Most people tend to either be a sweet or a savoury lover, but me.. I love both! With that in mind afternoon tea is my idea of heaven with pastries, sandwiches and cakes galore. Oh and a little tipple of alcohol to wash it down with always goes down a treat too!
Unfortunately i’d never been for afternoon tea up to now so i’ve been on a mission to find the perfect afternoon tea locally in South Wales. What first led me to my quest for the ultimate afternoon tea was an email from the Celtic Manor advertising their Willy Wonka chocolate inspired afternoon tea. As usual i left it too late and the dates were snapped up almost instantly as parents scrambled to take their kids to the first chocolate and child inspired afternoon tea i’ve come across for Christmas.
Below is a break down of some of the best places for afternoon tea in South Wales either based on recommendation or from my reaction to the sugar coated goodies on the menu.
The Angel Hotel is in a prime centre location of Cardiff right next to two of the Capital’s most iconic buildings with it running along the walls of Cardiff Castle with great views into the garden’s if you decide to stay the night too and it’s also on the same street as the gates to the mighty newly renamed Principality Stadium formerly known as the Millennium Stadium.
I’ve stayed at the hotel a number of times due to it’s central location and reasonable nightly rate but not tried the afternoon tea myself although feedback on the sponge based confectionaries and sandwiches has been very positive from people at work.
On the day afternoon tea dinners are treated to a range of finger sandwiches with traditional fillings, a selection of cakes including strawberry merinque, chocolate delice, mini lemon tartlet, a slice of fruit cake. After you’ve let that settle you are then onto round two with two warm fruit scones served with strawberry jam and clotted cream with a choice of tea or coffee to wash all that sugary goodness down.
This was my first choice for afternoon tea after obsessing over the menu’s of all the options in my short list for weeks and I wasn’t disappointed.
I like what the Celtic Manor do with their afternoon tea’s as they don’t just rest on their laurels and they change it with the seasons instead of having the same offering throughout the year.
As i mentioned above I missed out on the Willy Wonka Chocolate Afternoon Tea that i was planning on taking my younger sister to but there were a couple of other options still left. There is the Resort Afternoon Tea with an autumn twist of warm glass of spiced Pimms to start, which is what i went with as it had macarons on the menu and I have a slight obsession with them. There was the Christmas Afternoon Tea, and the Newbridge Cream Tea served at the Newbridge Hotel that is not on the Celtic Manor Resort but just up the road towards Usk but is part of the Resort portfolio.
For my autumn inspired afternoon tea that i opted for we were presented first with the glass of warm spiced Pimm’s, while the waiter explained the format and what we would be served on the day with 3 different plates over the course of the two hours.
First out were the savoury dishes with pulled pork and crackling on brioche roll, smoked salmon mouse on pumpernickel bread, pumpkin and goats cheese tart and mini cheese rarebit on toast.
We were then served a pot of our selected tea or freshly brewed coffee to go with our selection of finger sandwiches, which included cucumber, pastrami and dill, egg mayonnaise, chicken with sage and chestnut.
The cakes also accompanied the sandwiches on the tiered cake stand and included Raspberry and frangipane batten berg, white chocolate and pistachio macaroon, Welsh ‘Hilltop Honey’ and lemon meringue tart, Merlyn liqueur truffle slice, Frosted carrot cupcake.
After being offered another pot of tea out came our warm scones with raspberry jam and clotted cream. I for one was quite worried i would still be hungry with the portion sizes and especially after seeing how small the items were when they first came out but i was pleasantly surprised at how full i was after we had all of our items on the menu.
This was my first experience of afternoon tea and would highly recommend it here at the Celtic Manor especially as they update the menu every couple of months in fact I’m tempted to try the Christmas afternoon tea menu that starts on December 1st. What sealed the deal for me on the menu was the white chocolate and pistachio macaron but that was the only thing on the menu that i was disappointed with and even left half of it on my plate as it just didn’t taste like ones i’ve had in the past and made myself it broke apart when i bit into it as there was a massive air bubble underneath the skin. I low they are supposed to be crisp texture on the outside but these just didn’t taste right i think the problem was they were just too big and didn’t cook right. All the ones i’ve eaten and made myself are smaller and seem to cook through a lot better.
