If you’ve been following me for a while (especially on Instagram) then you’ll know that one of my all time favourite quintessentially British things to do (wow that was a mouthful) is having afternoon tea. It’s one of England’s most loved pleasures, like Hugh Grant, only far less awkward.
Laura Ashley’s the Tearoom reached out to me and asked if I would come and review and photograph their afternoon tea in their Solihull hotel, and of course – I said yes. (It’s a tough job but someone has to do it). * This experience was gifted, but as is obvious from the photographs, this is bloody delicious, and as always all of my opinions are my own*.
As soon as I arrived, myself and Tom were seated right by the window. All of the decor is of course Laura Ashley, and from chandeliers to the table decorations, it feels incredibly luxurious. It’s definitely the perfect place for special occasions; a table next to us was celebrating their birthday. Afternoon tea always feels like such a treat. One of my favourite things to do when I previously worked in afternoon tea, was looking after people on special occasions; Birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, everyone was always so happy and felt so treated. It’s certainly the case here.
We were given a tea menu filled to the brim of teas that we could choose, everything was replenishable. With my last tea experience, some would call me a tea connoisseur… Ok I probably wouldn’t go that far, but I know good tea when I see it. Tom chose Earl Grey, and I chose Darjeeling.
The presentation was beautiful, it really does feel so special. I’ve been incredibly lucky with gifted experiences and photography opportunities these past few months, but I never ever take it for granted and I always feel so grateful and treated. Next, we were brought out two little mugs of their soup of the day by the lovely girls serving us, who were excellent and so friendly! The service is impeccable! It was so tasty and the perfect portion size, as afternoon tea is incredibly filling as it is. There were vegan options available as well as ones catered to any allergies!
Then came our afternoon tea, jeeeez what a sight it is. (Yes, I just said ‘jeez’. Apparently it’s 2008.) Three stands of sandwiches, scones, and fresh cakes. I can’t tell you the patience it took me to photograph it first without diving in.
Our sandwiches consisted of; Clay-fish with lemon and dill mayonnaise, smoked cheddar with apple and grape chutney, ham and piccalilli, egg mayonnaise, and Welsh rarebit. I wasn’t 100% sure if I’d enjoy them all because they’re (dare I say posh?) and quite different flavours to your standard ham and salad cream sandwich but I can safely say that we loved them all. To be honest I’d have asked for more, but I would’ve had to have been rolled out of there and no-one wants that. Both of our favourites was the Welsh rarebit, I’ve never tried it before but it’s delicious!
Then it was time for our scones. We had a selection of plain and raisin buttermilk ones with fresh clotted cream and strawberry preserve. We had other preserve options but scones and strawberry, I mean, come on.
After making a massive mess, (I’m so sorry to the lovely ladies who will have had to clear up) it was time to get stuck into the cakes. This photo says it all, the second I took the photo, Mr Loone is straight in there.
Our cakes consisted of: two macaroons, raspberry cheesecake, coffee and walnut cake, and chocolate eclairs. I was honestly so full by the end of it, we shared some more English breakfast tea as we finished (or tried to). My favourite was the cheesecake, and Tom’s was the coffee cake! I really struggled to finish them, surprise surprise it was no problem for Tom.
Our afternoon tea was the biggest treat. I write this incredibly full. We had such a lovely time and the team were so wonderful. We were really spoiled, and everyone there was so happy. I’d really recommend a visit to any of their tearooms, I think they’re fit for a perfect treat or special occasion!
I hope you’re all enjoying your week!