When it comes to the ultimate afternoon tea, nothing is quite as indulgent as one with a festive twist.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the most wonderful thing has happened, afternoon teas across the north now have an added festive touch.
Venues from the north-east and Highlands and Islands have been busy spreading the festive cheer by putting a Christmas twist on some of their most popular sandwiches, pastries and desserts.
From macaron snowmen to gingerbread, to turkey, cranberry and stuffing sandwiches, not forgetting pork and sage sausage rolls, customers are in for a treat whether they choose to dine in or takeaway one of these decadent offerings.
Small cafes to national hotel chains are all getting involved, and Aberdeen’s Maryculter House has gone that little bit further, offering their afternoon tea spread for virtual office parties across the north-east.
Peter Walker, general manager of the hotel, is the mastermind behind the idea to tap into office parties the business would usually experience at this time of year.
He said: “The idea really came from myself. I was under the impression that office Christmas parties were cancelled and I wanted to understand how I could bring the party to the office, seeing as the staff can’t come to us.
“I like being creative and I wanted to do something special for everyone. The afternoon tea takeaway was really popular for Mother’s Day and I thought, ‘why don’t we do a buffet in a box?’. We came up with the buffet concept and afternoon tea concept, but they were quite similar so we thought let’s do one and do it really well.
“We can deliver bulk orders to a central point where people could pick them up from, and then go home and have afternoon tea. We couldn’t deliver to everyone individually, but all of the boxes are individual so can easily be picked up from a central point. People could then have a Zoom party with afternoon tea.
“Christmas isn’t cancelled. I know the government are asking people to work from home, so this is a great way for people to reconnect with their colleagues and friends during a challenging time for many.
“We came up with a themed drinks list and everything is in cans and bottles so it is Covid-19-friendly and it can be delivered chilled. We have dividers in the boxes for sweet and savoury.”
And Peter says the festive version of the British classic has proven rather popular at the hotel’s premises, with numerous guests booking in to sample head chef Alan Clark’s fare.
“The afternoon tea has been very popular and it is extremely good. We’re getting a lot of really positive feedback about it,” said Peter.
“The selection on offer is very festive, of course, and our head chef Alan Clark has really gone above and beyond in developing the different elements and flavours incorporated into it. There’s everything from a honey mustard pig-in-a-blanket, to sandwiches with roast beef and horseradish and egg mayonnaise, to Portsoy smoked salmon. There’s also a parfait tartlet with red onion chutney to finish off the savouries.
“On the sweet side, there’s scones with cream and jam, and then a selection of goodies including a gingerbread Christmas tree, mincemeat pie, our very own Battenberg cake, trifle and a dark chocolate bauble, too.”
Cafe Boheme – Aberdeen
Getting into the Christmas spirit, French restaurant Cafe Boheme has launched its own version which is available Monday to Sunday from noon to 3pm.
Priced at £25 per person, Champagne and sparking cocktails are also available to order with the experience with a French, and festive, twist.
For savoury guests can expect everything from turkey and Toulouse sausage croque monsieur, apricot and sage stuffing en croute a grilled brie and cranberry toastie not to mention brie beignets with lemon and shallot chutney.
And for sweet there’s spiced plum tarte tatin and clotted cream, chocolate torte with orange and cardamom ganache, mini Christmas pudding creme brulee, lemon curd pie with gingerbread cream and more.
The afternoon tea is served with tea and coffee also.
To book visit www.cafebohemerestaurant.co.uk or call 01224 210677.
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Almondine – Aberdeen
Known as one of the best places for afternoon tea, this French-inspired patisserie cafe recently moved to its new premises on Chapel Street in Aberdeen’s city centre.
Almondine is fully booked to sit in. However, it is offering takeaway and collection of afternoon teas to be enjoyed at home for £21 per person.
The spread includes patisserie such as hazelnut and Bailey’s petit gateaux, orange and coffee choux bun, chocolate and cherry verrine, rum and vanilla cannelle and miniature white chocolate snowman macarons.
They are also serving up a range of festive treats including chocolate and salted caramel cone, large snowmen macarons, apple, chocolate and pecan petit gateaux and a blackberry and hazelnut petit gateaux.
Order through our website! www.almondine.co.uk 🎄🎄🎄
210 Bistro – Aberdeen
Getting a Christmas makeover 210 Bistro’s afternoon tea now features a pigs in blanket sausage roll, cheese and pickle finger sandwiches and a turkey, stuffing and cranberry bagel.
