Review: Afternoon Tea at The Salt Room Brighton

Champagne, Cake and Caffeine – sounds like the perfect recipe for two busy Mums, right? So, a couple of weeks ago I headed down to The Salt Room to treat my good friend and busy mum-of-two Andrea to a rather special Afternoon Tea. This was to say thank you for hosting such a wonderful baby shower for us, way back before Violet arrived.

I’d seen The Salt Room’s afternoon tea all over Instagram and couldn’t wait to finally get to try it myself, although arranging a time for both of us to get together after reschedules for babies injections, fevers and an outbreak of chicken pox it did take quite considerable time! So, with a date in the diary – it was finally our chance to indulge and give Brighton’s most ‘insta-worthy’ afternoon tea a go.

The Salt Room is located in prime position on Brighton’s iconic seafront – it’s the perfect pitstop if you are visiting the city as it’s so close to the centre of town, shopping areas and the i360 tower. The large, airy mezzanine area has bright sea views of the west pier. Offering lunch, afternoon tea, pre-theatre and dinner – The Salt Room have you covered whatever time of day you plan your visit.

When we first arrived at The Salt Room, we were greeted by the friendly maître d’ who took our coats and showed us to the table. I was a little surprised I was asked to leave Violet’s pushchair by the door as there wouldn’t be space by the table (particularly frustrating as I had to wake her from sleeping and then had to hold a grizzly tired baby when I’d timed our visit for her to nap), although to be fair I hadn’t called in advance to tell them I’d be bringing her, so I do understand.

DRINKS

At our table our waitress enthusiastically gave us the full run down of what the Afternoon Tea included, starting with the drinks. There are four main options for the Afternoon tea:

  • JING Tea or Roasted Bean Co. Coffee
  • JING Flowering Tea
  • East London Liquor Company G&T
  • Taittinger Champagne

Of course, celebrating Violet’s birth we pushed the boat out and went for the Tattinger Champagne! Although I did see the G&T option which looked amazing too but thought better of ordering both after not drinking for over a year – I’d be under the table!

We sat enjoying our champagne looking out across Brighton beach, it was just dreamy and such a lovely way to spend a day of maternity leave! Then came the ‘wow factor‘ as our beautiful afternoon tea had arrived. People were visibly turning around in the restaurant to see what all the fuss was about!

So, let’s explore each layer….

SAVOURY COURSE

Let’s start with the savoury, fish-based first course. It’s certainly an impressive selection of unique and interesting savoury treats -and beats the classic egg and cress sarnie any day!  The savoury course includes the following:  Crab Scotch Egg, Crumpet with Marmite butter, Truffled Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Salmon Pastrami & Squid Ink Bun and Aged Beef Tartare & Egg Yolk Jam Sandwich. 

I don’t often eat fish as Vee is highly allergic (to the point I can’t even order it!) so it was a real treat to try some new flavours I wouldn’t normally be able to order. As I’m vegetarian (well, pescatarian if you want to be precise!) they were able to cater to my needs, swapping the Beef Tartare for a Fried Cod Fritter (which was delicious) plus Andrea still got to enjoy the Beef Tartare. Favourites of this course being the Squid Ink Bun with Smoked Salmon – a unique experience! The Salmon was generously piled amongst fresh, cool cream cheese, with the squid ink giving the bun a twang, I can’t quite put my finger on, you’ll have to give it a try to see! I also loved the Crab Meat Scotch egg, as us veggies don’t often get to eat Scotch eggs.

SCONES WITH CLOTTED CREAM & JAM:

No afternoon tea would be complete without scones with clotted cream and jam, it’s a classic! Being a huge fan of the cream tea, this is the bit I get really excited about so on first impressions I thought the scones were slightly on the small side, but there is something oddly filling about Afternoon Tea and looking back they were just the perfect size. The scones are fresh and perfectly baked, served with lashings of dreamy house-made clotted cream and the most gorgeous Strawberry and Elderflower Jam.

