Mumbler were kindly invited along to enjoy afternoon tea at the Principal. Two mummies with a couple of rare child free hours, and we certainly spent them wisely.
The Building & interior As soon as you approach The Principal, its splendour is evident, and it doesn’t let you down inside. The surroundings are just beautiful and it really added to creating an extra special experience. There’s sofas and comfy seating to choose from, so the grandness doesn’t come as a sacrifice for comfort.
The Staff The staff were smart and attentive. Our waitress took note of our dietary requirements and altered the menu accordingly. She explained all the food, was friendly and informative and available if needed (that perfect balance of helpful but not intrusive, so we could enjoy our time). It turned out our waitress was unaware we were reviewing the afternoon tea, which I love as it removes any false niceties, but put simply, she couldn’t have done anything better.
The Food We ordered the Champagne afternoon tea (obviously…), we had some time to enjoy the champagne before the afternoon tea and hot drinks arrived.
The Starter (yes that’s right, this really was no ordinary afternoon tea) arrived in cute little teacups! Ours was substituted with a little salad (to suit us), but would ordinarily contain: White onion velouté (a tasty onion soup), Severn and Wye smoked salmon, parsley, lavish crisps and a Yorkshire Blue and chive tart. It quickly became evident this was not the sort of afternoon tea even a competent person could knock up at home, this contained top chef prepared delights and was truly decadent.
The afternoon tea contained: Free-range egg mayonnaise and watercress sandwiches, Yorkshire ham and chutney sandwiches (alternatives were given for vegetarians). A trio of mini scones: plain, fruit, cherry and almond with raspberry jam and clotted cream. Deserts included: A chocolate and pistachio tart, vanilla panna cotta, a mint chocolate macaron, a lemon meringue éclair, apricot cheesecake and carrot cake. Apologies to anyone sticking to their New Year diet, but the cherry and almond scones were hands down the best scones I’ve ever tasted and each desert was, well, just amazing! I’m writing this desperately craving more!
A children’s afternoon tea is available (yes, we ditched the little ones and indulged and I have no regrets). However, a mummy daughter treat will definitely be planned (both of us getting dressed up so she feels all grown up and special!) The children’s afternoon tea menu (designed by local children) is available to view HERE along with the full afternoon tea menu.
We were kindly provided with a doggy bag (lovely box actually) to take home the goodies we couldn’t manage, despite being soooo full, I admit it didn’t last long….
Summary So, if you haven’t guessed by this point WE LOVED IT! We would definitely recommend for a variety of occasions: a child free treat (like we had), a special mummy daughter (or daddy daughter/son experience), valentines date, mother day treat, an excuse to meet those friends you haven’t seen for a while (basically, think of any reason you can to get yourself there – you won’t regret it). They also cater for larger groups so perfect for a baby shower, or hen do type events. Someone was on a nearby table planning their wedding food and I know that will be just magical.
So, lets be honest, if you looked around, you could find a cheaper afternoon tea. This is far from an ordinary afternoon tea. The price included starters, a substantial afternoon tea (which will likely result in a doggy bag aswell) champagne (if chosen) and tea/coffee. Every part of the experience was superior to any afternoon tea I have had before, from the surroundings to the staff to the exquisite deserts. I WILL be returning as a fully paying customer with my little girl, as a special mummy daughter treat!
Here’s The Principal Hotel’s WEBSITE for all the information you need.
The Principal is situated right next to York Train station: Station Road, York, YO24 1AA T: 01904 653681
N.B. Afternoon tea was kindly provided complementary (I know, tough job but someone’s got to do it!) However, no amount of cakes would ever be enough for us to write a dishonest review, therefore reviews contain our honest views and opinions and always will.