Friday, 13 April 2012

It's never too early for Afternoon Tea...

As we all know Afternoon Tea has it's origins back in the 1800's when they just had breakfast and supper - no elevenses, lunch break or 3pm coffee break back then - which is why Afternoon Tea was created.

Now that we've taken Afternoon Tea into the 21st century it seems it's a luxury that can only be afforded between 2pm and 6pm. So imagine my delight when I found the Airy Fairy Cupcake Boutique who start their Afternoon Tea from 11am!

Based in the rather lovely village of Didsbury, the Airy Fairy Cupcake Boutique is as cute as it sounds, with vintage paraphernalia everywhere (and for sale), gorgeous bunting, cake stands, pretty oilcloth table cloths and most importantly a seriously delicious range of cup cakes....

As with most places you have to book your Afternoon Tea at least 24hours in advance. However, there are also plenty of other cakes baked daily and they are renowned for their chocolate brownies, which I can confirm are possibly the most delicious brownies I've ever tasted!

So, going back to the "what time is appropriate to have Afternoon Tea" question, I think with a selection like this, we should certainly move it forward - Afternoon Tea at lunchtime! We had enough food to keep us going all day long! It's no mean feat to get through smoked salmon and cream cheese, cheese and salad, cream cheese and cucumber and ham and mustard sandwiches, followed by chocolate dipped strawberries, hazelnut macaroons, mini chocolate brownies and mini victoria sponge cakes.

Of course there were scones too - what Afternoon Tea would be complete without them! Fruit scones and plain scones were the order of the day, with jam and clotted cream.

For the Tea Room Taste Test I can't fault the Airy Fairies - everything tasted absolutely fantastic - that real home-made-ness about everything, and we were stuffed to the brim, so it was definitely not lacking in quantity either.

There is an option to have any cakes boxed up to take home - but we decided there was a danger of having to actually share the cakes with other halves once we got home - when it comes to cake I don't like to share!!

When you get a close up of how lovely these cakes are, you would totally understand why sharing is not an option!

I am already looking forward to a trip back to Airy Fairy Cupcake Boutique whether it's for another Afternoon Tea (at lunchtime) or just to buy some of their lovely cakes and chocolate brownies.


Monday, 2 April 2012

Having your cake and eating it....

As I was in London Village, for the Ideal Home Show (see last blog with lots of pics of Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen), it seemed only right and proper to pay a visit to The Hummingbird Bakery.

I have the Hummingbird baking book, I admire the cupcake pictures on the website, so the only thing to do next was sample a cake. Oh my, were their cakes goooooooood!! As you may be aware, I've tried a lot of cakes!! But these were like magic, and that is not an exaggeration (dare I say it, even better than Magnolia Bakery, NYC, and all the nostalgia that comes with it)!!

I opted to break into a brand spanking new vanilla sponge cake - it's like that moment when you get to be the first person to walk on fresh snow, and leave your mark!! My mark in the vanilla sponge was probably actually bigger than my footprint in the snow....

Yes, that giant bermuda triangle in the cake was my slice - and worth every penny!! I struggled on, in a Man v. Food style challenge to taste every crumb on my plate...

It's a tough job trying these cake shops, but I don't want you to be disillusioned by any cake shop, so I feel it is my duty to tell you about all the great ones out there, and The Hummingbird Bakery is way more than great!!

Apart from the fact that the portion sizes were massive, to say the least, the sponge was light and fluffy and the vanilla frosted topping was creamy, glittery, and actually not too sickly.

So I think it's time for me to dust off my Hummingbird Bakery book and get baking, and hope that my vanilla sponge cake might taste even a fraction as amazing as the actual bakery!

Hands up who wants a slice...