Review: Enjoy a festive afternoon tea at Parker's Tavern
Parker’s Tavern has launched its first ever festive afternoon tea menu, which is set to run until Sunday, January 5.
Chef Tristan Welch's new selection of tasty sweet and savoury treats - boasting seasonal tastes inspired by Christmas festivities and flavours - is taken in the charming library setting of the restaurant which offers pleasant views over Parker's Piece.
A special gluten-free and dairy-free version is also offered, as well as a children's afternoon tea - all of which are served on delightful plates depicting Cambridge scenes and people past and present (Tristan himself is vividly represented).
An unlimited supply of tea and coffee served throughout the course of the sitting is a very welcome touch and there are many varieties to choose from - as well as hot chocolate and champagne, should the need arise.
The savoury treats we enjoyed first were crayfish tart, PT sausage roll and three different types of sandwiches: cucumber, dill and mint mascarpone; smoked salmon and crème fraiche; and, naturally - what with this being a festive occasion - turkey and cranberry.
I'm not a huge fan of seafood generally - nor cucumber for that matter - but happily tucked into the food on offer without leaving anything on my plate. I would say the crayfish tart was probably my favourite, though competition was stiff.
Next it was on to the scones - one plain and one fruit.
They were as good as any I had tasted before, but what set these apart was the lemon curd, which we added to the scones along with the customary clotted cream and jam - which in this case was a lovely spiced plum jam.
I'd never thought of having lemon curd with scones before, but I'm glad I've now been introduced to it and hope to make it a regular addition.
Finally, we moved on to the fine selection of cakes and sweet treats.
This final plate consisted of Ferrero Roche (dark chocolate praline coated in a milk chocolate and almond glaze on a feuilletine biscuit), Paris Brest (almond choux pastry filled with a praline cream and almond nougatine), Marmalade & Cardamom Financier (a marmalade cake with cardamom chantilly cream and candied orange), Chestnut 'Snowman' Macaron (filled with a white chocolate ganache and chestnut crème), and Mincemeat & Brandy Custard Tart (orange sweet pastry tart filled with mincemeat jam and brandy custard).
It was all so tasty and it would be difficult to pick a favourite among all of these wonderful treats - but, if pushed, I would say the financier or the snowman macaron.
Not only were the food and the setting excellent as we whiled away a relaxing Sunday afternoon, but the service we received was faultless too - diners are even given a Duke of Cambridge Tart and a gingerbread man to take home.
For a memorable afternoon of tea and cakes in a warm and friendly atmosphere, the Parker's Tavern festive afternoon tea starts from £29 per person and comes highly recommended.
More by this authorAdrian Peel