If there are two things that go seamlessly together, its Ant and Dec, egg and chips, gin and tonic and Kerry and afternoon tea. I just blooming love them. (You can read about another favourite in this post, the Mary Poppins Afternoon tea) You would know this without any doubt if you have been around on my blog for any manner of time. Themed afternoon tea’s in particular make me dust off a dress, whack on some lippy and get myself to where the tea is at. So when a Breakfast at Tiffany’s afternoon tea was on offer, I was there, tiara in hand…..
I have written a post about this particular venue before, (in this post – A Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea, Essex) and did not intend to write about my second visit to Mad Dogs and Englishmen, in Leigh on sea. However, it was so beautiful, and I experienced this afternoon tea as a vegan, so thought it should be shared. Like so many of us, I adore Audrey Hepburn, and the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s is my favourite film that she stared in. So much so that when I went to New York the first time, I had to walk along Fifth Avenue, (well, I was trying to do a Hollywood glamour walk, which I didnt really nail in minus 5 degree snow and Ugg boots) and do the entire looking in the shop window, as in the film. Not so easy for me as a 5ft 4 short arse, trying to look in the huge windows, but you know, the thought was there and Im sure I looked exactly like Audrey………
“Iv never been a Millionaire, but I know I’d be just Darling at it”
Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s
This particular theme at Mad Dogs for February is my perfect choice, a Breakfast at Tiffany’s afternoon tea. I booked it for me and my Mum as a birthday treat for her, so we dusted off our pearls, popped on a dress and went along. The theme is always incredibly well thought out here, in this little hidden Essex gem. As soon as you enter the shop, (its an interiors shop, with the tea rooms at the back of the shop) you were greeted by giant jewellery boxes, all stacked and in the striking and unmistakable Tiffany blue colour with white ribbon. Two of these stacks were either side of the door through which you walk.
Once inside, your eyes are darting about everywhere looking at the details. A white baby grand piano draped with long black gloves, black satin handbag and sparkling jewellery is the first thing you see. Then, a chaise, made out of a roll top bath, adorned with rich, jewelled coloured cushions and velvet throws. The tables, lit with mismatched lamps all set with more Tiffany boxes, “diamond ring” topped trinket boxes and your Holly Golightly cake selection menu. It was just beautiful, and made you feel like you was stepping onto the set of an old glamour Hollywood film.
The afternoon tea started with our choice of loose leaf tea. Mum chose and English breakfast blend, I chose the Breakfast at Tiffany’s Blue lady tea. A blend of black and mild fruit tea that was just gorgeous. We were then brought over the stand of savouries. I had informed the tea room at the time of booking that I was a vegan, and they had accounted for and catered too perfectly. Sometimes, as anyone that is vegan would know, you can turn up to these things and they have just replaced the menu with standard vegan options. There is often little thought gone into it, and it can be underwhelming.
Not so here. They had tried to make the vegan offering as near to the standard menu as possible, and therefore keeping with the theme. Little rice cakes topped with avocado, (instead of crispy bacon blinis, which were the Doc Golightly) mini vegan hot dogs, (Mum had a mini New Yorker dog) rye bread with vegan cream cheese and sundried tomatoes,(Mums was smoked salmon and cream cheese, Mt Yunioshi’s favourite) and gorgeous mint and cucumber finger sandwiches. Delicious.
As you finished your savouries, a little tiffany gift box was brought over for each of us. Inside was warm, home made scones. Again, a vegan version made for me. Clotted cream and jam, (coconut cream was the vegan choice) were given and you were left to enjoy your scones and tea. I was in heaven!
As if all that was not enough, a beautiful tray was brought over with a sparkling martini glass for of sweet and salted popcorn, glasses of salted caramel mousse topped with macaroon, a Tiffany’s cupcake with pearl necklace decorating the top, and a mini croissant. Again, effort had been made and even a vegan croissant was included in my offering. It was absolutely gorgeous.
We couldn’t eat all of the sweet items, so our waitress happily boxed them up for us, ready to be taken home to Nik and the boys. They always get something brought home for them!
We had such a fabulous afternoon. Nothing is to much trouble for the waiting staff to cater to, and you really do feel spoilt. The girly, old Hollywood glamour wraps around you like a blanket as soon as you enter the tea rooms, and you really do feel like Holly Golightly for the day! It transports you back to the time when Hollywood starlets were classy and real stars, and everything was done well and with attention to detail. I just loved it! If you are ever in Essex, you must visit the tea rooms.
So, I asked this question over on Instagram, and am going to ask the same here. If you were to host or design an afternoon tea, what theme would you do??? I would love to know what your ideal afternoon tea would be!