Summer Berry Afternoon Tea at The Celtic Manor

With Afternoon Tea Week beginning today, I recently had the pleasure of sampling the Summer Berry Afternoon Tea at the five-star Celtic Manor Resort, nestled in the Coldra Woods just outside Newport, South Wales. 

I’ve been to The Celtic Manor Resort a few times before and I have previously reviewed the Vintage Afternoon Tea. If that was anything to go by, I was expecting the Summer Berry Afternoon Tea to be amazing.

Arriving in the grand lobby of The Celtic Manor, my mother and I were greeted by two admirable hand-carved wooden dragons sitting either side of the two pillars in the centre of the room. My mum hasn’t been to The Celtic Manor before, so as you can imagine if you’ve been here before, she was really taken aback by how magnificent the building is. 

The Summer Berry Afternoon Tea is held in the conservatory of the equally exquisite Olive Tree restaurant, situated to the left of the lobby’s main entrance.

Olive Tree Restaurant Celtic Manor
We were escorted to a table near the window, covered in a crisp white tablecloth and laid with sugar cubes, tea strainers and a jug of milk, alongside a small saucer, a knife and fork and a champagne glass.

Table layout for afternoon tea at the Celtic Manor's Olive Tree Restaurant

Our waitress gave us a few moments to have a think about which tea we wanted to order, as we sipped on bubbly Italian prosecco.

Summer Berry Afternoon Tea menu and prosecco
There are eight different varieties of tea available, including the likes of blackcurrant and hibuscus, white/green and darjeeling teas, alongside classics such as black, chamomile and peppermint. Although I was tempted to opt for the Darjeeling tea which I drank so much of in India last year, I played it safe with the  Assam breakfast tea, also from India as it happened. 

Assam breakfast tea (black tea)

This was a strong, rich tea which could be drank with or without milk, but personally, I can’t imagine drinking tea without milk. The teapot was pretty large and I managed to get around five cups of tea out of it. 

I say ‘I’ because my mother isn’t a big tea fan (!) and opted for coffee instead, served in a tall stainless steel jug. My mother is quite fussy about her coffee but she really enjoyed this one, describing it as “smooth and aromatic”.

Coffee for afternoon tea at The Celtic Manor Resort

Within around ten minutes, our first course was upon us; a tempting three-tier display of savoury pastries, canapés and finger sandwiches.

Savouries and sandwiches in Summer Berry Afternoon Tea at The Celtic Manor Resort
The top layer featured goat’s cheese and pesto mousse with pickled shallots, smoked salmon, cream cheese and caviar blini and baked tomato and chilli tart with minted pea salad. I adore smoked salmon and cream cheese, so I wolfed down the blini first. The salmon was incredibly fresh, with a delectable smoky flavour. The mousse was a touch too tangy for me, but my mother loved it. However, my favourite of all the savouries, by far, was the tart; a soft, tasty mixture of baked tomato and chilli encased in short crust pastry, garnished with minty garden peas. 

The sandwiches lay underneath – a classic choice of ham and whole grain mustard on white bread, Hafod cheese and spiced carrot relish on wholemeal bread, chicken in a tortilla wrap with garlic mayonnaise and baby spinach, and a miniature egg mayonnaise and cress brioche roll. I really enjoyed all of them. For some reason, sandwiches seem to taste a lot better when they’re cut into fingers. The wrap was my favourite; the garlic mayo was so intense and the chicken was lean and tender.

Sandwiches in Summer Berry Afternoon Tea at the Celtic Manor Resor

 The handmade cakes a were just as pleasing. 

Cakes and pastries in The Celtic Manor's Summer Berry Afternoon Tea
A collection of summer berry-inspired sweet treats filled the two upper tiers.

Sweet treats in the Celtic Manor's Summer Berry Afternoon Tea
I was drawn to the raspberry and chocolate cannelloni – a  buttery brandy snap filled with indulgently thick chocolate sauce and topped with a plump, ripe raspberry. It didn’t disappoint.

Chocolate and raspberry cannelloni in afternoon tea
I also adored the strawberry mousse and almond tartlet. Topped with a sweet, crunchy meringue and a wafer-thin square of white and dark chocolate, this was a tasty twist on the traditional Bakewell tart. 

Strawberry and almond tartlet with meringue
Meanwhile, my mother was impressed by the red berry and vanilla shortbread, influenced by her favourite biscuit, Jammie Dodgers. The soft strawberry filling was delicious, although it did get a bit sickly after a few mouthfuls.

Jammie Dodger shortbread at the Celtic Manor afternoon tea
Last but by no means least, the summer pudding tasted absolutely divine. Topped with citrus crème fraîche, the pudding was filled with whole blueberries and sat upon a light sponge base. 

Summer berry pudding with citrus creme fraiiche

We were beginning to feel a little full by this point, but we couldn’t resist tucking into the scones, served with smooth strawberry preserve and fresh clotted cream. The scones were so fresh, their texture resembled that of a cake, dotted with juicy raisins and subtly flavoured with vanilla.

Afternoon tea scones with  jam and clotted cream
One of the most enjoyable afternoon teas I’ve experienced, the Summer Berry Afternoon Tea at The Celtic Manor Resort was the perfect way to spend some quality time with my mother, whilst also indulging on some scrumptious savoury and sweet nibbles. It costs £26.50 per person including a glass of prosecco from Monday to Friday (£21.50 without prosecco), increasing to £34.50 on weekends (£29.50 without prosecco). 

The Celtic Manor Resort
Coldra Woods
Usk Valley
NP18 1HQ
(01633) 413 000

I was invited to The Celtic Manor Resort as a guest and our afternoon tea was complimentary; however, I was not obliged to write a positive review.


  1. Rose
    August 16, 2017 / 1:26 pm

    Love a good afternoon tea! And this looks fabulous!

    • August 20, 2017 / 1:22 pm

      It was lovely, and it wasn’t too much food either, which is often an issue for me with afternoon tea.

  2. August 16, 2017 / 4:50 pm

    I have not been out for tea like this in a while and after seeing this one I am craving such an afternoon. The sandwiches looks so pretty, as do the berry sweets. And like you I would go for the raspberry and chocolate cannelloni !

    • August 20, 2017 / 1:22 pm

      Treat yourself – I’m sure you deserve it 😀

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