Afternoon Tea at the Movies is my dream way of spending Sunday, it's not often you can enjoy two of your favourite activities at the same time! So when I discovered that the Tyneside Bar Cafe at the Tyneside Cinema do just this I was eager to get involved.
Afternoon Tea at the Movies is served at 3:00 pm the first Sunday of every month at the Tyneside Bar Cafe. For £18.00 per person (or £22.00 if you fancy a cheeky glass of Prosecco) you can enjoy an indulgent spread from chef Tom Adlam whilst enjoying a classic Hollywood musical.
The movie is often a surprise which is great if you're film geeks like us but if not you can ring the box office to find out what's being screened or, if you quite like playing detective, you can sometimes work out the film when the menu is released. Something tells me that our menu of "Gruel" and "Oliver Cheese Twists" will be an easy guess for you all!
Yes, our Afternoon Tea at the Movies was the classic musical "Oliver!" which surprisingly, considering my love of films and musicals, I'd never seen before.
I was quite curious to see how Afternoon Tea at the Movies worked and before arriving I presumed everyone in the bar would be there to see the movie so I was very happy to discover that we'd be enjoying our movie behind the red curtain at the back of the bar - private, cosy and away from the buzz of the cafe!
We were shown to our tables and I was very impressed by the organisation with every party being allocated a table set up especially for them. Those that were going to be enjoying Prosecco already had their glasses ready and someone was straight over to me to check about my nut allergy. Brilliant!
Our food was brought out before the movie started so we'd be able to enjoy it in peace without being disturbed. Helpfully we also had little cards and pens on our tables where we could write down any further orders or requests and peg them up so we didn't have to talk during the film. This worked so well and our endless request for "more tea" was always dealt with so fast and quietly it was almost like an invisible magic elf was bringing tea.
As the film began we tucked into our savoury tier which was filled with the most delicious looking treats. I love an afternoon tea that serves something different to the standard sandwiches and this one looked particularly tempting.
The Oliver Cheese Twists were still warm from the oven and oh wow they were heaven. Delicious flakey puff pastry twisted round olives and cheese, I finished mine in a couple of greedy bites! Please Sir can I have some more!
Next up we enjoyed Mr Sowerberry's Sourdough Toastie, stuffed full of Tyneside Grilled Cheese. I quite often have a cheese toastie on a Sunday afternoon but this was far superior to anything we rustle up at home. The cheese was so generous and oh so stringy. Wow!
We tucked into Mr Bumble's Bagel around the time of "Food Glorious Food" and I just about managed to resist the urge to dance round my table singing at the top of my lungs, it was hard though! Stuffed with smoked salmon and cream cheese, this one was Simon's favourite and he spent quite a lot of time pointing at it and sticking his thumb up!
I was a little worried that the film would be hard to follow when there was a bar full of people not watching the film the other side of the curtain but I didn't find myself distracted at all. Everyone around us at the afternoon tea were also movie fans so you didn't hear a peep out of any of us (this lead to some amusing sign language between me and Simon, the highlight being when I decided to pretend to be a cow whilst attempting to ask him to pass the milk!). The film was subtitled to ensure that if there was any disruption we'd still be able to follow the dialogue (extra fun during a musical when the song words pop up!)
We managed to wait a little while before tucking into the Warm Buttermilk Scones served with proper clotted cream and strawberry jam. These were some of the best scones I've ever had! A beautiful slight crunch on the outside and a perfect fluffy inside. Scones on an afternoon tea are so hard to get right so when we find good ones we're so happy!
One of the best things about Afternoon Tea at the Movies at the Tyneside Bar Cafe is that you can enjoy your afternoon tea at a leisurely pace. When we found ourselves feeling pretty stuffed after the scones we sat back and enjoyed the film for a while before we hit the cake tier. With no pressure to eat up and leave, it was so lovely to take our time.
Simon was the first to attack the cake tier and seeing his eyes light up at each mouthful it wasn't long before I was joining him.
My absolute favourite of the cakes was Please Sir I want S'mores - indulgent chocolate cookies with house made marshmallow and honeycomb. I'm lost for words trying to describe to you how good this was, I'm annoyed at myself cos I'll never be able to do it justice. The cookies were SO chocolatey, the marshmallow was sweet and sticky and that honeycomb just blew my mind.
Luckily our Gruel was a lot tastier than the grey slop that poor Oliver had to eat, our Rhubarb Cranachan was a lovely light end to our afternoon tea.
So, it's fair to say that the Tyneside Bar Cafe completely smashed afternoon tea, this was one of the very best that we've ever had, but what did I think of the movie? I LOVED it! I was so surprised that despite not knowing the storyline at all, I knew so many of the songs. It was so enjoyable, kept me entertained the whole way through and I found myself skipping along singing Oom Pah Pah as we made our way home.
We had a fantastic Sunday afternoon at the Tyneside Cinema and you should definitely all check out the next Afternoon Tea at the Movies at the Tyneside Bar Cafe. Check the website for the next Afternoon Tea at the Movies, to book call 0191 227 5522.
We'll probably see you there!
We were invited to enjoy a complimentary afternoon tea by our friends at the Tyneside Cinema after a last minute cancellation - we weren't asked to review but we had to share cos it was amazing!