Norfolk, Restaurants and Cafes, tea

Chocolate High Tea – The Assembly House Norwich

So I went to another afternoon tea. Kind of.

The Assembly House Norwich were putting on a one evening only ‘Chocolat High Tea’, so obviously I had to go. I have spelt that right, the missing e isn’t missing. This high tea was chocolate themed to complement the movie Chocolat that would be showing after the feast, should you wish to book for an extra fee. I didn’t. I’m mostly about the tea and cake as you know. I’ve seen the film, I own it on DVD (remember DVD’s kids?!) along with every other movie starring Johnny Depp. It’s a good film.

It’s actually a good job I didn’t book the showing, after this edible chocolate dream I had a serious food coma, and comedown. Chocolate, my drug of choice. I’d have been snoring through that film.

Title image of cake stand filled with chocolate desserts. The text ‘Chocolate High Tea Assembly House Norwich’
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Until attending this and doing a little research on the subject I wasn’t completely sure of the difference between ‘afternoon tea’ and ‘high tea’. It seems that the main differences are the time in which it’s eaten and the reason for. An afternoon tea was created to fill a gap between lunch and dinner, to keep hunger at bay by having something light to eat with a pot of tea. Whereas high tea was thought as something more substantial, often including warm food too. High tea was more a meal eaten in the early evening. The time of day some of us still refer to as ‘tea time’. Afternoon tea started as something more casual, served at low tables and comfy seats. Whereas high tea was more formal, sitting around tables on high backed chairs.

I think through history the lines have blurred a little and afternoon tea has also become a meal rather than ‘filler’. Mainly due to the change in lifestyles and eating habits.

Well there’s my little bit of historical context for you, let’s get on to the good stuff.

High Tea. Three tier cake stand. Sandwiches on the bottom. A brioche roll, sausage roll and mini cheese toastie on the middle tier. Chocolate desserts on the top tier.
High Tea

The finger sandwiches were as delicately tasty as always, smoked salmon, egg mayo and ham. Not all in one. Replenish-able, some ordered more. They were simple flavours but I think that’s a good thing considering the richness I could see coming from the top tier. The vegetarian amongst us had alternatives, one of which was hummus and olive, lucky for me she wasn’t a fan. I liked it but I have to say I don’t think the vegetarian options were quite on par with us carnivores.

We had the most delicious venison sausage roll (I don’t think I’ve eaten venison before). Sausage rolls are my guilty pleasure and this one hit the spot. it was herby and meaty with light crisp pastry. This was an added extra to the usual afternoon tea. However there didn’t seem to be a vegetarian alternative. If there was she didn’t get it.

Along with the sausage roll was a mini three cheese toastie and club brioche roll. These were the same as was served at the School Of Magic Afternoon Tea. Yum.

They brought out the scones.

As you know my afternoon tea etiquette is fairly particular, there is a wrong way to eat an afternoon tea and then there is the way I eat it. Well usually, but this decedent high tea caught me out! There were some sneaky extras in this one that meant I just had to bypass the scones altogether as I was faster filling up. They were boxed up for me to eat later. There was a bonus to this though, cheese scone for breakfast is amazing. That I could live with everyday. The afternoon tea that keeps on giving!

A row of scones of a cake stand. There is a white napkin underneath them with the Assembly House logo on in black.

At first I thought we must have been given the wrong plates on our stands, there were loads of scones. At closer inspection we realised there were three scones each. Three! The usual cheese and chive that I’m totally obsessed with, your traditional fruit scone served with jam and clotted cream and then a bonus scone. There’s only ever two. At first appearance it had chocolate chunks through it. Upon later tasting we think it also had a hint of lemon. We were unsure what to top the chocolate chip scone with, some went for cream, I went for butter, others went for nothing. I think it could be rather tasty with a little chocolate sauce or lemon curd. What do you think Assembly House?

Looking down onto the top tier of the cake stand. You can see four different desserts. A cookie, an eclair, a shot glass and a gateau.
The top tier. Chocolate dreams.

Top tier, the chocolate lovers dream.

