Three afternoon teas in a row gave me a good comparison point, so I shall start there. They were all very good. However, I was a little disappointed with the sandwiches at Brasserie Blanc. They looked very fancy, with the ‘filling’ presented on top rather than in the sandwich. This meant you tasted the bread and butter more than the combination of ingredients oddly. I want my sandwich fillings in my sandwiches please, Monsieur Blanc!
The fillings were themselves a little odd for my taste, although Mr S really liked them. The smoked salmon was good, as was the Parma ham. However, slices of golden beetroot on one and cucumber and tomato on the other made me feel I had the garnish but not the ‘meat’. There was not much flavour or excitement in either.
Other than that, it was a lovely tea, with an excellent selection of sweets and cakes and a nice glass of sparkling wine.
As with the other two teas, we couldn’t eat all of the cakes and took some home. Brasserie Blanc seemed to have no boxes and they gave us them in a plastic bag, which meant after the afternoon in London they looked like this…. it’s a small detail that made all the difference!
The best one by a mile was at Greyfriars in Colchester. Everything was perfect, from the food, the decor and the service. Plus we took our extra cakes home in a sensible box!
The Shard was interesting but scary. So high, I could feel it vibrating! It was busy too. We were lucky with the weather and the views of the city were excellent, but I wouldn’t rush back. I prefer to keep my feet on the ground! With hindsight I would have preferred to pre-book the Shard directly and had some street food rather than going for the afternoon tea.
One of the best parts of the day was walking from Liverpool Street to the old Spitalfields Market. This is a really interesting and diverse market, full of lovely clothes, artisan products, food, cards, books and jewellery. It would be lovely for Christmas shopping and didn’t seem overly expensive.
We walked our little feet off and were glad to get back on the train home. We booked the tickets in advance with Greater Anglia. The cheapest way was to purchase them was as a single each way rather than a return. It was only £10 each way from Colchester to London.
If you like heights it is worth adding the Shard to your bucket list. If you go, pop into Spitalfields on the way for lunch!