Create the Perfect Afternoon Tea at Home

Im having Withdrawal symptoms. This whole Covid experience has got me craving and doing thimgs I dont normally do, or want to do.

Like…..I just want Afternoon Tea, but I dont want to go out, or get ready or get dressed, or do anything…… so what do I do?……

I do it at home! Crazy, right? yes I know….. but its 2020 and nothing feels ‘normal’ any more…..’Crazy’ is the way forward. Trust me on this…..

So what did I do, well firstly I needed to invite someone, and I didn’t want to do anything big, as I didn’t know if it would turn out good, and also their is the whole ‘Dont invite people into your house‘ Boris debate… (feel free to go out with them though, among other people you dont know and could potentially catch the virus from) but thats for another blog post……

The thing with Afternoon Tea is …… the dishes/cutlery and the whole set up is key to making it right……… The thing with me is….. I Love dishes and I have a weakness for Cups! Yes. Cups!! You heard me!!….. Don’t be naughty now! I’m talking about Teacups!……. Buy me a mug over flowers any day of the week! I will be your best buddy….

So the essential part in afternoon tea is the set up, so I rummaged through a few of my afternoon tea photos and wrote a list of requirements

  • Tablecloth
  • 3 tier stand
  • TeaCup and Saucer
  • Cup for water
  • Cup for juice
  • Utensils
  • Teapot
  • Water Jug
  • Juice Jug
  • Side Plates
  • Suger bowl
  • Props to make it look pretty!

The first thing I did was rummage around my kitchen to find it all and it was so exciting! …… and then I set it up on the dining table to see if I thought it would work…… and yes…. I can say it worked…..

Have a look for yourself….

Ok ok, not quite the Dorchester, but I did well I think!

Next Up the Food….

Now that the setting was done……Time for food……On standard Afternoon Teas, the 3 tier stand usually offers a variety of Sandwiches, Scones with Clotted Cream and Jam and Desserts. Thats the basic, and thats exactly what I did….

I made prawn sandwiches, cucumber and cheese sandwich and tuna salad sandwich, I also fried up some filo prawns from iceland with some sweet and sour sauce because it gives that extra oomph needed for the photos! (the photos are essential people!)

It probably sounds crazy because I use to be a baker, but I am such a ‘Buy Everything’ person, and so I bought the scones and jam and clotted cream….(I’m sorry, but it’s so much more easier) and I found the cutest little spoon bowls to put it in… Ain’t it the cutest?

And what did I do for desserts…… Urm Iceland is the saviour to my life. I bought a few of the frozen desserts and preetied up the top of my stand.

And There you go peeps…..The Ultimate Afternoon tea at home. So quick, So pretty and so affordable….

Whos coming next?

Love and regards

M11bna

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Ladana Cafe

Is it too soon to talk about pre Covid 19 days?. I felt hesitant to put this post on, because I didn’t know whether it is right or not? Is it tooo soon? … Oh well, I think I’ve decided it’s about right, if lockdown continues this may be a story I won’t ever be able to tell…

So Let’s talk birthday’s…… I was turning 37 ( ouch that hurts) and in all honesty i wasn’t really feeling up to much…. 37 is definitely the wrong side of 30- and too close to 40… I couldn’t deal with it… It’s a daunting age….

The hubby dearest was not going to be around, he had a work do up in Malta and schools and colleges were still on (lockdown started 2 weeks later). So my plan for my special day was to lie in, fill up the tub, and then just enjoy lazing around in the house…. That was until,the day before at silly o clock… The hubby walks in….”Happy Birthday!”

Urm… Ok. So there goes my day in alone in the house…. Yes I know… Sweetest suprise ever. I get it…. But like… I wanted to do nothing… At my age doing nothing is actually a gift. No matter how much ‘nothings’ we do… It’s never enough. I could do ‘nothing’ forever….well maybe not, but I needed a ‘nothing’ day that week.

He’s not usually a suprise kind of person, the hubby isn’t. He usually can’t keep things in…. Don’t get me wrong- he forever spoils me- but I know he’s going to spoil me before he does it. He can’t keep things in, that one. Gets too excited, spoils the suprise…. So I’m usually always aware… This suprised me- and I’ve realised I don’t like surprises. So hopefully first and last one…. Well it will be once he has read this. (Hi Dude ♥️)

Birthday came- kids got off to school/college and the hubby bundled me up into the car…. And we ended up here

Ladana Cafe in Birmingham. How pretty is this place? It has proper Lauderee vibes. Off a main road, it’s the prettiest picture ever, and seems like a hideaway from the buzzing Birmingham streets…

It wasn’t the warmest day, so outside was out of the question.

