Meet The Afternoon Tea Girls, a group of Sheffield women with cake expectations...
Once a month up to a dozen of the friends head off for an afternoon of chinking teacups, crustless sandwiches and cream scones - and are now amateur afternoon tea food reviewers for The Star.
Founder member Joanne Stephenson, 47, took her troop of 12 to Sheffield’s Hilton Hotel for their latest teatime treat...
“I must say straight away that this was a complimentary visit at the invitation of the Hilton. We arrived to a warm and friendly greeting from all the staff. Our table was set out with pristine linen napkins which set the scene nicely. We thought the room was tastefully decorated, bright and airy and there was calming background music. Katie our waitress (restaurant manager it turned out), described the selection of teas on offer, which was a first for us on our afternoon teas get-togethers.
Afternoon tea is normally £12.95 each. We each had individual white china tea pot. The weren’t many finger sandwiches and the fillings were on the sparse side for the ladies who prefer the savouries. But then came the cakes; carrot cake, a yummy Victoria sponge and some very decadent sticky eclairs, and of course, some classic scones with jam and tons of clotted cream finished off with a fan of strawberries. It was beautifully presented and very pleasing on the eye.
Katie, looked after us all and always had a smile on her face, nothing being too much trouble for her. That level of attentiveness is what we look for every time we take tea. On this occasion, we didn’t have to ask for a thing. We did worry that this was because the staff knew who we were and that we would be writing about them, but I noted all the other guests got the same outstanding treatment as us.
After we had eaten, the terrace overlooking the quayside looked a lovely place to savour the beautiful autumn afternoon sun over a drink. Staff arranged tables and seats for us and the atmosphere was lovely and relaxing.”
Scores out of 5: