Last week I was incredibly fortunate to be invited to Malmaison Cheltenham to check out their summer afternoon tea menu, and it was fantastic. Malmaison have recently acquired The Montpellier Chapter hotel, and spent a little money getting it beautifully finished, and it was a pleasure to go and see it in all it’s glory. I can’t wait to head back there and try out the evening menu, but firstly I would recommend getting your hands on their scrumptious afternoon tea!
The place itself is beautiful. Afternoon tea is held in their greenhouse to the side of the hottel. It was bustling with people, all trying out the menu and when I arrived and saw the delights on offer I couldn’t wait to dig in. In the sunshine it’s the perfect place to sit and eat, and being a lover of listening to the rain whilst sat inside I’m guessing I’d enjoy it in that situation too. I popped to the toilet whilst I was there which gave me the opportunity to have a walk through the restaurant, which looked like a wonderful setting for a quiet evening meal; a romantic dinner or evening celebrating with the family. The greenhouse was a little on the warm side, it would have benefited from wider windows or some doors which opened up, but I don’t cope well with the heat myself 🙂
Staff were attentive and quick to respond to my arrival. I did feel bad as D was running late from work, so we kept them waiting 30 minutes before ordering anything, but they were happy to let me sit and wait. The service was friendly, we felt welcome and they delivered all of the food and drink in a perfect timely manner. We did have to go up and request the bill at the end, but this was due to the fact we were in a rush to get home for the evening. We saw a number of different staff whilst we were there, so it would be good to have a specific waitress allocated to the table to know who to ask for help, but it was a particularly busy summer afternoon.
Food and Drink
We started off with a glass of champagne, which was freezing cold (particularly important to me as so many places serve wine and champagne too warm). In addition to this we were served our tea – there is a choice of teas including English Breakfast (which we had), earl grey, and a selection of fruit teas. I thoroughly enjoyed the tea, however I was disappointed that it was a tea bag, rather than tea leaves. It definitely helped that I was parched! And it came in a really cute little bone china tea cup with Malmaison written inside.
Then we had our platter of afternoon tea arrive, it looked amazing. Extremely well presented, with lots of colour and a good variety.
The savory was to start, which was a welcome change from the bog standard afternoon tea sandwiches. We got a mini burger, a chicken and avocado wrap and a smoked salmon and creme fresh wrap. All of it was delicious, perfect pairings which satisfied my taste buds and stood out as something with a twist.
Next was the desserts – lemon and polenta cake which was moist and flavoursome, as well as gluten free. A summer berry smoothie, just like I make at home. It could have done with a little ice, but was lovely and fruity (it reminded me of actimel!). The peach and amaretto cream wasn’t something I personally would choose, as I’m not a fan of amaretto, but I dug through to the peaches which were extremely refreshing. The chocolate brownie was just as they should be, crumbly and dark on the outside, with a soft gooey centre.
Finally, we had the fruit scones. These were the only minor disappointment for me, and the scones are the most important part in an afternoon tea for me. They were quite small, and the jam was pre-packed pots, it would have been good to have fresh jam and big crisp scones, but I of course enjoyed them. The scones them self tasted great, and had lots of fruit packed in. They arrived hot, but came at the same time as the rest of the platter, it would be good to request the scones when you’re ready for them, so that they stay warm.
I was full to the brim (in fact I did have to take a few things home with me!) and extremely happy with the delicious meal which we had just enjoyed.
Cost and Rating
Prices range from £10 to £25 depending what you go for, it can work out a little pricey, but well worth it for a treat. It would make a fantastic date afternoon, or play date with the girls. Cream tea which includes cakes, scones and tea is only £10 which is unusual as cream tea is usually just the scones and tea, so this is a great price. This ranges up to £25 for champagne afternoon tea or cocktail afternoon tea – all the trimmings, which is what we went for 🙂
/ 10 spoons
If you’re looking for some summer fun, this is the perfect treat day! Thank you Malmaison Cheltenham for a wonderful afternoon.