And inside…. Well have a look… It really does take your breath away….

On entrance there’s a room blocked off by glass for families, all prettied up in pastel greens and cream, beautifully draped curtains, and chandeliers dropping from ceiling…. It really is the prettiest of pictures….

We went into the next section…..and that was even more better than the first. The bold midnight blue, gold and burnt orange against the green is such a beautiful rich combination. It oozes class, and richness. I absolutely fell in love. It is such a gorgeous set up.

One thing I hate about pretty places, I loose focus of who’s with me and pay attention to the props around me….. the hubby however loves that, he allowed me to be fascinated with my ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ and taking a picture here and there whilst he continued to work on the phone. Sometimes (just sometimes) we made a good combination.

Just look at this chandelier! ( Jaw drops!) And the drinks bar area! ( Can you tell I was excited!) By the way zoom in guys- the water bottles in the bar area are to die for…..

Next minute I know I was using Google lens to find out where I can get the tea pot, or this water bottle… Im still struggling with the water bottle. If you guys see it- please please please let me know. I must have it….. Here’s another picture of it….

I think I have made it clear how much I loved the surroundings, but a surrounding can only be made better with good food…..

Started our morning off with tea and mojito… Look at those cute dishes…. Oh I’m a sucker for all things preety. ( Hold on just got Google lens out again)

And for breakfast the hubby went for chicken club Sandwich whilst I decided on the eggs shakshuka with warm nan….

The club Sandwich was huge. We both could have eaten the one, and it heavy and filling. ( And so pretty) .

Same for my dish, the portion was huge was every bit divine! And the nan was super soft and warm. Surroundings ticked off, food ticked off…. The extra suprise…..

….we ordered a lychee and watermelon shisha…….. When he knows the way to my heart. Breakfast and shisha ♥️.

Yes. The Dude smashed it. He got me rolled into one. Forget fancy smanchy dinners and high heels. You want my heart… You have to start with the best breakfast ever… And add in a shisha… And I’m putty in your hands!

And then…. Ub40 “I can’t help falling in love with you” song came on….this was our wedding song. I would love to say it was planned but nope it was god who staged it not the hubby. I kept staring at him thinking he will catch on, but nope, it fell on deaf ears…. Never mind had loads of surprises already today… Plan for rest of the day….. Absolutely “NOTHING’- just the way I like it.

Ladana Cafe details can be found here….. and they do Afternoon Tea!….. Afternoon Tea and Shisha!!!! (excitings)- Once the lockdown is over…. Ill definately be paying them another visit….. (added onto to-do list)

Love and regards

M11bna

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My Favourite Afternoon Tea Spots in the Midlands

I dont really know how or when I actually got into Afternoon teas. Ive always been a Tea Lover, I probably go through the day with atleast a dozen cups, its a fix for me. (and I wonder why my face is forever dehydrated). But what I do know is, since my first Afternoon tea, I was hooked. This was going to be a part of my lifestyle for sure.

In the last Decade the popularity of Afternoon Tea has grown. Initially being just for the older British generation, it now appeals to the younger generation, especially because its changed in focus. Its Quirky, its cute, its preety, and it is offered in the most picteresque locations from castles in middle of fields to the coffee shop’s next door. And its not just Tea and scones you are getting, as the list of delights in the menu of Afternoon Tea keep on increasing(no complaints from me).

Im always being asked by friends and family or general people who follow me on insta where a good afternoon tea spot is, so in Todays blog I will share with you some of my favourite Afternoon tea spots locally…. locally meaning the East Midlands, just a drive away from me guys,

1. Stapleford Park

A Grand Country House hotel, One of my most favourite and memorable Afternoon Teas EVER. This is a must for the best of the experiences. This Hotel sits in the middle of 500 acres of gardens and grounds. And it is glorious. Both inside and outside. If anyone asks me about Afternoon Tea, this is usually off the tip of my tongue.

We were greated at reception and were seated in what seemed like a large living area, full of beautiful sofas, couches, and some dining seats. For ourselves we were given a couch. I couldnt be more pleased.

The vegetarian sandwiches were delightful, the scones were fresh, warm and soft, generous portions of jam and cream were given, by far one of my best experiences.

What I loved the most, the quirkiest little details, like ‘Ring for Service’ button, the fireplaces, the piano… all for pictures…and I love photos!

