Last week I was invited to sample the new ‘Gin & Tea’ afternoon tea at Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse Bar and Grill at the top of the iconic ‘The Cube’ in Birmingham. I’ve visited the restaurant before (the chocolate mousse is amazing), and while I wouldn’t describe myself as a huge gin enthusiast, I was intruiged to see how it had been infused into the individual elements of the food.
One of the best features of the restaurant are the fabulous 360-degree views of the city from the 25th floor, so I was delighted when we were shown to a table with crisp, white linen and a window seat. We were the first to arrive for the start of service, and so it was a particularly quiet and relaxed atmosphere.
We were offered a Pink Gin cocktail (we both chose lemonade instead of tonic) made with Beefeater gin. The unexpected surprise was how much I actually enjoyed this – the gin wasn’t too strong and I liked the large glasses. Who knows? Perhaps I might now be a gin person?
The Afternoon Tea was elegantly presented. The sandwiches – Prawns with Marie Rose Sauce and Cucumber, Coronation Chicken, Egg and Mayo and Ham and Tomato – were fresh and nicely balanced (although are standard flavour combinations for an afternoon tea). The Orange and Juniper scones were lovely and generously sized, being larger than most of my afternoon tea experiences, and I loved the fact that they were still warm and slightly crumbly, even after the time we had taken to eat our way through the sandwiches. From the menu I expected a Gin Jam but was given a pot of strawberry jam instead.
The desserts were a selection of gin infused treats – a Gin, Chocolate and Cranberry Ganache, Gin and Lime Cupcake, Pink Gin and Raspbery Cheesecake, and a Lemon and Gin Drizzle Cake.
Chocolate lovers will particularly enjoy the Ganache (my companion and I were immediately impressed with this after our first bite), both cakes were soft and quite sweet with a tarte and citrusy undertone and the cheesecake was a satisfying finale to the whole experience. However, while all of the desserts were lovely, gin enthusiasts may feel that the overall gin flavour could be more prominent within each element – this was a little too subtle in some areas and perhaps overwhelmed by the other ingredients.
Want to try the Gin and Tea experience at Marco Pierre White? It is available from Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 5pm for just £24.95 per person. Check out their website here to book.
Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary Gin & Tea afternoon tea, but was under no obligation to provide a positive review.