My favourite item on the menu was the Welsh ‘Hilltop Honey’ and lemon meringue tart that was to die for and wish i could of had a box of 6 to take home!
The afternoon tea at the celtic manor costs £22 each and by my admission is excellent value for money as i was left full until about 8pm in the evening after sitting down at 1.30pm in the afternoon, which is unknown for me.
I love that they don’t just stick to a standard afternoon tea and often have a twist, which is excellent if you want to keep visiting but want something different every time. They have lined up some really good afternoon tea specials for 2018 such as the Asian Inspired Afternoon Tea for some, Rib Slider Afternoon Tea for the meat lovers, Mothers Day Afternoon Tea for treating the parents and an Easter Themed Afternoon Tea, which I’ve sampled last year so if you like chocolate this is the one for you.
I’ve not been for afternoon tea at Park House opposite Cardiff Museum in Cathay’s Park but I have done the 7 course taster menu and that was top notch.
I had mini macarons, crab ones in fact during one of the courses and a fabulous desert to finish. you’re dining in very grand surroundings here with the building being a significant 19th century Grade 1 listed Welsh Mansion, which adds to the sense of being extra special.
Travelzoo are currently running a special promotion with an afternoon discount for two including prosecco for just £35 for both.
The prosecco afternoon tea usually costs £30 each so it’s a great deal.
Afternoon tea for two people, served on a bone-china tea set and including a selection of sandwiches, freshly baked fig and ginger scones with seasonal conserve and clotted cream, a selection of handmade cakes and pastries, and your choice of tea or coffee each
The afternoon tea at the Park Plaza in Cardiff was a close second for me based on reviews from friends and pictures i’ve seen on their Facebook page and also it’s central Cardiff location so both of us could of had a few glasses of fizz or cocktails to go with the afternoon tea.
What had me so interested in Park Plaza afternoon tea though was the choice of menus they have. They don’t just have traditional afternoon tea available they also have a Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea menu too, which has a more manly take on afternoon tea with a protein fest of mini venison burgers, seared sirloin steak and onion ciabatta, chorizo scotch egg and Bloody Mary mayonnaise. Instead of cakes you get Yorkshire pudding topped with roast beef and horseradish with the grand finale of Warm chocolate fondant with clotted creamRum Baba filled with Chantilly cream & raspberries!!
I’m dribbling just writing the menu again but thought that would be more fitting for a day out and bromance with my male friends and not what i initially started looking for but i will definitely be trying it out soon but will be washing the food down with a beer not a cup of tea for sure.
The traditional afternoon tea will cost you £16.50 each and the gentleman’s afternoon tea will set you back £18.95 with both options allowing an upgrade of champagne to add that extra icing on the cake.
Waterloo know how to do tea as they sell their own in the Tea House and wholesale online and it can be found on sale in Dublin, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Berlin, Budapest and Dubai.
The original tea house opened in 2008 in Pen y Lan next to Waterloo Waterloo Gardens hence the name but they have since opened up shop in Penarth and on Mill Lane in Cardiff City Centre.
At the tea house you will find the biggest selection of tea in the capital, along with heavenly cakes and they also exhibit local artists work so you can have a nosey when you’re there.
The afternoon tea at Waterloo Tea Gardens comprises of a selection of fresh cakes, scones with clotted cream and jam, finger sandwiches and chocolate truffles – all served on a three tier cake stand with a tea of your choice. Everything is home-made and costs just £13.50
I’ve popped into Jolyon’s on a pub crawl from the other end of Cathedral Road into town so only had 20 minutes to acquaint myself with the surroundings but was impressed with the the hotel on my short time spent in there and would be a great finish to an afternoon of sampling the beers, ales and wines along the way if you wanted to attempt something similar.
