Cost – £24.99 for two people (Jan 2020) (£15 with a voucher from buyagift.co.uk)
Parking and Access – There is a good amount of parking in a multi-storey car park nearby. However, Bella Italia is one of the furthest venues away from the parking. There is a drop off point at the opposite end of the square, which is a bit nearer to the restaurant. Access to the building is flat. The toilets are at the rear of the building with level access and with a separate disabled toilet.
Background – We had spotted previously that Bella Italia was offering an Italian themed Afternoon Tea, but had not got around to trying it out. However, we received an email mentioning a January sale on buyagift.co.uk vouchers. We had a look, and one of the available vouchers with an extra £10 off was one for the Bella Italia Afternoon Tea. At £15 for the two of us, it would have been rude not too!
There are three branches of Bella Italia in Cambridge. We chose the branch at the leisure park simply because it has parking reasonably nearby.
Contents – One pizzetta cut into two halves (choose from rocket, red pepper and goat’s cheese, mozzarella, parma ham and rocket, or mozzarella and rocket). One small ‘panescone’ (a scone made with panetone), a mini Bonne Maman pot of strawberry jam between two and a small pot of mascarpone cream. One piece of each of the following between the two of us. A finger of cherry cheesecake, a triangle of chocolate brownie, a finger of Tiramisu and a mini dessert of fruit topped panna cotta. Pot of your choice of teas from a choice of four.
Options Available – This Afternoon Tea is available Prosecco or Gin.
Comments – We were shown to a table near the back of the virtually empty restaurant.
The table was laid with a paper napkin topped with a knife and fork each. We were also given a copy of the Afternoon Tea menu.
We were then asked for our choice of tea and which type of pizzetta we would like. As usual, we both chose English Breakfast tea.
The tea arrived in individual white teapots, along with a small white jug of milk each. The tea was of a good strength and was made with teabags.
The Afternoon Tea itself arrived on a plain metal three tier cake stand with round white plates.
Each pizzetta was cut into two halves. It was warm and tasty but was not very big.
The panescones were small and warm. There was enough of both strawberry jam and mascarpone cream due to the small size of the scones. It was fun to try scones made from panettone, and the mascarpone cream gave them an interesting flavour. However, they were very small and it would have been better for there to have been two each.
The cake part of the Afternoon Tea did not match that offered on the menu. There was meant to be a strawberry cheesecake but we were given cheesecake topped with, what looked like, tinned cherry pie filling. Also, the panna cotta was meant to be topped with a mango, strawberry and passionfruit salsa. Again, there was no strawberry present. However, the panna cotta was nice. The other two items were as advertised. The Brownie was good but was ridiculously small for the two of us. Each item was ok but there was so little of it. It would have been far better to have received a piece of each item for each person.
Service was distinctly average. When we had finished the pizzettas our plates were covered with tomato and onion. We had to search around the restaurant, which was empty by that point, to find a waiter to request a clean plate.
We were happy with the Afternoon Tea as we had only paid £15 for the two of us. We had seen a voucher from Buyagift advertised with £10 off the usual price. However, neither of us felt we would have been happy to have paid £25 for the two of us (the usual price for a voucher). I later discovered the Afternoon Tea is actually £24.99 without a voucher, so I would have been even more unhappy had I paid £25. Ok, I know it is only a penny more. But I didn’t feel it was worth the money anyway, so that penny would have been even more annoying.