11:27 AM 3rd October 2020
Rising To The Occasion - Afternoon Tea At The Grand, York
Walking around York I still heard German, Dutch and American accents, so despite what you might hear on the news, the tourists are still coming to York despite the current pandemic.
Something though that is resolutely English is Afternoon Tea and what better place to experience it than in The Grand Hotel in York. I say in The Grand but Afternoon Tea is actually served in The Rise - a stylish new restaurant that is inside the hotel. If you are lucky you might even get a table that looks out onto the city walls.
As soon as you enter the hotel your temperature is checked with sanitizer stations never more than a few metres away from each other.
Served daily from 12 noon to 15.45 classical music sets the atmosphere as you are taken to your table. Mind you the music did get a little bit jazzier as the afternoon went on.
There are various options ranging from the Grand Afternoon Tea at £25.50 per person to the Champagne Afternoon Tea at £34.50 per person. They even have a children’s Afternoon Tea at £17.00 per child.
The loose leaf tea is sourced from Taylors of Harrogate with over 9 types of tea to tempt you from The Grand Blend to Jasmine Tea. They do infusions too along with specialty coffee and hot chocolate.
You start with the Amuse Bouche which consists of a tempting Beetroot and Goats’ Cheese Macaron, a thick and creamy Butternut Squash Soup and a warm Mini Yorkshire Pudding served with Sage, Onion and Pork Stuffing. All perfect.
It was pleasing to see that the Savoury section had sandwiches served in different types of breads to compliment the filling. The Tomato bread gave the Roasted Ham and Grain Mustard Mayonnaise an extra bite, whilst the White Farmhouse bread didn’t mask the Free Range Egg Mayonnaise and Rocket.
It would not be Afternoon Tea without a Scone served with clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam. Who cares about the calories, you can always walk along the walls of York afterwards to burn them off.
The Sweet selection of a tangy Lemon and Poppyseed Cake, a very sweet Raspberries and Chocolate Slice was topped by an excellent Apple Crumble that was encased in a pastry that was one of the best I have tasted this side of the English Channel.
I thought that the Pastry Chef might be French as the pastry was just like you get in France. It turns out that Connor, the Grand's Pastry Chef comes from a bit nearer to home, Hull. He has trained in Europe and London and it shows.
Our server Johann came from Belgium and was attentive, pleasant with a smile to match.
If you want a special treat or just fancy a break from the norm you will not be disappointed here. The memories will last a lot longer than the Apple Crumble did on my lips!
The Rise Afternoon Tea at The Grand, Station Rise, York YO1 6GD
Telephone 01904 380038