Are you always busy and want a way to treat yourself? Why not try afternoon tea at the Royal Station Hotel in Newcastle? Read on to find what it is like.
Who doesn’t love afternoon tea? There is something decadent about sitting down in the middle of the afternoon and enjoying a cup of tea with a sandwich and a sweet treat. When I found a Groupon offer for afternoon tea at the Royal Station Hotel I had to go along. After all I am on a mission to discover the best afternoon tea in North East England.
If you live in Newcastle you will be familiar with the grand entrance to the Royal Station Hotel, the steps up to the entrance framed by ornate ironwork holding up a glass canopy. If you are on your way to Central Station you pass it by, but have you ever gone in?
The hotel is a Grade 1 and 2 listed building, opened by Queen Victoria in 1850. At this time railways were expanding due to the industrial revolution and grand hotels beside stations were all the rage.
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Stepping inside The Royal Station Hotel is like stepping back in time. You can see why a host of stars have checked into the hotel over the years. You are following in the footsteps of some famous people including Laurel and Hardy, Laurence Olivier and Muhammad Ali.
While the hotel retains its historic feel it has a host of modern facilities. With 145 bedrooms, leisure facilities, an indoor swimming pool and meeting and conference rooms it has everything to please the modern traveller.
Afternoon tea is served in the lounge area of the Empire restaurant. The restaurant feels grand with its stunning chandeliers, and plush seats. The decor is purple with a motif of butterflies and posters which take you back in time to when the hotel would have been full of rail travellers. There is a mix of cosy booths and small tables. We were shown quickly to a small table and waited expectantly for our afternoon tea.
After sitting down we were given the cocktail menu. Our afternoon tea included a cocktail which we enjoyed before the main event.
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There were six cocktails on the menu which were a Limoncello Spritz, Bramble, French Martini, Appletini, Ginger Jack, Expresso Martini or a glass of Prosecco. This was more than enough to choose from, especially if you are indecisive.
Prosecco is a classic choice with afternoon tea and I chose a variation on this, the Limoncello Spritz. This is a mixture of prosecco and lemoncello with soda water. It is a tart and refreshing drink which makes the perfect aperitif.
My son went for the Bramble, gin, cassis, lemon juice and sugar syrup poured over ice. This came in a wide glass which had a definite James Bond feel.
After we drank our cocktails it was time for tea. The tea came in an elegant white pot with more than enough for two cups each. The tea stand brought a air of expectation with it.
The sandwiches always set the tone for the afternoon tea and this was a nice selection. They were the standard finger sandwiches. Rather strangely the two layers of sandwiches were on top of each other which made it difficult for two people to choose from them. I picked up one layer and put it on a side plate which resolved the problem.
Our favourite was the smoked salmon with dill and lemon cream cheese which had a lovely fresh taste. The chicken with smoked paprika mayo was a close second, the paprika was not overpowering and added a dash of flavour. The mature cheddar and green tomato chutney was fine, but could have done with a little more chutney. There were two of these, I would have liked another flavour instead of two the same.
Whilst it was a nice selection of sandwiches the bread was a little cold. I would have preferred it at room temperature as it adds more to the taste.
The scones are the intermission in an afternoon tea which prepare you for the sweet indulgence ahead. These were tasty scones, slightly crumbly but light to eat. They were square in shape giving them a home made look and feel.
The strawberry jam and clotted cream go nicely with the scone. The jam was not too sweet and had a pleasant strawberry taste.
Given that it is a Chocolate Indulgence afternoon tea it should be no surprise that the cakes were all chocolate. Our favourite was the salted caramel mousse with rich chocolate on top and the contrasting caramel underneath making it a pleasure to eat. A spoon was provided which is something that can be overlooked.
The chocolate and caramel tart was also delicious. The pastry was firm and held the dark chocolate and caramel together well. A small fudge cake topped with a chocolate flake was a welcome addition.
Whilst the menu states a chocolate opera cake the last cake was more like a chocolate brownie. It was the least special of the cakes, almost plain in comparison.
The cakes were delicious but I felt the amount of chocolate was rather overdone. I was wishing for a little fruit tart or a cheesecake as a palette cleanser.
The Royal Station Hotel in Newcastle is an iconic venue which takes you back in time to the Victorian era. As a setting for afternoon tea it is almost perfect and the lounge area is cosy. Service was good and the staff were attentive, making sure we were enjoying our tea.
The cocktails made a nice start to the afternoon and the tea itself was pleasant. There was the right mix of sweet and savoury treats to satisfy us. I did have a couple of minor niggles over the sandwiches but these were minor. Overall we enjoyed our afternoon tea at the Royal Station Hotel Newcastle.
If you are looking for an afternoon tea in a historic setting in Newcastle this is definitely one to try.
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The Royal Station Hotel in Newcastle is right in the centre of the city, next to Central Station.
Royal Station Hotel
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Phone : +441912320781
The afternoon tea costs £10.95 per person. If you would like to have a cocktail as well its £14.95 per person.
Have you ever been for afternoon tea at the Royal Station Hotel? What did you think? Let me know below.