October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Laguna Kitchen and Bar at the Park Plaza, already known for offering one of the best afternoon teas in Cardiff, has teamed up with Breast Cancer Care Cymru to offer a very special ‘Pretty in Pink’ afternoon tea for the month. I think it’s fairly safe to say that, sadly, almost all of us know someone who has either suffered from breast cancer, or has been touched by the disease in their family, so Breast Cancer Care Cymru is a really worthwhile charity to support, and the Park Plaza are thrilled to be working with them.
I was invited along to preview the lovely goodies that are on offer as part of this very special teatime treat, and enjoyed a fantastic spread with some fellow food lovers.
First up was a lovely glass of Veuve Clicquot rose, which makes any occasion special, and quenched our thirsts as we consulted the tea menu (yes, that’s a menu just featuring a selection of different loose leaf teas to go with your edible treats!) Alongside the staples of English breakfast tea and Earl Grey were more adventurous options, such as Rooibos, Green Jasmine and an ‘off menu’ choice that was recommended by our waiter: Vanilla Black (that’s the name of the tea, not our waiter!) He gave us an opportunity to smell some of the tea, which comes from Tonka beans, and I, and several of my fellow diners were sold – it smelled like ice cream (which shouldn’t have been a surprise to us, as I’ve just Googled Tonka beans and discovered they are often used for making ice cream)!
All of the food was served at the same time, on a three tiered stand – the presentation was stunning, and pink was definitely the order of the day.
The bottom tier contained dainty, triple-decker finger sandwiches, containing free range egg mayonnaise with shiso cream, Welsh farmhouse honey roast ham and English mustard, cucumber with mint crème fraiche and Wye valley smokehouse salmon with lemon cream cheese. With no crusts, fluffy soft bread and thin but ever so tasty layers of filling, they wouldn’t fill you up on a hungry lunch break, but nor would you want them to, with the other delights still to come.
The sweet treats are what everyone thinks of when you mention afternoon tea, and these ones really hit the spot – in quality, quantity and downright imaginative-ness (I know, that’s not a word!)
Warm red berry scones, infused with vanilla and topped with redcurrants, were pink through and through (almost alarmingly so when you first cut into them!) but were delicious, warm and fresh, and even more heavenly when topped with lashings of clotted cream and strawberry preserve (there was even butter available – I like to think for those who don’t want cream, as it would be almost obscene to have both!)
Cupcakes are the cake trend that shows no sign of going away, and the top of our tea stand was adorned with pink sparkly specimens, topped with pink chocolate buttons, a sugar paste shoe or handbag, and a sprinkling of glitter – I felt like I was at a Barbie tea party! The cake itself was a light, fluffy vanilla sponge, which wasn’t overpowered by the strawberry icing and was satisfying to eat.
We also indulged in macarons – pink and gold (which were almost too beautiful to eat!), coconut and marshmallow lollipops and a strawberry and champagne jelly topped with pink cotton candy, which – as one of my fellow diners commented – was almost like a drink, and definitely slightly less guilt-inducing than the other items on our plates!
If you like pink and you like cake, and more to the point if you like helping a good cause (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) then you should definitely book yourself in for the Pretty in Pink afternoon tea at the Park Plaza during the month of October. The food we had was beautifully themed for the occasion – but it wasn’t at all a case of style over substance as it all tasted lovely too and the food was the quality I’ve come to expect from Laguna. Many people think that afternoon tea warrants a special occasion, but with the nights drawing in and the Cardiff weather looking decidedly dim and dingy, why not treat yourself to an afternoon out with the girls (or the boys!)? The afternoon tea is priced at £25 per person, and considering it includes a glass of Veuve Clicquot and freshly brewed tea or coffee as well as all the delicious goodies on offer, it’s fantastic value – especially as a percentage of every afternoon tea sold will be donated to Breast Cancer Care Cymru. Remember to quote ‘Pretty in Pink’ when booking, and remember to check out Breast Cancer Care Cymru’s website for more information about their fantastic work in Wales.
I was invited to sample the ‘Pretty in Pink’ afternoon tea as a guest and as such my food and drink was complimentary. Thank you to the Park Plaza and Working Word PR for inviting me.