Despite turning 40 in December last year, the celebrations are still continuing, and will do for a few more months yet with some other exciting adventures planned. My two best friends turn 40 during February, so we all decided to pick a day and have afternoon tea. We settled on the Mercure Dolphin hotel in Southampton for our afternoon tea as it’s local to one of my friends, and we could spend a few hours browsing the shops as well without having kids in tow which is a great win.
I booked our afternoon tea via email a few weeks previously and despite it being a busy Saturday we were only one of four parties enjoying afternoon tea this weekend. The restaurant area was quite large yet had a cosy feel to it. After being offered the choice of tea or coffee, our afternoon tea arrived quite quickly.
We had already enjoyed a visit to the ice cream parlour at lunch time, so we were already riding a sugar high. The sensible decision was to start with the savoury and enjoy the sandwiches.
Our sandwich fillings consisted of smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese and ham and tomato. It turned out that we all found a filling we enjoyed and all the sandwiches bar one was eaten up. They were cut nicely and quite delicate yet they were very filling. The tea was going down quite nicely too, as we had each received a very generous pot of tea each.
What should we go for next? The cakes or scones? We decided on the scones but then were faced with the question of jam or cream first? It turns out I prefer cream first and the other girls prefer jam first. There was more than enough cream for our scones and there was plenty left when the scones had been demolished. The fresh fruit garnish was actually coming in quite handy as a palette cleanser between each course.
I’m not sure any of us could actually really fit in any of the cakes. By now we had been chatting for some time and the tea had gone cold. After a refill of the pot, we realised that actually the hot water had just been refreshed rather than a fresh pot of tea. This was a shame as it meant we were drinking weak tea by this point.
The cakes were a choice of Victoria sponge, chocolate fudge cake and carrot cake. I managed a piece of victoria sponge and half a carrot cake before having to give up. The portions were very generous for the three of us, and you certainly wouldn’t go hungry. We paid £10 each for our afternoon tea which I think was an amazing bargain. I believe this was a spring offer, but I’m sure I saw the afternoon tea advertised at £12.95 originally anyway which is still great value for money. We would definitely go back.
Enjoying afternoon tea was on my 2017 travel bucket list, so I am able to tick this off the list now.