Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is said to have complained of “having that sinking feeling” during the late afternoon between meals and so created the tradition of Afternoon Tea. Taking a pot of tea and a light snack is one that I try to accommodate as often as possible, so I was delighted to be invited to try the new High Tea at Hotel la Tour.
Hotel la Tour is a recently opened four star hotel in the regeneration hotspot of Eastside, a mere five minutes away from Selfridges in Birmingham. From the oversized chairs and floor lamps in red and black, the hotel has a stylish and contemporary feel.
Going up to the first floor past the Aalto restaurant, my mother and I were seated in a cosy corner at the end of the long bar. While we drank our White tea with pomegranate and English Breakfast blends, a three tier frame was placed on the floor between us. Then the individual serving plates were added one by one with a description of all their delicious contents by our waitress.
Crunchy fingers of welsh rarebit with a hot mustard dip and soft inside out cucumber rolls were unusual and welcome additions to the traditional savoury fare. Six finger sandwiches of salmon and cream cheese on brown bread and Coronation chicken and ham on white bread completed our savoury plate.
Our second plate of four mini scones with Devonshire clotted cream and jam were then an ideal pre-cursor to individual afternoon tea fancies.Head Chef Alex Penhaligon has obviously had some fun in creating a selection of sweet treats based on popular desserts. A juicy blackberry encased in soft meringue with sugar flowers, a chocolate covered biscuit cone piped with walnut cream, a mini Jaffa cake and treacle tart were all bite-sized delights.
With piano music playing in the background, it’s a relaxing way to indulge in a beautifully presented and delicious High Tea. I particularly like the way the menu offers a twist on British classics.
High Tea is available for £15.95 per person Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays. You can pre-book online and gift vouchers also available.