Cost – £13.50 (April 2014)
Background = The Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton is one of our favourite hotels. We have stayed there several times. It partially overlooks the waterfront in Southampton where the big cruise ships dock. If you are lucky with your room you can wake up in the morning and there will be a massive ship across the road! These huge ships arrive so silently it is like magic.
The hotel is an interesting modern building with a huge triangular glass panel facing onto a roundabout on West Quay Road. Behind this glass panel is the atrium, a large airy open area with comfortable seating adjacent to the bar area. This is where the afternoon tea is served.
Contents – A tuna wrap halved between us, a smoked salmon and cucumber club sandwich (triangle), one egg and one ham and tomato small bridge roll. 1 fruit scone and 1 plain scone each, a tiny pot of Frank Coopers strawberry jam, a pot of clotted cream, a piece of banana cake, a piece of rocky road, a piece of parkin and a choux swan, a refillable pot of tea (bags).
Comments –The Afternoon Tea was served in the impressive Atrium Bar in the hotel where we sat on comfortable chairs looking out of the glass side. It was served on a two tier spindle cake stand with slate plates. The tea was in a white china teapot.
It was really nice to see a mix of bread, rolls and wrap. The mix of different types of sandwiches made this afternoon tea a little bit different. The sandwiches, etc. were all very fresh and well filled.
The scones were warmed through which meant that the two that were flat on the slate of the cake stand had got slightly soggy bottoms by the time we got around to eating them. There was not enough jam for two scones each but there was just enough clotted cream. The scones were reasonably small, but as there was one of each this was plenty enough. They were tasty despite the slight sogginess of two of them.
The pieces of cake were all of a reasonable size and were very tasty. The only exception was sadly the choux swan. The choux pastry was very dry indeed. This might have been due to the way it had been made. However, it did look good and made a great top to the tea when it was on the stand.
There was a choice of teas (we chose our usual English Breakfast). The tea was made with tea bags and was refillable.
The variety of cakes and desserts was excellent and the amount was just manageable. Just how I like it! Service was reasonably attentive.