When is an Afternoon Tea, not Afternoon Tea?

I came across a first a few weeks ago, and it caused a bit of a debate on Twitter.

I visited Mason & Rye on a Saturday afternoon back in March after months of ogling their cake display. I've got to give it to them; it's always rammed no matter what time of day, and they have an unrivalled buzz about their counter-bounty. A rare Saturday where we had no plans and no real urge for somewhere in particular, timing would have it that we were just in time for Afternoon Tea to be served. The Afternoon Tea menu is as you would expect; selection of sandwiches, scone with jam/cream and selection of cakes. All good so far, and I was excited to see what the selection would be, as previously explained - the cakes are ogle-icious. As it was a Saturday I added a glass of sparkling wine, naturally.

The Afternoon Tea itself was delightful. A gorgeous plate of generously prepared open sandwiches, all topped with deliciousness. The scone was huge; and actually the first time I've been defeated by a scone. The lovely little addition of a dollop of sticky, sweet and intensely fruity jam baked in the scone was a huge thumbs up from me, although I would have prefered clotted cream with the scone - whipped just doesn't give that same indulgent bite. The cakes were also generous; the highlights being a very good battenburg and a zesty lemon meringue tart, all washed down quite nicely with the sparkling.

This is where the debate started - there was no tea included. Now, forgive me - this may not have concerned your average punter, but I may as well have been slapped across the face. It was explained to me as I was paying that the menu doesn't normally include tea (priced at a reasonable £9.95 per person, or £12.50 per person with the sparkling). The poor girls behind the till must have seen the double sword of both devastation and confusion in my face as they didn't know what to do. I love tea more than I love cake, so the struggle was real. This, is when Afternoon Tea is not in fact, Afternoon Tea. After taking a seat and explaining the whole debacle with the other half (just as confused as me), one of the lovely lasses came over with a teapot of tea for us both, explaining it doesn't normally come with it, but they included it for me. It must have been my saddened face that did it, and I've never been happier to see a mug of tea...

It's a very good offering, reasonably priced, and right in the heart of the Fenwick Food Hall where you can watch the world go by and eye up the treats you'd like to buy on the way out. It's a bustling little corner of the food hall, meaning the atmosphere is chatty and lively. Definitely worth a visit; just make sure you order a pot of tea if you order Afternoon Tea!

So what do you think - should tea be included?

K x


  1. That is RIDICULOUS!!!!! I really don't see how afternoon tea is afternoon tea without the tea?! I would have been gutted as well.

    The other thing that annoys me is afternoon teas that don't do bottomless tea. If I'm eating my way through a cake stand I can sink a couple of pots and I find it so annoying when I have to pay for extra cups!

    1. I know! I mean, ordering a pot of tea is no hardship but still, the clue is in the name. It was lovely though!

      I've also never understood the no top-up situation either - it's just a way of making more money, and comes across as mean.


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