Posted on Thursday, 9th April 2015
AFTERNOON TEA AT THE WHITE LION
Words and photos by Food Porn Nation and myself.
The Sunday of our recent visit to Aldeburgh happened to be Mother’s Day and we welcomed the opportunity to try the afternoon tea at The White Lion Hotel in Adleburgh. The pastry chef at The White Lion is Anmar Odendal, an award winning wedding cake designer. Through her business CRUMB, she was recognised by the wedding industry awards as the best wedding cake designer in the East of England in 2013.
Our afternoon tea was floral inspired and included a selection of sandwiches, scones, cakes and pastries with a choice of tea, a glass of champagne and a little pot of flowers for mum, all at an unbelievable price of £20. It was staggeringly good value and difficult to think that we could get so much for so little. At an equivalent London establishment, an afternoon tea such as this would most likely have cost at least £35 to £40.
The selection of finger sandwiches were tasty and included standard fillings such as cucumber, ham, egg and watercress. The scones were rather alluring as they presented us with an engaging texture. The exterior was crunchy and the interior was soft. Served warm, the scones went swimmingly with the clotted cream and yummy homemade raspberry jam.
To the sweet stuff (my favourite part of an afternoon tea), and on the top level of the tray there were some lovely pink meringue sandwiches with rosewater scented Chantilly cream. These were delicate and as light as a feather, and the combination with the cream was a good one.
Also on the top level was a zesty orange flower and vanilla panna cotta scented with Indian orange blossom water and topped with fresh orange zest, popping candy and a berry jelly. The jelly was particularly tasty as it was very fruity and helped to lift the panna cotta. The popping candy was also a good touch and gave the panna cotta an exciting twist. The panna cotta itself had a good consistency but needed a little more vanilla for greater flavour.
Moving onto the bottom tray, and we really enjoyed the dark chocolate brownies as these were decadent and rich with an intense chocolate-y goodness. The lavender shortbread was buttery and light, and the homemade macaroons of beetroot and berry with a vanilla buttercream frosting filling were very inviting. Technically, the macaroon shells were a little dense in texture, but the flavour combinations were a delight and were a joy to eat. A pistachio crusted Victoria sponge came with a fabulous rose petal jam centre which really lifted the sponge with its sweetness and exciting nature. It was a marvelous combination, and the sponge itself had a nice flavour although it was a touch dry.
The themes for the afternoon teas at The White Lion will change with time as Chef Anmar constantly seeks new ideas and to bring more colourful inventions to the table. But what is certain is that each afternoon tea will be thoroughly enjoyable. Unique, colourful and fun, the pastries we tried were inviting to eat and showed off solid technique. Their creativity demonstrated artistry and originality in their construct. The sandwiches and scones were also very good, and at a ridiculously cheap price of £20 per head, The White Lion showed that it does afternoon tea really well.
Food rating: 3.75/5
Value for money: 5/5
Prices: £20 a head.