Butterfly Kisses Afternoon Tea @ The Ivy Clifton Brasserie: Review

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We posted recently about the fact that The Ivy Clifton Brasserie have launched their Butterfly Kisses Afternoon Tea in conjunction with Champagne house Perrier-Jouët…and now it was time to put it to the test.

Priced at £25.95 per head, it’s available until November 30th, and includes the afternoon tea, a glass of Perrier-Jouët, and an origami butterfly that, when unfolded, may reveal one of 225 special prizes…

The afternoon tea is served in the Orangery, the ceiling adorned with over 700 handmade origami butterflies. It’s a beautiful setting – sadly marred slightly on the day of our visit by the overwhelming smell of fish wafting through the restaurant.

 

Butterfly Kisses Afternoon Tea - Butterflies

 

While the others enjoyed a chilled glass of champagne (which I’m assured was delicious), my pregnant state meant that I sadly had to pass. Instead, though, I was offered a glass of peach & elderflower iced tea (normally £4.50) which was incredibly refreshing, the fruit flavours joined by a lovely lemon tang.

 

Butterfly Kisses Afternoon Tea - Iced Tea

 

The menu certainly looked the part – in fact, presentation was fantastic throughout the afternoon tea, with our individual tea choices served in single-serve metal teapots at whichever point of the meal we fancied.

 

Butterfly Kisses Afternoon Tea - Menu

 

There were plenty of appreciative noises coming from around the table when the food was served, the savouries and sweets on a traditional three-tiered stand, the scones and accompaniments on their own miniature two-tiered stand, with the food in the picture below serving two diners.

 

Butterfly Kisses Afternoon Tea

 

I started with the truffled chicken gougère – more of a sweet brioche roll than a gougère – which was packed with flavour. The chicken included dark meat, so had plenty of flavour, and was cut small, making it easy to eat…the truffle scent was distinctive, and the flavour just enough. Good stuff.

 

Butterfly Kisses Afternoon Tea - Truffled Chicken

 

It was the best of the three savoury elements of the afternoon tea, in my eyes. On the middle tier were a marinated cucumber and dill finger sandwich, whose refreshing flavour included a tasty vinegary tang from the marinating liquid, while the smoked salmon on gluten-free rye was a mixed bag. The salmon was incredibly smokey in its flavour – and like the chicken, chopped nice and small for ease of eating. While the rye bread had a good, strong flavour, the texture just wasn’t right: it was so light that it was hard to pick up, and disintegrated straight away in the mouth. The cream cheese was slathered on generously, though, with a nice balance between all of the flavours.

 

Butterfly Kisses Afternoon Tea - Savouries

 

The scones (one per diner) were served warm, lovely and dense and packed full of fruit. The icing sugar-dusted crust was crisp enough to hold it together while eating, and the inclusion of fresh strawberries as well as clotted cream and strawberry jam was a nice touch – although we could have done with a little more jam and cream…

 

Butterfly Kisses Afternoon Tea - Scones

 

The three sweet treats? Fantastic. The mini raspberry cheesecake wasn’t a traditional cheesecake: instead, a thin, sweet and crisp pastry case housed a looser filling than expected, with a pleasant sour flavour that was a good match for the sweet fruit. The mini basil leaves added an intriguing extra dimension too.

The chocolate and salted caramel mousse divided opinion on our table, but I loved it: a crushed coffee bean added an extra hit of richness to the mousse itself, which was lovely and dark, and pretty runny rather than massively aerated. And the salted caramel? That was right at the bottom: a layer of thin, nicely salted caramel sauce that was incredibly moreish.

The crème brûlée doughnut was a winner too: attractively glazed and incredibly light and fluffy, biting into it revealed a smooth, creamy crème pâtissière, flecked with dark spots of vanilla.

 

Butterfly Kisses Afternoon Tea - Sweet

 

All in all, I was pretty impressed: at £25.95 a head it’s more expensive than many of Bristol’s other afternoon tea offerings, but remember, it includes a glass of Perrier-Jouët and the chance to win a prize (I didn’t win, if you’re wondering!) The sweet selection impressed me more than the savoury, but it was the little touches (like the addition of fresh strawberries, the finely chopped savoury ingredients to make things easier to eat and the details like the crushed coffee bean and the basil leaves) that made The Ivy Clifton Brasserie’s Butterfly Kisses offering stand out. Even without being able to enjoy the champagne, I’d go back…

 

Please note: our meal was received free of charge, but this in no way impacted on our opinion. We were not obliged to write a positive review, and the venue did not see this review before it was put up on the site.

 

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