Anyone who knows me well will know that there is little that excites me more than afternoon tea. Okay, that may be a bit of an overstatement, as there are many things that make me giddy, but the prospect of cute little cakes, miniature sandwiches and fancy china is just so adorable and colourful that it is definitely one of my favourite activities. When an offer popped up on Living Social to enjoy afternoon tea for a reduced price at the cutest little cupcake emporium in Harrogate, Mama Doreen’s, naturally I jumped at the chance.
I bought my mum some cupcakes from the adorable little emporium a couple of years ago for Mother’s Day, and they were of such a high quality that it firmly set their reputation for me. They started providing afternoon tea in their little cafe a while ago, so I was thrilled that I had the chance to take my mum and grandma for a treat. Just look at the adorable, vintage tea party setting, complete with lace table cloths, floral bunting and retro cups and teapots!
I opted for the Earl Grey tea, whilst mum and grandma went for a classic Yorkshire Tea. The staff were so friendly, and were always on hand when we needed a hot water refill! I loved the rustic jug with its own little grass and flower base and gorgeous flowers that was on our table. Each table had its own floral decoration, which added that beautiful individual touch to the room.
When the stand of food arrived, ‘Wow’ was the only word we could think of! How gorgeous is the delicate doily-style stand, filled with gorgeously delicate and beautifully presented treats?! Mum’s cute little face grinning away in the background says it all- it was so perfect that we could hardly bear to touch it. Oh, who am I kidding? We got stuck right in, obviously!
The sandwiches were divine. They vary from day to day, but the lovely waitress explained to us what flavours they were and what the little pieces of quiche were: Yorkshire ham and cheddar sandwiches with caramelised onion chutney, cucumber and lemon mayonnaise, egg mayonnaise in brioche and smoked salmon and cream cheese, also in brioche. Oh wow, the sweetness of that brioche bread was just perfection paired with the rich flavours of the salmon and cream cheese! The ham, cheese and chutney sandwich was my favourite- I ate both of those as I’m not a cucumber fan, and they were delicious. Mum and grandma assured me the cucumber sandwiches were also very tasty! The caramelised onion quiche was also truly delicious. You could tell that all the food was carefully and freshly prepared, and this was definitely reflected in the taste.
I could barely wait to get stuck into the wonderful array of cakes and scones on the top tier- those blue glittered strawberries were so eye-catching! We had an incredible selection of miniature delights: macarons, cream scones, Pina Colada cupcakes, fresh cream meringues, chocolate-dipped shortbread and white chocolate straws. Luckily, I managed to sample all of these and can report soundly that they were all truly gorgeous. Sometimes, miniature cakes can be a bit gimmicky without much quality behind them, but this was definitely not the case.
The scones and cupcakes had to be my favourites of the bunch, because the flavours and care that had gone into making them was just divine. They were so beautifully presented, and I loved the pop of coloured glitter on the fruit to really make them look special. You can see in the pictures of the full-size cupcake cabinet below that they really go all-out to make their cakes different from the rest. The jammy dodger ones? Hello, yum!
Amongst the three of us, we managed to eat all but one sandwich (that was only because I was saving room for dessert!) so unless you’ve got a very big appetite you’ll be boxing up the leftovers for just two of you, but I doubt there’ll be any complaints! I couldn’t get enough of the vintage, girly setting and they also have a pretty outdoor seating area if the British summer decides to grace us with its presence anytime soon!
Overall, I couldn’t fault the service or the experience. Despite it being a small place, you never felt like the staff were just stood watching you- they were always busy and seemed to appear at just the right time when we needed them! At only £12.95 per person, you really do get incredible value for money, especially when compared to Betty’s just up the road at almost double the price for less food and probably less fun. If you’re a visitor to Harrogate, and don’t want to brave the Betty’s queues or bust your bank balance, then get yourself booked in at this local gem instead! In all honesty, their website is a bit crap as it barely gets updated, so head to their Facebook page for all the details instead.
Where are your favourite spots for afternoon tea? I’d love to know if any of you have visited here before, or are planning to after reading this!