Those of you who love a good afternoon tea might share in my issue with finding the best place to go for it. There are so many offers to be seen from signs on the street to emails from groupon. But how do we know we are getting value for money? How do we know if we want to spend our pretty penny on one restaurants afternoon tea and not another’s. After all afternoon tea is one of those things, it seems is so difficult to get right. So I’ve compiled a few examples in my post today of where in the U.K. I think is best to go. With me I take some basic rules. One, macaroons must be present. Two, all sandwiches must be finger sandwiches and not triangles. Three, if there isn’t at least 5 different types of tea on offer then what the hell is the point. Four, the stand must be three tiered and circular. Now my star ratings are going to be based on my four rules and value for money.
So first we have Osteria 60. A charming little restaurant in an Italian Hotel in South Kensington right by the Royal Albert Hall. Reason for visit – Groupon voucher with the best friend.
So they got rule number one wrong straight away. I mean there desserts on offer when very tasty but to not have macaroons is basically blastfomy to ten afternoon tea religion. Well they managed to get rule number two right and there sandwiches were very moist with a good variety. Rule number three yes actually they had around 10 different types of tea (however they did run out of the one I wanted which is tragic). Rule four. OH MY GOD. I don’t know what that tea stand was but it shouldn’t exist. In fact it got so bad that the ladies next to us had theirs brought out on a plate. A PLATE. If you don’t have enough afternoon tea stands when the restaurant is only a quarter occupied then you shouldn’t have a license to serve it. The Groupon price £22.50
Overall rating ⭐️⭐️
Overall conclusion, don’t trust groupon with your afternoon tea. ( Groupon rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️…)
Next we have Bettys in York
For Betty’s I didn’t go to the one on the street corner which was heavily overcrowded and queuing down the street I went to the one on the old Tudor like high street tucked away from sight. Well they certainly had a couple of lovely macaroons however one each is simply not enough (rectify this Bettys). The major let down was the sandwiches were not in finger formation. They were triangles. Why would you do triangles? Does York have no class? The tea selection was quite vast which I was happy to see and was served in lovely white tea cups with a saucer. But to win me over yet again it did come on a three tiered circular stand and our waitress was extremely pleasant which made for a great experience. The price £18.95.
Overall rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Overall conclusion, change the shape of your sandwiches and give us more macaroons. Don’t be stingy!
Suprisingly to some. Debenhams.
Until it was recently closed I was a frequent visitor to the W1 Bistro in Debhenhams and happened to try their afternoon tea one time. They had a fine selection of cakes and again served macaroons. But just like Bettys they only gave us one each? If this is a new fashion trend it is one I shan’t be following. Ever. They had triangle sandwiches… I don’t understand why that’s a thing either I really don’t. The tea as election was limited and I wasn’t seeing may exuberant flavours I’ve never heard of so that could’ve been improved. But I guess the upside was the three tiered circular stand it came on which as you know for me is a big winner. The price £15
Overall rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Overall conclusion, it was good but I guess there was a reason the bistro was replaced with a patisserie Valerie. They spent too much effort on their scrumptious focaccia rather than their afternoon tea.
Now for a somewhat unusual one. The Fox Bar & Bistro
Nestled in the high hills of Ripponden is a quaint little bistro pub serving a rather odd afternoon tea. There was almost nothing of recognisable standard placed before me. They had mini burgers, soup in a cup, potato and salmon salad in a plant pot and an assortment of pastries. Now although there was nothing of usual stature on the picnic table stand it was rather enjoyable and I did manage to get a lovely cup of Yorkshire tea. The price £21.95
Overall rating ⭐️⭐️
Overall conclusion, now I gave it a two star rating based on my four basic rules. But it was rather lovely all the same, so if I were to rate it based in a category of what I call ‘unusual afternoon tea’s’ then I would give it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
Now the final option. The Ritz.
Elegant, formal and powerful. The Ritz as I have mentioned in other posts is really without comparison. Their selection of teas is ridiculous, you can’t choose. There are that many it is simply impossible. Their stand is three tiered beauty. Their sandwiches are finger shaped and more come out if you finish them all (all inclusive in the price of course). They give you a selection of macaroons. I mean what else is there to say. You know my stance on the Ritz. The price £52.
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Over all conclusion, a wonderful experience but to give them five stars would be inappropriate based on the fact one member of staff was slightly rude through facial expression and that quite frankly just brought the experience down.
So there you go, a few options for you to explore in the world of afternoon tea. My judgements have been cast and well I think you know where to go now and where not to go. But if you take anything from this article please just take with you my four golden rules. Take a look at the photos and menus before going, because if they’re following the four, you know it’s only the service you have to worry about and not the actual afternoon tea. Which is the whole reason you’re going there.