I’ve never been the biggest fan of cakes and sweet things. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll have the odd square of chocolate from time to time, and when Easter rolls round I’m all about those Mini Eggs, but the interest is short-lived and soon I’m thinking about the next savoury delight I can enjoy. As such, Afternoon Tea is just one of those things that I’ve never been too fussed about. That said, the life of a food blogger entails that I’ve got to experiment and be open to trying things that don’t necessarily suit my palate. So when we were invited to try out the Afternoon Tea at The Angel of Corbridge, I took the plunge and said yes. Such a trooper.
This review also happens to be the second part of a recent visit to The Angel, where we’d stayed at the amazing Apartment set within this gorgeous bar/pub/restaurant. If you’ve not read that one, you can do so HERE. The standard of service, taste and experience we’d already enjoyed during our stay was certainly a good sign that the Afternoon Tea was going to be top notch, but little did I know that they’d manage to warm a true savoury gal like me to the sweet delights of a traditional Afternoon Tea.
Yep, that good.
Having already had a hearty breakfast and a good explore around the gorgeous shops in the village of Corbridge (including RE and the amazing Forum book store!), we were ready for a bit of sustenance and ended up moving our booking forward just in case I decided to give in and head to The Angel’s very own chip shop. The Angel are serving their afternoon tea between 12pm and 4pm every day, and when we arrived for 1pm, the bar area was busy again and filled with lunchtime chatter.
We were taken through to The Barn, their stylish and contemporary dining area towards the back of the venue, which is more peaceful and the perfect place to while away the hours.
The Afternoon Tea menu at The Angel is typically £14.95 per person, with extras like a glass of prosecco for £4.95 per person, or a glass of champagne for the £6.95. I felt that to truly appreciate the decadence of the afternoon tea, we’d just have to have a glass of champers, so we did. There’s also the Cherubs Cream Tea, perfect if you’re not in the mood for the full works, at £6.95 per person for a smorgasbord of scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam, served with any tea or coffee.
There is a comprehensive list of teas from around the world, which would make any tea-nerd stuck for choice. Since I like to stay with the classics, we both went for the Royal Earl Grey tea, served in a large pot to be shared. Obviously, if you go and choose different teas, you’ll get an individual smaller teapot. All tea and coffee is unlimited.
And here’s a glimpse at the full Afternoon Tea menu, which we both went for:
We had a wait of around 10 minutes, so we were able to enjoy the chilled surroundings of The Angel’s “Barn” restaurant. Don’t be fooled by the name, this large space is sophisticated and relaxing, with attentive staff and beautifully set out tables. Very inviting, and I’m told that The Barn is also available for hire – whether it’s a wedding or a special dinner, they can accommodate.
When we were brought out our afternoon tea, it was served on a wooden shelf type of arrangement, with sandwiches on the top shelf and the sweet treats beneath. Naturally, I was most excited for the sandwiches, and they didn’t disappoint.
I’m talking thick-cut fresh bread, crustless and packed with fillings, like traditional Coronation Chicken (incidentally the most delicious coronation chicken I’ve ever tasted), Salmon with Sour Cream and Chive, Ham Hock with good old Pease Pudding and of course, the obligatory Egg and Cress. I can’t bear egg and cress so I swapped with my beloved and managed to bag an extra salmon one – much to my delight. All were perfectly fresh, too, as you’d expect.
Then it was time for shelf two. An array of scones, with clotted cream and jam, which were fluffy on the inside and slightly warm throughout. There were also a number of hand-made confections, including macarons, mini Battenburg cakes, chocolate and fudge slices and panna cotta with fruit coulis. The whole arrangement is pretty deceptive, because you think it doesn’t look like much at all, until you’re halfway through and realise how many things there are still left to eat.
We managed to plough through, enjoying the light and flavoursome lemon macarons first, just as good as any Ladurée one I’ve ever eaten (HIGH PRAISE INDEED!) and boasting the perfect crumble and melt in the mouth texture once bitten into.
Next up was the creamy vanilla panna cotta, with zingy fruit (peach, I believe!) coulis on top, served in a shot glass. At this point I was pretty stuffed, but thankfully the limitless tea and glass of champagne kept me going, so I could plough on to the chocolate and fudge slice, which was gloriously decadent and so so so chocolatey.
I almost didn’t want to eat this one, it looked so pretty. Glossy topped and cut to precision, with little cubes of fudge placed delicately on top. I got over it though and I’m glad I did, as this one was in my opinion the best – even for a savoury fan like me.
Unfortunately, there was no way of squeezing in anything more, so we were given some really cute little branded doggy bags, exclusive to The Angel, for our remaining Battenburgs, which were enjoyed later that evening with a normal mug of tea at home. The marzipan around the edges was moist and fragrant, and the rest of it just as delicious. I’ve shamefully only had shop-bought Battenburg before (shout out to Mr Kipling!) so not much to compare it to, but needless to say these little beauties blew anything else I’d tried before out of the water.
And what more can be said? If I, of all people, can be converted into an Afternoon Tea fan from only one visit to The Angel, what better testament is there? It’s a perfect way to spend an hour or two with a loved one or friend (and there’s an offer below that you *need* to know about!) and enjoy some hand-made traditional treats. My only request to make it better would be the addition of some cheese scones, but if you’re on the sweet-tooth scale, you won’t miss ’em.
We made a swift exit afterwards so I could resist the urge to nap (The Barn restaurant is damn cosy!) but had we had more time, I expect we’d have stayed for some more drinks and some more of The Angel’s effortless great hospitality in their relaxing lounge, with it’s sunken leather couches and wide open fire. If you’re going for that ‘ladies who lunch’ vibe, then this really is the way to do it.
I’m also delighted to share that this very Afternoon Tea menu is ON OFFER from 13th to the 17th June 2016 – where you can enjoy the whole thing for two people at only £15. Yep, that’s half price! Call 01434 632119 to book your table before it’s a sell out!
You can also find out more about the restaurant and venue over on their website, or check out their Twitter and Facebook feed for more info on special offers and events, like the recent NECTA dinner for only £45 with paired wines and a delicious 3 course dinner, to celebrate chef Ray at The Angel coming second in the NECTA ‘Chef of the Year’ awards.
And that, dear readers, concludes my wonderful visit to The Angel Inn!
Huge thanks to Pamela and the amazing team at The Angel for such an enjoyable experience all round. As per our previous review, the stay and food was offered on a complimentary basis for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are true to experience on our visit.