Chocolate chip cookie sandwich with chocolate cream in the centre. On a white plate with crumbs and food stains. You can see a Tea strainer in the distance
Chocolate chip cookie sandwich

I love a cookie, preferably gooey and not fully baked. But this one won me over to the crunchy side. It was chocolate chip and tasted a little oaty, just the right texture, crisp and crumbly. Two of these were sandwiched together with a chocolate cream, ganache type spread. (This would be nice on the scones) As you took a bite it oozed out. By far the best biscuit I have ever had, and possible the best bit of today’s high tea.

Billionaires shortbread dessert in a small shot sized glass. You can see crushed biscuit at the base, topped with laters or caramel and chocolate. It is placed on a white plate with a small silver spoon at the front
Billionaires shortbread dessert

There was the usual shot glass dessert, this time a billionaires shortbread. Velvety chocolate with a sweet caramel, and crumbled up shortbread were layered and topped with cream and little gold balls. This was so rich and delicious, my only fault would be those little balls, you know the ones that nearly break your tooth? They’re the ones. It’s just personal taste, I despise the little things. The dessert though. I want that again now.

A slice of signature gateau on a white plate. The gateau is made from many thin layers of sponge, cream and chocolate
Assembly House signature gateau

The Assembly House signature gateaux was back, this time with its well know flavours. My favourite version of it I have to say. Layers of light sponge, rich chocolate and smooth cream, with a hint of coffee. It makes an appearance at every Assembly House afternoon tea, but varies in flavour and colour depending on the theme. Remember the rainbow one for Norwich Pride?

Photograph close up of the mini chocolate eclair on a white plate
Chocolate eclair

The final dessert was a mini chocolate eclair. After all the indulgence this was a light and fluffy treat. I’m a sucker for choux pastry, give me profiteroles any day. I like it’s nothingness. The slightly chewy texture. That should sound better than it does but I hope you know what I mean!

This was definitely up there as one of my favourite afternoon teas, or high tea I should say. Mainly due to the sausage roll and cookie.

If you want to know more about wheelchair access to The Assembly House Norwich then check out my visit for their Pride Unicorn Tea.

I have also rated and detailed the access to their accessible toilet.

Unfortunately and very unlike me I don’t have anymore afternoon teas booked this year. If you have any recommendations in the Norfolk area do let me know. I’m also up for reviewing any new ones!

26 thoughts on “Chocolate High Tea – The Assembly House Norwich”

  1. Wow that looks amazing. I’ve eased myself off most sugar now, not that you would notice from the size of my butt, I suspect this would now beat me but it does look absolutely fabulous.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, a health scare 😐 I have developed an autoimmune disease and have to be really careful about inflammation now. Sugar causes inflammation so I’ve had to cut right back, haven’t managed to cut it altogether but, compared to how I was – I have drastically reduced it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t really know the difference between afternoon tea & high tea either, so I’ve learned something new there! Chocolat High Tea sounds amazing, and it’s great that you could take the scones home because I’d probably find myself a little too full for everything too. As for the chocolate scone, I’d go for chocolate sauce. In fact, I’d go for chocolate sauce on everything. It’s my drug of choice too! I think I’d have to go for the cookie sandwich, billionaires shortbread dessert and gateau personally (rather than the ‘proper food’, I’d just have all desserts). Great review, very mouth-watering pics! 🙂
    Maybe you could get in touch with your local paper or community website, see if they have any more places they could recommend to you?
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe next time I should go against all my beliefs and start on the top layer, I wouldn’t get so full then!
      Chocolate sauce on everything… I like the sound of that.
      That’s a good plan, there are lots of local Facebook groups that may have some recommendations. Thanks for that 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Goodness Gemma, this looks amaaaaazing! I have never seen such a chocolaty high tea! I normally like the savory snacks best…but I’d been drawn to the chocolate in this one!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. you’re kidding me… for over four decades I have driven to Norwich to visit my in laws and not once was a Chocolat high tea mentioned. Then when the remaining in law is moved to an over whatevers flat in South Croydon because we can no longer face the 200 mile round trips, this appears. Just once in those decades and it might have seemed worthwhile… probably… possibly… maybe a little. I’m going to have to inhale a miasma of Green and Blacks… this post is too cruel…….. You don’t know if this is planning on touring, do you?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ooh I do love Green and Blacks! I don’t think this particular high tea is touring but there are so many themed ones around lately I’m sure there’ll be something tasty near you! I have to say Norwich is the place to be though, so many things worth the trip for.

      Liked by 1 person

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