Exploring new places doesn’t always mean travelling to far flung or exotic destinations. Some of the most exciting and inspiring things to do are right here on our doorstep. That’s why I’m going to be posting a series of blogs called the Best Of British, as I’ll be going on mini adventures around the UK and finding the best places our beautiful country has to offer.
In the spirit of Christmas, this week I hopped on the train with my sister and went up to York for a spot of afternoon tea at The Principal Hotel. York is perfectly accessible to explore by train (it’s only 20 minutes from Leeds and only 2 hours from London!) and is the ideal place to visit for a day out or weekend away because it is so beautiful, archaic and rich in historic buildings.
The Principal Hotel York, (formerly known as the Royal York hotel until its £20million refurbishment this year) and is even more conveniently located as it’s right next to the station. The hotel was often used by Queen Victoria to break up her journey from London to Balmoral and when you enter into its palatial entrance, you can see exactly why it was fit for a Queen.
Feeling rather grand, Danielle and I glided over to the garden room where we were promptly shown to our elegantly cushioned seats and asked whether we’d like a glass of champagne. Absolutely! We exclaimed and were then further astounded by the Festive Afternoon Tea menu that was so gently explained to us by our waiter.
Firstly, the selection of teas is sourced from all over the world and are delicate blends of some of the finest tea leaves and spices. I decided upon a jasmine tea whilst my sister opted for the classic English breakfast tea.
Then came our first course. Yes, a first course. This one was a Jerusalem Artichoke veloute with white truffle oil, beetroot cured salmon blini with Hendricks’ gin infused cucumber and the absolutely outstanding apricot, sage and bacon sausage roll.
The combination of flavours of all the mini starter selection were completely divine and a wonderful appetiser for the main event.
Isn’t the arrival of the afternoon tea stack such a wonderful and exciting thing? You can see it floating towards you from across the room, gently perched in the hands of your waiter and beckoning you to tuck into its sweet delights once it comes to land like a divine helicopter onto your table.
Highlights from this festive feast include the Wensleydale cheese and chutney sandwiches, the clementine and cranberry scones and the spicy and aromatic minced pie. A special mention must also be made for the mulled wine macaroon, which was simply delightful!
Not only is the food exceptional, the service and atmosphere of the Principal Hotel York are second to none. We ended up staying for almost three hours, people watching and thoroughly enjoying our afternoon together without ever being made to feel rushed or like our table was needed back again. We left feeling very festive indeed and I’m honestly so, so excited for Christmas now!
For more information on The Principal Hotel York’s Festive Afternoon Tea, visit here.
Come and join the adventure…
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