Champagne Wishes and Afternoon Tea Dreams at The Royal Crescent
Updated: Jan 8, 2022
AFTERNOON TEA AT THE ROYAL CRESCENT DETAILS:
16 Royal Crescent
Bath, BA1 2LS United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0) 1225 823333 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Average cost: $$ (Starts at £37.50 per person, ~ $53 per person)
Dress code: smart casual wear
Notes: incredibly delicious afternoon tea in a pretty setting with clean details and a relaxed yet refined atmosphere. Table location may be changed due to weather (the garden experience would likely be a lush and peaceful experience, but we were rained out, so we enjoyed our tea inside the Dower House). Adaptable menus for dietary restrictions (e.g., vegetarian and celiac or coeliac as the Brits say).
Recommended: for whenever you're in town! The Royal Crescent has our highest recommendation; it's our absolute favorite afternoon tea experience, and we love that it's more affordable than comparable high end afternoon teas.
As part of our August 2018 anniversary trip and annual vacation, we decided to enjoy two afternoon teas - the Ritz London and the Royal Crescent. When we took a train to Bath, the weather was a bit rainy and overcast, but, in a way, that made the Georgian architecture of the Royal Crescent Hotel look even more dramatic than on a sunny day:
Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by the Royal Crescent staff, and encouraged to enjoy a cocktail in the Montagu Bar & Champagne Lounge:
Because we don't have the biggest sweet tooth, we opted for the Royal Crescent Afternoon Tea, which was their "Savoury with a Touch of Sweet" version rather than their traditional "Authentic Afternoon Tea" version, and we could not have been happier! This version was designed as a clever alternative for folks who have a more savory palate, and includes the Royal Crescent's elegant and modern twists on a classic set of afternoon tea items. We paired this selection with the recommended Flight of Taittinger Champagne:
The Royal Crescent Afternoon Tea selection included:
Clarence Court Egg, Smoked Cheddar, Spring Onion, Mustard Cress
Roast Beef, Horseradish Mayonnaise, Watercress
Corn-fed Chicken, Basil and Lemon Hummus
Smoked Scottish Salmon, Lemon and Chive Cream Cheese
Smoked Salmon Toast, Smoked Paprika, Lemon Zest, Caviar
Honey and Onion Seed Glazed Sausage Roll
Bath Chap with Mustard Mayonnaise, Pickled Radish and Sorrel
Caraway Spiced Goats Curd, Cucumber, Charcoal Emulsion
Saffron and Honey Yogurt, Mackerel Tartare, Fennel and Red Onion Salad
and a bit of Sweet:
Bath Buns (the surprising star of the show, and apparently, Jane Austen's favorite!)
served with Devon Clotted Cream, the most addictive Cinnamon Butter, and Strawberry Preserve
Each bite was more delicious than the last. This was hands down our favorite afternoon tea experience, and we had no idea we were going to blown away by the wonderful artistry, creativity, and brilliant flavors and textures by the chef(s) at the Royal Crescent. Because we visited the Ritz London the day before, we assumed this version would be different but not surpass what we'd experienced at the Ritz. Boy were we wrong (in the best way possible)! We eagerly told the staff at the Royal Crescent that we thought their version was superior to the one at the Ritz and, in response to our effusive praise, we got a very pleased (almost to the point of being bashful) and yet modest reaction.
As for teas, I had the White Yin Long, which is from the mountain province of Anhui. We learned that only the delicate shoots are picked and processed, resulting in tea with subtle peach nuances and a touch of mild tartness. Tim selected the Earl Grey, which had a flowery richness that was enhanced by the refreshing citrus taste of bergamot. Both teas were delicious, distinct, and had plenty of flavor, and we appreciated that the Royal Crescent also offers a variety of coffee options.
Seeing as how the hotel's location is in Bath, the Bath Buns were something we were very eager to try!
At first blush, Bath Buns certainly don't look extraordinary, and as a result, we were stunned when we took our first bites. I'm not sure what makes a Bath Bun so addictive... Is it the super smooth and tender texture and softness of the bun itself? The satisfying crunch of the sugar granules that are sprinkled on top of the bun? Or is it that warm pocket of caramelized sugar that melts in your mouth?
Delicious bath bun + cinnamon butter = I thought I had died and gone to churro heaven. Although these Bath Buns are the perfect balance of bread and sugar, each complementing the other, and not lacking anything, we played around with adding the cinnamon butter to see what other flavors we might explore.
Last but not least, here's a look at the Royal Crescent's garden setting, which would be absolutely gorgeous when weather allows for afternoon tea service. We read that the sun setting on Bath stone makes for a delightful backdrop. Hopefully we'll be able to return for afternoon tea on a day that allows for garden service!
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