Cost – £25.00 for two (June 2016)
Background – We decided quite late in the day to try and have an afternoon tea. Obviously it had to be reasonably local. Our first choice was Marks and Spencer at the Beehive Centre in Cambridge as they were doing a special afternoon tea in honour of the Queens ninetieth (official) birthday. However, when we got there they had run out of some of the elements so we had to go elsewhere. We decided to try the Patisserie Valerie at the Grafton Centre (we have two Patisserie Valerie in Cambridge).
To be honest, we were not over keen to try this venue as we have been before and were not overly impressed. However, having decided on an afternoon tea so late our choices were limited. Hopefully this would be a better experience.
Contents – 5 finger sandwiches (egg and cress, ham and spinach, smoked salmon and cream cheese, cucumber and chicken, pesto and sundried tomato), a tiny round quiche, 1 fruit scone and 1 plain scone, a small pot of jam, a small pot of clotted cream, a mini eclair each, plus (to share) a mini Victoria sponge, a mini piece of carrot and walnut, a mini berry mousse slice and a mini chocolate slice. Pot of your choice of tea (refillable).
Comments – We were shown to a table right at the back of the building. It was quite late in the day but there were still several tables being used.
The tea was served first in 2 smallish green teapots with individual milk jugs. The rest of
the tea was served on a three tier stand with round white plates.
The sandwiches were reasonably fresh and tasty and were adequately filled. There was a good variety of fillings and a mix of brown and white breads. The tiny quiche appeared to have been heated in a microwave machine but was cold and spongey.
The scones were good, tasty and fresh but quite small. There was a choice of mini Bonne Maman jams (including, oddly, marmalade!). The amount of clotted cream was just barely adequate.
The cakes were all small but moist and reasonably tasty. However, it does annoy me when you are given only one of each thing and have to either split them all or argue over who gets what. We always split ours evenly which means you end up with a tiny bite of each piece of cake.
Tea was loose leaf contained in a cage in the teapot and we were able to obtain a refill. The tea was hot enough to start with and was not too strong. However, it got cold quite quickly. Service was average.