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The Pudding Pantry

14 December 15 words: Penny Reeve

Being a lady who lunches has always appealed. Sitting down to tea and cake while the rest of the world slaves away... Oh what a life. Although I conveniently forget what too much cream cake does to the thighs, how full one would feel after eating the contents of a huge cake stand. But every once in a while…

My friend and I had decided on the afternoon tea (from £3.95 each), which included little sandwiches (not a cucumber in sight), cakes – two of each – and scones, delivered on a three-tier cake stand and served with our choice of tea. I opted for the jasmine pearl, a fancy hand-rolled Fujian tea with Fuzhou jasmine. It was truly delicate, more so than your regular jasmine, and just inhaling it made me feel all calm and happy. My friend went for the cascara, which is from the coffee cherry and has more caffeine than the bean. It had a rich, delicious aroma with honey overtones.

We decided on the sandwiches first, savoury before sweet and all that. The bread was soft, doughy and locally made, and the fillings were all scrumptious – definitely a cut above your supermarket standards. I particularly enjoyed the beetroot hummus and feta with toasted hazelnuts. As crazy as it sounds, it worked; the distinctive taste of hazelnuts set off the feta, while the beetroot hummus was creamy and full of flavour. Also featuring in the selection was a pulled pork sandwich that was almost outshone by the apple coleslaw, but it clawed it back with a delicious smoked flavour in the aftertaste; a nice prawn with coriander mayo (we hate coriander, but could understand that people not disgusted by the thought of that leafy green atrocity would have enjoyed it); and a cheddar and pineapple chutney. Kudos to whoever created the chutney. Amazing.

The sweet stuff we’d been waiting for included some crazily textured macaroons – I wasn’t sure what was going on there – stunning chocolate cookies with a homemade ganache inside, gooey brownies and an amazing, moist blondie with vanilla buttercream and passionfruit ganache that was definitely my favourite part of the tea, being deliciously moist and super sweet. My friend found it a little too sweet, but pfftt, what does she know? Heathen. Finally, we pounced on the huge, puffy scones, which were light, tasty and accompanied by thick, delicious clotted cream and gloopy strawberry jam. A perfect end to a delicious high tea. They’ve also launched a Christmas afternoon tea menu, inclusive of cranberry and orange scones, mince turnovers and mulled wine. Oh, if I must…

Penny Reeve

27 Trinity Square, NG1 4AF

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