The Edgbaston is a boutique hotel which has become almost as famous locally for its fabulous cocktails as it’s decadent vintage style afternoon tea. I decided to treat Ma Lee to one of the best festive afternoon teas in Birmingham.
From the moment you enter the stylish Art Deco inspired cocktail lounge with it’s huge chandeliers and gold embellishments you know you’re in for a treat. Our server Susie explained the different options available to us before leaving us to peruse the menu. Giving our post-Christmas liver a break, we opt for the non-alcoholic option. We ponder the tea selection. Ma Lee is an unadventurous tea drinker, but she’s persuaded to give the highly exotic Earl Grey a go. I opt for the Blackcurrant and Hibiscus, which tastes a little like hot squash but is strangely moreish.
Mmmm, what to have?
After tea is served, it’s an early touch of drama. An amuse bouche. There’s dry ice. And it comes with a warning not to touch any of the remaining -80 degree rocks of ice if you want to keep your fingers intact. It’s quite magical and I defy you not to oooh and aaah. The palate cleansers were quite lovely too, some sort of whiskey infused cheesecake with edible violets.
Once the fog clears, it’s time for the main event! A rack of savoury and sweet delights are served. We quickly set about demolishing the selection. In keeping with the festive theme, there’s turkey & cranberry served on a brioche bun, and a teeny tiny mince pie. There’s also smoked salmon & avocado on lemon bread, and Wensleydale cheese and curry sauce on a seeded cracker. The ever-present macaron, and a melt-in-your-mouth passionfruit & meringue tart. And finally, straight-from-the-oven scones with jars of clotted cream and jam.
Every bite was delicious and packed full of flavour. But at The Edgbaston, it’s the complete experience that makes this afternoon tea a cut above the rest. The dainty porcelain; the amazingly polished teapots; efficient, friendly and knowledgeable staff; and a sophisticated and elegant setting. Perfect for sophisticated and elegant ladies who lunch. Or me and Ma Lee.
Of course, The Edgbaston offers an ace afternoon tea all year round – you don’t have to wait until Christmas! A traditional afternoon tea is £26.50 per person. Afternoon Tea is served 7 days a week, from 12 noon until 6pm, and you’ll definitely need to book in advance. For reservations please call 0121 454 5212 or email email@example.com.
The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel and Cocktail Lounge, 18 Highfield Road, Edgbaston, B15 3DU. Website