afternoon tea, altitude 360 london

How to make a young girl happy!

Yes, me & The Girl are total suckers for a good afternoon tea – even more so when I manage to get a Groupon voucher.

This one was actually a few months ago, and I keep meaning to write up about it – better late than never!

Altitude 360 is at the top of Millbank Tower near Vauxhall and they offer purely afternoon teas between 12-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays as an ‘Afternoon Tea Experience’.  With our Groupon voucher, we got it for £35 for the two of us, which was a fantastic deal.

The sandwiches were lovely, a mix of traditional finger sandwiches and mini baguettes – and they give you a menu beforehand so that if you have a fussy-eater in your party (like The Girl!), you can stipulate beforehand which you do or don’t want.  The sandwiches were fresh and light and a perfect start.  The scones were still warm, although the jam wasn’t the best I’d ever had – and for some reason we were given two plain and one fruit, which seems odd between two people.

CAKES!!!

The cakes were lovely, if not very creative – a squidy chocolate brownie type, a lemony sponge square, a chocolate cream layer cake and a meringue nest with cream.  Rather ‘pedestrian’ but all very good for what they were.

Grey day yes, but still a fabulous view!

However, what you really go to Altitdue 360 for is all in the name – it’s the fabulous views across London.  Even though we went on a very grey day, there were moments where the sun was streaking through the clouds highlighting certain landmarks and it felt truly magical – a fantastic experience!

afternoon tea at the montcalm

The Girl was very impressed

A few months ago, I had bought a Groupon voucher £19 for afternoon tea for two at The Montcalm.  It was expiring on 31st March so I was rapidly running out of time to use it!

So, I rang them during the week to see what time I could get in at the weekend – and the only time was apparently midday on Sunday.  So I booked it and crossed my fingers that The Girl would behave herself so that I could take her for her first ever afternoon tea.

She was a very good girl on Saturday, so we woke up late on Sunday (well, clocks went forward!) and quickly made our way up to Marble Arch.

The Montcalm is a gorgeous boutiquey hotel, just off of Marble Arch, between Oxford Street and Bryanstone Square.  On one of those many streets of its type in Central London, where you step off of the main road and enter a little idyllic world that you would never have realised was there if you weren’t looking for it.

The staff were all very friendly, completely prepared for the Groupon voucher (which is always a bonus!) and actually seemed to be extra professionally to The Girl, which really made her day.

We had our tea menu and I went for the house blend, which I always do.  And then they delivered everything.

Afternoon tea @ The Montcalm

As you can see, unlike my TLSee Afternoon Tea @ The Howard last month, it was pretty minimalist.

The sandwiches were a lot lighter, and there were less of them (cheese & cucumber, ham, egg & cress), and again, we had half as many scones (one plain, one fruit), but they were light and yummy.  The little cakey bits were gorgeous little bites of loveliness – and nothing like the heavier cakier ones that I’ve had before.

The Girl thoroughly enjoyed it all and did a bloody good job of being ladylike, which I was most impressed with, until the moment she happily chomped down on the chocolatey-topped cake and dicovered to her horror that it was actually coffee flavoured buttercream inside.

Oh how I laughed.  she was very discreet, and just handed over the rest of it to me – which was great as coffee cakes are lush, and there’s not enough of them in the world which haven’t been tainted with walnuts!  i gave her half my macaroon, so she was happy then 🙂

All in all, a far lighter afternoon tea, lovely surroundings, perfect as a pit-stop if you’re shopping on Oxford Street and don’t want to be weighed down after eating too much cake!

with a 50 cent soundtrack

Made by The Man: Chocolate sponge, cream, chocolate ganache, black cherries. YUM!

Everything I have done today has been to an internal soundtrack by 50 Cent – starting this morning when I realised I was singing “I’m gonna shower, like it’s my birthday!”

Yes. It IS my birthday.  And it is a very happy birthday.  I’m a very lucky girlie.  I have had many, many messages, texts, cards, emails, calls and tweets from lots of lovely people, and The Man made me a gorgeous looking cake late last night…which he then proceeded to tell me I am not allowed to have until today!  How unfair is that?!

Anyway, one of my favourite parts of my birthday is opening my card from my mate – who always puts a lot of effort into drawing fantastic little pictures.  We get them at Christmas too, but on my birthday they’re especially good.  And this year he has outdone himself!

What a work of art 🙂

The picture includes:

  • Our other mate (who cackles, so has always been depicted as a witch)
  • The Man (not dancing, cos he doesn’t – and I told him when we saw Leftfield that I was never going to a gig with him again, LOL)
  • Lovebox (as that’s what we always get my mate as HIS birthday pressie, as it’s always on/around his birthday)
  • Nouvelle Vague (as we first saw them on Lovebox, and he saw Mélanie Pain with me on Friday)
  • Me (depicted as big walking boobs, as always) snorkeling (as that’s all I want to do on my next holiday)
  • Garra Rufa fish, as I once suggested he come with me to have his feet nibbled, and he reckoned I’d gone mental and was making it all up
  • My cat
  • Two people simulating sex in a Biffa wheelie bin as in the play we saw last week – and The Girl looking on, and asking what was happening!
  • York & Albany, where he reckoned his scotch egg starter was way too small
  • Pizza Express where we were giggling cos I’d told him that all he was allowed to say to the waitress all night was “I’ve got a voucher!” cos we had a voucher for 2 mains for £12 (bargain, aye?!)
  • Barbican zombies, as he lives at Barbican, and I mentioned that walking around the High Walkway at night is like being in a zombie video game (like Resi Evil or Left 4 Dead or Dead Rising) cos you see hardly anyone, and then suddenly you spot individuals from a distance and have to make a decision whether they’re good or bad, and whether to shoot them in the head or run away!

I love my card.  I will keep it forever.  Or at least the picture 😉  Do click on the pic to see the big picture – it’s fab!

I also got a text which was effectively a note from my mum telling my bosses that I mustn’t do too much work today.  My boss said “OK”.  Which was nice.

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