You see, I am a bit of an afternoon addict, so you will definitely notice it creeping in a lot more in the future.
It’s strange really, because I don’t drink tea. But I do love cake, and it has that in abundance. And I am always up for upgrading to a glass of bubbly to make-up for my inadequacies in the tea drinking arena. So when my friend Dani and I were looking for things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon, afternoon tea was the obvious option.
As a former literature student, the Royal Shakespeare Company provided a venue with suitable stature, and at £42 for an Rooftop Champagne tea for two it was a treat that wouldn’t break the bank (particularly in afternoon tea terms, these things can get pricey).
We were exceptionally lucky with our choice of weekend, Spring had firmly sprung. It was warm enough to don the sunnies and wander around the beautiful Stratford-upon-Avon in the sunshine before we descended upon RSC.
The scenery was incredible, I have long held the view that Stratford-upon-Avon in the sunshine takes some beating – but the views on the ground were nothing in comparison to the spectacle that greeted us in RSC’s rooftop bar. The view from the balcony was beautiful and serene – perfectly fitting for high tea sophistication.
A glass of champagne was merely an entree to the delicate delights – we were presented with a tiered cake stand, which housed a selection of traditional finger sandwiches. Fillings included smoked salmon, roast beef, chicken and tarragon, egg and ham.
The savoury element of afternoon tea is sometimes viewed as a necessary bystander – setting you up for the sweet treats ahead but by no means the main event. I tend to disagree with this, my favourite afternoon teas are always those that do the savoury element really well. RSC stuck with tradition but the sandwiches were tasty and freshly prepared.
Fresh was a theme that followed through with freshly baked scones – they were soft and light, with an option of plain or fruit. I greedily wolfed both down, of course.
Then of course there was the piece de resistance – walnut cake, passion fruit macaroons, lemon curd pavlova, truffle chocolate cake and carrot cake. (Plus an espresso shot, but due to my aforementioned weirdness, that wasn’t really up my street).
Whilst the cakes were delicious, it was the fruity favours that really shone in this selection – the lemon curd pavlova was a unanimous favourite. Sharp and tangy with a sugary zesty flavour that lingered on your palette. The passion fruit macaroons also packed a punch, with the perfect balance of soft and crunch, and poignant flavours.
The only slight criticism I would have of our experience was the attention to detail – we had to prompt for the jam to go with our scones, and the mint tea that Dani ordered never did arrive. In fairness, we didn’t remind anyone because we were so engrossed in deliciousness and the fact that it didn’t really taint our experience should really speak highly of the food itself. And after all, that’s what we are all there for – love of food. That and the bubbly, of course.
All in all I would highly recommend this as a treat if you are in the Warwickshire area. Whether rain or shine, it’s a great way to experience some of Stratford-upon-Avon’s culture, scenery and culinary delights.
Make this one of your yeses
You can view the full menu and booking details on the Royal Shakespeare Company’s website.