Traditional Afternoon tea at Stapleford Park is £27.50 per person

Here’s the Webby: https://www.staplefordpark.com

2. Patisserie Valerie

When Patisserie Valerie started advertising that they are going to be doing Afternoon Tea, well I had to be there.

Here you get a choice between tea and coffee, and includes the scones with jam and clotted cream, finger sandwiches, quiches and a few variety of patisseries miniature classic desserts

At £25.00 for 2 people, you really cant go wrong with Afternoon Tea at Patesserie Valerie. Having said that they always have promotional Offers on, so keep an eye on Groupon and Wowcher, and grab yourself a deal and Afternoon Tea.

Here’s the Webby: https://www.patisserie-valerie.co.uk/

3. Coombe Abbey

Another Country House Hotel, set in the beautiful location of Coventry, with 500 acres of ground, once again its both beautiful on the outside and on the inside, especially because the rooms are filled with antiques and quirky details (I love details!!)

Afternoon Tea is set in a Garden Room Restaurant, (a huge conservatory type room) and it is beautiful. Tea is served Loose Leaf, and a variety of sandwiches are offered. And the desserts, too preety to Eat! The staff are attentive to our needs, and very helpful. A very Pleasant experience. I would consider going again for sure.

Afternoon Tea at Coombe Abbey is £29.95 per person, but once again keep an eye out on Groupon and Wowcher as there are always offers popping up

Here’s the Webby : https://www.coombeabbey.com/

4. Kilworth House

In Lutterworth, I was invited to a baby shower at Kilworth House where we had Afternoon tea. Kilworth House is a victorian Town House, once again a beautiful location.

Afternoon Tea is served in the Orangery, and what beautiful Orangery it is.

The Food is so preety from the scones, to the desserts, i dont think ive ever seen a selection of preety food like this. There is alot of detail to attention, as you can see from the pictures. And the Dishes used are so different to other Afternnon Teas, I loved the coloured stands (Need one for home)

Like all country houses, this is another house with so many photo points and details. (if only I knew I was going to blog when I went to these places, because I wouldve taken so many more pictures to show the details) (Another visit due?)

A visit to the bathroom is a must (I didnt take a picture! but do go! it is the preetiest bathroom ever).

Afternoon Tea at Kilworth house is £25.00 per person

Here’s the webby: https://www.kilworthhouse.co.uk/

5. Colwick Hall Hotel

And finally in Notthingham we have Colwick Hall Hotel, I found Colwick Hall afternoon Tea very different to the others, but just as delighful.

The grounds are beautiful, and well looked after, and inside its just as picteresque.

For our afternoon Tea we were given Soup aswell! so cute! with a crouton inside! Once again we were very well looked after, the staff were attentive to our needs

There are always offers on For Afternoon Tea online, and you can get it from £34.99 for 2 people.

Here’s the Webby : https://colwickhallhotel.com/

So there you go my top 5 Afternoon Tea places. Let me know if you pay a visit and how you found it x

Love and Regards

M11bna

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Eden Hall Spa

You guys know I Love Tea right? And Afternoon Tea in particuler? Urm….and I love spas… That’s silly, who doesn’t love spas?….

….so when I saw the Cream Tea Spa day at Eden Hall, well… it would be rude of me not to book it in…

Based only 30 minute drive away me and my little bundle of joy Sabina jumped into the car and made our way to Eden Hall for a day of total detox.

Well, what does this day include?

Its basically a full day to use Edens Halls facilities, which include the vitality pools, outdoor hot tubs and the various thermal rooms. We also have access to the gym, the relaxation rooms, and any additional classes they have going on the day. Lunch is included, as is robe and towels and we get a traditional afternoon tea with scones served in the conservatory.

The facilities can be used from 9am to 8pm

Knowing that we had the whole day to indulge, we left home just after 10.

On arrival we were overwhelmed by the size of the place, it is huge and beautiful and grand.

On entrance we were greeted by a lovely lady who took us around the whole venue, explaining everything in great detail, including, when the building was built, who lived in it, which room was used for what porpose…etc (all of which went in one ear and out of the other) but the thing that did remain is- that this was once a family home!…. I will say it again, one family lived in this entire place! have you seen how big it is? we got lost on so many occasions, and ONE family lived in here!!

We were booked in for lunch at 12.20, since it was nearly 11, we requested to have lunch first before we went into the spa, so that it doesnt interfere with our day. They kindly said they would arrange something, and if we would just change and then make our way down to the dining area once done.

The changing rooms are so spacious. You could get lost just in here, (did I mention a family lived here?). There’s large area for changing, and separate room for grooming, which have mirrors and hairdryers. There’s immense number of showers and the showers all have shampoos, conditioners and shower gels. So mine were kept in my bag.

