Emma

by Emma

You already know that I am a self-confessed afternoon tea addict, so when Dani (my usual partner in crime for such activities) suggested a bargainous afternoon tea in Oxford to brighten a Sunday afternoon in February – I was fully onboard.

Now, I have to confess that so adept am I at saying yes these days, that I sometimes forget to fully absorb the details. So it wasn’t until  we were en route to our afternoon treat that I remembered that this particular outing involved afternoon tea with a difference: a dim sum afternoon tea.

The venue was the Crazy Bear just outside Oxford, and the results were utterly spectacular.

The Crazy Bear is a pretty awe-inducing place itself. You arrive in a vast carpark, with a double decker bus greeting you as the reception for the hotel component. For those making a more fleeting visit, you enter a small door to the side and are greeted by lush leather clad walls, and opulent decor.

We were guided down some steps into a cute little snug….

…and from there things got even better.

Though they also serve traditional afternoon tea, the signature cuisine at the Crazy Bear is Thai and so the dim sum offering is particularly fitting.

We snacked on crackers and dip while we waited for the main event.

Afternoon tea with a twist, Dim Sum afternoon tea, Crazy Bear Oxford, via Year of the Yes

It quickly became apparent that there was nothing traditional about this afternoon tea, as the standard hot drink offering was replaced with a raspberry ripple cocktail – served in a teapot!

Afternoon tea with a twist, Dim Sum afternoon tea, Crazy Bear Oxford, via Year of the Yes

Afternoon tea with a twist, Dim Sum afternoon tea, Crazy Bear Oxford, via Year of the Yes

So delicious, with such a kick that I had to give half of mine to Dani to maintain my responsible driver composure.

Afternoon tea with a twist, Dim Sum afternoon tea, Crazy Bear Oxford, via Year of the Yes

Then arrived the food. Served in towers of bamboo steamers, we were presented with a variety of dumplings.

Afternoon tea with a twist, Dim Sum afternoon tea, Crazy Bear Oxford, via Year of the Yes

We started with shiitake mushrooms… and then moved on to a more fishy affair, crab and lobster with a scollop on top.

Afternoon tea with a twist, Dim Sum afternoon tea, Crazy Bear Oxford, via Year of the Yes

Next up were some deliciously rich venison pastry dumplings (Dani’s personal favourite).

Afternoon tea with a twist, Dim Sum afternoon tea, Crazy Bear Oxford, via Year of the Yes

And then my all time favourite – barbecue pork dumplings. I have loved these since I visited a dim sum restaurant with a chinese friend many moons ago, and since I have always heralded them as ‘little clouds of heaven’, so I was delighted to see them on the menu.

Afternoon tea with a twist, Dim Sum afternoon tea, Crazy Bear Oxford, via Year of the Yes

Now afternoon tea wouldn’t be complete without a sweet offering, would it? And Dim Sum afternoon tea is no different – with a custard dumpling that was sweet and moorish without being too sickly.

Afternoon tea with a twist, Dim Sum afternoon tea, Crazy Bear Oxford, via Year of the Yes

This has to be one of my all-time favourite afternoon tea experiences – it was quirky and different without neglecting to deliver on flavour and quality.

I would wholeheartedly recommend it – in fact I haven’t stopped thinking about it since we went!

Afternoon tea with a twist, Dim Sum afternoon tea, Crazy Bear Oxford, via Year of the Yes

We got the offer on Groupon and paid around £19 each, but the standard cost of a dim sum afternoon tea is usually £29.50 per person and you can opt for a traditional afternoon tea for the same price. Whilst I would advise going for the alternative – the towers that we saw of the traditional option did look lovely, and the surroundings are well worth the visit even if you don’t want to walk the tentative line between afternoon tea and dim sum.

yes links

THE CRAZY BEAR // AFTERNOON TEA AT THE CRAZY BEAR

About the Author

Emma loves sunshine and flip flops, prosecco, chocolatey treats, things that sparkle, trips to the beach, reading and blogging.

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