Thursday 30 October 2014

Alice In Wonderland Afternoon Tea - Cedar Court Grand Hotel, York

I do love a get together with the ladies, so when the lovely Kel hinted at a girly day out in York a whole lot of months ago I couldn't wait to book and get increasingly excited the closer the date became.

And after what seemed like ages - well, it was months - the day arrived and then on Sunday, we headed over to York to spend a lovely day with friends old and new.

After a morning spent shopping and bobbing into the countless shops of York, it was time to make our way to our venue for the afternoon - the very grand, very five-star hotel that was the Cedar Court Grand Hotel

And grand it was.

Huge, beautifully decorated and oozing pure class and sophistication - I was just itching to get inside one of the rooms and have myself a little snooze (well I had been shopping for hours)  - I can only imagine how comfy the beds would have been.

But anyway - back to the task at hand - to experience my first ever afternoon tea.

Yes - I know - never having had an afternoon tea at my age is quite unacceptable, but it meant that I was certainly looking forward to the day's experience.

And all the more because this wasn't to be any ordinary tea and cake experience - oh no - it was an exclusive, booked up months in advance, special kind of Alice in Wonderland Style afternoon tea...with quite an exclusive £33.00 price tag to boot.

I was expecting good things that's for sure...

Upon arrival we were presented with a cute little "Drink Me" style bottle containing a very thick pineapple flavoured, creamy drink, was was very yum indeed

...and it certainly set the scene for the spectacular visual display which was inside of our "tea room"...

The centre of the room had a huge Wonderland Tea themed table covered with chocolate and cakey treats, and it certainly looked amazing.

We all ran around in awe, snapping as many picture as we could manage, not wanting to miss a single thing

It was really beautiful

And the creators of the amazing looking table certainly took pride in their work too.

I overheard one very lovely, friendly man explaining how even after fifty times of creating the same table, it still managed to take his breathe away every time.

So sweet

Our table was very grand too, and tied in perfectly with the theme of the day

Resting our weary feet, we were served tea and coffee and then brought a stack of warm, absolutely delicious scones to our table

Whilst we were sat, beginning to unwind and relax...and to eat of course...we were told we could go and collect our food from the centre table - buffet style.

Hmmm...this meant leaving our lovely, warm, just delivered scones to go and collect the rest of our food.

I did, for a second, contemplate just enjoying my scone whilst it was still warm, but I knew if I did all of the treats on the middle table were likely to have vanished before I got to them.

Illustrating the main issue with a buffet...

Anyway, in a fear of missing anything, up we all went and proceeded to collect one of everything on offer - paying £33.00 for afternoon tea and watching whilst others devoured the lot wasn't something I was willing to do - so yep, I ended up with a plate crammed full of food...and then when I sat down, as pretty as my plate looked, I immediately just felt over-faced

There was so much sweet food - I didn't know where to start.

The selection of rolled sandwiches were lovely - salmon, ham, chicken, cucumber - and whilst I felt like I took quite a lot of them having five on my plate, they were teeny and I really think I should of had more...just to break up the sugar consumption...

The scone was beautiful (although we had to ask for more cream to get around our table of nine ladies) - really tasty and just perfect.

And then, as well presented, beautifully executed and detailed as the rest of my plate was, I struggled a lot to finish anything as it was all so unbelievably rich and sweet, so much so that I didn't manage to finish a single thing I picked up - which was such a waste of beautiful food.

But I tried my very best

I think, for me, and my first afternoon tea experience, a few more savoury treats would have helped break up the sweet courses a little.

But then I suppose that this was meant to be a unique experience, - which it was - the beauty of everything certainly made it that way.

I do have to say though, a few things spoilt the afternoon for me, and I hate to be picky, but I think the negatives need raising too.

My main issue of the day revolved around one waitress, and as accommodating as she was fetching more tea and coffee for people, she didn't really have a pleasant demeanour about herself.

She didn't smile once whilst serving us; it seemed like she didn't really want to be there and - the total worse part for me - she was chewing gum all throughout of the afternoon.

It's really not something expected from such a high class establishment.

Also, one of our party had a nut allergy but she was only told that she couldn't eat two of the things as she had sat back down...with the two nut items already on her plate...and had began to eat...

Thank goodness she didn't choose to eat those two things first!

...also (sorry!) when the lady in question asked our waitress what type of nuts were in the items, rather than go and find out, she ran off...but never came back with an answer...

Slightly rude perhaps...?

Like I said, I'm not one to be all negative, but these things really dampened our otherwise fun day, which was a huge shame.

Would I go back to the hotel - 100% without a doubt - it was beautiful.

Would I have an "ordinary" afternoon tea there - yes - I would love to try it.

Would I pay so much money for the Alice In Wonderland tea experience again - as pretty as it was, no, probably not.

But that's just me and the opinion of my sweet tooth.

Let me know how you find it if you pop along for a visit

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