Saturday, 18 February 2012

Afternoon Tea at The Hyatt

When my lovely friend invited me to afternoon tea at The Hyatt in Birmingham, I jumped at the chance. Is there any better way to start a week than by drinking tea, eating cake and gossiping? I doubt it...

When I looked out of my window on Monday morning, I couldn't help but smile. It was dreary, grey and drizzly, but I had CAKE to look forward to! Cake and lots of beautiful finger sandwiches. Ever since I had a traditional afternoon tea at The Manor House Hotel last Christmas, it has fast become one of my all-time favourite treats.

So, Monday afternoon finally here, we trudged along in the rain, suited and booted in our Sunday best. I was actually giddy with excitement as we wandered into the hotel - so much so that I almost walked head-first into the doorman, then into the door. Whoops.

The Hyatt Hotel
Perhaps my biggest surprise was actually stepping into The Hyatt, though. For anyone who has visited Birmingham, you will probably recognise the building quite well. It's a bit of a modern monstrosity, rising out of the drunken ashes of Broad Street. Loved by footballers, WAGs and politicians alike, I had never bothered to visit, despite having lived just five minutes away for many years.

Inside the restaurant
But, obviously you should never judge a book by its cover, because the hotel was beautiful inside. It was tastefully decorated and gorgeously light and airy. Big, leafy trees arched across the restaurant, while elegant white flowers (don't ask me which ones - I'm rubbish with flowers) were dotted across the room. It was like being at the royal wedding!

As soon as we had taken our seats, a huge platter came whizzing out, full of delicate finger sandwiches, light and airy scones and teeny tiny cakes. It was so pretty that neither of us could stop staring at it. Doesn't it always seem a little sad to eat things that are that pretty?

We were treated to a huge selection of sarnies - roast beef and horseradish sauce, smoked salmon and cream cheese, tuna, and many many more. I was full just from gorging on that lovely lot!

Of course, despite my full belly, I didn't skip the cakes. Who would? I immediately ploughed into my scones (yes, plural - they were lighter than air and impossible to resist!), smothered in clotted cream.

Next up was a miniature tarte au citron, decorated with delicate flakes of freeze-dried raspberries and white chocolate. It was like an explosion in my mouth! It really was that yummy...refreshing, fruity, and delicate as anything, it was just how puddings should be.

Miniature Tarte Au Citrons and Chocolate Florentines
On we went, eating our way through Chocolate Florentines and a posh jam sandwich (sweet bread, layered with cream, jam, blackberries and a chocolate leaf), with barely a break to talk. To me, that's always a good sign - if dinner is really, really good, who wants to waste time talking?! Said like a true fatty.

The fanciest jam sandwiches you will ever see
Despite my ever-expanding stomach, I was rather sad by the time we had finished and came to leave. I'd really, really enjoyed myself. Who would have thought you could have such a relaxing, chilled out afternoon right on Broad Street?

Definitely one to recommend...

Sam x

Afternoon tea for two costs from £19pp at The Hyatt. Check it out here