We made our way back to the cosy dining rooms with our robes and slippers, The dining area is composed of small rooms all set up with tables and chairs, (you could actually tell here that it was a lived in house), and we were set up in the actual living room.

Lunch consisted of a selection of salads for starters, from the Veg option we went for the grilled Halloumi with rocket and watercress salad, roasted tomato, red onion and a sweet chilli dressing. And for dessert I went for the Lemon Posset with shortbread biscuit which was divine.

after this we made our way back down through the preety corridors to the spa, and time now to relax.

On entrance we are given a list of what to expect at the spa, and as you can see it truly is a unique experience. Anything that has the words cool, and cold were avoided!

My favourite; the Heat, Tropical and Cool Mist Experience- Ok I did say I avoided anything with cool and cold in it, and I did, but here I went in by mistake, had cool water poured on me, screamed and ran out! After that, I avoided it like the plague! (I dont do cold at all. Ever! and Storm Ciara is screaming outside so im trying to focus all my energy into you guys!)

The Heat and Tropical mist, was amazing, its a walk in shower like feature, you walk through these panels and when it senses your movement the showers open up, and the lights really put you into a different zone. I couldve sat here all day, but it wasnt a sitting feature unfortunately….

But there was a sitting feature which we both loved and that was the Foot and Shoulder massage seat. That truly made our day. We spent most of our time here. Its not one to be missed.

From the rooms experience, although all of them were great, my favourite has to be the salt room, probably because out of all the rooms it was the warmest, but also because of the brittle air you can almost feel the dirt and toxins etching away from your skin.

After having used the rooms to the fullest, we decided to catch abit of an afternoon nap, and the Eden Hall Day Spa Slumber lounge is the perfect spot for this. A room full of slumber beds, some single, some doubles and the best part, this:

The Hanging Pods, How cool are they? just the right amount of space for two people (I need one at home!!!). And there are baskets at every corner with blankets to get all cosy and snuggled up with. Me and sabina are quite use to snuggling up (shes going to kill me for this!) because she somehow always ends up getting us a double bed on our travels (hahahaha. Im dying!) so we jumped in. But shes a giggler and soon after a few people coughed, we knew we had to run out from there….. the only thing is we were booked in for the meditation class next,

The 3 seconds we didn’t laugh.

The meditation class ended up being a laughing class (I dont evan know what we were laughing about honestly) but we all walked out holding our sides because of stitches , that included our instructor, who ended up with more giggles than us. Thanking her though, because I really thought we were going to be kicked out. (I felt like a naughty teenager!). But we started something in that class. Im really sure Eden Hall will be looking at laughing classes to add to there list of classes soon.

Before we retired to our Afternoon tea, we headed straight to the outdoor jacuzzi’s and they were amazing. The heat of the water so warm you dont evan realise you are outside. We stayed in there until we were crinkly.

Now when you think of a spa- you always think of all the rooms, the treatments and the pool, but the one thing that made this spa experience different was the extras. After having used the facilities to our upmost we decided to head to the conservatory for our afternoon tea. This is part of the New Eden Hall, and the set up is beautiful. They have comfortable sofas that dig your body right into them, there are magazines available to read, blankets ready and waiting to devour your body and also HOT WATER BOTTLES!!! That the WINNER for me!!!. Here we were given our tea and scones and just unwinded evan more than in the spa. I should really really live here!

Leaving the place, I had to look back at this beauty one last time, it was such an amazing and relaxing day. It was sad to be leaving. I would love to stay here (Forever). It has to be one of the best spas I have been to, and I really do think other spas will struggle to try and compete with this. A day full of pure relaxtation, it would make a perfect valentine, mothers day, birthday gift for anyone.

Or like Me, Just treat Yourself. Everyone deserves that.

To book in here’s the webby : https://baronseden.com/eden-hall/blog

Hope you enjoyed our day with us.

Love and Regards

M11bna

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High Chaii

Another day to entertain. My friend Afreen was coming from Dubai. She works in Dubai for a broker firm, and pops over once or twice a year to catch up with her family and children. And US.

She lives in Dubai, I really can’t compete with that place to take her anywhere fantastic to spend time with her. Dubai is the hotspot of dining and wining. Also our weather is terrible. Yep she’s from UK, so is aware of this, but generally runs off to Dubai to get away from the weather here.

So I decided instead of taking her out, I would throw her a High Chaii party at mine. (High Chaii is the Indian equivalent to the british Afternoon tea). and that way I can make it that extra special.

