Sunday, October 11, 2015
AFTERNOON TEAFor a gentleman..
I love Birmingham’s evolving restaurant scene, but I typically reserve meals out for the weekend or special occasions; firstly because I need to give my credit card a break sometimes, and secondly, because when I dine out I tend to indulge a little……yes I’m a nutritionist and I indulge! I’ve mentioned before that I tend to follow an 80/20 eating regime whereby around 80% of the time I eat whole, nutrient dense, minimally processed foods, and 20% of the time I eat foods that we should eat less often – what some might call ‘treat’ foods. I would categorise an afternoon tea consisting of white bread sandwiches, pork pies, sausage rolls, donuts and bacon scones with butter as part of my 20% and this is exactly what I had (except the pork pies because I’m not a fan of them) when I attended the launch of Hotel La Tour’s exclusive Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea range.
Hotel La Tour is a modern, luxury, 4-star hotel in the heart of Birmingham’s city centre, and last week they introduced a new menu concept to their offerings, which is based on the quintessential British tradition of Afternoon Tea. What makes the Hotel’s Tea different, apart from the fresh, contemporary, chicly-styled bar it’s served in? It is a ‘Gentleman’s’ Afternoon Tea which, in contrast to standard afternoon tea menus (which they still serve), feature hearty delicacies such as Welsh rarebit, pork pies, cheese and bacon scones, New York deli club sandwiches and mini donuts with a dipping sauce, and rather than a glass of bubbly, you’re offered the finest beer, cider or ale. Characteristically, in my opinion and various others, Afternoon Tea is a treat for the ladies-that-lunch type, but Hotel La Tour have added a twist and created a new, exquisite Tea menu aimed at the sophisticated gentleman.
I indulged in the freshly made sausage rolls, which had a perfect balance of meat and flaky pastry and I tried the warm toasted club sandwiches, which was a refreshing change to soggy cucumber ones; I finished off with a cheeky donut dipped in a smooth caramel sauce (although a chocolate sauce was also available) and a savoury cheese and bacon scone, which was light and fluffy but had a little too much butter on for my liking, plus I prefer my scones as a sweet with jam. Nonetheless, it was all finger-licking good and I did have to restrain myself from having an extra sandwich and sausage roll. I’m not a beer gal, so I settled for an orange juice to wash it all down, which I guess wouldn't usually be included in the price.
Whilst munching away, to some live music, I chatted to a few of the blokes that attended and asked whether a Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea would be something they’d consider in the future; I had a mixed response, but when I asked the women they all felt it would be new-fangled way to treat the men in their lives (spouse/companion or client) and I’m inclined to agree, just remember to fit in a good workout afterwards.
Disclosure: I was invited along to the menu tasting where all food was complementary, and, as expected on my blog, this is an honest and personal account of my experience and opinions
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