Foodie Review: Gin-Inspired Afternoon Tea, Hotel Du Vin, Harrogate
Review: Derrick Jones
Harrogate is a wealthy spa town and as such accommodates some beautiful buildings, a collection of which have been converted to create the stylish boutique-style Hotel Du Vin. We paid a visit to sample the very tempting Gin-inspired Afternoon Tea. Hotel Du Vin has partnered with ‘Best in Class’ Fever-Tree to offer the perfect accompaniment to this quintessential British tradition, where the menu features a selection of hand-picked gins, each perfectly paired with its own tonic.
On arrival we were invited to sit in the large lounge area on soft comfortable leather sofas (arranged in such a way as to be private but not isolated). We were greeted by the bar manager who was very courteous and served us with a chilled glass of champagne. Another seating option is the large, terrace to the rear of the hotel, with a heated canopy shelter and natural shade from two large trees, probably more suited to a warm sunny day, but definitely a feature not shared by many hotels in the area.
The menu for afternoon tea had a selection of mini sandwiches and savouries which we found delicious when they arrived. They comprised of Severn and Wye smoked salmon, cream cheese bagels, ham with Gruyere croissants and goat’s cheese and spinach quiche. My favourite was the heritage tomato and tapenade galette but all were the perfect light snack.
The savories were followed by traditional scones with cream and jam, and in addition a choice of sweet treats including lemon meringue pie, Knickerbocker glory, raspberry and dark chocolate teacakes, rhubarb and custard doughnuts. On top of the twin layer silver stand was a quirky but favourable addition, two fluffy pink Candy floss sticks protruding at angles creating an image of Mickey Mouse’s ears rendered us back to our childhood for minute or two.
As the afternoon tea was indeed Gin-inspired we each both sampled (a few!) options from the array of Gin choices on offer. I chose Hendricks & Elderflower Tonic with tonic served over ice with a twist of cucumber to subtly compliment the dry gin. My wife picked the Sipsmith Sloe & Lemon Tonic, again over ice this time with full sloe berries on the top, a warm gentle flavour with a rich crimson colour. You could also opt for a Carounn & Indian Tonic or Monkey 47 & Indian Tonic.
To finish we chose from a selection of Twinigs tea on offer, a great selection of different varieties and flavours of teas inspired from around the world. I chose traditional English Breakfast, while my wife had the Earl Grey (conjuring images of a colonial past from its eastern origins).
We had the pleasure of being introduced to James, the General Manager who’s enthusiasm for the hotel was extremely inspiring and clearly his passion. His purchase of the candy floss machine an obvious procurement designed to blend tradition with a sense of joviality. He also mentioned there is a refurbishment of the bar area in the planning stages which will enhance the quality of comfort and utilise more of the space at his disposal, a must see for us in the future.
After a well rested two hours we bade farewell to the staff of Du Vin and returned to the bustle of the streets with a definite gin-inspired spring in our step.
Afternoon Tea menu is available at Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Harrogate, Henley-on-Thames, Newcastle, Poole, St. Andrews, Tunbridge Wells, Wimbledon, Winchester, York and Exeter*
Menu – full menu available, here: https://www.hotelduvin.com/offers/food-drink/afternoon-tea-at-hotel-du-vin/#/menus/afternoon-tea/|GINS
A selection of warm A selection of warm scones served with a mixtureof Bonne Maman jams, clotted cream and Lescure Butter
A selection of mini sandwiches and savouries:
Severn and Wye smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel, egg and cressmayonnaise brioche sub, ham with Gruyere croissant, heritage tomato and tapenade galette, goat’s cheese and spinach quiche
Followed by a selection of warm scones served with a mixture of Bonne Maman jams, clotted cream and Lescure Butter
To finish, a few sweet mini treats of lemon meringue pie, Knickerbocker glory, raspberry and dark chocolate teacakes, rhubarb and custard doughnuts
All topped off with homemade apple candy floss and a choice of teas
Sipsmith Sloe & Lemon Tonic…£7.30
Hendricks & Elderflower Tonic…£7.95
Carounn & Indian Tonic…£8.50
Monkey 47 & Indian Tonic…£9.50
* Not Available at One Devonshire Gardens, Glasgow. For their full traditional afternoon tea offering please visit hotelduvin.com/locations/glasgow/bistro/
** £25.00 at Hotel du Vin Wimbledon