Stuart treated me to an unexpected Afternoon Tea today! I find it amusing that he managed to get me all the way down the street to the hotel without figuring out the surprise he had planned… he is surprisingly good at surprises!!
“The best of British with afternoon tea at Clayton Hotel Birmingham, a 4-star hotel in the heart of town. Choose from a wide selection of cakes, scones, sandwiches and desserts.” [source]
The Clayton Hotel is an upmarket, elegant hotel in the centre of Birmingham. After a little bit of initial confusion with the staff not being quite ready for us, we were seated at a set of plush little armchairs in the front reception area of the hotel. It felt a little odd to be sat here; not quite the reception, not quite a corridor, and not quite a cafe… odd, but pleasant enough, as it was a quiet afternoon, otherwise I think I would have felt quite awkward sat there having our tea.
Our waitress was very attentive, and after explaining the menu, was quick to point out the vegetarian options to me. We put in our tea orders, and got comfortable on the cute little sofas.
In my teacup today was a delicious selection of Twinings teas! My first choice was my favourite Earl Grey; a beautifully delicate tea with a refreshing bergamot note that always keeps me going back for more. Stuart went for a Peppermint tea, which was exquisitely refreshing. Later, I also enjoyed an English Breakfast tea from Twinings, again, delicious and perfect as ever.
Our food then arrived on a sophisticated square stand. The only issue with the seating here was that the sofas were plush, and deep, and the tables were small and felt like they were so far away from us! We had to sit perched on the end of our seats to be able to eat properly.
The savoury foods were not really to my tastes. I found all the sandwiches to be lacking the refinement of a classic afternoon tea, and the strange flavours were all quite bland. That being said, Stuart enjoyed his non-vegetarian sandwiches, and stated that they were delicious… so perhaps I was just the unlucky one! Luckily, my distaste for the savoury foods was made up for by the flavoursome sweet treats on offer. The fruit macaron was a firm favourite, as was the homemade fondant fancy. I was stuffed full by the end of my second scone, and my sweet tooth was very satisfied!!
Tea Selection: ★★★★☆
Tea Satisfaction: ★★★★★
Menu Selection: ★★★★
Vegetarian Options: ★★★☆☆
Would I return to this Afternoon Tea experience again? Yes