So I invited a few of our friends over and I created this

Well firstly, I’m sure you know by now I have a love for cups- I’m talking about tea cups here. So I had a chance to show case my new teacups. I got these from my trip in India- and it goes so well with the theme.

Aren’t they soo pretty? (Smiling widely)

And now ill break down what I made.

This is something I improvised with. I don’t have a name for it, so please feel free. I basically chopped up onions and tomatoes and added salt, chilli powder, lemon juice, and ready made salsa. I deep fried poppadoms and put the onion mixture in the middle. And boy was it divine. Do try it. It’s mouthwatering.

A Fruit Platter. Always a must. Always pretty. Always colourful. Always in my parties!

Khaman. I ordered these, they are a yellow steamed cake made out of chick pea flour. It has a tangy and sweet flavour and goes soo well with green chutney.

Dahi Vada. These are deep fried lentil balls soaked in yoghurt topped with spicy and tangy chutneys, like green chutney and tamarind sauce. And then finished off with spice powders ( I can see you salivating). This is a traditional Indian street food. I served these up in cocktail glasses to give it a grandeur look.

Kheema pockets and Omelette rolls. The Omelette rolls are basically masala omelettes wrapped around a chappati. And I split this into two.

And the Kheema pockets, is minced meat cooked with Indian masalas, and then put into halved pitta nan’s with lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes. (Definately the biggest hits of the day. I may need to do a step by step blog on this).

Next up we had Punjabi vegetable samosas (which I bought) and home made mango puree and puris. The puris was made by a dear friend, they are an Indian deep fried bread which we dunk into the mango puree.

I also added some croissants, tea cakes, scones and marmalade.

And lastly

We had Tea, orange Juice and drinks because my dear guest does not like Tea. So I served her up some Pepsi in my wonderful tea cup.

And here is the beauty herself. Hope you enjoyed you High Chaii.

And to end it all we had to do our selfies. I mean what even is a party if there are no selfies right?

I hope you guys got some ideas for your next high chaii. Don’t forget to send me pics or tag me on social media.

Until the next one,

Love and Regards

M11bna

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Afternoon Tea at The Shard. London.

I Graduated.

I got married at the age of 18. I remember telling my husband that I wanted to continue studying, however we did not have the financial means for me to continue, and thus I had to give up my one and only dream.

Although at the time working was the only option for me, both I and my husband were aware that a part of my heart was missing. Yet we laughed, we lived, and we continued. During this time we had our two beautiful boys (Ugly, Hairy and spotty now), bought our very first home, and went on loads of holidays.

We came to a position in life, where we were comfortable, and I raised the fact that I wanted to finish off my studies. Although I couldnt physically go back to university as I couldn’t leave my job and my children were still young. I looked around for options and found The Open University, and started my journey.

The Open University is made for people like me who cannot commit to full time university and so I did my studying in blocks, part time.

After 6 years of studying, working, being a home maker and a mother, I conquered my dream.

I Graduated.

As a treat my two beautiful Soul Sisters Sabina and Katija treated me to Afternoon Tea at The Shard Shangri-La Hotel in London. We headed off with Baby Dumpling in tow on a Sunday Morning.

Afternoon Tea at the Shard Sangrai- La Hotel is served onthe 35th floor of the restaurant ‘Ting’. To access the restaurant we were guided to the lifts, which takes us straight up to the 35th floor in a matter of seconds. As soon as you step out of the lifts you get the amazing views straight away. We were taken to our table with a perfect view of Londons sky line.

Our Table and View.

Before we sat down, we were welcomed by our waitor, and also offered a stool for our bags which the cutest gesture EVER. (Naturally having come with Sabina we did wonder why one of the seats was ever so low and wondered whether they were planning to put the baby Dumpling on the floor?!! Guilty)

Baby Dumpling safely in Masi’s lap.

Before we got our menu we were treated to a ritual offered at the Ting called ‘Teh Tarik’ which involves the dramatic pouring of Dry Ice, and consumption of a malaysian type hot lemon drink. As you can see our preety little dumpling was fascinated with the Dry Ice.

We were then given a menu with the types of tea on offer and chose the following:

All of this came with mini sieves (I need to find these for my own home, they are the cutest) and it gives such a picteresque photo

For the food part we were given scones, which were covered in linen to keep the warmth with generous portions of clotted cream and jam

For sandwiches we were given by far the most colourful sandwiches I have ever seen in my life. From the Halal menu we had a selection of Cheese, Cucumber, Salmon, and Honey Roasted Chicken sandwiches. And lastly the divine desserts which included profiteroles and macarons.

