This afternoon I met up with Sarah for a little girls' afternoon out. It has been ages since I had a wander around town with a friend, and I was really in the mood for some girlie fun.
After a quick browse around the shops and a cheeky bit of shopping, we headed to Bill's in Liverpool One. As a bit if a treat I had booked us in for Afternoon Tea. Having never had Afternoon Tea in my life, I was really excited, and ever so slightly intrigued. With a rumbling tummy I took my seat and waited to see what gastronomical delights awaited me.
The whole process started with the arrival of a huge pot of English Breakfast Tea served in a beautiful blue teapot. Now, I'm not a huge tea drinker. In fact, these days I try and drink as little caffeine as possible, so having a cup of tea was a real treat. I've never appreciated a cup of tea as much as I appreciated that first one. It was absolutely delicious.
Shortly afterwards, our waiter appeared with a tall metal stand with a cute little bird on top, sectioned off into three levels - sandwiches, cakes, and scones. It looked beautiful. Almost like a bird table or garden ornament, and with a definite rustic feel. Bill's, I don't know where you get your Afternoon Tea stands from, but I want one!
Resisting the urge to dive straight for the cakes we tucked in to the sandwiches first. We had four choices each - egg mayonnaise, salmon and cream cheese, cucumber, and ham, tomato and mustard. Each sandwich was the perfect bite-size morsel. Ample for a first course, and the perfect amount for the two of us. Each sandwich was as delicious as the next. My favourite was definitely the salmon and cream cheese, but I'd happily eat them all all over again.
The middle plate - the cakes - was even more pleasing. With four choices of sweets on offer it was very difficult to choose what to go for first. There was something that would please everybody. Poppy seed and lemon, strawberry tart, chocolate brownie, and a very cool fluffy raspberry flavoured marshmallow topped with meringue pieces. All the cakes were light, moist, and extremely delicious, and the tart topped with the freshest strawberries imaginable. The marshmallow was really interesting, bursting with fruity flavour and with a texture that was melt-in-the-mouth. Definitely my favourite 'course' by far. (I can never say "no" to anything sweet!)
By this point you would think that we had run out of tea. But no. Oh no. We poured cup after cup into our cute china teacups, and I started to think we had a bottomless pot. It was such a delight to be provided with enough tea to last us throughout each 'course,' and I really did enjoy the experience of getting reacquainted with some English Breakfast.
The third and final tier was the scone. One each and with an accompaniment of jam and clotted cream. I really did like the fact that both the jam and cream came in their own separate bowls ready for self-application to the scones. Clotted cream really does not agree with me, so having the option to leave that to one side made me very happy.
The scones themselves were richly packed with fruit, and not the least bit dry. Not as large as I thought a normal scone to be, but by the last tray I was starting to get a bit full, so this wasn't a bad quality in my eyes. The jam was fruity and fresh, and tasted absolutely beautiful. It was the perfect quintessentially British way to round off the tea, and really did leave me comfortably full.
Afternoon Tea at Bill's was wonderful. For £9.95 we got plenty to eat, plenty to drink, and left feeling like we had definitely got our money's worth. There was the option to upgrade and have a glass of fizz (which was £12.95 instead) but having a giant teapot full of very British tea made the experience all the more traditional.
Would I book in again? Definitely...Although maybe next time I'd go for the fizz. I am a girl who loves her bubbles after all!