The Grand Brighton, 97-99 King’s Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2FW. Victoria Grand Afternoon Tea for two £59.90.
For Christmas this year my parents got Will and I a voucher to experience the luxurious afternoon tea for two at The Grand Brighton Hotel and we didn’t hesitate to book ourselves in at the earliest opportunity – a brilliant treat for a gloomy January.
The Grand Brighton Hotel will be familiar to all in Brighton; an imposing, beautiful building overlooking the seafront since 1864. Our sitting booked for 2.30pm, we arrived at 2pm to relax at the bar with a glass each of Moet champagne topped with a fresh strawberry and complimentary snacks. We also took the opportunity to marvel at the stunning interiors of the hotel, particularly the chandeliers in the lobby and lounge and the grand staircase at the rear leading to the hotel rooms.
After a kind barman took our photograph, we were led by our waitress to the Victoria Lounge at the front of the hotel, which overlooks the sea and the collapsed West Pier. This room was awash with light and decorated with quaint artwork perfect for an afternoon of sugar and caffeine, harking back to the hotel’s Victorian roots. As we handed in the voucher and ordered our first teas of the afternoon – one Victoria Breakfast Tea Blend and one White Tea – we made ourselves at home in the laid-back green chairs, reminded of our equally comfortable setting for afternoon tea at The South Lodge Hotel.
Afternoon tea tiers
After a short, ambient wait, continuing to sip on our drinks, the three tiers of afternoon made their welcomed arrival.
The first tier was a sandwich selection of egg and cress, smoked salmon, ham and mustard and cucumber and cream cheese.
The second tier featured perfectly presented plain and raisin scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam.
The third tier of cakes and pastries consisted of chocolate strawberry macaroons, a pistachio cream cone, chocolate coffee gateau, carrot cake, lemon and blackberry tart (my favourite), strawberry meringue and a custard eclair.
It all looked fantastic. We started with the sandwiches which were fresh, soft and generously filled. The salmon was particularly tasty and the ham and mustard was a classic combination with just a hint of heat.
Savoury cravings worked through, we took a tactical break before trying the plain and then raisin scones. As we went to university in Exeter, Devon, we choose to assemble in the Devon fashion of clotted cream first, then jam. The scones were very delicate and fluffy on the inside, with a good hard crunch as you bit in. The buttery taste was very indulgent and all brought together with the clotted cream and jam toppings, which were just sweet enough.
As you can imagine, at this point we opted for a longer break before attempting the top and final tier. We took time to enjoy the sea view and ordered our second teas of the afternoon – a White Tea from Japan and a Cherry Green Tea. All the while the lounge was bustling with just the right about of noise from our fellow guests and the staff were being attentive and friendly, taking photos of guests and chatting to those celebrating birthdays in style. One lady even received a bouquet of flowers while we were there.
After a suitable break and feeling incredibly cosy at our window table – I requested this when booking – we had enough room left for the decadent cake and pastry tier. The carrot cake was moist and had huge chunks of ginger in it which really brought out the flavour, while the lemon and blackberry tart was incredibly sweet and refreshing. My favourites of the tier, the chocolate strawberry macaroons were also fantastic and in all honesty, none of the pastries can be faulted. You can tell a lot of time has gone into selecting the treats as they pair nicely together.
After a very content and satisfied rest, as the light faded into sunset, we asked for the bill for our champagne and left to take in the fresh air of the seaside.
Afternoon tea for two at The Grand Brighton Hotel made a fantastic gift and I would definitely go again. It offers such a welcoming, cosy environment that all you can do is sit back and have a wonderful afternoon. All elements impress; the staff, the setting, the food and the hot drinks selection.
As a first afternoon tea of 2017, it’s undoubtedly set the bar very high. On an end note as I know it can be expected with these dining experiences, we weren’t given the options of refills. Now, this was great for us as we were absolutely full and happy with the generous portions anyway and to have any more would have only tempted us to over-overeat. A problem I once struggled through at The Ritz.
Welcoming, delicious and with a great view, it’s a relaxing and satisfying way to spend an afternoon in Brighton.
Have you been to The Grand Brighton for afternoon tea or are considering it? Let me know with a comment below. I’d also love to hear of your favourite venues for afternoon tea so I can book in my next experience.
If travelling by train, walk straight down Queens Road to the seafront and head right for a short walk to the entrance of the hotel.