A few weeks back, I had a lovely email from Experience Days, asking me if I would like to try out one of their gift ideas.
www.experiencedays.co.uk are a UK-based company, offering a range of experience-based gifts to suit all personalities, and at a huge number of locations all over the country. Whether it’s a pampering day, a Ferrari track day or a microlight flight that you’re looking to treat someone to, it’s all here!
I was pleased to see that they have a number of food and drink-related experiences available on the site which, in Bristol, include a chocolate workshop, a cupcake decorating class, cookery classes, a cider tasting experience…and, of course, the Marriott Royal Afternoon Tea For Two, which is what we chose to indulge in.
After booking, the voucher was posted to me, along with full instructions as to how to redeem it. All I needed to do was to phone the Marriott Royal to book and make sure that I took my voucher with me…
We finally made it over there last week, and were seated in a rather grand-looking lounge beside the main entrance, along with other couples and groups also enjoying a similar treat. Teas were listed in a Twinings-branded booklet, and divided into three groups: British Afternoon, Tisane and Oriental. While Chris opted for an Earl Grey, I decided (having given up caffeine a while ago) to enjoy a decaffeinated English Breakfast Tea. Our teapots were brought over, and while Chris was treated to some beautiful smelling loose leaf tea, I was given a solitary Tetley decaf teabag to brew a whole pot. Not massively impressed.
I did like the tea timer on each table, though, with three different timers for different types of tea…
Our voucher entitled us to a standard afternoon tea, but the Marriott Royal offer a number of other options too. Choose an afternoon tea with a glass of champagne or a gin and tonic, or a gluten free afternoon tea (they need 12 hours notice to prepare this), which we saw on a neighbouring table and it looked fantastic.
Ours arrived on a traditional three-tiered stand, and looked equally good…
We began from the bottom, and started with the sandwiches, traditionally daintily cut and of four varieties: cucumber, smoked salmon, ham and mustard, and egg mayonnaise. No complaints here: the ingredients tasted fresh, the fillings were plentiful. Onto the scones…
We were presented with two scones each – one plain, one fruit – dusted with icing sugar and served with dishes of butter, clotted cream and strawberry jam. The scones themselves were light and fluffy, and the toppings, we were pleased to note, were plentiful: we’ve had a few afternoon teas where we’ve had to scrimp on the cream and jam! Perfectly enjoyable.
Finally, onto the cakes, which were a work of art. We began with a dense and gooey chocolate cake (at the back in the picture below), full of crunchy chocolate chips and plump raisins, and topped with a shard of beautifully marbled chocolate. Essentially a rocky road slice in cake form: delicious! We followed this with the banana cake (at the front in the picture below), topped with a sweet and sticky toffee sauce and half a pecan, and finished with the strawberry cheesecake, the base of which tasted more like Lotus Caramelised Biscuits than the traditional digestives: a nice twist on the norm.
Service was courteous and friendly throughout, and we thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon tea, with a few small niggles: the aforementioned decaf teabag, a stained napkin (maybe I’m just being pedantic…) , and a rather long wait for the lemon that Chris had requested to accompany his Earl Grey. Saying that, we enjoyed whiling away our afternoon in great surroundings, enjoying a great British tradition courtesy of Experience Days.
To find out more about Experience Days vouchers available in Bristol, click here.
Please note: this afternoon tea experience was received free of charge, but 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.