Pettigrew is one of the most recent openings offering afternoon tea and is situated in the gatehouse of Cardiff Castle so you get some great views of the castle grounds and there is outside seating for the summer but being close to December you would have to be pretty brave to sit outside with your tea and cake.
Unlike the hotels offering afternoon tea this is a more hearty choice with choice of tea, scones, sandwiches but instead of the mini pastries and cakes you get to choose a big wedge of the cakes of the day they have freshly baked at the tea rooms.
The Pettigrew Tea Rooms deal includes a short of winter berry cordial, your choice of finger sandwiches to share, a freshly baked fruit, plain, or seasonal scone with clotted cream and Caerphilly strawberry preserve, a slice of homemade cake, and a loose leaf tea, coffee, or soft drink each. You’ll also receive a handmade gift to take home.
I’ve strolled past the Hilton Hotel opposite Cardiff Castle on a number of occasions to see the Razzi restaurant full with people dressed up nibbling on finger sandwiches and cakes and always fancied trying it but thought being the Hilton it was going to be way overpriced. After hunting down the best afternoon tea i was quite surprised at how cheap it was at £17.50 and unlike the others i’ve heard they keep topping up the sandwiches if the cakes don’t fill you up.
Nant Ddu Lodge is located in Brecon just north of Merthyr Tydfil. I’ve never heard a bad word said about this place and I know a lot of people who have visited for spa days and afternoon tea including friends and family. I’ve not had the afternoon tea but i’ve stayed for the weekend dinner, bed and breakfast deal they do and the food was really good.
Some of the big names in daily deals websites have come and gone over the years but one that’s made it through the storm is Travelzoo and one of my favourite websites for not only hotels and trips away but they do local deals throughout Wales including afternoon tea and restaurant dinning offers from some of the best hotels and restaurants around.
Basically Wriggle is a daily deal app / website offering discounts on a great range of independent restaurants, cafe’s and bars around Cardiff, Bristol and Brighton. Once you download the app pick what day you want to visit with the options for that day and up to 3 days before. It differs from other daily deals as you have to use it for the day you purchase and within the time frame.
I use Wriggle on a daily basis and used it for a cocktail tasting menu at Lab22, beers at Tiny Rebel & Pipes, burgers at Got Beef, Time and Beef and Kongs, an open sandwich at Wally’s Kaffeehaus, 3 courses at Pot Bistro, flat whites at Outpost and Lufkin, pizza and pasta at Porro and breakfast booking for the morning at Pettigrew Tea Rooms.
There are different deals showing up all the time from some of my favourite places in Cardiff and new places signing up all the time offering up to 50% off the standard price. There are regular coffee, cake and coffee deals at the likes of:
http://tees-n-cheese.co.uk/site2/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/logo.png00nicky batchelorhttp://tees-n-cheese.co.uk/site2/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/logo.pngnicky batchelor2014-11-23 20:44:382018-04-01 11:17:08Guide to afternoon tea and the best places to go in South Wales
Nant Ddu is nestled in the Brecon Beacons along the A470 just passed Merthyr Tydfil so is easily accessible from most of South Wales by car or even the train with a short taxi ride from Merthyr Tydfil train station with the taxi rank just metres away.
I’ve stayed at the Nant Ddu Lodge hotel once and they do a great dinner at the restaurant too if you want to make the most of the little trip away.
You get full use of the spa facilities including indoor heated pool, jacuzzi, steam room and sauna plus you can alway book yourselves in for a treatment such as massages and facials for the ultimate pamper experience at Nant Ddu Lodge.
http://tees-n-cheese.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/nant-ddu-lodge-discount-spa-day-for-two-with-kgb-deals.png310475nicky batchelorhttp://tees-n-cheese.co.uk/site2/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/logo.pngnicky batchelor2014-09-30 22:42:002018-03-29 22:43:25Nant Ddu Lodge Spa Stay for 2 with breakfast discount with Travelzoo