would have been nice to have gotten more than on cup included in the price.
Here’s hoping that there will be more pop up events like this in the future, and until then I guess I’ll have to tide myself over by stopping in for lunch or brunch (which from what I hear is truly spectacular) sometime next week!
The very smiley daughter and son – who says mother’s day really has to be about your mum? We certainly felt treated ourselves 😉