Julien Plumart Cafe et Patisserie. 48 Queens Rd, Brighton BN1 3XB. Afternoon tea for four.
To celebrate my Mum’s birthday we spent a surprisingly sunny day in Brighton and enjoyed afternoon tea at Julien Plumart on East Street. A bit different to traditional afternoon teas I’ve tried at places like The Grand Brighton Hotel and South Lodge Hotel, this French patisserie was really something special.
As you enter the cosy seating area, the colourful array of macaroons (the staple at Julien Plumart) and desserts is beautiful, whilst the sound of the coffee machine is enough to raise a smile.
Afternoon tea without scones
Afternoon tea here doesn’t include the plain and fruit scones you might be used to in the UK. For £16pp you’re presented with a hot drink, warm brownie, one macaroon of your choice, one cake of your choice, a selection of sandwiches (vegetarian available), a filled bread roll and ice cream in your choice of flavour for afters.
The fact that you get to pick which macaroon and cake you indulge in is actually a great idea. Each afternoon tea becomes tailored to you, by you. You’re also saved from falling into the trap of having too, too much, rather than just the right amount of too much. In line with this, the sweet treats and sandwiches aren’t replenished.
On the day I opted for a tasty cappuccino, hazelnut praline macaroon, peanut surprise cake and salted caramel ice cream. I intentionally based my choices on flavours I thought would go well together and was definitely in the mood for a chocolatey afternoon.
The macaroon was exactly how it should be and for me, rivals that of Laduree in Paris; super soft with a delicate crisp and intense flavour. The peanut surprise cake had lots of different layers and textures and wasn’t overly sweet, so also worked really well and the brownie was soft and cake-like, instead of being gooey.
The savoury items – the sandwiches and bread roll – were fresh and tasty but nothing you won’t have experienced before at an afternoon tea. However, this certainly isn’t a problem!
A highlight for me was the presentation of the food, both in terms of how the cakes were made and the tray they were displayed on. Again, it gives this afternoon tea a bit of a twist from the moe traditional three layers.
Overall, it was a great afternoon experience and the staff were very friendly and accommodating when one of us changed their mind on an order. I definitely recommend it if you want a different take on afternoon tea, or simply if you’re not a fan of scones.
Booking in advance is advised and you’re allocated an hour and a half for afternoon tea. However, we were finished slightly before and headed back to the pier to make the most of the spring weather.
Get a train to the main Brighton station and walk around five minutes down East Street, heading south towards the beach.
Let me know if you have a favourite afternoon tea in Brighton and I will make every effort to try it out for myself. Where would you recommend?