Wednesday, 29 November 2017

A Midsummer Nights Dream Afternoon Tea

When we were in London last month, the one thing I knew I wanted to do was treat myself to a proper nice afternoon tea.

Picking one was tricky - there's a lot of places offering very nice sounding afternoon teas in London! On top of that, I needed somewhere I could order afternoon tea for one (I had company, but it was a non-afternoon-tea-eating kind of company). I also can't deny that price was a factor in my decision - as a tight northerner, some of the prices I came across in my research were eye-watering!

After some extensive and very enjoyable research, I decided I loved the idea of an A Midsummer Nights Dream Afternoon Tea, and I got myself booked into The Swan at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. 

We'd planned on coinciding the tea visit with a tour around the theatre, but like many things on my London trip, this didn't exactly go to plan! Still we arrived in plenty of time to admire the historic building, relaxing by the river in the autumn sunshine. I did just manage to resist buying my self an ice cream, since I knew I had plates of goodies on the way!

We were seated upstairs, where the opportunity to spot a few famous landmarks through the sunlit windows was a nice addition to the afternoon (typical northerner maybe but I'd never really considered the possibility of London being occasionally quite pretty).

The afternoon tea menu basically consists of two very different afternoon tea options - the A Midsummer Nights Dream afternoon tea is the more traditional of the two, with the little sandwiches, scones and minin cakes you'd expect, and this sits alongside an interesting sounding Gentlemen's Afternoon Tea with 'manly' goodies like scotch eggs and fish finger sandwiches.

It was the cakey one for me though, of course!

The afternoon tea came with the optional addition of a thematic cocktail - the Love Potion is a 'magical mix of Earl Grey infused gin, honey from the London Honey Co, blackberry puree and prosecco, topped with fresh blackberries'.

I wasn't not getting that, to be fair. Especially as I was in the rare position of not having to drive that day. I liked the combination of getting to mix my own magic potion, but without needing any of the skill required to actually make a nice cocktail!

The savoury selection served up was a pleasingly varied bunch: a wild mushroom and leek quiche, ham and mustard finger sandwich, smoked salmon on rye and an egg mayonnaise brioche. I don't really dig salmon or egg,  but that's just me being fussy - I do dig the different sandwich types and varied breads.

I was presented with a plain scone and a mulberry scone, both of which were delicious - especially served with clotted cream and jam. My problem was that I tried to eat them both in the same sitting as everything else - so by the time I came to the cakey bits I was too stuffed to fully appreciate them. Hindsight would have me box up at least one of them to enjoy later. (Still, it's always hard to truly regret eating scones!)

(By the way, how amazing are the plates? The crockery was designed specifically for the Swan, and it's stunning - I want the full set myself for home!)

I make no secret of the fact that the little cakes that usually make up part of an afternoon tea are my favourites! The Elderflower and Violet Macaroon was my favourite - so pretty and delicate, and light enough to enjoy even after finishing off those scones!

The Rose infused raspberry mousse and lemon cake, and blackberry compote with lavender cream were lovely too - I'm just nuts about those floral flavours and while I'm not familiar enough with A Midsummer Nights Dream to say just how closely these relate to the theme but they certainly evoke a lovely summertime woodland setting!

The menu describes the remaining item as a glazed white chocolate brownie but I definitely feel it was more straight-up chocolatey than that - - though to be fair I was in a bit of a sugar coma by this point it could have been anything, but I know it was sweet and goooood!

The afternoon tea was priced at £28.50, or £35 with the extra cocktail. Though that still feels highly extravagant to me, it seems this is actually incredibly reasonable for a London afternoon tea - especially for one of this standard and in this setting. The Midsummer Nights Dream afternoon tea was the perfect choice for a London afternoon tea and I'm really glad I had the chance to visit!

Monday, 20 November 2017

Medieval Glamping at Warwick Castle

A weekend of Medieval Glamping at Warwick Castle couldn't be more my cup of tea if it was an actual cup of tea. When I first learned that this was a possibility I was SO excited, and even more so when lovely KC offered to sort out a visit as my birthday treat! 

I couldn't wait to head off and pretend to be in a much more family-friendly Game of Thrones, but a December birthday does not make for a good camping weekend so we thought it best to wait for the weather to warm up a tad, and finally our weekend rolled around.

Friday, 10 November 2017

A Weekend at Warwick Castle

My most exciting discover of 2017 was that you could have medieval sleepovers at Warwick Castle! We spent a brilliant night away in the Knight's Village over the summer, and there's a full post on that coming soon, but while we were there we of course spent plenty of time around the castle too!


Friday, 3 November 2017

October Happenings, November Plans

As, I imagine, was the case for many people, much of our October goings-ons were Halloween based. The night itself was spend trick-or-treating around my brothers house, with him and his kiddos. It's always an interesting place to go trick-or-treating as the confused responses to the holiday make for a very eclectic goodie haul. They've come back with apples, cakes, crisps, bottles of pop and cash alongside the expected sweets but my favourite reactions are where the person opening the door clearly has no idea what's going on! 

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