From December until early January The Celtic Manor Resort Hotel is delighting guests with a very Festive Afternoon Tea in the opulent Olive Tea Garden Room or Hedley’s Suite.
In 2015 I had the pleasure of previewing what you can typically expect from the Resort at their #MyCelticXmas event.
Our Afternoon Tea experience began with a mulled wine demonstration from the head barman Scott. Interestingly, the festive beverage has a long history, created around the time of the ancient Roman Empire. The Celtic Manor have expanded on traditional recipes to create their own unique twist for this special Afternoon Tea.
Teapots are used to ferment fresh ingredients like cinnamon and orange into the heated wine. It’s a delicate process that the server will taste-test to ensure a perfect balance of those warm and fuzzy flavours. After pouring over a wedge of orange in a glass, I was surprised by the sweet and aromatic burst of flavour.
With my tastebuds tantalised, a basket was presented with a selection of four savoury treats – including a scrumptious chicken, sage and onion brioche and a crayfish, mango and chilli blini.
Served for two, the bottom tier contains four finger sandwiches each – including a typically festive turkey and cranberry filling and the rather unique egg mayonnaise with shallot and chive.
Fellow bloggers sharing pictures of their Festive Tea.
The top tier’s contain six hand-made cakes and pastries, overseen by executive pastry chef Karl Jones.
Karl gave us an informative run through of their creations, beginning with the Resort’s own mince pies that combines sweet pastry with crumbly shortbread.
I’m a big fan of carrot cake so was immediately drawn to the cinnamon spiced cupcakes with a generous creamy topping. Karl states this is the ‘little nod’ to Santa’s reindeers and uses a traditional recipe with an apricot jam centre – you can be sure there wasn’t a crumb left!
The white chocolate Christmas pudding truffle looked almost too good to eat… but temptation soon took over, laced with rum it’s one of 3,500 puddings handmade at The Celtic Manor.
I always appreciate the emphasis on using locally sourced ingredients at The Celtic Manor, as well as giving well-known dishes or treats a creative Welsh twist. For example, the Penderyn whisky and marmalade bara-brith contains original fruit, whisky syrup and marzipan icing, a nod to the traditional Christmas Cake.
Accompanying the Christmassy nibbles is a choice of speciality tea’s or freshly brewed coffee. I enjoyed a traditional English Breakfast tea to go with my two scones that completes this Festive Afternoon Tea – phewph!
Isn’t the presentation throughout spectacular?! The wicker basket contains a cranberry scone, a vanilla and chestnut scone and of course, jars of jam and clotted cream. What’s good is that there’s no worries about over indulging, the staff will happily give you a box to take home what’s been spared.
The attention to detail, exceptional service and Welsh pride is what makes The Celtic Manor Resort a truly special place to dine anytime of year. At Christmas, it’s even more magical with extravagant decorations and the outdoor Christmas Kingdom, featuring Santa’s Grotto, Ice Rink and a Bratwurst Hut no less.
Afternoon Tea is currently served between 13:00-15:30. Prices and info available here.
Thank you to The Celtic Manor for inviting me along for this festive event!
The food and drinks were complimentary, all opinions are my own.