Tesco Taste Northern Ireland- Thompson’s Tea

As I write this I have just finished my first week back at work after maternity leave. I was off for seven months after having a beautiful baby girl Niamh on New Years Day.

As any new mums know, having a cup of tea, never mind a hot cup of tea (!), can be a real luxury. Quick, she’s sleeping- put the kettle on! So, when Tesco NI asked if I would like to try some Thompson’s Tea, of course I had to say yes.

Thompson’s Tea is a Northern Irish tea blender whose range includes Punjana Original Blend, Titanic Blend and Irish Breakfast Blend. I received the Thompson’s Signature tea and Green Tea with Lemon.

Stocked up with the tea bags, I decided to host an afternoon tea party on my last day of maternity leave to say thanks for all the help I had received over the past few months. It was also my birthday so another perfect excuse for cake!

I’ve written on my blog numerous times about my love of afternoon tea so I wanted to give my own a go, including baking for the occasion.

To start, for the savoury layer, I made wheaten bread to be served with honey roast ham, mature cheddar and tomatoes. While the wheaten bread was in the oven, I whipped up some vanilla scones, which I served with butter and jam.

To finish Tesco kindly supplied me with some lovely sweet treats from local producers, Howells Florence Cake and Genesis Crafty buns.

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But of course, the best bit of any afternoon tea is…the tea!

I opted for the Signature blend which was a strong, full bodied cup of tea, without being too bitter. Thompson’s Tea have stated it is “tea like it used to taste”, because they have recreated the family’s original blend from way back in 1896. It’s a rich, flavoursome cup of tea and actually reminds me of loose leaf tea. Lovely!

The verdict? Well the afternoon tea went down a treat! Even my baking got some rave reviews!

Now, quick she’s sleeping, I’m off to enjoy another warm cuppa!

 

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Post originally appeared on Tesco NI website: https://www.tasteni.com/eat-me-drink-me/belfast-travels-takes-a-tea-break-from-motherhood

YoggieBerrie Cream Tea

I live close to YoggieBerrie, a café at Fortwilliam on the Antrim Road. My mum had received a voucher for Cream Tea for two so I was her ‘plus one’ a few weeks ago. (Oh and Niamh, of course!)

The Cream Tea is slightly different to afternoon tea, which generally includes savoury items such as sandwiches. No, this high tea is for those with a sweet tooth!

The Cream tea consists of scones baked fresh in-store (in fact, they were still warm which was great!), followed by your choice of shortbread and a selection of traybakes. The treats were washed down with either Barista Coffee or Suki Tea.

We both enjoyed our Cream Tea, even if we couldn’t finish it all as it was a sugar overload. (Saying that, I did take the 2 traybakes home with me for later…!)

Tesco NI- Festive Afternoon Tea!

This week I received a Christmas gift from Tesco NI- a hamper packed full with festive goodies and treats!

From bottles of wine and flowers, to mince pies and Christmas pudding, the hamper looked like a great excuse to get my family round for a festive Afternoon Tea just one week before the big day!

So yesterday I got out the best china and cake stands and we treated ourselves to a brilliant Christmas party!

Our Afternoon Tea consisted of:

  • Mince Pies
  • Salted Caramel Truffles
  • All Butter Cheese Straws
  • Cherry Genoa cake
  • White Chocolate, Cranberry and Pistachio Cookies
  • Christmas Pudding
  • Wine, Tea and Coffee

Many thanks to Tesco for the present- we had a ball!

img_5299Our hamper filled with sweet treats, wine and flowers!

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img_5407Tesco Cherry Genoa cake and wine

img_5408Cookies, Truffles, Mince pies and Cheese Straws

img_5409Our Festive Afternoon Tea

 

 

Solo Belfast’s Afternoon Tea

I often head to afternoon tea at different places around Belfast but a few weeks ago I was invited to try afternoon tea with a twist- Solo Belfast’s Fusion offering.

I went to Solo Kitchen and Bar when it first opened in Belfast a few months ago and raved about it so I was interested to see how they would do afternoon tea and make it different to the rest!

Barry and I went last Sunday on what was one of the warmest days of the year in Belfast so we asked if we could sit outside. There were two seats free so we were able to enjoy our afternoon tea in the sun! How often do you get to say that here?

The afternoon tea comes  with scones, sandwiches and sweet treats (as normal) but the twist is the savoury nibbles.

You are served up Panko breaded and fried brie cheese wedges, Samosas and BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders in a mini brioche bap! It was quite unusual as part of afternoon tea but a very enjoyable addition!

The selection of sandwiches was Wild Atlantic smoked salmon with dill cream cheese on Guinness Wheaten bread, bruschetta and Coronation Chicken.

Again, the bruschetta and coronation chicken are not the type of sandwiches you would normally get at afternoon tea but they worked very well as part of this fusion sensation.

Finally we enjoyed scones with jam, butter and fresh cream and mini desserts including chocolate cake. The cake was rich and gooey- just how I like it!

