Last weekend I joined some food bloggers at Hotel la Tour for some festive afternoon tea. Organised by Emily from Recipes and Reviews, it was a great excuse to catch up with some fellow bloggers, Emily from Recipe & Reviews (who organised the event), Roz and Taylah I’d met several times before, but everyone else (Alex Gingey Bites, Emma Fork and Good, Hello Terri Lowe, Natasha Unorganised Chaos, Sophie Penne For Your Thoughts, and Hannah Bakes Things) I’d only ever spoken to on twitter, so was lovely to put faces to names.
As we hadn’t told Hotel la Tour we were bloggers trying to find everyone was fun – plus we were an hour early due to time mix ups.But Hotel la Tour weren’t fazed and showed us to our spot before asking us if we wanted our drinks – food wouldn’t be served until 2pm. I’d been to afternoon tea at Hotel la Tour earlier in the year for a friend’s birthday, so I was prepared for the stands, but nevertheless they’re still an impressive sight – and were very prompt! They contained four types of finger sandwiches, welsh rarebit and soldiers, scones with jam and cream, plus an array of desserts.I was impressed that they’d managed to cater for food intolerances too (I didn’t tell them about my lactose intolerance because if there’s one meal to suffer for, afternoon tea is it).
Being bloggers we all immediately whipped out our cameras to start taking photos. My friends and family are all well trained, but it was nice to be amongst people who weren’t sighing and going “are you done yet”.
Starting at the top I had a little nibble at the Welsh rarebit which was nice, but I felt the soldiers were a little too crisp – I like some chewiness to my toast and they were more like croutons. The sandwiches were delightful and nice to have such a range; turkey and cranberry, salmon and cream cheese, egg mayonaise and ham. Although they were all lovely my favourite was the turkey and cranberry – perhaps because it was seasonal.
The scones were well baked, neither too dense nor too crumbly, which made them feel fresh. This also meant that they weren’t too difficult to cut open and lather with jam, something which I was thankful for as I was balancing the plate on my knees. I declined the cream, but the others seem to enjoy it.
After a little rest it was on to the desserts. The clementine & Grand Marnier trifle was very sweet but it didn’t have much of the Grand Marnier kick to me. The gingerbread man was lovely, crisper than most gingerbread I’ve had which worked really well (and I loved they all have different facial expressions). The macaron was lovely and I could easily have eaten more. I found the batternberg to be a little too stodgy for my liking and the walnut whip Christmas tree was a nice touch – although had to be eaten quickly to save making too much of a mess!
Thoroughly stuffed from all the food and free refills on hot drinks (a good range of tea or coffee), we were all ready to have a nap. It had been a fantastic afternoon with company that was wonderful; we discussed the pronunciation of scone, jam or cream first, pressure cookers, owning too much crockery and plenty of other non-food blogging related topics. A massive thank you to Emily for organising it and another thanks for a festive treat – a goodie bag on our way out with items from: kikkoman, thorntons, mackays, burts, fruitbroo, yipsy macarons , deli sante, onken, nakd, seasoned pioneers, propercorn and stur – thanks all!
Disclosure: With Emily’s excellent organisation, we booked afternoon tea without telling Hotel la Tour were were bloggers. Sure they probably guessed when we all started photographing, but by that point we had the food and there wasn’t much they could do about it. We all paid for our own afternoon tea so there wasn’t even an ounce pressure on writing and certainly none to be nice.