Last month I wrote a review of Café Royal, the place I had originally wanted to be my first blog post but I chickened out of taking any photos, because I was a scaredy cat. This has been one of my favourite places in Newcastle since my lovely friend Heidi introduced me to it back in 2003.
I’ve eaten breakfast, brunch and lunch there on countless occasions, stopped for a coffee or a pot of tea and a slice of cake after traipsing around town on a busy Saturday afternoon, but I’ve never been for afternoon tea… Until now!
Afternoon Tea is served from 2.30-5.30, Monday-Friday and costs £25 for two with tea or coffee and £30 for two with Prosecco. We opted for tea and coffee, this won’t surprise anyone who knows me. My mum (who is incidentally a veggie) was my dining companion and I was very interested to see what would be on the menu for her. She’s not a fussy vegetarian, she just appreciates it when there’s an effort made for veggies, rather than a cheese or egg & cress sandwich.
We were shown to a table upstairs (I’ve never sat there before) and I was very happy to see there was a nice little spotlight in the ceiling right above my chair – no dark photos.
Our menus were laid out in front of us so I thought we had to make some choices but was informed we got one of everything on the menu. At this point I realised I was pretty hungry. There were a few things on the menu that I was excited to try, things I’ve not eaten a lot, like smoked trout, crab and blue cheese.
Mum’s menu looked great too, I could tell she was impressed before the food had even arrived – that’s quite some feat, seriously.
Now for the food photos!
Wild mushroom, red pepper relish & goats curd granary roll
Pickled beetroot, horseradish cream & beetroot blini
Spiced crab & coriander tart
Caramelised shallot tart tatin with mordon blue cheese
Courgette, feta & coriander pancake
Smoked trout, horseradish cream & beetroot blini
Chorizo, manchego & romesco on toasted focaccia
Caramelised onion & mature cheddar scone
Lemon & passion fruit custard tart
Chocolate & Earl Grey cake
Coconut & mango rice pudding with pistachio
I realise there are a lot of photos but the food was so well presented, I got carried away. It happens.
My absolute favourite savoury item was the smoked trout, horseradish cream & beetroot blini. I’ve never (knowingly) eaten trout before, it was delicious – not too smokey and just perfect, paired with the horseradish cream. SMOKED TROUT. Who knew?! Mum’s favourite was the courgette, feta and coriander pancake.
The trio of desserts were little morsels of decadence. It’s too hard to pick a favourite, not that anyone is actually asking me to do that, but if I could eat one right now it would be the lemon & passion fruit custard tart. The coconut & mango rice pudding with pistachio was mum’s favourite. She had left the chocolate & earl grey cake until last and said she was too full to eat it, one second later I heard her say ‘ooh it’s not too chocolatey and you can really taste the earl grey’. Delicious.
I love the variety & combination of things on the menu. I also love the thought that’s been put into this afternoon tea, it’s not like anywhere else I’ve been. There’s nothing wrong with those afternoon teas of course, it’s just refreshing to see something entirely different.
Exciting news… I’ve been informed by head chef Gavin that they’re launching High Breakfast very soon, an afternoon tea type of concept for breakfast – this could possibly be my favourite thing ever. Keep your peepers peeled for news on when that’s launching!
I really enjoyed afternoon tea at Café Royal and I’ll definitely be back (let’s be real, I’ll be there for brunch in-between afternoon tea visits), if you’re looking for a new place to try afternoon tea I think this is just the ticket. Make sure you call up and book beforehand! Would love to hear what you think if you go or have already been.
* This afternoon tea was free of charge for review purposes, but as with everything on my blog, my opinions are 100% honest*