I don't need an excuse to enjoy an afternoon tea, however celebrating my grandmother's 85th birthday seemed like a very good reason to roll out the scones! Along with other members of the family, we made our way to the Macdonald Windsor Hotel to enjoy a delicious afternoon tea. We chose to travel to Windsor for the occasion as not only had a member of the party pinpointed the hotel as a great destination, but also due to an air of patriotism given recent events - I'm talking about you, Princess Charlotte! The famous Windsor Castle was visible when standing in the entrance hall of the hotel and in fact was only a two minute walk away, making for an exciting atmosphere of buzzing crowds.. I have to admit to loving the energy created by crowds of people and so when an area is flooded with tourists, my day improves tenfold! Inside the hotel was a very different matter however and could be considered a tranquil oasis in the historic town..
First impressions are everything and my first impression was a very positive one. I can find some spaces visually appealing without understanding why, however in the case of the Macdonald Windsor Hotel, the reason was clear - the layout flowed. The lanterns lined up against the wall were a brilliant touch and helped go some way in ensuring us the food would be just as wonderful as the interior design. Speaking of design, is it possible to fall in love with a menu's cover? 'Time For Tea' was an excellent way of introducing the afternoon tea and what lay within certainly didn't disappoint!
As a group, we opted for a selection of Cream Teas and Traditional Full Afternoon Teas. Along with traditional aspects that are to be expected with an afternoon tea, there were also a few wildcards to make the experience that little bit more entertaining. Continuing the theme of being visually appealing, the presentation of the afternoon tea was both modern and unusual, with a similar flow that the hotel itself boasted. The first thing I noticed about my Traditional Full Afternoon Tea (don't worry, it was shared with my brother!) was the stacked scones and after a good minute or two of fixating on them, we dug into the selection of finger sandwiches on farmhouse bread.
My favourite feature of the afternoon tea was undoubtedly the scones smothered in lemon curd. This was one of the wildcards I had mentioned and I've never been happier to be surprised. If you've never tried spreading a generous helping of lemon curd across a warm scone, it's time you did! Another feature that was met by many nodding heads were the macaroons. Heavenly.
On the opposite end of the scale, my least favourite item from the afternoon tea was most likely the smoked salmon and dill sandwiches. It's safe to say I'm not at all a fan, however taking into consideration the high quality of the afternoon tea, I'd suggest that can be put down to personal taste - particularly as I had to fend off accusing eyes from around the table as I expressed my dislike. Hmm..
As I sat there sipping on an ice water, I became increasingly curious about the Macdonald Windsor Hotel and it's 120 luxury bedrooms. After staying at the Macdonald Randolph Hotel in Oxford last August (and talking about it here) I have been assured of their quality and high standards, so needless to say my curiosity was sparked. One thing is for certain, the ladies room was quite possibly one of the nicest I've seen of late. Ah, it's as though I can still smell the lavender hand wash..
It may well seem as though I was so distracted by the food that I forgot it was my grandmother's birthday.. but that's only half true. Joking aside, if anyone had been so cruel as to forget, the staff had us covered with an incredible complementary dessert display presented to her with a lit candle after we'd finished eating! It was a wonderfully personal touch and once again confirmed my view of Macdonald Hotel staff members, as similar to when staying at the Macdonald Randolph Hotel, they're tirelessly pleasant!
Blouse - Ralph Lauren
Necklace - Estella Bartlett
Jeans - Topshop Tall MOTO Vintage Leigh Jeans
Bag - Ralph Lauren
Watch - Daniel Wellington Classy Sheffield*
|ps. that is someone's grandmother, but not mine..|
All in all, afternoon tea at the Macdonald Windsor Hotel was a really lovely experience, but most importantly, my eighty-five year old grandmother enjoyed it. Come to think of it, that says quite a lot about the contemporary hotel's food for she struggles to have an appetite. I suppose this goes to show you can't argue with a lemon-curd covered scone!