And just to make my day that extra special the girls had arranged a treat of extra desserts for me for my graduation. Im not a ‘crying’ type girl (ask my husband he will tell you) but this did bring a tear to my eye.

Overall would I recommend the Afternoon Tea to you guys, YES! because the building, the views, the atmosphere, the food, the colourful sandwiches and the hospitality (I forgot to mention that they have heated toilet seats!! You have to go just for this!!) Are a must, and worth the experience.

Forever Grateful for the sisters in my life. You make life more beautiful every day.

Love and Regards

M11bna

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Bateaux London. Afternoon Tea on the River Thames.

Afternoon tea with a bit of difference. It just had to be done. I owed Sabina a treat for her birthday and it had to be.. Hmmm. …how can I put it?….. Different.

I think that’s the best way to describe it. We have a tradition now, we don’t give each other gifts anymore, I mean I feel like I have everything I want anyway, and if I don’t. I’ll go and buy it. So in terms of gifts- it gets really hard for us to buy each other…. Stuff.

So we made a tradition that we will just take each other out. We both love travelling, we love our days out, we love food….. So that ticks off some boxes….

When it comes to Sabina I know there’s one thing I can never go wrong with. Like me- she loves Afternoon Tea. Having already been to The Dorchester and Shard, it was looking difficult to find something to top it. Also she took me to Disneyland. I mean how can I top that (by the way, I still haven’t!)

And then I found this

Afternoon Tea on a Boat! OK, OK, I know…. She’s not keen on boats (or planes, or cars, or trains. I really don’t know how she gets out) . But I asked her first and she was super excited and agreed on the condition that she could wear her life jacket….. on board…. I went with it….

So now, a bit of “What is Bateaux London?”

Well. A boat trip on the River Thames, where we can see the highlights of London whilst enjoying Afternoon Tea. I mean like…. Where have I been all my life! And let me tell you the price… £46 per person. That includes the afternoon tea and the boat ride which is one hour and 15 minutes. How could I possibly go wrong?! ( I paid an extra £5 per person to get a window seat)

Our Journey

Me, Afsha, and Sabina headed off with Sabina’s life jacket in the boot of the car. We had to get to the Embankment Pier- which is just outside The Savoy. Lucky for us Afsha’s sister works near the Savoy- so parking was arranged for us. (She’s our new best friend. Yup Asma you heard it here. Hello Bestie! xxx)

After consoling Sabina with; ‘Yes, they will give us life jackets on the cruise if needed’, and ‘Yes, ofcourse! Theres a rubber dingy for each and every one of us’ and not to forget ‘The life jackets on the boats are so much more better than the one in the boot’. We headed off. Without the life jacket (Wahey!. I do love her little soul!)

Our meeting point was at the Embankment pier, Half an hour before our cruise was to leave we were taken in to a reception area- a large room on top of water, it had a bar for drinks, and generally a waiting area. Also a place for photos.

The cruise boat from the outside.
Boarding the cruise. Shes already holding on for her dear life!!!

And then we were seated, and our boat trip started. The layout was beautiful, the tables clean, pianist playing live music. All in all I couldn’t fault it. It looked fab. As soon as it started we were offered tea or coffee….

That was the only selection. Being Afternoon tea enthusiasts- well let’s say we have never been given only 2 options before.

We had our tea whilst watching the wonders of London go by.

Lets be fair, the Tea wasn’t the best. It was just Tea. I make better. Also the Afternoon Tea in general wasn’t that great either. Here’s what we were given:

For sandwiches we had egg sandwiches, and cheese and salad sandwiches (we had gone for the vegetarian option as the food is not halal on board) both of which were cold- I mean like just come of the the fridge cold and hard.

We had scones and clotted cream (in the plastic tubs) and jam.

And a selection of desserts, which also were not the best. But we were here for the experience and so enjoyed what we could .

In terms of the cruise itself, i have no complaints, it was amazing, the views were great, they served us quickly. When we asked for more tea, it was given quickly and I would definitely recommend the window seats! that is a must! Just do keep in mind that a stopover for food is needed after this one.

After we had our Afternoon tea (having left most of it behind). We headed on upstairs. Luckily for us the weather was beautiful.

Upstairs on the boat is a open top. its a really pretty set up, they have artificial grass on the floor, and benches running along the middle so you get to see London in all its Glory.

The perfect spot for our pictures, and i think we enjoyed this the best from the whole trip.

