One thing you should know about me is that I’m definitely not championed for my good timing; I’d be a millionaire – scratch that – a billionaire by now if I had a pound for every time I’d missed the bus by no more than 30 seconds. However this weekend, I pulled an absolute blinder on the timing front when a trip to Liverpool’s acclaimed Panoramic34 coincided with the Armed Forces Day 2017 events down at the Albert Dock.
If you’re not familiar with Panoramic34, it’s a fine dining eatery 300 foot up in the air on the 34th floor of West Tower in the city’s slick ‘n’ savvy commercial district. So as my Father’s Day gift to my dad, it was pretty spectacular that we were able to watch one of the RAF Red Arrows planes dipping and diving across the iconic waterfront skyline as we tucked into our Luxury Afternoon Tea.
I’m still a bit of an afternoon tea novice myself (looking to expand my repertoire) so for me, the Afternoon Tea (£22 per person) menu looked just as tempting as the Luxury Afternoon Tea (£33 per person). The thing that sealed the deal and made me splash out on the luxurious latter was the promise of a glass of Perrier Jouët champagne pre-tea and scones. I personally prefer an unusual cocktail or a dessert cocktail but my pops doesn’t get called Champagne Charlie for nothing, you know.
When we arrived at West Tower, we were whizzed up to the ear-popping heights of the 34th floor to be greeted by a fleet of very friendly staff who tended to our every needs from start to leaving my jacket behind in the cloakroom before exiting. We were ushered to a perfectly set table in the floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the River Mersey. Now I knew the views were going to be amazing but good God, that is one pretty city I frequent. The stunning city views are Panoramic’s USP and with the sun radiating through the altostratus, our peepers were certainly not disappointed.
Okay back to the grub… or perfectly formed patisserie and the daintiest of finger sandwiches should I say. Right, I’m going to break the Luxury Afternoon Tea menu down for you with a mini review of each morsel. I think it would be most easily digested that way. Pun totally intended.
Tempura tiger prawns with a pea and seaweed dressing and edamame beans – I’m usually 100% anti-prawn but in the name of food blogging, I thought I better dare to give ’em a go. Nope, nope and nope again. Prawns just ain’t for me but they did convert my dad who said they were delicious.
A selection of finger sandwiches, all of which came on beautifully fluffy fresh bread – My favourites were the smoked salmon, the pork & apple and the cheese & red onion. In fact, I think that only leaves the minted cucumber which I simply dodged on account of my aversion to mint and cucumber.
A strawberry jelly topped off with orange cream that I would spoon into my mush every day for the rest of my life if I could. This was the perfect transition from savoury to sweet as it was light on the stomach and refreshing on the old taste buds.
An array of gorgeous bitesize cakes that wouldn’t look out of place on the emoji keyboard. Enticing in their multi-colours and perfected with a remarkable finesse, these were the star of the show for me. I could have eaten the strawberry & pistachio slice and the red velvet & blackberry marquise ten times over and the miniature lemon tart was beautiful too. The green tea & yuzu macaron had an unusual tang, one which my palette wasn’t totally convinced by but my partner in dine was quick to polish off my leftovers.
Finally, a combination of plain and sultana-studded scones which we wolfed down with a lovely cuppa after slathering our halves with lashings of clotted cream and sweet strawberry jam. I love a bit of afternoon tea anarchy but I do enjoy a good scone. Ah, the sweet taste of quintessential tradition.
Tell me your favourite afternoon tea hot spots below!