At this point we also ordered some extra drinks, switching from the Champers to a good cup of tea (well, you know – I have to be sensible these days!) We now had a new waiter serving our area and I wondered if it may have been his first day as he was quite confused about the options available (and whether the restaurant had any baby changing facilities – it does!). I asked to try the JING Flowering Tea as our previous waitress had described it to us in great detail, explaining that you can literally watch the flower bursting into bloom within your tea so I just had to give it a go! However when he returned, he had brought a cup of plain chamomile tea, stating this made with flowers. I didn’t have the heart to tell him thats not what I meant and we did have a giggle about it afterwards. Bless him, I’ll have to try the Flowering Tea next time!

Excuse the chipped nail polish – washing 10 bottles a day doesn’t bode well with perfect nails!

SWEET TREATS

Onto my favourite part of any meal – the sweet treats! This course is clearly inspired by The Salt Room’s famous ‘Taste of the Pier’ dessert and is certainly the most eye-catching part of the experience! This course includes Chocolate Pebbles, Rhubarb Posset, Chocolate & Praline Teacakes, Kalamansi and White Chocolate Macarons and of course – Candy Floss!  Favourites had to be the chocolate pebbles – rich, velvety and oh so delectable – although so amazingly sweet, even for a chocolate fiend like me couldn’t manage more than one! Plus of course I also loved the Candy Floss – just because! It’s fun and made me feel like a kid again, it really captures the childhood memories of walks on the pier, going on the rides and playing with the 2p machines. The only very slight negative we found that was that the Rhubarb posset had completely melted onto the plate by the time we got to eat it, although thats only a very minor criticism as by this time we got to it we’d been sitting there quite a while, chatting and taking our time – it still tasted zingy and delicious, even if the beautiful shape had gone.

MY THOUGHTS

Overall, I have to say the Afternoon Tea at The Salt Room was probably the best I’ve ever experienced – I absolutely loved every moment of it. The food was quirky, unique and exquisitely created with such attention to detail. The restaurant is one of my favourites in Brighton, it’s sleek, stylish with beautiful seaviews – not to mention the amazingly helpful, friendly and knowledgeable staff (flowering tea incident aside!). I’d absolutely recommend it to anyone and would love to go again one day. The Afternoon tea is priced between £24.95-34.95 depending on drinks options, which I think is reasonably priced for such quality.

Although they do welcome children, I think looking back next time I’d try and go without the baby. The team did try to accommodate our pushchair eventually, but there were stairs to the main seating area on the mezzanine and I did feel a little on edge when Violet had a fussy moment as she was disrupting the atmosphere slightly – I worried other guests would get annoyed. Although you can take your children – I’d personally say it’s the perfect place for having some well-deserved ‘me time’ and to leave them at home!

We have also been to The Salt Room for dinner – read our review of that here.

BOOKING

You can book Afternoon Tea at The Salt Room either online or by calling (44)1273 929488. Afternoon Tea is served between 12:30pm – 4:30pm daily. The Salt Room is located on Brighton Seafront by the Hilton Metropole Hotel (106 King’s Rd, Brighton, BN1 2FU).

 

We were kindly offered Afternoon Tea free of charge in return of an honest review – all words, opinions and photography is my own. 

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Brighton: Afternoon Tea at The Jetty

A couple of weeks ago, we took Violet out for her first official trip out of the house. We headed into Brighton to register Violet’s birth at the Town Hall and to celebrate afterwards, we headed to The Jetty for Afternoon Tea to toast Violet’s birth over tea, cake and prosecco. Plus, with a baby of less than two weeks old at the time – we were in dire need of the caffeine and sugar hit too!

The Jetty is located within the newly refurbished Harbour Hotel, located in prime position on Brighton’s seafront. With gorgeous sea views, The Jetty is the perfect setting for meals and drinks at any time of day – Brunch, Afternoon Tea, Cocktails or dinner with a bottle of wine, they cater for it all. Inside is bright, airy and spacious, with a clean, modern vibe. For a more intimate feel, there is also a cute ‘snug’ area tucked away with comfy sofas and a bit more privacy too.

Registering Violet’s Birth

We opted for the Harbour High Tea (priced at £19.95 per person) which comes with a bottomless selection of Teapigs tea, plus we ordered a glass of prosecco on the side too, as you know it would be rude not to raise a glass to our daughter, even if I did risk falling asleep on the spot from my first sip of alcohol in over a year!