There’s also a red velvet Victoria sponge, Christmas iced doughnut, celebration brownie, Toblerone martini cheesecake and orange spiced scones.
The experience costs £14 per person and is available Wednesday to Saturday. It is also available for takewaway, too.
The Chester Hotel – Aberdeen
Head along to one of the most festive places on Queen’s Road in Aberdeen for the ultimate afternoon tea.
Served each day until Christmas Eve between 2 and 4pm, enjoy a range of festive sandwich fingers, cheese and fruit and cinnamon scones, some pastries and a whole range of delicious sweet cakes at The Chester Hotel.
Afternoon tea is priced at £26.50 per person or £36.50 with a glass of Champagne.
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Cup Aberdeen- Aberdeen
The cafe’s Christmas takeaway afternoon teas are proving popular this year and we can see why with everything from candy cane sweets, yule log, gingerbread fudge, apple and cinnamon scones, chocolate orange tray bakes and more included.
Available to enjoy sitting in the cafe too, guests are encouraged to book in advance due to increasing demand. The afternoon tea is priced at £15 per person.
To book, call 01224637730 or visit www.cupcake.co.uk.
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Cafe Ahoy – Aberdeen
Fancy treating yourself? Why not try out Cafe Ahoy‘s festive afternoon tea for one. Priced at £18 per person, it is not only a great present for someone else, but a great gift for you to enjoy at home, too.
Included in the box filled of festive fun is a range of delicious sandwiches covering all the popular festive flavours, not to mention pigs in blankets with cranberry dip, sausage rolls, and a whole heap of sweet things too like mince pies and macarons.
There’s also Isle of Harris Gin tea and cranberry and apple tea to pick from.
Deliveries will take place between 10am and 2p and collections will be ready to collect by 10am from Cafe Ahoy.
Pop over to www.watermeloncatering.co.uk to book.
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Newmachar Hotel – Newmachar, Aberdeenshire
Proudly created by head chef Graham Mitchell, the Newmachar Hotel has now launched its Christmas party tables.
Swapping a traditional cake stand for a cute table, the spread is packed with homemade savoury and desserts to feast on.
Available Thursdays to Sundays from noon to 5pm, bookings must made in advance by calling 01651 862636 and arranging a deposit payment.
The afternoon tea costs £18.50 per person and a £10 deposit is required.
Malmaison – Aberdeen
It’s the most wonderful time of year for a merry afternoon tea with your nearest and dearest and the team at Malmaison have reimagined their offering featuring all the classics, spruced up with a bit of festive sparkle.
Catering for all dietary requirements, afternoon tea is priced at £29 including a glass of prosecco or non-alcoholic sparkling Riesling or £32 including a glass of Champagne or a classic cocktail.
From a sticky toffee log to a chocolate mousse with dried cranberries, amaretti and honeycomb, not to mention Mal’s signature Chez Mal slider, smoked salmon and pickled cucumber on brioche and scones, there’s plenty of eating to be done.
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Meldrum House Country Hotel – Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire
The team in Meldrum House’s kitchen have been busy creating some delicious treats for their afternoon tea which is now available to order.
Enjoy afternoon tea by the cosy log fires, in the luxury domes or in the ballroom and, if you’re taking the kids with you, there’s also hot chocolate and gooey treats to demolish too.
The experience costs £19 per person and £12 for children. Adults can add a glass of bubbles from £7.50 and it is served seven days a week from noon until 4.30pm.
To book click here.
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Simpsons Garden Centre – Inverness
Pop along to Simpsons Garden Centre in Inverness for a festive feast which not only tastes lush, but looks equally as adorable, too!
It costs £20 for two or £10.99 per person and includes a whole range of goodies such as spiced shortbread, gingerbread Biscoff cake, reindeer meringues and more.
There are also vegan and gluten-free options available.
It is only served Monday to Saturday at 2.30pm or 3.45pm and all reservations must be booked in advance by calling 01463 250200.
Perk Coffee & Doughnuts – Inverness
It may not be afternoon tea, however we couldn’t resist sharing these festive doughnuts from the team at Perk Coffee & Doughnuts.
Featuring flavours including gingerbread latte, vegan chocolate orange, Bailey Legal (with Bailey’s), classic sugar, Nutella Grinch and vegan Biscotti Rudolph, there’s something for everyone.
Open seven days a week from 10am to 3pm, you can also order them online here. A box of six doughnuts starts from £18.