One of my favourite things to do... afternoon tea! Even better, afternoon tea with a lovely fellow foodie and blogger. Amelia of xameliax invited me along as her +1 at Hilton Garden Inn not long ago. Cake, bubbles, tiny sarnies and chit chat? How could I say no? I hadn't been to a Hilton for afternoon tea either, so I was really intrigued to see how they fared on the tea and scones front.
Set a little further out from Birmingham city centre by Brindleyplace and the canal, the Hilton Garden has a contemporary reception, bar and restaurant with a light and airy feel. It would be lovely to enjoy in Summer without feeling like you're missing out on the sun outside. Plus, us food bloggers love this kinda lighting. With a short but varied tea menu, we both opted for classic Earl Grey alongside our cheeky glass of bubbles.
It was a quiet Sunday afternoon and we had our pick of the plush seating and high back chairs. It wasn't long before a layered up stand of cakes and sandwiches adorned out table. A proper cake stand with tiers is what I like to see.
Classic sandwich flavour combinations were on point. Ham, cheese and cucumber, egg mayo and smoked salmon. Quite a small selection compared to other afternoon teas, I thought upon first glance. However don't be fooled, that leaves all the more room for cake. I actually can't pick my favourite here as they were all very tasty with soft bread and light fillings. The ham has a very subtle chutney alongside, whilst the egg mayonnaise was especially fresh and creamy.
A delightful display of mini desserts - a feast for the eyes as much as the tummy. My favourite was easily the dark chocolate tart, which had a very thin layer of crisp pastry (no soggy bottoms here) and a rich, thick and slightly bitter filling. I could have eaten the both. The macaron was delicious and chewy as you'd expect - a nice addition to an afternoon tea spread. The other puddings were lovely too, however I wasn't as much taken by the dense sponge. As a jam, cream and scone fiend, I instead saved my appetite for those freshly baked delights. All about priorities, no?
Thick and luxurious clotted cream, British strawberry jam and sweet, buttery scones. These were really, really good. Washed down with a second pot of Earl Grey too - divine!
Overall a charming afternoon tea in a modern and welcoming setting. Not my favourite all time afternoon tea, as that's pretty hard to beat, but I'd definitely recommend the Hilton to others in the city. I would definitely return, and if not, it's only because I'm striking yet another round of tea, scones and cake off my ever growing list.
Where is your favourite place in Birmingham for afternoon tea? Or the best scones you've ever had?
Wondering where to park? I did Pay and Display along the Hagley Road, but there is also a car park on Sheepcote Street across the road (B15 1AQ). You could also walk about 10-15 minutes from New Street train station.
hilton garden inn
1 brunswick square
Note: I was kindly invited along by Amelia for a complimentary afternoon tea. Not sure if I need to disclose this but I am anyway. As always, all opinions are honest and my own.