Saturday, 27 February 2016
Afternoon Tea at St Michael's Manor, St Albans
It was my Mum's 70th in January, and my sister Becky and I organised a weekend of treats for her to celebrate. Typically for us, they all revolved around food - brunch at The Beech House, dinner at Loch Fyne and finally afternoon tea at St Michael's Manor. Out of the four of us - my niece also came along - I think I was the only one who'd been for afternoon tea before, which made me realise that I'm spoiled - I feel like I go a lot! Perhaps it's a blogger thing - it's definitely been a theme at more than one event.
This was my first visit to St Michael's Manor, and it didn't disappoint. It's a beautiful, grand hotel which is a little surprising as it's tucked away down narrow little Fishpool Street. Sadly it was pouring with rain, but I'm hoping to go back in better weather to explore the grounds - they looked absolutely gorgeous. We were seated in the Lake Restaurant and ordered the Full Afternoon Tea, which included scones, cakes and sandwiches, plus a choice of tea. Rather than getting the Champagne Afternoon Tea, which includes a glass each, we ordered a bottle of prosecco to share instead... because we knew we'd want more than one glass of fizz, obvs.
It was a lovely experience - the service was excellent, the setting was beautiful and the food was fabulous. The sandwiches included salmon, chicken and cucumber, and they kindly substituted the salmon for extra cucumber for my sister and I as we don't eat fish (extra chicken would have been preferred, but that's okay). A pretty simple selection, but everything was well prepared and beautifully fresh.
The scones were warm and beautifully made. I thought they'd said they were half plain, half with dried fruit, but they all seemed to be plain! Not a problem as there were some raisin-haters in our party, though.
The scones came with jam, lemon curd and lots of clotted cream. I tried them all - obviously - and have to say that I'd rather stick with the classic jam'n'cream combo. The lemon curd was delicious, but a little sickly.
Oooh, and the cakes - an excellent selection of cakes. These change regularly, but on our visit included a super rich and dark chocolate tart, incredible vanilla and raspberry macarons, and creamy mille feuille. Everything was amazing, and they even let us take our leftovers home too, including the extra tart they bought out for my Mum's birthday, which was a lovely touch.
It was a lovely afternoon in beautiful surroundings, as I think afternoon tea always SHOULD be. At £19.50 a head, I think that's fairly standard (I've seen much pricier ones out there), and it was absolutely worth it given the setting, the service and the delicious food. I always sneak a peek at the menu when I walk past St Michael's Manor, and am dying to go back to try out an evening meal too. Maybe next time I'm feeling swanky.
St Michael's Manor is at Fishpool Street, St Albans AL3 4RY. I was not compensated for this honest review.
© Essbeevee | Hertfordshire, London, St Albans, Tring food, lifestyle, interiors & travel blog. All rights reserved.