Wednesday 19 November 2014

Food Review: Festive Afternoon Tea at Hyatt Regency Birmingham

It's officially feeling a little bit like Christmas. The John Lewis advert has aired, the German Markets are back in Birmingham and this little invite popped into my inbox.

Festive Afternoon Tea Tier - Gluten Free 

Situated on Bridge Street, just opposite Symphony Hall and the NIA, the Hyatt Regency is offering a Festive Afternoon Tea for a limited time only from 1st-31st December.

A stunning hotel, the main entrance hall is a grand glass roofed atrium complete with water features, columns and marble.

This stetely setting is where we took afternoon tea and along with Lil Miss Chickas and Emily from Emily's Recipes and Reviews, we sat down to take in a very English experience.

When offered a choice of tea, coffee or mulled wine, I opted for coffee first before the main event. We were then sold on the mulled wine and took a little to try in our authentic copper mugs.

Mulled Wine is served

Then, in perfect synchrony, the afternoon tea tiers arrived, three tiers of cakes, scones and sandwiches.

Plain and Raisin Scones with Clotted Cream

As a gluten-free foodie, I did share my dietary requirements with the hosts before I came, and was so pleased that they could accomodate me for the afternoon tea. However, when the food arrived I could see that this wasn't just a quick fix, there was real effort that had gone into creating a gluten free feast that rivalled the gluten-full option.

A trio of desserts

Not only did I get six mini sandwiches in 6 different flavours, I also had two types of gluten free scones and three gluten free petit fours.

This was no hastily assembled gluten-free solution, but a carefully thought about and arranged selection of cakes that included gluten free pastry and had been made from scratch.

Here is the menu for both the standard and gluten free Festive Afternoon Tea:

As is tradition, I started off with the sandwiches, moved onto a spicy scone and finished off with 3 desserts, yum!

Spiced Apple in a shotglass

The desserts were my favourite part of the meal and the Vanilla Sponge topped with chopped crystallised ginger and plums was light but festive. The Chocolate Orange Truffle on a shortbread base was rich in flavour, but airy in texture thanks to the delicate mousse and topped off with a fresh mandarin segment for added zing. Finally, the Spiced Apple with Calvados whipped cream in a shot glass was heavenly. I love to feel like I'm eating something healthy but tasty, and the fresh apples were finished with some luxuriously decadent cream.

Spiced Apple and Calvados Shot

I cannot thank the chef enough for creating such a thoughtful and flavoursome afternoon tea.

What better way to ease yourself into Christmas with this indulgent afternoon tea? Whether you make a day of it or want to break up a busy day of shopping, why not sit down and relax at your leisure in this stunning setting?

With thanks to everyone at the Hyatt and Natalie for hosting the tasting.

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