Food Post Restaurant Review

The Assembly House. Restaurant Review

Festive Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea is by far my favourite grown up pastime, so as we approach the most wonderful time of year, booking a festive Afternoon Tea is a must.

Afternoon Tea gives me a little bit of everything I like – the theatre of it all! I love the delicate and flavoursome sandwiches, savoury treats, warm scones and the build up to the main event of dainty pastries and cakes… bitesize perfection. Afternoon Tea is just pure fun.

A good Afternoon Tea is so much more than just the food (although that is clearly the most important element!). Competition is so high nowadays as Afternoon Tea has become more popular than ever. Everything is important, the overall feel of a venue, its facilities, location, the little extras and service – it all adds to your experience… restaurants must get everything right to stand out.

Pastry Chef Mark Mitson has created yet another fantastic Festive Afternoon Tea at The Assembly House. The Assembly House prides itself on being ‘the’ venue for Afternoon Tea in Norwich, and while I haven’t worked my way round all our cities other restaurants to test the theory; I do absolutely rate what Mark Mitson and his pastry elves are doing. They create spectacular sandwiches, scones, cakes and pastries with their normal high standards but with a hefty dose of Christmas magic and I love it!



Cucumber and Candis carrot chutney

Hummus and Mediterranean vegetables

Avocado and sweet chilli sauce


Soft bridge roll with wild mushroom pate

Vegan cheese toastie, tomato chutney

Marmite and smoked paprika straw


Fruit scone with strawberry jam and vegan butter

Black olive and chive scone


Our Toblerone-inspired Gateau Opera

Coconut Snowman Madeleine

Grandma’s Boxing Day Trifle

Champagne Macaron


Your choice from our stunning selection of loose leaf teas and tisanes

We had:

Festive Afternoon Tea Blend

Lavender Black

From the moment we arrived the magic of Christmas was in the air, Christmas music and some of the most incredibly decorated and huge Christmas trees I have ever seen. The building itself is gorgeous and the Christmas decorations are tasteful and traditional. I was so excited to see our table in their main dining room was situated right next to one of their many Christmas Trees and I revelled in having surely one of the best tables in the place!

As soon as we sat down, in the glow of the Christmas tree lights, the background music relaxing us, we were greeted by our waitress who took our order for tea. Husband went with the traditional festive blend which was served with fresh segments of orange and I had the fragrant lavender black tea. Not long after our tea was served, our Afternoon Tea stand arrived. Three stunning layers.

The first layer of sandwiches full of flavour; cucumber and candis carrot chutney, hummus and mediterranean vegetables and avocado and sweet chilli sauce. The second layer with some delicious savoury treats; a soft bridge roll with wild mushroom pate, a vegan cheese toastie with tomato chutney and a marmite and smoked paprika straw. And the tip of the top sweet plate, a Toblerone-inspired gateau, a coconut madeleine snowman, a twist on Grandma’s Boxing Day Trifle with vegan jelly and mandarin orange segments, topped with golden stars and last but not least, a Champagne macaron.

We were offered a second helping of the sandwiches and after we were finished with our savoury plate, we were served more tea and our warm scones arrived. A traditional fruit scone with strawberry jam and vegan butter and my favourite a black olive and chive scone.

I loved that our food came in waves and not all in one serving, as it meant that everything was served fresh and warm or chilled where required, sandwiches didn’t curl, cakes didn’t dry out and scones didn’t cool whilst waiting patiently to be devoured. We didn’t have to ask for a thing, everything flowed perfectly, and it kept an element of surprise back for every course which I loved about this tea.

This is how I like my afternoon tea to be served, at a relaxed pace with no rush to leave and no grumbling stomachs by the end. In fact, there was so much food leftover that we had to ask for a “take away box” to bring our treats home with us for our inevitable second wind later on.

The food flows beautifully, top ups of tea were offered throughout our meal, and the friendly service with a smile was spot on- telling us exactly what was in each item we were about to enjoy. The entire experience was relaxing and pleasing in every way- a wonderful dose of festive fun in November to warm up that Christmas spirit.

If you haven’t been to The Assembly House for Afternoon Tea – book it. They serve all year round, and do wonderful themed Tea’s throughout the year too, you won’t regret it.

And now with my Afternoon Tea addiction in full swing… I am already planning on trying the vegan Afternoon Tea served at The Rooftop Gardens and at Biddy’s Tearoom. Watch this space…

love Em-Gem xxx

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