After a hectic (and weird) couple of weeks, on Wednesday I was invited along with my friend Danielle to check out the Twilight Tea at The Principal, York – and even with an infection, the opportunity to sample tea and cakes is something I couldn’t refuse!
The Principal launched the Twilight Tea about 3 months ago, so it’s still relatively new. It’s hosted in the stunning Garden Room and runs from 5pm to 8pm both throughout the week and on weekends. It features all of the same tasty treats of the traditional afternoon tea but with the addition of cocktail options (non alcoholic & alcoholic). After a long day at work I was sold at just the thought of afternoon tea, so was definitely sold at the addition of a midweek cocktail!
We were booked in for 7pm but arrived a little earlier and so made our way to the Garden Room, which I feel I have to talk about for a minute! The Garden Room was the last of the rooms to be renovated as part of the hotels massive (and impressive) renovation a couple of years ago. The Garden Room, like the rest of the hotel, follows a perfect balance of period features with a cosy modern blend. I guess its GRAND but not in a cold old house kind of way, like the Edinburgh Principal which I stayed at last year (read that here) – there is something homely and cosy here.
We were greeted with a very warm welcome from Matt who showed us to a cosy table in the corner with a view over the immaculate Garden Room. After a quick browse of the cocktail list we both went for the bramble cocktail, served in a tumbler with a dainty glass teapot of tonic. Once we had settled in and made ourselves comfortable, Matt came to talk us through the afternoon tea menu and to check on any dietary requirements. They were very accommodating of Danielle’s vegetarian likes and dislikes, coming up with a perfect sandwich selection for her.
Like the afternoon tea, The Twilight Tea is served on a traditional cake stand which towers over the table and laden with delicious treats. Now I love afternoon tea and one big pet hate of mine is when you’re sharing and there isn’t multiples of things – because I like to be able to try all of the different things! THANKFULLY to my relief (/greed!) this is not the case here and there was multiples of everything to try. PHEW!
The Twilight Tea includes finger sandwiches (including a vegetarian selection for Danielle!), a selection of mini scones (buttermilk, orange and chestnut, and currant, cherry and almond) which were accompanied with clotted cream and a apricot & orange jam and then finally a selection of dainty cakes. The cakes included Chocolate & Caramel macarons, spiced pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese icing, bramble & apple crumble cakes, and my favourite, the mini Key Lime Pie!
I always think to myself that there isn’t much to an afternoon tea… Finger sandwiches, mini cakes and small scones – so why does it always beat me?! (Well both of us!) We sat and chatted over the cocktails, food and then a pot of tea, but still couldn’t quite manage three scones and four cakes so we ended up having a scone and cake each (not a bad effort) boxed up by Matt to take away with us.
As the Garden Room had now cleared we sat a little longer and chatted with Matt who told us about the renovation of the hotel and how lovely and calm the setting is for afternoon tea. Whilst there we decided to have a wander around the hotel for wedding venue inspiration for Danielle at this stunningly renovated building.
I see Danielle at least once a week since we graduated from university together 6 years ago, but with work, hectic weekends and friends that work on weekends its hard to set a date for things. So the beauty of this Twilight Tea is that it gives people the chance to do something different at a convenient time. Whether it be for a special occasion, a midweek catch up or something different, the fact that it is reasonably priced at £21.95 per person it’s similar to heading out on an evening for a two course meal and drink (just with a lot more food to get through!).
Thank you again to The Principal for inviting us for this experience and to Matt for looking after us so well! I am already re-booking for my friends birthday in December and can’t wait to see what ‘The Garden Sweet’ will be that week -albeit I will miss the amazing Key Lime Pie!
The Principal York:
*Our Twilight Tea was complimentary thanks to the wonderful people at The Principal York in return for coverage on my blog. I again thank them this great experience and it goes without saying that opinions in this review are 100% my own (and seconded by Danielle)! When you have chance you MUST check it out for yourself!