As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, last week I ended up partaking in afternoon tea on two occasions. This isn’t something that’s part of a usual week for me (although, it’d be great if it was – any sponsors?!) but I thought I’d take the opportunity to snap some pictures and do a wee blog review.
The Corinthian Club, 191 Ingram Street, Glasgow
My pal Laura won a voucher for afternoon tea for two at The Corinthian Club in the raffle at the last Scottish Bloggers meet up, and she made the extremely wise decision to invite me along. We caught the train from Waverley just before lunch and had time for a wander round the shops before making our way to the Corinthian in the Merchant City. We were seated in a booth in the beautiful Tellers Bar & Brasserie and admired the stunning atrium ceiling whilst we waited for our food to arrive. Laura opted for a pot of breakfast tea and I went for peppermint; I’m not a fan of tea (sorry, I KNOW) so thought I’d go for something more “exotic” but turns out I’m not a big fan of peppermint tea either. But the main selling point was definitely the food anyway, there were three tiers of sandwiches, cakes, pastries and scones to tuck into and we managed to eat every last crumb. We started with the sandwiches which included ham, beef salad, cheese and onion, and tuna. They were a nice size so you got a decent taste of each one but they didn’t leave you feeling too full for all the cakes. I was slightly disappointed there were no cucumber or egg sandwiches (my afternoon tea ultimate faves!) but the ones we did get were all really nice.
We then moved on to the cakes and I’m not entirely sure what they all were as we weren’t given a menu and our waitress didn’t explain the cake stand to us, but we dived in anyway and hoped for the best! There were regular scones and wholewheat and cinnamon ones, mini banoffee pies, raspberry meringue swans, chocolate sponge, and some kind of strawberry panna cotta cake type thing. The scones were light and fluffy and there was plenty of whipped cream and raspberry jam to fill them with. I love banoffee pie so really enjoyed that too, and the meringue swan filled with raspberry mousse was really tasty. The thing I least enjoyed was the sponge cake; neither of us could work out if it was actually chocolate flavour or not, it just tasted a bit like a standard sponge cake but looked like it should taste more interesting than that. It would have been nice if the staff had explained what was on our plates as they brought the afternoon tea to our table, especially as we didn’t choose from a menu (due to having a voucher and pre-booking the afternoon tea). I felt the service was the thing that let the Corinthian down the most; our waitress seemed very disinterested and a bit grumpy and (I know it’s nitpicky but) she wasn’t dressed very smartly and when you’re somewhere as nice as the Corinthian you expect the best service.
But saying that, we both really enjoyed the afternoon tea and the food was amazing. The price is very reasonable too, with it usually costing £14.50 per person or £21.95 with a glass of champagne. We just had the normal afternoon tea, so afterwards we decided to order a little something from the cocktail menu instead. Both of us opted for a Crushed Strawberry Fizz and it was super sweet and super delicious. I’d definitely return to the Corinthian for afternoon tea and cocktails, highly recommended!
Tigerlily, 125 George Street, Edinburgh
Earlier in the week I met up with another blogging chum, Lauren, and we sampled the afternoon tea at Tigerlily. Lauren was up visiting Edinburgh last week so we decided afternoon tea would be the perfect opportunity to catch up and, having been there for drinks before but not afternoon tea, I suggested Tigerlily as I had heard it was meant to be good. We took our seats in the restaurant and had a look over the menu; Tigerlily do three types of afternoon tea and we decided on the middle option which was £14.95 per person. Once again, I went for peppermint tea, although this time I was asked if I would like a teabag or fresh mint leaves – I opted for fresh mint and much preferred it to the Corinthian version! Lauren opted for Earl Grey and, after pausing to take the obligatory blogger photos, we got started on the food.
The sandwiches this time were smoked salmon and cream cheese, and egg and cress. Yay, egg sandwiches! These weren’t the most dainty sandwiches in the world, but they certainly tasted good and I could have happily eaten lots more of them. On the bottom tier of our cake stand were fruit scones, lemon and strawberry tarts, cupcakes with chocolate icing, macarons and mini chocolate brownies. I failed to take a picture of it, but just out of shot was also a pot of clotted cream and THE MOST AMAZING JAM EVER. I’m not even exaggerating, the strawberry jam was probably the highlight of the entire afternoon tea! The scones were lovely, especially smothered in jam and cream, and the brownie was perfectly fudgey. I was expecting the macaron to be flavoured but it was just plain boring almond, however I covered it in jam too and it was much improved. We both had a couple of bites of the lemon tart but weren’t really fans; the pastry was way to solid and the custard was way too runny which made it difficult to eat. I thought it could have been a bit more lemony too as it was a wee bit blander than I would have expected a lemon tart to be. We were getting pretty full by this point and didn’t manage to finish off our cupcakes either. The sponge was nice enough but just a standard vanilla sponge, and the icing was more like chocolate mousse – quite nice and inoffensive, but not really what I want from a cupcake.
Overall, the food was okay (some of it even pretty good) but it wasn’t really amazing and I don’t think I’d bother returning to Tigerlily for afternoon tea. The service here was much better than at the Corinthian (and, weirdly enough, I actually sort of knew our waiter from university!), but the food was definitely a let down. It was all edible and “nice” but nothing to write home about. Of the two, I would recommend The Corinthian Club hands down – everything about it seemed a bit fancier and more refined, but the price was still very reasonable. I love the bar in Tigerlily (and the hotel rooms look beautiful, I’d love to stay there one day pleeease!) but next time I’m looking for afternoon tea in Edinburgh, I think I’ll be trying out somewhere else.
Are you a fan of afternoon tea?