I was very fortunate recently to win an Afternoon Tea competition on Instagram. The prize was a free-flowing Afternoon Tea for two at Scoff and Banter, in their Canary Wharf location.
This branch of S&B sits inside the Radisson Blue Edwardian London Hotel, in a quiet and suburban part of the Docklands.
The interiors veer from dark and moody in the bar and lounge area to bright and light neutrals in the main dining space.
There is also a terraced section towards the rear which gives panoramic views of the River Thames and the Millennium Dome.
We were here to sample the Free-Flowing Prosecco Afternoon Tea (£39 per person).
We had a bit of a shaky start, as the staff didn’t know anything about the competition when we arrived. It took them a couple of minutes to consult internally with their marketing team, who had originally organised the competition and the booking. Once seated, there was a bit of a wait before anyone attended to us. It all felt a bit peculiar. However, after those initial hiccups, the rest of the afternoon service went fairly smoothly.
The Afternoon Tea, when it arrived, included a selection of finger sandwiches on artisan bread with the following choices:
- Honey Roast Ham with Whole Grain Mustard Mayonnaise on Brioche Bread
- Scottish Smoked Salmon with Lemon Butter on Dill Bread
- Rare Roast Beef with Horseradish Mayonnaise on Black Pepper Bread
- Cucumber with Mint Cream Cheese on Tomato Bread
- Cheese and Red Onion on Caraway Seed Bread
The cucumber sandwich was impressive. The soft bread (basically a focaccia) was nice in texture and taste. There was a slight hint of mint which was good so as to not overpower the subtle, fresh cucumber. The ham and mustard was everything you would expect from a good sandwich. The salmon version was quite fresh and had lovely lemony flavours that went well against the distinctive taste of the dill bread (this was Kris’s favourite). The cheese and red onion was a gorgeous combo, although the bread could have been cut slightly thinner. But my overall favourite was the roast beef. Its pairing with the punchy horseradish mayo made me go ‘ooh, this is nice!’
From the middle tier, we helped ourselves to the Warm Raisin and Plain Scones, served with Strawberry Preserve and Cornish Clotted Cream. The scones tasted buttery and delicious, but were crumbly and didn’t quite cut cleanly. However, there was a decent amount of smooth cream and jam to slather them with.
Both our teas were wonderful. Kris ordered the Earl Grey for himself and I had the English Breakfast, both from Newby Teas UK.
The topmost tier of vividly coloured pastry selection was stellar. We had the Salted Caramel Cheesecake which was divine. It was soft and creamy, with the popcorn perched on top, adding a saltiness and nutty texture. The Strawberry Shortcake had quite a nice cream filling. The only problem was that when you took a bite, it squished out from the side, which made it slightly messy to eat. Finally, an incredibly decadent Hazelnut and Chocolate Slice to finish with, so rich that even Kris (who prides himself in devouring desserts) had to pause between each mouthful.
Overall, the presentation was simple but elegant; the portions generous. The staff regularly refreshed our glasses of fizz within the allocated time of 1.5 hours.
Overall, we enjoyed our scrumptious Afternoon Tea at Scoff & Banter. A few niggles in the service aside, we had a pretty smashing, boozy afternoon. The fact that this week is Afternoon Tea Week made this victory even sweeter.
More information can be found here.
Location : 5 Fairmont Avenue, London E14 9JB
N.B. Our Afternoon Tea was complimentary as I was a competition winner but all photos and opinions are mine.