We had a great afternoon and loved the mix of flavours and tastes- something I wasn’t expecting. Fusion Afternoon Tea is £18pp and great if you’re looking for something a little bit different to the norm!

Solo’s Afternoon Tea

BBQ Pulled Pork

Sandwich selection

Sweet Treats

Barry enjoying his Fusion Afternoon Tea in the sun

 

 

 

Fabulous Fashion Teas at The Merchant

As someone who is a huge fan of afternoon tea, I had never been to the Merchant Hotel’s acclaimed high tea offering. This week I was invited to their “Fabulous Fashion Tea” event, combining, as the name might suggest, afternoon tea with the world of fashion.

The Fashion Teas are now in their 9th year, with the shows taking place every spring/summer and autumn/winter season.

Guests enjoy a fashion show whilst sipping Champagne and sampling a range of tasty sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, and a large selection of succulent sweet treats. (There’s also the chance to shop at the pop-up boutiques from the weekend’s featured retailers and designers.)

I attended the 1pm event today which was showcasing the David Yurman range from Lunn’s Jewellers. David is one of the biggest jewellery designers in the US and his stunning range is available exclusively in the UK and Ireland at Lunn’s of Queen’s Arcade, Belfast.

What a delight it was to see some of David’s spectacular creations, all while enjoying the mouth-watering food and drink. Tickets to the Fabulous Fashion Teas are £35 per person and include a glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, afternoon Tea, a goodie bag and access to the pop-up boutiques.

If you love food and fashion, this is for you!

Afternoon Tea

Sweet Treats

Scones with strawberry preserve and clotted cream

Fashion Show- David Yurman at Lunn’s

Lunn’s Jewellers Fashion Show

David Yurman collection

 

 

Afternoon Tea at Avoca Belfast

With just a few weeks until the ‘Big Day’, you really do cherish just sitting down and relaxing with each other amongst the madness of final numbers and table plans!

So, last weekend we did just that and went for afternoon tea at Avoca on Arthur Street in Belfast. I’d been to Avoca before to have a look around  their pretty homewares and gifts- but I didn’t realise it had such a large foodhall upstairs! The menu looked great but it was afternoon tea on the cards.

We were welcomed with cucumber-infused water and a list of speciality teas which included Peppermint; Oriental Sencha; Elderflower and Lemon; Mango and Strawberry; as well as Irish Breakfast and Earl Grey. I went for the Oriental Sencha which is an exotic, fruity tea with hints of papaya and mango. A fan of fruit teas, it was very refreshing. Barry chose his old favourite- coffee- but we were offered unlimited top ups for both.

Then came the best bit- the food.

To start we had 3 different types of sandwiches – free range egg and cress – sliced cucumber, cream cheese, apple and mint – and roast beef, horseradish and watercress. The bottom tier also came with a wheaten sandwich with smoked salmon and cream cheese; a savory scone; and a vegetarian quiche. A lovely way to start.

It was then on to the middle tier which was a sweet scone served with jam and clotted cream; and fruit tartlets filled with custard and fresh berries.

Finally, we finished with a mini lemon meringue; chocolate eclairs filled with fresh cream; and chocolate and praline ‘spoons’ which came with chocolate mouse and chopped nuts.

The food was really delicious, especially the chocolate and praline spoons- despite the fact I kept it to the very end and was bursting by that point, I could have eaten a few of them! Gorgeous!

Afternoon is £18.95 per person or £21.95 per person with a glass of prosecco (which we treated ourselves too!)

If you’re a fan of afternoon tea, check it out! Very pretty setting with top notch food to match.

Avoca Belfast

Enjoying a glass of Prosecco at Avoca

 Afternoon Tea

Top Tier

Middle Tier

  Bottom Tier

Jakberry Coffee House

I love finding hidden gems when it comes to restaurants or coffee shops, so I was delighted when I tried out Jakberry Coffee House at Finaghy Road North last week. We headed there on Saturday before our day trip to W5 for a quick bite of lunch.

Jakberry has been open for just shy of two years and has a great reputation for it’s homemade cakes, scones, soups and its infamous chilli jam. I’d been told that everything tastes so fresh, as if you had just baked it in your very own kitchen that morning.

For lunch I chose the all day breakfast deal which is a bagel with cream cheese and bacon, served with a coffee or tea for just £3.60. Barry went for the cranberry, bacon and brie salad sandwich on granary bread. He said it was a good portion, so was very filling.

Once we finished our lunch, the waitress recommended the homemade buns to us- so we thought we just had to give them a taste! We decided to share the Malteser traybake and the Crunchie traybake, which were both delicious- crumbly and sweet. We also left with some Chai Tea Lattes to go.

Jakberry is a very welcoming coffee shop, with such pretty little touches, such as the ‘Jakberry ‘cushions on the comfy sofas or the monthly book club. I’d really recommend if you’re looking for a nice spot for warming afternoon tea!