Review: Festive afternoon tea at the Hilton, Reading


Review: Festive afternoon tea at the Hilton, Reading
I hate to be that person that gets overexcited about Christmas before December hits, but when I was invited for festive afternoon tea, I was very intrigued. I love a cheeky mince pie and a warming mulled wine in the run up to Christmas, it really helps me to get in that festive mood! So last Sunday, me and mum popped down to The Hilton, Reading* to try out their new Festive Afternoon Tea experience.

As a huge fan of afternoon tea, see our thoughts on the Hilton's festive take!

Review: Festive afternoon tea at the Hilton, Reading
The Hilton is based on the outskirts of Reading, not far from the Madeskji Stadium in a quiet, newly-built neighbourhood. Since it's not in the city centre, it's something to keep in mind if you don't fancy driving there (especially if you're planning on drinking...)! However, there are multiple buses that run right past the Hilton.

Review: Festive afternoon tea at the Hilton, Reading
Walking into the sleek lobby, the first thing we noticed was the beautiful chandelier as you pass through the revolving doors. Quite the centrepiece! Just to your left you see the lobby and bar area, and you simply walk through to the Larder restaurant. The atmosphere was quiet and relaxed as we went on a lazy Sunday mid-afternoon.

We were welcomed by a few staff and seated straight away. We arrived slightly early (so keen lol) so they made us a massive coffee while we waited for the afternoon tea fun to start. The staff were friendly and polite.

Review: Festive afternoon tea at the Hilton, Reading
After about 10 minute, this wonderful spread was brough over us; quite the balacing act I imagine with all the different elements! The adorable wooden bench was such a thoughtful idea, adding that special touch to the presentation. Can't forget about that cute little santa too! Such a lovely surprise to see mulled wine with our tea! There was supposed to be mince pies too, but unfortunately they informed us they didn't have mince pies available. 

Following unspoken afternoon tea rules, we of course headed straight for the sandwiches. The sandwich selection was as follows: chicken and cranberry, tuna mayonnaise, cheese and tomato and egg mayonnaise. To be honest, I've had nicer choices at the likes of Halladay's or Grand Café, both in Southampton, the fillings could be slightly more exciting! Regardless, most were tasty, particularly the chicken and cranberry and egg mayonnaise.

Review: Festive afternoon tea at the Hilton, Reading
Feeling already quite full, we moved on the scones. Again, I think the scones could've been a bit larger, given the generous amount of clotted cream they gave us! Safe to say, I loaded them up to really make the most of the clotted cream (arguably the best part of afternoon tea!). Despite small scone sizes, they were soft and well-baked!

Review: Festive afternoon tea at the Hilton, Reading
After a short food break, and sips of gorgeous mulled wine, we took a closer look at the cakes. Anyone who knows me will know that my name was written all over the mini red velvet cupcake! The coffe and walnut cake was to die for, the star of the cake show by far though.

Review: Festive afternoon tea at the Hilton, Reading

The red velvet was perfectly spongey and the icing wasn't too sickly, in short it was very good! There was a lovely fudgy brownie too (could never beat Jack's though!). The only one we weren't fans of was the almond slices, it was pretty dry and a bit bland. 

Review: Festive afternoon tea at the Hilton, Reading
Almond grievances aside, it was lovely to sit and enjoy the last of the food as the sun was setting. It was great to have quality time with my mum for an afternoon, and just natter away over tasty food.

All in all, I wouldn't say the Hilton festive tea was as festive as it could be (The lack of mince pies was a shame!). It was pretty and delicate, and the mulled wine was a lovely surprise with it. I also think the portion sizes, aka the scones, a crucial part of afternoon tea, weren't as generous as they could be. However, it still felt like a special experience so they should build on that further and do a little bit extra!
Have you tried festive afternoon tea yet? What's the best afternoon tea you've EVER had? Tell me about it!

Thanks for reading!

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 *This is a sponsored post. I was invited to try the festive afternoon tea at The Hilton in exchange for a review. For more information, see my disclaimer

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