Friday 16 January 2015

Fancy-Pants Afternoon Tea At The Grand Hotel In York

I'm a little partial to treating myself every once in a while.

Who isn't?

I love occasions where I am allowed to be spoilt and have an opportunity to enjoy the "finer things in life".

And let's be honest, why wouldn't I - it's not as if such things crop up very often now is it.

So when they do, I make sure that I'm there, taking 100% full advantage of the situation.

And that's exactly what I found myself doing last Sunday afternoon, in the rather chilly (yet very beautiful) York City Centre.

You may recall last year when I posted about attending my first ever afternoon tea outing (the post can be found here) and how it was unlike anything I had ever thought a piece of cake and a cuppa could be
(obviously for positive, pretty reasons)

However, certain aspects of the day weren't 100% to all of our tastes, and very eager to please, the lovely people at the hotel - The Ceder Court Grand Hotel and Spa (find here) - invited us back to experience one of their more usual afternoon tea packages.

Which was very kind of them now wasn't it.

As with last time, the hotel was immaculate, luxurious and oh-so very pretty

Everything from the curtains to the fireplaces to the seating to the pictures were outstandingly opulent, classy and exceedingly beautiful.

I can only imagine what the actual hotel bedrooms would be like if this was the fantasticness of the dining areas.

Very fancy-pants I'm betting.

Anyway, once we had all arrived - there were supposed to be the nine of us, but unfortunately two lovely ladies couldn't attend - we were directed towards our dining area and greeted by a lovely lady who immediately made us feel welcome and very much at ease and relaxed.

Stepping into the Afternoon Tea Room, there was a definite second or two of silence which swept its way across our little group.

I'm going to put it down to us all being slightly in awe of all of the prettiness - it's safe to say that we were very happy with what we were seeing.

The room was beautiful.

And somehow, the atmosphere throughout was just so different to the last time we visited the hotel.

This time the party-like, casual feel was replaced with something more formal and "proper"...but it wasn't in any way stuffy or uncomfortable at all.

And just look at the pretty table set up...

And our menu...

There were a fair few options available to us that's for sure.

Like a Hendricks Gin and Tonic afternoon tea...


...but alas, it wasn't to be, not on this occasion anyway...

We were steered in the direction of the Grand Afternoon Tea and my warm drink of choice to accompany this?

~ A Lazy Sunday Medium Roast Coffee

Which was perfect and arrived in the most adorably fancy little coffee pot.

Enjoying those "finer things"??

Indeed I was!

And then it was food time.

First up, a lovely array of finger sandwiches...

All yummy, all well presented and certainly enough for five "fingers" each - which I thought was plenty.

We had:

~ Cucumber & Dill
~ Roast Beef & Black Pepper
~ Smoked Salmon
~ Egg Mayonnaise & Watercress
~ Ham & English Mustard

I sampled each one (of course!) and enjoyed them all.
Although I couldn't eat anymore than the ones that I had, we were asked if we would like extras bringing out to us - which I though was a very lovely touch.

We enjoyed a good old natter as we ate and the staff were fab and friendly.

They really upped the fun factor of the afternoon and as amused as they were at a table full of ladies taking far too many pictures of sandwiches and pots of tea, they humoured us and even joined in, picking up our cameras and offering to take snaps of us all together.

Such a great touch.

And it worked perfectly as the pictures were brilliant too.

But as the sweet treats had been served, it was time to get back to focusing our attentions to yet more eating.
(It's a hard life)

We were presented with a perfect silver stand filled with cakes to share between three of us.

One of our party had a nut allergy and was given her own separate plate of allergy considered goodies - which was very important
(safety first!!)

I delved in and started with my two mini scones - one plain, one fruit - and lathered them with copious amounts of clotted cream and strawberry jam

Soft, fluffy, light

~ Yum ~

I finished both of them in no time at all and won't hesitate to say that I thoroughly enjoyed them.

I'm not a huge fan of tea loaf, so I left mine, but the other ladies around the table expressed how lovely and tasty it was.

So I took their word for it...

...whilst moving quickly on to the treats gracing the top tier of the cake stand.

Now the cute little ice-cream cone actually consisted of rhubarb flavoured meringue shaped into ice cream, and a mini custard filled cone.

I managed a little nibble of the meringue - before it dived off of my cone and plopped itself onto the floor

* sob *

But what I had managed to try before this was very sweet and really rather nice.

The custardy cone was delicious and I practically inhaled it I ate it that fast.

The little lemon cupcake with vanilla frosting was next and was a tad...different.

It wasn't soft and fluffy in a fairy cake kind of way but was a little harder and slightly dryer than expected.
I actually enjoyed it as it was less sweet than some of the other items and helped to space out all of the sugar a little.

The frosting was hard-ish too and had a little lemony sauce hiding at its centre, which was lovely and zingy.

Moving on, and slowing down slightly as the levels of sugar began to take hold, it was time for the little jar of Banoffee Cream with Banana Crumb Topping...

...which was like a little mini cheesecake really.

I loved it.

The banoffee flavoured cream wasn't too overpowering, and the biscuit base was just amazing.

Very, very sweet though.

The square, dark chocolate delice was next up...

...and I knew from the moment I saw it that I wouldn't be able to finish it.

Not that it was terrible or anything - it really wasn't - but I remembered it from our Alice In Wonderland experience and just found the chocolate mousse and cakey-ness within way too rich for me to enjoy.

So perhaps this was the least favourite part of the afternoon for me.

That and the fact that I seemed to go into a "too much sugar" slump and was then totally unable to finish everything I had on my plate

I hate wasting food...

But I did do much better than last time.

I have a brilliant afternoon, and the food was fantastic.

Massive "Thanks" to The Grand York for inviting us back and for giving us such a lovely, luxurious afternoon.

And "Thanks" too to the fantastic ladies who made the afternoon so fun and enjoyable.

I can't wait until my next fancy-pants, luxurious experience.

A gal could get used to this kind of lifestyle that's for sure

*this afternoon tea provided free of charge

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