The afternoon tea includes a lovely selection of both sweet and savoury treats, beautifully presented with side serving bowls containing jams and clotted cream for the scones. As we are both vegetarian, they also amended the menu to cater for our requirements, offering a selection of sandwiches with cheese based fillings, rather than chicken/ham/salmon options on the menu, plus a couple of cheese scones (which were SO delicious) and a guacamole and sundried tomato canapes too.

Our sweet treats were my favourite part (of course!). I was pleased to see there were two plump buttermilk scones, which came with plenty of clotted cream and jam on the side, it wouldn’t be afternoon tea without a good old British scone. There were also two dark chocolate praline eclairs, which were utterly divine, a refreshing twist on a classic eclair. The White Chocolate and Passionfruit trifle added a burst of zingy flavour and lastly, the cherry bakewell, another classic and baked to perfection.

I really enjoyed our Afternoon Tea experience at The Jetty, although if I’m honest my favourite part was just great to get out of the house and eat something other than takeaway pizza and wear clothes that weren’t pajamas! We found the staff friendly and accommodating, they changed the menu for us and also gave us a secluded spot with room for the pushchair and privacy as this was my first attempt at breastfeeding in public too.

Whilst we were at The Jetty, I was given an exclusive behind the scenes peek at the new spa that has opened at the hotel. Located in the original regency building cellars, the spa is an absolute hidden gem away from the hustle and bustle of the busy hotel. The Spa offers extensive range of luxurious spa treatments along with everyday beauty needs, including facials, manicures, pedicures and massages. I think as soon as Violet is old enough to be babysat for the day, I might treat myself to a spa day there – what do you think?

The Harbour Hotel is located on the Kings Road Brighton (just on the corner of West Street) – to book Afternoon Tea at The Jetty call 01273 916916 or email brighton.jetty@harbourhotels.co.uk

Post written in collaboration with The Jetty

Review: The Body Fuel Cafe Hove

Although I love my sweet treats – from towering hot chocolate with cream to endless bags of mini-eggs, when it comes down to it I’m quite conscious of nutrition and eat healthily most of the time. I also think being pregnant gives you another perspective on food – with every mouthful of food I’m feeding to our baby too, which naturally makes me so much more aware of everything I put into my system. So, when I was invited down to The Body Fuel Cafe in Hove, I was eager to give it a go as it seemed right up my street. I find when I’m out and about, it’s so easy to eat junk food, with most cafes are just loaded with tempting pastries, cakes and sugary drinks – it’s refreshing to see a place serving fresh, tasty food at reasonable prices too.

Inside the cafe, the seating area is light and airy, with a clean and fresh vibe – although towards the back of the cafe there are more private areas too, which would be perfect for cosy catch-ups, or maybe breastfeeding Mum’s who want a little more privacy.

The cafe is open daily from 8am (9am Saturdays and 11am Sundays) – starting of the day with breakfast options such as wholemeal blueberry pancakes, poached eggs, smoked salmon or smashed avocado. Come lunchtime, their super healthy salad bar is open. Plus, of course could just pop in at any time for a coffee and a (healthy) sweet treat too.

I recently popped in for a spot of lunch with a good friend of mine and healthy food lover, Tash. When we arrived we were instantly drawn to the colourful salad bar and decided to skip brunch and head straight for the lunch menu – so many options and all of the produce looked super fresh too. The menu for the Salad Bar is fully customisable – firstly you choose a protein – they have everything from lemon and dill chicken breast, various steak, fish options such as tuna, grilled salmon and lastly, veggie options of falafel and grilled halloumi. There is quite a selection! I was particularly impressed with this part, being a vegetarian (well, pescatarean technically) I often miss out on the ‘protein’ section or have a limited choice, but this left me spoilt for choice! Next up, is the base of your dish – Rice, Sweet Potato and Quinoa are just a few of the options here. Moving on, we visited the salad bar where you can choose a generous 6 items from the extensive list – you then top your dish with a dressing of your choice. Honestly, there is so much choice you could make about 1000 different combinations with all of the different ingredients and not eat the eat a different dish everyday!

