What do you get when you invite a group of bloggers along for tea and cake in a gorgeous Birmingham hotel? A bloody lovely afternoon that’s what! And that’s exactly what happened the other week when Hotel La Tour invited us over for Afternoon Tea* in their incredibly cool Alvar Bar on a chilly Spring Sunday. Located just behind the bullring, Hotel La Tour and it’s contemporary style is in a fantastic position for anyone looking to stop in the city and their Alvar Bar is perfect for a few cocktails before painting the town red, or for any keen foodies to enjoy a spot of afternoon tea with friends!
We were greeted at the door with a glass of cold prosecco and led to the lounge area where tables were set out with teacups, plates and a lovely little present of naughty truffles to take home. I went along with a bloggin buddy and it gave us a great excuse to catch up after not seeing each other for a while as well as meeting new faces at the event too. Socializing was in full swing when our tea orders were taken and the afternoon feasts began to roll out of the Hotel La Tour kitchen…get ready ladies, it’s cake time!
I’m an Earl Grey kinda girl when it comes to Afternoon Tea so that was my poison with Charl picking a pot of peppermint for hers. There was hardly room on the table for our giant teapots – we certainly weren’t running out of tea any time soon, fab! I’m not too fussed if my tea comes loose leaf or not, although it’s nice to have the option. Here we had a selection of interesting full leaf teas in bags which were lovey although i could have done with chucking another bag in my pot with it being so huge!
The Hotel La Tour Afternoon Tea is beautifully dainty with petite cakes, scones and neatly cut sandwiches. They also include an extra savoury side which i appreciate a lot – sometimes afternoon tea can be a little top heavy with the sugar so some savoury nibbles go down ever so well. Looking at our towers it was nice not to feel overwhelmed by the size and amount of food in front of us…i still ended up with a cake doggy bag with me though – how is afternoon tea always so filling!
On the sandwich front there were two selections – vegetarian and meat. Between us Charl and I ordered one of each so we could share as there were flavours in each we liked the sound of. From your more traditional Egg & Cress, Ham and Tomato and Cream Cheese and cucumber to some more interesting slices of Tarragon Chicken with Lemon Mayonnaise and Hummus, Caramelised Onion and Feta, the sandwiches were lovely and very well made. On the side there was a choice of Welsh Rarebit with Brioche Croutons or Hummus with Onion Marmalade. We had both and they were a welcome addition – that rarebit was heaven and i could it it all over again…and again!
Whilst we were all tucking into our cakes we were serenaded by a live pianist and singer followed by a very talented guitarist and it was a lovely touch. It created such a relaxed atmosphere and resulted in one of the most pleasant afternoon tea experiences i’ve had so far. Hotel La Tour have live lounge sessions on Fridays and Saturday nights in the Alvar Bar from 7pm-11:30pm (and live music Saturday and Sunday from 2pm-5pm for your cake eating!) and it really is the ideal place to sit and relax with a glass of champers before a night out on the town.
Let’s talk scones. For me these are the most important part of an afternoon tea – they should be big, soft and fresher than fresh with loads of clotted cream and jam to boot! Fitting in with the dainty theme at Hotel La Tour the scones weren’t the biggest i’ve ever seen, but their smaller size meant it would be feasible to try both the fruit and plain versions without popping at the seams! They were a little on the hard side for me but with a dollop of fresh clotted cream and that sweet sweet jam they were a pleasure with my Earl Grey.
Cake wise we had an adorable selection – both a little different depending on the vegetarian and meat sandwich choices. With mini flapjacks, lime cheesecakes, dark chocolate tortes and more there was a lovely selection and just the right size for a final tier! I fell in love with the bakewell slice which was gorgeous and the lime cheesecake was right up my street! Charl opted for the dark chocolate square and some flapjacks which i hear were delicious too – some of the most adorable cakes i’ve seen on an afternoon tea excursion, bravo!
After another glass of fizz and an Earl Grey refill we made our goodbyes and headed off for some extra drinkies in the Mailbox! What a lovely afternoon and a great way to catch up with friendly faces and meet new ones as well – thank you very much to Hotel La Tour for inviting me and for a wonderfully indulgent and relaxing afternoon.
Fancy yourself some scones? Why not book in for a Hotel La Tour Afternoon Tea at £19.95 per person.
Have you tried Hotel La Tour’s Afternoon Tea? Which was your favourite mini cake?
Tweet me @xameliax #hotellatourtea
* Hotel La Tour organized a blogger’s afternoon tea and invited us down for a complimentary afternoon filled with cake, tea and great company. All opinions are of course my own, as always.