Earlier this month, I received an early Christmas present from The Celtic Manor Resort (Newport, South Wales) in the form of a Christmas Afternoon Tea hamper.
If you read my previous post on the Vintage Afternoon Tea at The Celtic Manor, you’ll understand how excited I was when this very special delivery arrived!
Presented in a shoebox covered in basket print with a black ribbon threaded around the edges, the Christmas Afternoon Hamper included a taster of some of the cakes and pastries available in the Resort Christmas Afternoon Tea, as well as a small bottle of Laurent Perrier champagne.
The Laurent Perrier champagne was a real treat! It was luxuriously crisp and bubbly and the timing was great, as I had just secured my new job.
My favourite thing in the hamper was the white chocolate Christmas pudding truffle. I was genuinely impressed by how well the truffle resembled a Christmas pudding; it almost looked too good too eat – almost! Inside, the truffle had a soft, silky texture and a rich, rum-infused taste, interspersed with plump, juicy raisins. It really captured the essence of a traditional Christmas pudding!
I also really liked the concept behind the festive Penderyn whiskey and marmalade bara brith (pictured at the top of the above photo), substituting Welsh bara brith fruit bread for fruit cake in an innovative twist on the classic Christmas cake. The bara brith was covered in traditional royal icing held in place by a layer of whiskey-infused marmalade and garnished with an edible Christmas tree decoration.
Meanwhile, the glacé cherry and apricot Florentine had a sweet, buttery taste and a sticky, chewy texture. The cherries were soft and sweet, with chunks of apricot spread throughout the almond base, along with several large, succulent raisins.
The hamper also included a freshly baked moist carrot cupcake, decorated with cinnamon-infused icing and a small present and carrot. I’m not usually very keen on carrot cake, but it seemed to go pretty well with the cinnamon; it certainly helped to create a festive flavour!
Pictured below in the above photo, the pistachio marzipan cone was pretty much what the name suggested – a miniature Italian wafer cone filled with finely chopped pistachios and sweet marzipan. This was an unusual addition to the hamper and I’m not sure if I liked it; although I am very fond of pistachios, the marzipan practically filled the cone and it became rather sickly.
No Christmas afternoon tea would be complete without a mince pie, and The Celtic Manor’s version is on the left in the above photo. The pastry was much softer and tastier than that of shop-bought mince pies, which are often quite firm and crumbly, while the generous filling was brimming with festive flavours like cinnamon and nutmeg.
Similarly, afternoon tea just wouldn’t have the same ring to it if scones weren’t involved. A freshly baked vanilla and chestnut scone (pictured right in the above photo) was served with dainty Kilner jars filled with strawberry preserve and fresh clotted cream. This was absolutely delicious – the perfect match for a hot cup of tea!
I really enjoyed tucking into my Christmas Afternoon Tea hamper for The Celtic Manor and I would love to attend for the Resort Christmas Afternoon Tea in person where, alongside cakes and sweet pastries, you can enjoy savoury festive pastries and sandwiches like the chicken, sage and onion brioche and salmon and lemon mayonnaise filler, along with a range of hot beverages.
Alongside the Resort Christmas Afternoon Tea, The Celtic Manor is also offering two other festive-themed afternoon teas. The Festive Alpine Cream Tea is served at the Newbridge-on-Usk restaurant in Tredunnock, near Usk while Willy Wonka’s Fabulous Chocolate Afternoon Tea features an enchanting choice of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-inspired savoury snacks and sweet treats, like the smoked salmon pin wheel lollipops and Augustus Gloop’s fudge and marshmallow surprise.
I would absolutely love to try the Willy Wonka afternoon tea, but this has now completely sold out on all dates in December and I’m not sure if it’ll still be running in January. So, if you’re fancying a spot of festive afternoon tea at The Celtic Manor, make sure you book now to avoid disappointment. The cost is £25 per person from Monday to Friday, rising to £36 per person on weekends and on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd December before increasing to £38 per person on 24th and 26th December.
If your budget doesn’t quite stretch that far, you’ll be pleased to hear that the Newbridge Festive Cream Tea is far less costly than this. This costs £12 per person from Monday to Friday, £16 per person on Saturday, £18 per person on 21st, 22nd and 23rd December and £22 per person on 24th December.
The Celtic Manor Resort sent me a complimentary hamper containing samples from their Resort Christmas Afternoon Tea. However, I was not obliged to write a positive review about these items.