A delicious treat with a wide variety flavours, this special themed afternoon tea is delightfully playful and will bring out the child within.
From the carefully thought out decor that brings to life Willy Wonka’s factory to the imaginative range of flavours that you sample throughout the afternoon tea, this feels like a real experience for adults and children.
While not accessible through the hotel itself (there is a separate entrance), this means that the restaurant area is exclusively for the Charlie & the Chocolate Factory experience from the moment you step into the foyer you are whisked into a world filled with imagination and surrounded by vibrant colour that makes you excited for the experience ahead. From this point onwards, it is clear that a lot of thought has gone into the creation of this experience.
Once you are taken to your table by a warm and friendly member of staff, there is a really excitable atmosphere as you see families and couples alike really tucking into the afternoon tea and it was clear to see on the day I went everyone was making the most of each morsel they were eating.
To start off proceedings, the adults can upgrade their experience by either ordering a glass of champagne or a specially designed cocktail. My friend and I opted for a cocktail each, with one of us selecting the Strawberry Juice Water Pistol Punch (Vodka, strawberry purée, sweet vermouth, Aperol, Electric Bitters and lemonade) and the other The Juicing Room Mix (Gin, pink grapefruit juice, elderflower liqueur, passion fruit, apricot liqueur and soda). The strawberry juice cocktail, was sweet and rich with flavour – but not too overpowering, while in contrast The Juicing Room Mix was initially quite sharp but also surprisingly refreshing. Each cocktail arrives imaginatively (I won’t ruin the surprise…) and heightens the expectation of what is yet to come.
For the tea itself, there are five very different teas to select from to help complement the treats ahead. The main options are chocolate noir, caramel noir, lemon verbena, berries & hibiscus or lychee & rose. Now not being a big tea drinker myself, I opted for the chocolate noir, which was slightly bitter but you did get the dark chocolate undertones as well and before I knew it the whole pot was gone! However, if you aren’t sure of these particular teas then you can also order other hot drinks as well. Plus, refills are included so drink away!
Next to arrive at the table, was a selection of savoury treats including: Coronation chicken sarnie, Salmon and dill quiche with saffron mayo, Egg mayonnaise and watercress sarnie, Spinach roly-poly and a Not quite as it seems beetroot macaron. A particular favourite of ours on the day was the Coronation chicken sarnie which went down a storm that we ordered a couple more! However, in second position was definitely the Spinach roly-poly, which came complete with an onion chutney – the flavours really complemented each other and again went down too quickly! The egg mayonnaise and watercress sarnie felt a little dry, but the Not quite what it seems beetroot macaron is unusual and takes a minute or so to get used to, showing the boldness to mix flavours.
Last but not least – the treats! There is certainly plenty to enjoy that can leave you feeling as round as Violet Beauregarde before she goes to the juicing room! The deliciously creamy caramel chocolate milkshake (mixed by waterfall don’t you know!) that is really quite addictive. Meanwhile, a wonderfully refreshing and unexpected fizzy lifting lemonade posset which literally had a fizzy kick to it that took me aback! Elsewhere, the candy cotton floss tasted delightfully of bubblegum and wonderfully light. The scones in the meantime, came out warm and fluffy (a selection of plain and raisin with fudge), along with vanilla-pineapple “snozzberry jam” and of course the more traditional clotted cream and jam.
Overall, this is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon and while some might find it a little bit pricy (£70 per person, £85 if upgrade to cocktail or champagne), it is really worth it for the unique experience and the high quality service that is provided by the staff. Highly recommended.
By Emma Clarendon
To find out more and to book visit: https://www.onealdwych.com/food-drink/charlie-the-chocolate-factory-afternoon-tea/