If there is one British tradition that I love it’s Afternoon Tea, and it seems that getting dressed up and drinking tea out of posh china while eating teeny tiny sandwiches is definitely back in fashion, with different varieties of the British past time being offered here, there and everywhere. I was recently invited down to test out one of the best loved afternoon teas in Birmingham at Hotel La Tour so I headed down with Sarah who writes Notes From A Cosy Kitchen to see what they had to offer…
Hotel La Tour is located just outside the centre of Birmingham not far from Millenium Point and the afternoon tea is served in their Alvar Bar at the front of the hotel. Although the location itself is pretty unassuming the decor inside the hotel is beautiful, mixing modern contemporary with elegant decadence, the monochrome glossy surfaces definitely make you feel like you have walked into somewhere luxurious. With that being said although the Alvar Bar was nice – it was very hotel bar-ish, so not the prettiest of places I have had afternoon tea in, but comfortable and really cosy!
For me this was one of the best parts of the afternoon. The staff were very friendly and asked often if everything was okay with our food. On top of that, the layout of the bar is very open plan creating a laid back and relaxed environment to chill out and enjoy the food. If you have your afternoon tea on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday you will also be able to enjoy live music from a selection of amazing pianists – we were treated to the sounds of Elegant Entertainment and they were so so good! It was just the right balance of having some genuinely talented to listen to, without it being too over powering and dominating the experience.
Now for the most important bit – the menu of Hotel La Tour’s afternoon tea looked delish and it definitely didn’t disappoint. The tower was brought out with the array of sandwiches, soft and fluffy looking scones and a series of tasty look sweet treats that you would expect but an added bonus was the mouth watering welsh rarebit with crunchy brioche soldier croutons to dip! First we tackled the sandwiches which were really tasty with a good variety of flavours including smoked salmon with cream cheese, ham and mustard and egg and cress. Now it was time for the scones, and I opted for the plain with a healthy helping of clotted cream and jam (cream first obv!). Now it was time to move down to the cakes and once again there was a really lovely selection including mini raspberry and mascarpone tarts, lemon and lime cheesecakes and chocolate cream cake squares. My favourite was definitely the raspberry and mascarpone cheesecakes – I only could have eaten about ten of them!
The afternoon tea from Hotel La Tour is definitely one of the best I’ve had in the city and I fell in love with the style of the decor – from only £19.95 per person if you are looking for somewhere to take a special someone in your life or are looking for a nice way to spend an afternoon in Birmingham, I would definitely recommend it!
Where is your favourite place to have afternoon tea?