An afternoon devoted to the pursuit of indulgence is a perfect afternoon if you ask me. So naturally when Hotel La Tour invited me to try their new seasonal Christmas afternoon tea of course I reluctantly obliged (okay not reluctantly at all) and dragged my friend John Dalziel with me. Hotel La Tour is a 4 star hotel in Birmingham city centre situated a stone’s throw away from Selfridges and is fast becoming one of my favourite places to go in Birmingham whether it be for a coffee in their more casual Café Ezra, dinner in their formal restaurant Aalto or chilled out cocktails and champagne in their bar Alvar. The hotel prides itself on being a modern venue with a classic atmosphere and unlike most venues which claim such Hotel La Tour actually delivers.
I adore afternoon tea (I have had it twice before at the hotel) and Hotel La Tour’s seasonal interpretation only added to it. As well as the traditional smoked salmon, ham and mustard finger sandwiches there is the delectable addition of cranberry and brie (always a winner in my eyes) – which were quickly consumed over a glass of mulled wine and sips of earl grey tea. One of the more peculiar but brilliant touches is the addition of miniature ‘pigs in blankets’ with a mustard dip; to me pigs in blankets will always remind me of Christmas as a child and I must admit this nostalgic touch made me smile.
The scones were particularly light and fluffy, far too moreish when consumed with slathers of strawberry jam and clotted cream however I always find the sweets at the bottom the most exciting part of any afternoon tea. The highlight for me had to be the miniature cranberry flavoured eton mess meringues which were covered in metallic edible glitter so that they resemble a Christmas bauble. I am not usually one for Christmas cake but to not be a spoil sport I did try it and found it pleasantly quite moist and tasty. The chocolate yule log masquerading as a Christmas pudding was particularly another favourite of mine – it was perfectly rich and I am always a sucker for anything chocolate. I found the mandarin tart provided a great contrast to the other desserts and had a distinctive delightful orange taste and the white marshmallows on top complimented it perfectly.
If you are in Birmingham over December or heading to the German Christmas markets I highly recommend popping in for Christmas afternoon tea or even a chilled eggnog!
Hotel La Tour
0121 718 800