Super impressed with the fantastic level of customer service we all met in York last weekend and headed back to give the Cedar Court Grand another visit.
Afternoon Tea is served in a beautiful room overlooking the historic city walls of York. I was pretty jealous of some of the young couples who had prime position window seats so if I were ever to go back I'm definitely requesting my tea with a view.
As there were 7 of us, we were never going to all fit round a window so instead we were sat at a nice big table with plenty of room. The atmosphere was very peaceful, the silence only broken by the odd spoon stirring tea. I'm not sure it remained quite as serene for the rest of the afternoon when we arrived, giddy at the promise of delicious food.
Picture c/o the lovely Simone
The Grand offers a choice of 5 afternoon teas including a Champagne Afternoon Tea, Gin and Tonic Afternoon Tea and, as a lovely little touch, a Children's Afternoon Tea.
Sometimes I'm quite tempted to add something sparkly to my afternoon tea but on this occasion I stuck to the standard "Grand Afternoon Tea".
We were given a big choice of teas to choose from which I enjoyed reading through but as usual ordered "English Breakfast". Maybe one day I will be brave and try a different tea - watch this space! We were each presented with a beautiful silver tea pot. It was one of the more fancier tea pots I've had for an afternoon tea and I was so taken with mine I wish I could have brought it home with me.
Shortly after, big plates of sandwiches arrived. I liked that they were brought out separately to the cakes, it meant there was more room on the table and I wasn't distracted by wanting to eat sweet things.
We had five different fillings - Cucumber and Dill, Egg Mayonnaise, Roast Beef with Black Pepper Mayonnaise, Smoked Salmon with Soft Cheese and lastly Ham and English Mustard. The bread was fresh and the fillings were really tasty. My highlight was the Black Pepper Mayonnaise that was served with the Beef, although I did find the meat a little tough.
After we'd polished off all the sandwiches and declined the very generous offer of more we were eager for the arrival of the cakes.
They took a little while to appear as the Chef was carefully preparing me my very own nut free selection. The Hotel dealt with my nut allergy really well, asking me questions about what I could eat and keeping my cakes separate to everyone else.
This meant that I got my very own little plate of cakes, which I actually felt pretty smug about. No sharing required - these treats were all for me! I was quite tempted to dig into them with my knife and fork but then decided that might not be too ladylike.
The cake stands looked fantastic. I always like a well presented afternoon tea with plenty to look at and this one did not disappoint with fun shapes and lots of variety.
Abiding by the afternoon tea rules we tucked into the scones first. I always find scones to be very hit and miss in an afternoon tea but I'm very happy to say that these were spot on. We had two each and they were the perfect size to ensure we felt spoilt but without feeling overly full. My knife cut through my scone with ease to reveal a perfectly soft and crumbly centre.
The cream was so thick it was pretty hard to get out of the pot but I just saw this as a fun challenge and thought maybe battling with jam and cream could be seen as some kind of exercise to justify my cake consumption!
I was excited to get started as there were so many different flavours. I started with the ice-cream cone - a rhubarb meringue sitting on top of a cone filled with custard cream. I loved it, it was really fun and tasted lovely.
This was swiftly followed by a lemon cupcake which I wasn't overly impressed with. It was very dry and the only lemon flavour came from a blob of lemon curd that held the vanilla cream to the sponge - very disappointing.
My main nut replacement cake was some squares of black treacle sponge which I really enjoyed. I was very glad for the trade as the others had "Dark Chocolate Delice" which they said was very rich and sickly sweet.
My last pick from the stand was the Banoffee Pot. The toffee was so sweet and thick - absolutely delicious but definitely finished me off.
It's not often that a cake stand beats me but this one defeated me and there were cakes left on my plate!
The Grand Afternoon Tea costs £22.50 per person and is ideal for someone who loves sugary treats.