Both Tash and I went for the grilled salmon, which was cooked to perfection and so fresh, we accompanied our meals with a couple of smoothies too. I tried the Tropical Delight (Orange, Honeydew Melon, Mango, Passion Fruit and Lime Juice) which packed a zingy punch and certainly woke my senses up! Tash went for the super healthy Go Green (fresh pineapple, spinach, avocado, lime, fresh ginger and coconut water). As you can see from the pictures below, our meals were absolutely full to the brim with goodness, nutrients and the freshest ingredients-  not an additive or preservative in sight, plus it was all cooked within around 5 minutes too.

As we left I took a couple of sweet treats away to have once I got home – you know, maternity leave means afternoons are mainly spend on the sofa with a coffee and cake, so instead I got a take-away Not Naughty, Definitely Nice Smoothie (almond milk, banana, nut butter, raw cacao powder, vanilla, honey, cinnamon)  and a delicious Date Protein Bar, as I’ve been eating 6 dates a day as it’s meant to help with labour – putting them in a protein bar seemed a perfect excuse to get my daily dose in as I’m getting sick and tired of eating pure dates alone these days!

I would 100% recommend trying the Body Fuel Cafe if you are local to Hove, it is so refreshing to know you are eating pure clean, fresh ingredients, plus it was so delicious it felt like a real treat too. My next meal there will be brunch – I think there are some wholemeal blueberry pancakes with my name on!

The Body Fuel Cafe is located at 123 Church Street, Hove  –  pop for some super tasty, healthy food next time you are passing! 

A Hidden Gem: Team Domenica Brighton

Aaah, maternity leave, you lovely thing! I am absolutely loving all this extra freedom and have been making the most of it by catching up with as many friends as possible, making it my mission to scour Brighton for the very best hidden gem cafes for those all important coffee mornings to come! I expect I’ll be having more than a few ‘Mother’s mornings‘ over the next year so I call this essential practice for getting into the spirit of being a proper Mum 😉 Last week, I met up with fellow blogger/Youtuber/general freelance smartypants, Aine, for a catch up over a spot of lunch, to chat all things Youtube, freelancing and (sorry Aine) babies and childbirth. We decided to meet at a lovely little cafe, just off the Old Steine called Team Domenica. The team had emailed me a few months ago, but with work commitments I just couldn’t get down there during the week, so I was so excited to finally visit and see what all the fuss is about!

Team Domenica is not your ordinary cafe, it is actually a social enterprise and training hub that are absolutely dazzling us all with their good work at the moment. Team Domenica is a training cafe, open to the public, that aims to work with young adults with learning disabilities to help them find and retain employment.  The café is staffed by candidates who are taught catering skills, front of house and general work skills, to assist preparation for work as well as sense of direction, purpose and belonging, in their local community.

The inside of the cafe was a total surprise, I’m not sure what I was expecting but it probably wasn’t brightly coloured flamingo murals! The inside is absolutely beautiful! It was a really cold winter day, so the bright, colourful interior felt like a tropical paradise in comparison.

We were greeted by the amazingly friendly staff, who immediately rallied around us, ensuring our ever whim was catered for and whilst our coffees were brewed we chatted and got to know a few of the candidates.

Team Domenica offer a lovely selection of Small Batch coffees, cakes, pastries and freshly made sandwiches. Something I really loved is that prices are kept quite low, meaning our lunch cost quite a bit less than I’ve made in the chain coffee shops, but was so deliciously fresh. All profits from the cafe go straight back into the project, allowing them to continue with their work.

We sat and chatted by the window, enjoying our sandwiches and a spot of people watching. The cafe is a perfect location for a catch up with friends, a quiet area to work or read or for Mum’s with buggies as the inside is quite spacious too.

Team Domenica are doing fantastic work and it was an absolute pleasure to pop down and give them some support. The team are honestly the friendliest, most passionate people and the program is just growing from strength to strength. I know next time I’m in Brighton, I’d much rather visit a project like this, than your standard chain coffee house, so if you are nearby too – give it a go! And don’t forget, if you are waiting for a bus at the Old Steine and have 5 minutes to spare, you can pop in for a take-away coffee too.

You can find Team Domenica tucked just off the Old Steine (where the bus stops are!) – they are open daily from 9am-4pm during the week, but closed at the weekends. Read what Aine had to say about the project here too.

