Hope you’re all having a good week! It’s gotten so cold the last few days – I guess that means more hot drinks, film nights and lazy days indoors! And guess what else you can do inside? Have afternoon tea! I was recently invited to try the new Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea (and some cocktails) at The Royal Hotel in Southend by Penny, and of course I couldn’t say no! Although I do live in London, and it takes a while to get to Southend, I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet some new bloggers and visit somewhere new – I’d never been to Southend before.
I woke up nice and early on the 14th October and made my way to Liverpool Street to catch the train to Southend. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise that the underground was suspended after Kings Cross. In a panic, I rushed out of Baker Street Station and caught the first bus to Liverpool Street. I ended up missing my train by a few minutes, but luckily I was able to get on the next one – and arrived in Southend with enough time to wander around the shops before the event started.
Having browsed the shops, I headed to The Royal Hotel. Thinking that the event started at 11 rather than 11:45, I was a bit early, so I had a look around the building and was told a bit about the history by Matt (Fun fact: The Royal Hotel is no longer a hotel and now serves as a restaurant and bar instead) before the other bloggers arrived. Once everyone was there we were provided with drinks, including some non-alcoholic prosecco called Bee’s Knees. We then headed to the Ballroom for afternoon tea.
The two afternoon teas on offer at The Royal Hotel are the traditional (ladies) afternoon tea and the Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea. Both were absolutely delicious and I was so full afterwards! The Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea comes with a starter of olives, hummus and onion bhajis, while the original afternoon tea starts with Wild Boar and Apple Sausage Rolls and brie. I’m not really that keen on brie, but I did like this one. While the traditional afternoon tea was followed by finger sandwiches, including the classic cucumber and egg mayonnaise, the Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea had mini beefburgers and inside out sausages. To finish, the Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea had cider jelly and white chocolate millionaire’s shortbread, and the traditional afternoon tea had a scone and selection of miniature cakes (including carrot cake and macarons).
The fun didn’t stop there. Matt then escorted us into the basement, which was transformed into the secret Dr Legba’s Emporium not so long ago. There are around 50 different cocktails to choose from, and the staff alternate them each week. On this particular occasion, I got to try a selection, including Monkey Mojo, Espresso Martini and Pork and Apple Martini. I’d say that my favourite was the Pork and Apple Martini – it had a slice of caramelised bacon which was so tasty! I’d definitely recommend trying it if you’re ever in the area.
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and after sampling a few cocktails and chatting to the other bloggers, I had to head back to London as I had a train to catch and was going out in the evening. Penny is hoping to organise some more events in Southend so hopefully I’ll be back there soon!
Have you ever been to Southend? Where is your favourite place to go for afternoon tea?