Earlier this month, Adam and I were invited to take afternoon tea with a twist at the Malmaison in Cheltenham. As you may already know, The Malmaison chain now occupies the former Montpelier Chapter; a grand building in Cheltenham town centre with an interior that just oozes luxury and style.
Now, whilst I’m the first to admit we aren’t exactly experiencing the best of the ‘Great British Summer’ this year, it is a fact universally acknowledged that there is nothing more quintessentially ‘summer’ than a good old British afternoon tea. Britain has built a tourist empire on it, and rightly so. We were therefore really excited to try out the Malmaison’s afternoon tea and see how it compares to the best in Cheltenham.
A friendly waitress greeted us and showed us through to the Orangery. It is a beautifully light space, although perhaps a little hot on the day we visited. You could always sit in the equally lovely main bar or lounge though if this is an issue.
The Afternoon Tea Drinks Menu
The Malmaison does not disappoint on choices, with three different afternoon tea options to tempt a variety of tastes – classic, champagne and cocktails.
Adam and I both opted for the Cocktail Afternoon Tea; as self confessed gin lovers (read: snobs) we were intrigued by the Hendrick’s G&Tea on the menu. Consisting of Hendrick’s gin, St Germain elderflower liquer, blackberry and elderflower tea syrup, lemon juice and tonic and served in Hendrick’s literary themed china, this cocktail tasted like an English garden, looked sublime and really did live up to my expectations.
I really loved the premise of the cocktail, so much so that I attempted to recreate it twice over with some of the fantastic local brands available to Cheltenham dwellers currently residing in the Lewis liquor cabinet, substituting in Sibling Gin and Cotswold Dry Gin (on separate occasions), Chase elderflower liqueur, local blackberries, homemade tea syrup infused with Bottlegreen elderflower cordial and finished with Bottlegreen tonic – A-MAZ-ING!
We also opted for a pot of the hot stuff – probably a good idea as Adam was driving. Adam chose traditional breakfast and Afternoon Darjeeling to accompany our feast – and what a feast it was…
Food With A Twist
The afternoon tea offered a twist on the traditional; instead of sandwiches, we feasted on mini burgers, chipotle chicken avocado wraps and hot smoked salmon and creme fraiche wraps. This was a welcome change from the cucumber sandwiches which seem to come as standard with many afternoon teas.
We followed this with a selection of sweet treats including the traditional fruit scones with jam and cream. They also serve salted chocolate brownies, lemon and polenta cake, strawberry and vanilla pavlova and a rhubarb posset. The posset particularly delighted me – I flipping love rhubarb!
The frozen berry smoothie served in a mini milk bottle was the showstopper though. It tasted as good as it looked – truly scrumptious!
Adam and I left the Malmaison with very full bellies and big smiles on our faces – I would certainly recommend this afternoon tea, especially if you are looking for a twist on the traditional treat with family or friends in Cheltenham. The only disappointment for me was the lack of local products on the menu, but this isn’t a deal breaker.
Where can I find out more about afternoon tea at the Malmaison, Cheltenham?
At £25 for the cocktail afternoon tea and £17.50 for the classic, the Malmaison offers luxury and great value. We certainly enjoyed ourselves and hope to return again soon. Check out the Malmaison website for more information.