 

Review: SkyFall Restaurant Hove

As we are ticking down the days until Baby Peaches arrival, cramming in those last date nights together are so important. So, after my last day at work and to celebrate the start of my maternity leave, we headed over to Hove to SkyFall restaurant for maybe our last date night together as just us.

SkyFall is a creative, modern restaurant with a menu that changes regularly to reflect the season and local produce available. Inside the decor is modern and chic with elements like the open brickwork giving it rustic twist – the atmosphere is a real mix between casual and fine-dining, without that uncomfortable, stuffy feeling. We visited on a Friday night and by the time we were seated for our meal, the whole restaurant was completely full, buzzing with people enjoying themselves over good food -they were even turning people away at the door, which is really telling as to how popular it has become. Especially as there is a lot of choice when it comes to eating out in that part of Hove.

We were greeted by the super friendly front of house, who showed us to a lovely table in the window (perfect for a spot of people watching, I may add). We were then offered a glass of Prosecco, but sadly I had to turn mine down, obviously – however, to make me feel better the staff made me an Elderflower fizz with mint, which if I closed my eyes I could pretend was an alcoholic cocktail, it certainly was the next best thing.

We then took some time to look over the menu. A lovely touch was that our waiter came over and discussed options for me as I am pregnant, he highlighted which dishes would/wouldn’t be suitable and had a really good knowledge of things to avoid when pregnant (blue cheese etc) so that was a big help and a personal touch that went a long way.

Sadly, as I’m vegetarian AND pregnant – I had to skip the starter, as both veggie options contained Blue Cheese, so instead I ordered some Marinated Olives, whilst V enjoyed her starter of Textures of Cheese (Brighton Blue Cheese Bon Bons with Sister Sarah mousse, goats curd, Swiss Mornay Sauce, nuts and port jelly) and I watched enviously over the table (Hey, it’s not SkyFalls’ fault I’m so awkward at the moment!). She really enjoyed the flavour and textures of the different cheeses, but her feedback was that she wished she had some bread of some sorts to go with it, as it felt a bit lacking of substance without.

Moving onto the mains where thankfully, even with my annoying dietary requirements at the moment, I had a few different options to choose from the menu. I decided to go for the Lentil and Butternut Squash Burger (with baby gem lettuce, tomato, beetroot and cumin raita) as at this stage of pregnancy I am just hungriest I’ve ever been in my life, so needed something filling! V, however went for the slightly more delicate Ratatouille and Arancini (ratatouille parcel filled with feta, sundried tomato arancini, pine nuts, mushrooms, spiced carrots, beetroot and cumin gel). My main course hit the spot perfectly, making baby kick like mad and a happy Mamma – the triple cooked chips were just to die for, especially with the beetroot and cumin raita! V really enjoyed her dish, saying the pastry was cooked to perfection, the vegetable filling was tasty and flavourful.

Onto my favourite, the pudding! Of course, being a chocoholic, I immediately knew I needed to have the Dark Chocolate Brownie (served with honeycomb ice cream, salted caramel and meringue) and I certainly wasn’t disappointed! Rich, velvety and every chocolate lovers dream – the ice cream was also beautiful and I found out from the waiter they make all the ice creams fresh onsite too. V went for Salt-Baked Pear and Almond Tart (served with basil ice cream) – a really interesting flavour combination there, but the flavours complimented each other perfectly, with the sweetness balanced by a refreshing zing of the ice cream.

Overall, we really enjoyed our meal at SkyFall – I loved the busy vibe, the modern decor and the chance to try fine-dining quality food within a relaxed environment. I feel I couldn’t enjoy the restaurant to my full potential, as being pregnant limited me quite a bit on the menu, so I think I’ll have to give SkyFall another go once the baby is born – plus I think by that point, there will be a Popcorn Martini with my name on, waiting for me!

SkyFall offer different menu’s throughout the day – with Brunch served between 9am-1pm at the weekends, a set lunch menu between 12-3pm Monday – Saturday, as well as Roast Dinners on a Sunday. There are also various events, quiz nights and special occasion evenings, like a Valentines Day menu – so there is always something on too. To book a table call 01273 041007 or you can book online here.

 

We were invited to SkyFall for a complimentary meal in return for an honest review – All words and opinions are my own