Over the last few years I’ve began thinking more about the kinds of presents I buy and instead I’ve started giving gifts that will give experiences and make memories such as theatre tickets and weekends away.
Last Christmas I bought my Mum and Gran vouchers for Afternoon Tea at The Great British Cupcakery. I used to think that vouchers looked like a last minute idea but I’ve found that Afternoon Tea vouchers have proved to be a huge success! What’s not to like about lots of miniature deserts and spending time with loved ones in a stately home or fancy bar?
For part of my Mum’s Birthday present I bought vouchers for Afternoon Tea at Bonbar and last weekend we finally got around to enjoying them.
Bonbar is located in the heart of the iconic Assembly Rooms and is Newcastle’s premier bar, restaurant and late lounge. I was a bit apprehensive about what our Afternoon Tea would be like as the venue wasn’t really like any other place we had enjoyed tea at before. I shouldn’t have worried though as Bonbar proved to be perfect and our Afternoon Tea was the best we’ve tried so far!
We were greeted by Tyrone, our waiter, who introduced himself and made us feel very welcome and excited for our afternoon ahead. Our booth was already set and within minutes our pot of breakfast tea arrived shortly followed by our impressive stand of miniature treats.
Unlike Afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House, there wasn’t a menu on the table; however, Tyrone explained everything that was on the stand to us thoroughly which we actually preferred, it was more personal and meant we could ask any questions if we needed to.
The sandwich selection was different to the traditional finger sandwiches usually served with Afternoon Tea, the fillings were more ‘fancy’:
Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Panini
Chicken Mayonnaise on Wholemeal Bread
Goats Cheese & Beetroot on White Bread
Salmon & Cream Cheese on a Cracker
I’d never tried Smoked Salmon or Beetroot before but found I actually really liked them, all of the sandwiches were delicious and we couldn’t pick a favourite!
After, we moved on to the next tier. The scones weren’t plain, fruit or cheese but instead blueberry! We smothered them with a generous helping of jam and clotted cream and both agreed it was a nice change, the scones were very moist.
Alongside the scones were miniature red velvet cupcakes, brownies and lemon curd tarts, all of which were the perfect size to sample. Our favourite was the brownie which was rich and had a great texture. We later discovered that the brownie was made with beetroot which helped to keep the brownie so moist. I went from never having tried beetroot before to having it twice in one day!
By this point, we were starting to feel a little full but the top layer was just too tempting to leave! Bonbar’s twist on fruits of the forest cheesecake meant it was served upside down in a glass, it was creamy and really tasty. Stood in a jar of sherbet was lemon drizzle cake pops dipped in white chocolate and covered in desiccated coconut. I’d wanted to try a cake pop for a while and these were perfect, moist with a slight citrus twang!
We had a brilliant time at Bonbar, our Afternoon Tea was exceptional and the staff were friendly, attentive and went out of their way to help. The owner, an elderly gentleman, even introduced himself to us at our table and explained that he likes to talk to everyone and check that everything is okay. We thought this was a nice touch as it showed that he was passionate and cared about people’s time at Bonbar.
We were surprised to learn that all of the contents of our Afternoon tea was actually made onsite by the chefs, everything tasted beautiful and was presented to such a high standard. It was definitely worth £14.95 each!
Whilst we were there we noticed that the meals and puddings being served looked really good too so we might have to pop back.
To avoid disappointment, I’d suggest booking a table in advance. This year we’ve really gotten into Afternoon tea and are already thinking about where to head next. Have you been to Bonbar before? Where’s your favourite place for Afternoon tea in the North East?