Cost – £22.50 plus VAT!! (Dec 2017)
Background – We wanted to try to have one last Festive Afternoon Tea before Christmas. We knew that whatever we had following the wonderful Tea at the Woburn Coffee House would be a bit of a let down but we thought we would see what we could find! Our first choice was to try the new Hotel Tamburlaine in Cambridge, which was advertising a Festive Afternoon Tea. However, when we rang them, we were informed they were closed for the week!!
We chose Hotel du Vin instead because it would be relatively easy to get to during the last mad few shopping days before Christmas. We managed to park on a reasonably cheap (for Cambridge) meter not far away and walked to the hotel for our Tea.
Contents – One largish rectangular turkey and cranberry sandwich, a small cheese and ham croissant, an open sandwich of smoked salmon and cream cheese on rye bread, a cheese and green stuff (not able to identify) quiche, an egg mayonnaise mini sub, and a tomato and onion salsa galette. One medium sized fruit scone and one medium sized plain scone, a mini Bonne Maman jar of strawberry jam and a small dish of clotted cream. A mini mince pie, a small glass of gin and tonic sorbet, a mini lemon meringue pie, a chocolate covered marshmallow teacake, I small jam doughnut and a stick of blue candy floss! The tea was made with loose tea leaves. We were also given a jug of iced tap water.
Comments – We were seated in the window of the Bistro on the ground floor of the hotel.
The table was laid ready for us with a linen table cloth and chunky white china.
I thought this was a bit of a shame as, when we visited the hotel on a previous occasion (see review), there was some very pretty blue and white china in use. I hope the chunky white china is only for use in the Bistro. There was a lovely Christmas tree in the entrance way but very little decoration in the restaurant.
The tea arrived quickly in individual round chunky white china teapots with a milk jug between us.
The savoury section arrived soon after the teapots. We were each given a large round black plate containing six savoury items. There was an interesting mix of savoury items, all of which were good. My favourite would have to be the turkey and cranberry sandwich which was well filled and was a good size.
After we had finished the savoury section, we had to wait some time before the rest of the Afternoon Tea was served to us, despite there only being one other table in use in the room! Eventually we were served with a two-tier metal cake stand with pretty glass plates. It looked impressive due to the two sticks of blue candy floss sticking out of the top!
The scones were of a medium size. They were of the smoother, less homemade looking variety but were still tasty. There was not enough jam to cover both scones and there was barely enough clotted cream.
We felt that the sweet part of the Afternoon Tea let it down a bit. The gin and tonic sorbet was interesting and unusual but the mince pie was a mass produced one, the doughnut was rather undercooked inside and the lemon meringue pie was almost tasteless! The chocolate covered teacake was not bad and the candy floss was a good fun and different end to the Tea.
On arrival we had been presented with a box of teas for us to choose from. We both chose the Assam tea. The tea was about the right strength for us both but we both found it to be a bit too cold. One pot was refilled later but that was also not really hot enough.
The service was very good to start with but there appeared to be a shift change. From then onwards the service was very slow and we struggled to get served.
Bizarrely, when we paid the bill, VAT appeared to have been added on as an extra! Unfortunately we didn’t notice this until too late.