I first tried the afternoon tea available at Malmaison at a social media meet up back in March. I liked it so much I booked a return visit for a friend’s birthday, adding the fizz option to make it a bit more special for her.
I’ve talked at length before about how much I enjoy Malmaison. The three course Sunday Lunch is something I’ve enjoyed many times, and I’ve always found the food good and the service impressive. The afternoon tea option is usually taken in the bar area rather than the restaurant, but the same level of bistro service remains.
For £27pp you’re provided with a pretty selection of sweet and savoury bites, as well as tea, coffee and a glass of champagne. Skip the booze and you get the above for £19. The afternoon tea is served in two layers; savoury on the lower shelf and sweet on the top. Instead of the usual finger sandwiches, here you’re given a selection of mini burgers, filled bagels, and wraps. It’s a more modern take on this type of tea, feeling a lot more fun and offering interest.
The two-tier feast includes one of everything for however many people are in your party. It arrives looking picture perfect, served with additional fruit smoothies in mini milk bottles which are a super cute touch. It’s bright, colourful and has lots of variety. It’s also a lot of food – so much so the scones have to come on a separate plate.
Savoury first (because my brain won’t allow me to tackle an afternoon tea any other way) the mini Mal burgers are an adorable alternative to sandwiches. Yes it’s a gimmick but it works, and the beef patties themselves are moist and well seasoned. The buns are toasted which is nice, although there’s more bread than beef. A fatter patty might be better. Bagels are filled with finely sliced smoked salmon and cream cheese, and purple beetroot and goat cheese wraps are a colourful veggie option.
On to sweet and my eyes were firmly set on the carrot cake. The creamy frosting is not only very pretty, adorned with a little sugar carrot, but it’s bloody delicious. Polishing that off led me to the salted chocolate brownie, a very gooey offering that’s also gluten free. Valrhona chocolate mousse with chocolate popping candy could serve as a dessert in its own right, and left me feeling a bit giddy from sugar. My mini chocolate éclair was swapped for a second wrap; my friend was rather delighted by these cream filled pastries so I sacrificed mine in the name of birthdays. Scones with clotted cream and berry jam deserve your attention sooner rather than later so you don’t miss out due to being full to bursting.
Vegetarian and gluten free options for the afternoon tea are also available if requested in advance.
A creamy mixed berry milkshake sits with the mini sweet treats, complete with a dinky stripy straw. A choice of 10 speciality teas are available, alongside coffee. You can upgrade any cream or afternoon tea with champagne, gin, and cocktails including some rather fabulous sounding martinis.
Having had a pretty naff experience at the last afternoon tea I tried at St John’s Hotel, it was a pleasure to come across the Malmaison offering. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a more modern take on this kind of treat. For a slightly cheaper alternative, that still offers choice and fizz, try AC Hotel located canal side at The Mailbox.
Have you tried the afternoon tea here? Do you have any favourite places for afternoon tea in Birmingham? Let me know in the comments.
Malmaison Birmingham, 1 Wharfside Street, B1 2JR
Disclosure: I paid in full for my friends and I, and all opinions and words are mine as usual.