The bistro is busy, but at the same time relaxed and quiet. We’re taken through by our server and seated by a window, at a table over looking the Tyne. If the food is as impressive as the view, then this is going to be good.
We already know what to expect from the afternoon tea menu as we see the two-tiered stands being delivered to tables around us. With a menu dedicated to revealing the history behind tea consumption, it would appear Hotel du Vin take a traditional approach to the quintessentially British past time, which is so often modernised by burger sliders and quirky cocktails – and we’re happy about it.
We’re offered tea or Champagne – we decide on tea, feeling particularly British that day. Their tea range includes everything from fruit salad tea to mojitea and makes choosing difficult. One gingerbread chai and green tea later and our very own tiered stand makes its way to our table.
The finger sandwiches are filled with classic flavour combinations including, smoked salmon and cream cheese, egg and cress, and cheese and pickle, as well as the more unusual fillings of coronation chicken and mint and cucumber. We finish these eagerly, and move on to the miniature handmade cakes.
The top tier is filled with all the classics you could expect – and want. A fluffy Victoria sponge, bite-sized carrot cake, Black Forest gateau, and coffee and walnut cake. We also get a most unusual, ice cream-filled profiterole cake pop.
We stop ourselves from filling up on the handmade cakes, and make room for – let’s face it, the best part of any afternoon tea – buttery, golden-topped scones. Piling them high with clotted cream and jam (cream before jam, in case you were wondering) the flaky, fluffy scones bring our afternoon tea to the perfect close.
Many have a love-hate relationship with afternoon tea, but our quintessentially British experience at Hotel du Vin has us falling head over heels.
Hotel du Vin
Allan House, City Road, Newcastle NE1 2BE