Me attempting a boomerang for my insta story- this is the best i could do.

So All in All- Would I recommend Bateux London to you? Yes I would. It is a very different experience of London, and its at a very affordable price for being in London.

The trip itself is a 1 hour 15 minute boat trip- all in all you need 2 and a half hours from boarding to unboarding, and the rest of the day is yours in London to do as you please. So we got a chance to do other preety cool things once we were there.

Like visiting the Twinnings shop- which was on the Strand- on the other side of the Savoy and a 15 minute walk down. Do visit this shop it is the preetiest tea shop I have ever seen.

We then used the tube to do some tube-hopping and ended up for a stroll in Harrods, and ended up eating at Burgeri in SoHO- which was Devine!!!! a must stop people. Get that ticked off on your to-do- list, and put it back on for next year- because I could, I would, and I will be going back.

And then we caught our last tube, and headed off home. Thats Sabina’s birthday trip done for last year, now I got to cover this years. Stay tuned guys.

Love and Regards

M11bna

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Afternoon Tea at the Edgbaston Boutique Hotel

Off on our adventures again, Sabina, Katija, Noor and myself decided to try the Afternoon tea at the Edgbaston Boutique Hotel in Birmingham. In general we try and keep things local so that we can go when kids head off at school and be back before they get back. Although Birmingham is not local for us Leicesterians, it’s local enough to fit within a 6 hour window between 9- 3.

Having heard numerous spoilers about this place, we needed to try it out ourselves, and may I say we were not dissapointed.

Decorated in a look taking us back to the 1920s, the black and gold chic interior- reminded me of the film The Great Gatsby, yet with a slight feline touch.

Being Christmas time again, it was decorated lavishly with dark green bold Christmas trees.

Beautiful ornaments set up in corners of the room.

The afternoon tea was set up in the same place as the cocktail bar, being the first ones in at 11, (that’s when they start the afternoon tea) there were only a few other people inside.

Evan the menu and the cutlery were in the same bold colours. It really felt like a lavish experience.

The afternoon tea started off with a special treat

This sweet treat given in a dramatic way, started our day off just right, the theatrical display of dry ice really got us into the mood. I’m not really sure what it was as I was too busy oohing and ahhing while the waitress was giving us our brief, but what I do remember is something Madagascan vanilla and (edible) lavender. And we were asked to try and guess the scent of the nitrogen oxide. Banana infused. Just a few teaspoon full of this dessert was just the right amount having us wanting more.

In terms of Tea-the Edgebaston use organic loose leaf Jing tea, we just were asked to choose our flavours: our options consisted of ; vanilla black, pure Assam, lemon, gunpowder among few others. These were accompanied by traditional.scones with strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream.

And then came our sandwiches and desserts,

Our sandwiches included Egg mayonnaise and watercress on freshly baked brioche.
Garlic butter, salmon and guacamole on crispy shortbread.
And lastly Lettuce and cucumber in homemade seed bread.
Our desserts included Fresh baked and Warm Apple crumble, Red velvet Cake pop drenched in white chocolate, and choc covered lamington cake.

These beautifully dainty sandwiches and lavishly decorated sweet treats were not just tasty but also visually appetising. We didnt want to touch them. They are a work of art. We took more time just taking photos than anything else, until one of us had to be the first one to take the plunge.

Our beautiful little doll enjoyed her sandwiches, and the waitors were wonderful and gave us warm milk for her.

At £25 a head (child free)this was an absolute steal, from the food to the entertainment, to the Beautifully decorated venue.

Would I go again? I loved it sooo much I went again with this lovely bunch couple of months later, and it was just as perfect as the first time.

My beaut sisters 💓

And I’d do it all over again. Who’s coming with me?

Love and regards

M11bna

Afternoon Tea at The Dorchester

I was introduced to ‘The Dorchester’ at age of 18. When I say introduced, I mean me and the hubby dearest went to London for a weekend to his aunt’s house, and she took us for a tour, one of the stops was here. And when I say stops I mean we parked outside and saw the hotel.

At that point in time, all I knew was that a cup of tea here was £30 (I’m assuming now that they were talking about afternoon tea), as I could hear aunt saying to her husband ” I’m still waiting for my cup of tea here,” and him replying “Well keep waiting, only silly people pay £30 for a cup of tea, and it’ll be English tea anyway, we won’t Evan like it”.

£30 for a cup of tea! It fascinated me, I needed to know more. At a time when minimum wage was £4.10 an hour, how were people affording this? And what was this place? I needed to know what this tea looked like, the colour, what it came in, the taste, the smell….Those yellow patio umbrellas stuck in my mind forever.

