Recently, I was kindly invited to Laguna Kitchen and Bar at Park Plaza hotel on Greyfriars Road, Cardiff to sample the restaurant’s newly launched afternoon tea offering, Hendrick’s Gin Afternoon Tea (a.k.a ‘G&Tea’). I was joined by fellow bloggers The Plate Licked Clean, Explore With Ed, Up The Diff, Welsh Girl Problems, The Jady Brunch, Cardiff in a Teacup, Miss Nicklin, Sidestreet Style and Saucy Pans,
I first visited Laguna around four months ago to dine at the Chef’s Table and I was extremely impressed, so I had pretty high hopes for the afternoon tea.
Upon arrival, we were greeted with a sweet, pink Valentines cocktail and given the opportunity to get to know each other for a little while (although a lot of us had already met each other!)
We moved to a larger table in the restaurant for the afternoon tea and on the way, we were given a sneak peek of the Valentines Day afternoon tea (£17.95 per person), below. This featured an assortment of sandwiches in addition to a strawberry and cream cupcake, Kir Royal champagne jelly with Jersey double cream, French pastries and cakes and warm red berry vanilla-infused scones, served with clotted cream and strawberry preserve. I’d be delighted if someone treated me to this for Valentines Day and it’s certainly a lot cheaper than going for a meal, as most restaurants tend to put their prices up for the occasion.
We were given a brief overview of the history of gin, which came to the UK in the 19th century and began as a peasants’ drink, before growing increasingly popular. Hendrick’s is a young gin from Scotland, infused with cucumber and rose petals. One of the most successful gins of all, the New York Times has named it the best gin in the world.
The table was laid with dainty teapots, cups and saucers made by Hendrick’s themselves. The teapots were filled with Hendrick’s Elderflower Collins; a concoction of Hendrick’s Gin, St Germain elderflower liqueur, Maraschino liqueur, lemon juice and soda. Sliced cucumber was served as an optional side to add to the gin once poured. I love the taste of cucumber and it gave my cocktail that added edge, but some people find that it makes their drink taste dry.
The Hendrick’s G&Tea featured a fantastic spread of freshly made, assorted finger sandwiches (Severn and Wye smoked salmon; cucumber, dill and cream cheese; egg mayonnaise and cress and home-roasted ham), an assortment of cakes and pastries including lime jelly topped with mint and cucumber Chantilly cream, French macaroons, strawberry tart filled with champagne pastry cream and chocolate opera gateau and last but not least, freshly baked warm sultana scones with Cornish clotted cream, fresh butter and strawberry preserve.
The portion sizes were perfect to share between two people. The sandwiches were fresh, soft and tasty; my favourite was the salmon, which was paired with a thin layer of cream cheese.
I can honestly say that I’ve never eaten such a good scone in my entire life. Only too often scones can be dry and lacking in flavour, but these were light, moist and sweet, while the sultanas were plump and juicy.
I wasn’t overly fussed on the jelly and cream option and the filling inside the strawberry tarts was a little on the runny side, but the macaroons and the opera cake were completely flawless.
Laguna’s Hendrick’s Gin Afternoon Tea definitely lived up to my high expectations and it’s just the cup of tea for any gin lover! For more information or to place a booking, please contact Laguna using the below details.
Laguna Kitchen and Bar
Park Plaza hotel
(029) 2011 1111
I was invited to Laguna Kitchen and Bar as a guest and my food and drink was provided complimentary. However, I was not obliged to write a positive review.
Enjoyed reading this review? Take a look at my review of the Chef’s Table at Laguna Kitchen and Bar.