You’ll know by now that I’m quite the regular at The Assembly House Norwich. Their afternoon tea being one of my highlights of the season.
You’ll also know I’m not quite ready to get back to my escapades just yet.
Although The Assembly House reopened back in July and those stunning Instagram shots were extremely enticing. I’ve still only been to a graveyard, and the risk for me to be around multiple humans is just too high.
The ‘cakeaway’ afternoon tea option was also announced, but I’m not quite local enough to drop by.
What is Cakeaway I hear you say? Well it’s just like a takeaway but even better. Because it has cake. It’s everything you’d expect from an afternoon tea, wrapped and boxed for you to dine on at home or take on a picnic.
During afternoon tea week I shared throwbacks to some of my favourite teas, obviously including one at The Assembly House.
Next thing I know they’ve commented. That led to emails, which led to a generous offer of them bringing a cakeaway to my door. On the house. Don’t get too excited, cakeaway door delivery isn’t generally an option. But The Assembly House being the lovely people that they are, knowing my face now, and how obsessed I’ve become (basically their stalker), didn’t want me missing out on the summer themed tea.
This years theme was ice cream without the ice cream. Popular flavour combinations and summer favourites redesigned as pastel coloured mini bites.
I was gifted an afternoon tea for two with a couple of extras that I’ll tell you about later.
I’m the kind of person who owns a cake stand or two. Of course I am. So I did the set up and everything. I wanted it to feel like a treat.
I followed traditional afternoon tea etiquette and began with the sandwiches. This is the only acceptable way and you’ll find I’m quite particular about it. Those people that go back and forth between tiers… well, they’re not my people.
So sandwiches were to start. When dining in these are replenish-able. So, for the cakeaway option a few extras are thrown in.
I always feel the sandwich gets a bit overlooked when it comes to afternoon teas. I know it’s hard to be adventurous with two layers of bread, but I don’t think you need to be to get it right.
I began with smoked salmon, cream cheese and black pepper. I’ve just realised I only ever eat smoked salmon when it comes to afternoon teas. Maybe because I’m the only one in the house that enjoys it. It’s nice to keep it as a treat though, an occasion. Things can hold memories that way. Like the penguin chocolate bars I used to have in school packed lunch. It takes you to that place.
The ham and mild mustard, and egg and cress go down well too. Two traditional fillings that I always enjoy.
There was a new to me Assembly House filling in the fourth finger. Cheese and pickle with a twist. The cheese was grated and mixed with a mayo type sauce, with an apple chutney spread beneath. So much tastier than I’m making it sound!
Next up were savouries. The generous beings the Assembly House are, we get an added layer of savoury snacks to devour, than some afternoon tea creators offer.
Sausage rolls have always been my guilty pleasure. There’s nothing better than homemade, but I have even been known to grab a Greggs when times are desperate and the cravings hard.
Back to sophistication, though. Crisp and fluffy pastry, with a meaty middle, this mini sausage roll was so delicious but gone too soon. Good job really as there is still plenty to get through!
A lover of cheese, shortbread and pistachio nuts, the crisp biscuit in this combination was melt in your mouth deliciously delicate.
For those dining in, a warm triple cheese toastie would be served. However for cakeaway reasons I got a savoury cheesy paprika muffin. That toastie is to die for, however fear not, this muffin alternative stands up for itself as close competition.
Lastly is a bridge roll of coronation chicken, mango chutney and coconut. The bread is airy and the coronation chicken dried fruit free. Just how I like it!
Next up are the scones. Stars of an afternoon tea for me.
I needn’t say much other than the cheese scones from this place are my favourite in the world (I know I haven’t travelled the world). And a fruit scone is what it is really. Delightful.
Portions of butter, jam and cream are included. As well as wooden cutlery, should you be picnicking.
We have reached the top.
I always look forward to the shot glass dessert of an Assembly House afternoon tea. Like a complete mini dessert of perfect portion size for me. This cakeaway knickerbocker glory inspired shot was served in a lidded plastic tub, but the taste was as good as always. Tart berries, light whipped cream and a chocolate flake. Summer in a tub.
The famous Assembly House signature gateau opera was there as always, but with a minty twist. Now I’m not a big minty food lover. Some things can taste a bit like eating after you’ve cleaned your teeth. You know what I mean?
It was delicate though, and sweet but not too much so. The chocolate ratio was balanced well. There was no toothpaste aftertaste.
Up next was another regular but this time inspired by the flavours of a Neapolitan ice cream. A macaron or half chocolate and half strawberry, filled with vanilla buttercream and cherry jam. I enjoyed the chewiness and lightness the combination created.
That ice cream cookie sandwich, though. It gives this other cookie, my all time favourite top tier treat, some competition. Raspberry ripple cheesecake filling squished between two hazelnut cookies. It’s soft, and crumbly and buttery and rich, but light and crunchy and melt in the mouth. There are too many and not enough words to describe it. Let’s just say I could eat it again.
There are extras available to add on to your cakeaway collection. Generously hidden inside my package was a bag of 6 boozy chocolate truffles, and the famous triple chocolate scones!
These rich chocolate scones came with more clotted cream and individual portions of Nutella spread. There was absolutely no chance I could feast on these that day, so I saved this treat for the next day and they still tasted fresh and didn’t go dry.
I’m not sure they’d ever replace the traditional fruit with cream and jam, and they’d definitely be too much for me to devour alongside a full tea. However as a treat with a good brew they are perfect, rich, not too sweet, and just the right amount of crumbly.
It was lovely to have this little treat at home, to break up the monotony and routine of eating at home. I’m incredibly thankful to The Assembly House for the thoughtful gesture.
Hopefully soon I can return to those stunning rooms, chandeliers and friendly team.
Weirdly it made me miss going out for the first time. Well not miss it in the way that I have that urge or desire to be out amongst the unknown. I don’t. However afternoon teas are generally a celebration, an event, a meet up with friends or family. Experiences. They’re flavours I should be sharing in an atmosphere I love. The cakes are incredible and the scones the best I’ve ever had. But life’s not all about the cake. It’s who you have the cake with and what happens around it that’s the key. What life’s for.
This ice cream themed tea is available to eat in or as a cakeaway for the rest of August.
You can also be sure that The Assembly House have many more treats planned for the future.