For a long time The Dorchester wasn’t mentioned, being an avid reader I stumbled upon Jackie Collins ‘Hollywood’ collection of books, I’m not sure which book it was, but on a few occasions, London and The Dorchester Hotel were mentioned within the book itself, once again the memory of the yellow parosols etched in my head.

Then 2009 came- the year of Britney Spears, and all across papers were pictures of Britney Spears walking in and out of The Dorchester. It was then that I knew The Dorchester was out of my league. It was a world for the celebrities. And a dream for a call centre worker (at that time).

My time came. December 2017. We booked ourselves in for Afternoon tea at “The Dorchester”. The excitement was real. My hubby who obviously has gone after his uncle was in disbelief that we would pay £70 for tea, but for me it was a dream come true. I was going to the place where Britney spears walks in and out, Jackie Collins had inspiration for her famous novels, where Brad and Angelina stay on visits to London. Where J.K.Rowling accepted her award for “Outstanding Achievement” for South Bank Show Awards. It was all so surreal. Giddy with excitement we wondered if we would meet any celebrities…

By we i mean Katija and Sabina and also we didn’t see any celebrities, but we did have a fantastic time. We arrived half hour early and were told to have a seat just outside the Promenade- perfect. The exact time we needed to take photos.

We came in December so it was dressed up and ready for Christmas.
Beautiful Christmas trees were set up in every corner
A mini figurine of The Dorchester sat at the entrance- all details incorporated inside including room details.
Waiting in reception for our tea…. Always a photo oppurtunity….
Lavishly decorated reception area, all in festive colours
Is it Evan real if there’s no bathroom selfie?

After exactly half hour we were shown to our table

The whole look and atmosphere was lavish, soft padded luxurious carpets as we walked down, every few feet a beautiful Christmas tree, draping curtains from ceiling to floors, beautifully decorated urns full of Evan more beautiful flowers. All the way down to soft padded comfortable seating. The atmosphere oozed with luxury.

Being Christmas time, it was the festive champagne afternoon tea, however on pre-booking we had advised that we do not drink alcohol therefore the champagne was not needed, and also we opted for the halal menu. They met our requirements kindly. Instead of champagne they gave us a non alcoholic festive berries mocktail.

For teas the variety was immense, I remember just reading and reading, I’m sure there were several pages full of various different kinds of teas, and we spent some time, scratching our heads to figure out what we wanted. In the end we settled for ‘ The Dargeeling’ and ‘Vanilla infused tea’ (the simplest ones) both of which were perfect having come from the freezing cold outside.

For sandwiches we were given an option of : (wait for it- this is long….) Montgomery cheddar and green onion on a caraway bread. (Cheese and onion basically). Smoked salmon, lemon balm, English wasabi, and avacado mayonnaise on malted grain bread (we will call this the salmon one). Baby cucumber and apple minted cream cheese on walnut bread (cucumber sandwich), and lastly Turkey, sage,and onion stuffing with mustard mayonnaise on an onion bread. (Turkey sandwich!) And no afternoon tea is complete without warm raisin scones, homemade strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream.

The difference between this afternoon tea, and afternoon teas anywhere else is that rather than it the food coming on a tiered stand – we had a Butler (Aaaaahhhhhhhh! that is what you call them? Isn’t it? , I wanted to take a photo of him, but felt it was rude to ask. 🙄)He Came with the sandwiches on a tray and we would say which ones we wanted. He would come every time he saw our plates empty, so sandwich’s were basically limitless. Initially this was really nice, “we have our own Butler (na na na na na).” After a little while we felt claustrophobic, like someone standing on top of us, everytime he came out, our conversation stopped. I don’t think it was a bad thing- I just think we are not use to that kind of attention.

Our Afternoon tea experience ended with a selection of desserts and pastries- this did come on a tiered stand

And so we got the perfect photo oppurtunity.

These petite desserts were so beautifully decorated, all dressed for the festive month. From cheesecake, the chocolate tart, to the santa cupcake, it was devoured instantly.

And to top it all off, our left overs were brought back in a presentable bag to take home.

When it comes to Afternoon teas- this is on the dearer side of the market, yet it is definately the most memorable afternoon tea ever. It does not get any better than this. The service was amazing, location cannot get any better, and food was very filling and tasty. It ticks all the boxes of an afternoon tea experience.

Hope you enjoyed my post as much as we enjoyed the experience.

To more afternoon teas….(glasses clink)

M11bna