Birthday afternoon tea with Mrs G and the mother in law is fast becoming an annual ritual.
In fact, it’s pretty much the only day of the year I eat a proper afternoon tea. The reason being, it messes with my strict 3 meal a day regime.
I mean, what are you supposed to do with a meal in the middle of the afternoon?
Miss lunch or dinner to make room for all those cake and sandwiches?
Add in a fourth meal to my already calorific diet?
You can see my conundrum...
Last year we visited the charming Pettigrew Tea Rooms in Bute Park. This year was the turn of Laguna at the Park Plaza hotel.
Served 1-6pm daily, £15 buys you an afternoon tea with a choice of speciality tea or coffee. £25 will add in a glass of Veuve Clicquot rose champagne.
Sandwiches were made with fresh, crust-trimmed bread and a good selection of fillings – smoked salmon, egg mayo, ham & mustard and cucumber, dill & cream cheese. All the fillings, however, were meagre in quantity.
Scones & Welsh cakes were excellent. Warm, fresh and accompanied by generous dollops of clotted cream and jam.
The cake selection was also on the nail. A fruit tart made with crisp pastry, vanilla custard, fresh berries and kiwi fruit was the pick of the bunch. Enjoyably chewy mini meringues could have done with little more of their delicious, sharp lemony filling. Lastly, a mini custard slice and a cream topped chocolate mousse were both delicious.
Other than the stingy sandwich fillings, there were a couple of other niggles. Firstly, whilst the pot of English breakfast tea I ordered was perfectly decent, it wasn’t a patch on the excellent loose leaf teas on offer at Pettigrew Tea Rooms or Waterloo Tea Gardens.
Secondly, service was seriously patchy. In spite of the dining room being largely empty, once our tea had been served we were pretty much forgotten. As a result, it was a struggle to catch anyone’s attention to order additional drinks.
Overall, we really enjoyed afternoon tea at Laguna. I’d definitely go back if I ate afternoon tea more than once a year...
Address: Park Plaza Hotel, Greyfriars Road, Cardiff, CF10 3AL
Telephone: 02920 111 103
Also read - Sunday lunch at Laguna, Park Plaza http://gourmetgorro.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/laguna-park-plaza-sunday-lunch-cardiff.html