Afternoon tea at The Terrace is something to savour - The Stratford Observer

Afternoon tea at The Terrace is something to savour

Ian Hughes 11th Jun, 2024 Updated: 11th Jun, 2024   0

THERE are few things more English than the afternoon tea, and in recent years there has been an explosion in their popularity.

The concept of afternoon tea appeared during the mid-19th century. Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, is credited with introducing the concept in 1840. The Duchess apparently got hungry around four o’clock in the afternoon, and as the evening meal wasn’t until 8pm, she decided something was needed to keep the hunger pangs at bay. So a tradition was born.

But until recently that tradition had to a large part become the preserve of swanky hotels. People would make special trips to London to treat themselves to an afternoon tea at The Ritz or The Grosvenor – and a pretty pound it would cost them.

Now offerings of the traditional afternoon tea of sandwiches, scones and cakes with a pot of tea are increasingly found the length and breadth of the country, but of course, some are better than others.

Those looking for a quality afternoon tea would be hard pressed to find a better one than that offered at The Terrace in Leamington.

The Victoria Terrace bar and restaurant, with its wonderful covered terrace overlooking the River Leam, has already established a fine culinary reputation in the less than two years since it opened.

That reputation –  which recently saw it named Best Bar in Warwickshire and the West Midlands in the hugely prestigious Muddy Stiletto awards – will only be enhanced by its Afternoon Teas, which can be enjoyed on said terrace or inside the stylish restaurant.

While once touring a Sri Lankan tea plantation I was told the big brand tea that goes into the bags most British drink on a daily basis was ‘rubbish tea’ – essentially lesser leaves. That is not something customers need worry about at The Terrace. The carefully curated menu of teas offered includes only the best leaves from some of the finest estates in the world – from India, Sri Lanka, China and further afield. There’s a superb Balmoral Blend, a Darjeeling and an Earl Grey, alongside blossom, berry and herb infusions – all at their best without milk and sugar, although that is of course a matter of individual taste.

The arrival of the three-tier accompaniment of – from bottom to top – sandwiches, scones and patissere, is pure theatre. It’s beautifully presented, complete with edible flowers and even a gold edible strawberry.

Everything is freshly made by patisserie chef Sukanya, who aside from possessing a huge amount of skill gathered working in top kitchens around the globe, is passionate about both perfect presentation and flavour combinations, using only the finest ingredients.

That is evident in sandwiches with smoked salmon and fresh caviar, alongside roasted beef striploin with a tarragon and horseradish sauce. They sit alongside a stunning baked focaccia with roasted eggplant and grilled tomatoes, and an egg and cress elevated to the extraordinary by a quite superb spiced mayonnaise.

Scones are a very British thing – Scottish to be exact – so they can take those not culturally familiar with them time to perfect. While they are one of those foods which can be a matter of individual taste – these are excellent, both fruit and plain. Homemade strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream only leaves one other matter of individual taste to be decided – jam or cream on first?

And then there is the top and final layer – the patisserie. Chef’s wonderful signature tres leches, a sponge cake soaked in three different types of milk, sets the tone. It’s accompanied by a chocolate cake with creme mousseline with a shine you can almost see your face in, together with a vanilla banana cake and a moreish pistachio mousse with vanilla crème bavarois and mango jelly.

Those who want an extra treat can choose to enjoy a glass of champagne, and a quality one at that, with their afternoon tea.

Visit for further details.


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