The one thing I love to do more than anything else is indulge in an afternoon tea, the quintessential English way to pass a Sunday afternoon. With Mothers’ day on the horizon my sister and I decided to take my mum for afternoon tea in the Great Hall at the Grand Hotel, Eastbourne. I’ve been lucky enough to go a number of times now, for several special occasions, and the setting is pretty grand as long as you get seated in the Great Hall with the roaring fireplace, and at Christmas the giant Christmas trees. However, if you don’t book in time then you may end up in the lounge area which isn’t quite the same.
Don’t get me wrong this is not a negative review of my experience but for the price I guess I did expect more. At £26 per person (£34.50 with a glass of bubbles) this is top end price for the area but comparatively cheap when you compare it to hotels in London.
You get four rectangular sandwiches with the classic fillings of coronation chicken, cucumber and cream cheese, smoked salmon and egg mayonnaise with tomato. We each had a small savoury tartlet that was still warm and yummy. Second course is two fresh scones served with butter, clotted cream and strawberry jam. Please do not get me started on the etiquette of preparing a scone – lets just leave it at jam first clotted cream second. The scones were nice but if I’m honest I prefer my Paul Hollywood ones!
Last but not least was the selection of pastries. This is what let the afternoon tea down most as there was only one of each type, six in total, for three people which was I felt a little stingy. The pastries themselves were pretty delicious. We had choices of a meringue, a fruit tartlet, a chocolate tart, a Bakewell slice, an egg custard and a carrot cake. This was all served with a choice of coffee or tea from a selection. My sister hates hot drinks so they were kind enough to substitute this for a cranberry juice.
All in all it was a pretty perfect way to celebrate an early Mothering Sunday but I did leave still feeling a bit peckish and polished off my roast dinner only a few hours later.
For those of you with kids, last year I took my niece there for afternoon tea and she was treated like a princess by the staff. The children’s afternoon tea is priced at £14 (when accompanying a full paying adult) and came with sandwiches filled with jam or peanut butter; a chocolate eclair; crackling fruit jelly and a milkshake, all served on a full cake stand.