I’m not usually a huge fan of Afternoon Tea as it’s so often very predictable and, to be honest, I very rarely drink tea. However, I’d heard good reviews about Malmaison’s recently ‘revamped’ Afternoon Tea Menu. My colleague Yvonne and I were already planning to visit Malmaison in Liverpool to view their function rooms for an up and coming event, so we decided to book a table in their Brasserie for mid afternoon.
Upon arrival, we were met with a stark contrast to the surprisingly perfect summer afternoon in late September. The reception area and lounge had an array of scented candles that dimly lit up the area with its decadent drapes and plush interior, as did the indoor firepit and stylish lamps.
We made our way to the Brasserie of which was bright in comparison and were greeted by James, who showed us to our table that was situated by the window and gave us a lovely view of their outside terrace and the dock basin. As the sun was shining, we thought it only ‘fitting’ to order a glass of chilled, crisp, white wine. Although, we may have opted for a port, should we have stayed in the warm and cosy seating area in reception. You’ve probably gathered that not only am I not a ‘tea drinker’ I’m far from ‘tea total’, particularly when the sun is beaming and I’m in good company.
James promptly served me my chosen glass of Pinot Grigio, while Yvonne ‘aka Miss Goody Two Shoes’ at this stage, opted for a Mineral Water. Pondering the menu, I opted for the Cocktail Afternoon Tea, after all, it was Thursday which has become the new Friday in my world! Trying to pull some sort of traditional tipple out of the bag, I decided on the Hendricks G&Tea. Giving into temptation, Yvonne also opted for the same choice of menu but was lured by the rather seductive sounding Orange Brulee Cocktail.
Our ‘Friday’ Cocktails arrived beautifully presented and again promptly by James who was proving to be more polite and charming than one could imagine. (no, that’s not the wine talking). Having served my G&Tea in a quintessential bone china tea cup and saucer donned with what appeared to be King George, I was now starting to feel part of the ‘British Brigade’ of tea lovers, albeit drinking a G&Tea which consisted of Hendricks Gin, St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Blackberry and Elderflower Tea Syrup, Lemon Juice and Tonic finished with a fresh Raspberry and Lemon twist. The concoction was so refreshing and delightful, I had to condition myself to merely ‘sip’ it in a ‘lady like’ fashion.
Yvonne was totally smitten with her ‘Orange Brulee’ Cocktail and was managing to ‘savour’ her’s in a more enviable fashion. Apparently, the combination of Disaronno, Cointreau, Grand Marnier and Hennessey VS finished off with Cream and a Chocolate dusting, was ‘divine’. I questioned this in the vain hope of a ‘sip’ as it looked so gorgeous! Giving in to my ‘hint’, she kindly offered me to try it, and I must admit, I had to agree. Pure indulgence!
The food arrived promptly and was presented well on a tiered slate stand. I decided to start with a generously filled wrap of warm Smoked Salmon Fillets with a lovely light Creme Fraiche, Crisp Cucumber, and Lettuce. The menu said Smoked Salmon, so I was expecting ‘the usual’ but was pleasantly surprised with the ‘chunky’ alternative. Quickly moving onto my second wrap, which again was generously filled but with Chipotle Chicken and Avocado, I was again impressed with the freshness and flavour combination.
Eyeing up the cakes, I pondering on the ridiculous idea of ‘skipping’ the Mini Burger calling me. From the first bite, I was pleased that I had ‘answered’ as it really was juicy and flavoursome. Made with lean Steak Mince on a bed of Lettuce and Beef Tomato, the Burger was topped with Swiss Cheese and sat in a slightly sweet Brioche Bun.
Now I was ready to move on from savoury mode to sweet! I kicked off with a scrummy traditional Scone and filled it with Fresh Cream and Strawberry Jam. It didn’t touch the sides I’m afraid and I swiftly moved onto the Fresh Strawberry and Raspberry Pavlova consisted of a Vanilla Meringue. With its delicate but crisp nest and soft ‘mallowy’ centre, it too was scrummy and scoffed with speed. Perhaps I was trying to convince myself that if I ate at a quicker pace than usual, I wouldn’t have time to ‘feel full’ before sampling all the delights on offer?! I managed to finish with the Peach, Amaretto and Cream that was a perfect menage dressed with Micro Herbs.
I was far too full to attempt the Salted Chocolate Brownie or the Lemon and Polenta Cake with Pistachio Nuts. Although feeling over-indulged, I didn’t want them to ‘go to waste’ so asked James to kindly box them to take away, with the intentions of giving them to someone else and thus alleviating some of my guilt.
The Frozen Summer Berry Smoothie deserved one final push and I managed a few sips through the quirky paper straw. Thankfully, It wasn’t too thick and a nice refreshing end to what was a very enjoyable afternoon tea. Albeit, I didn’t quite manage a cup of cha, despite there being an array of traditional, herbal and fruit teas on offer. Yvonne, however, enjoyed a Taylors Blackberry & Rasberry Tea.
With its fabulous decor and ambience, attentive service, truly scrumptious food and delectable drinks. The Malmaison really knows how to spoil you. And at £25 per person, for the Cocktail or Champagne Afternoon Tea, it also offers good value for money. Will we be back? Of course! The Classic Cream Tea is also available for £10 per person and the Traditional Afternoon Tea for £17.50.
7 William Jessop Way
T 0151 3633640