An invitation to sample the latest delights of the Hotel La Tour Best of British Afternoon tea menu is one that simply cannot be refused. So, last Tuesday, taking my mom along as a special treat, I paid a visit to what is fast becoming the destination in Birmingham for ladies who lunch in style.
Hotel La Tour is a beautiful, independent hotel in the heart of the city. It manages to cleverly combine it’s very modern design with the element of cosiness that makes it the perfect venue for enjoying a girlie catch-up, with sumptuous cocktails and delicious deserts thrown in for good measure. We were there to sample the afternoon high tea, which had new additions added especially for High Summer.
The range of teas and coffee on offer are excellent, although as a bit of a tea bore I always opt for English breakfast, which I can frankly polish off by the pot (actually, that’s just what I did, come to think of it…), but what really makes the experience is the opportunity to start with a cocktail. I stuck to my favourite, the frothy 1889, whilst mom was a little more adventurous and tried a new concoction, the aptly topical Little Prince, which she pronounced ‘light and delicious’. Cocktails out of the way, it was time to proceed to the main attraction – the food.
One of the greatest things about Hotel La Tour’s afternoon tea is that the savoury elements taste just as amazing as the sweet. The sandwiches, crustless of course, were sublime, in particular, the creamy Coronation Chicken (the other options were smoked salmon, cucumber and Ham and Mustard – all great incidentally). The Welsh Rarebit dip was just delicious, with the creaminess of the cheese perfectly offset by the sharpness of the mustard. This was proclaimed an absolute triumph by all the diners sampling it that day – my mom was actually going to ask for the recipe, it was simply that good.
From the savoury to the very, very sweet. An afternoon tea isn’t complete without scones, cream and jam, and at Hotel La Tour, this is just the perfect cream tea. Fruit and plain scones are both included, with a deliciously fruity strawberry jam, and thick, totally naughty clotted cream, the sort that makes you want to lick the knife (which I didn’t do, just in case you’re wondering.)
And finally, it was onto the deserts. The macaroon was simply pouring with chocolate, making it one of my favourites of the sweet treats, but it was pipped by the ingenious shortbread Jammie Dodger, complete with a tremendous blackcurrent jam and shortcake biscuit base. I think I actually feel in love with this, it was that good.
The Hotel La Tour afternoon tea is a culinary treat, and at £18.95 per person, it is reasonably priced for what is a truly lovely treat.