This has been a long time coming guys. But here it is. An Assembly House themed afternoon tea post made it to the blog before 2021 was out.
There was this cakeaway review beck in 2020 when the world turned upside down and the lovely people that make The Assembly House what it is gifted me this doorstep delivery.
But this time, we are actually under a roof!
That was the quote of the day as my friend and I laughed about how we’ve only seen each other in our gardens for almost two years. A sad hysterical little laugh, but you have to don’t you.
Anyway, it feels like some normality has returned to life. Even if just for a couple of hours.
We’ve both been semi shielding for what seems like an eternity. Which makes meeting up weirdly chilled. Because who better to meet up with when you’re a shielder than a shielder. Both with our best interests and fragile health at the forefront of our thoughts, lateral flows and mask wearing are just how things roll.
Now, I’ve got a little bit ranty lately on the whole pandemic isn’t over thing and people aren’t wearing masks or making space or showing consideration. And our government aren’t helping blah blah.
I’ve been out for the odd lunch or coffee or supermarket trip, and I’ll tell you what it’s made me become… a little bit snobby. What I’ve realised is, the classier the establishment, the more they seem to care. Now I’m sure this isn’t a new thing, it happened before the pandemic, you get what you pay for. Mostly. And I didn’t mind a bit of a bargain. I’ve eaten off of many a sticky ‘Spoons table back in the day. The day has gone. I want good food, friendly service, mask wearers, and a whole load of sanitiser.
Well, I felt very looked after, welcomed, safe and considered dinning at the Assembly House.
For this visit we did ask to sit in the smaller room, just to feel a little safer with not so many people around or passing by. It’s still a lovely room, having had a bit of a makeover recently.
On to the fun stuff.
I swear the sandwiches are getting bigger and the bread fluffier. I’m certainly not getting smaller. Unlike most things. You know, like chocolate bars when you were a kid seemed to go on forever and now the same ones are gone in two bites? Well these sandwiches are the opposite.
They were a good selection too. The smoked chicken and mango chutney being my favourite, with the mature cheddar cheese and bramley apple chutney coming in close second. Supported by the traditional egg-mayo with cress, and ham and mustard, it made for a winning first tier.
That middle savoury tier, though. Well I think it’s my new favourite.
Never had I ever had a savoury choux bun until now. Filled with red pepper, sun-dried tomato and basil cream cheese this light and airy bite was rich and delicious without being too heavy. This is definitely a step up from the tasty regular that was a filled bridge roll, and I hope it gets to feature again.
Next up is possibly the best sausage roll I’ve ever had. Meaty and herby goodness in a crisp and flaky shell. We could eat that sausage roll full sized, if you ever fancy adding it to the menu Assembly House?!
And that warm three cheese toastie… it’s been an Assembly House afternoon tea staple for a while now, (my first taste being at this Harry Potter theme) and I hope it stays that way.
The cheddar cheese witch’s finger, a kind of cheese straw slash biscuit mash up, was super crumbly (in the best way) and really packed a punch.
Once the savouries are demolished it’s time for a top up of unlimited tea and the plate of warm scones to arrive.
In the words of my friend that day while eating the cheese, Colman’s mustard and chive scone, “this is the best scone ever, I think it’s even better than normal.” Either we’ve been locked away too long, or the Assembly House have improved on something I never thought possible. Maybe a bit of both.
The fruit scone was delicious topped with the strawberry jam or clotted cream. Or should I say cream and jam. How do you top yours?
Now for the cakes.
I started with the Eye Scream Sunday Shot, because it’s not the kind of thing I could ask to be boxed up to take home. Let’s just note here that I did box up and take home a few bits in no particular order, because I’m a small eater and an afternoon tea is way more filling than you ever imagine at first glance.
So, back to the Eye Scream. I’m really sorry lovely Assembly House crew but it just wasn’t for me. The orange ‘ice cream’ outweighed the chocolate mousse in proportions that I found too sweet. I wanted that bitter cut through, but I didn’t get it. This pains me to say, so let’s move on to happier times.
This themes twist on the usual Gateau Opera was The Vampire’ Wedding Cake. Many delicate layers of almond sponge interspersed with raspberry coulis and cream cheese frosting. It was sweet and creamy but not too heavy.
The He’s Looking At You Macaron. Light and fluffy with just the right amount of chewy centre and blueberry burst, I could easily go for more of these.
Next up was the Witch’s Familiar. A green chocolate frog that oozed rich salted caramel. Let’s just say things got messy, but it was worth it!
And aren’t I glad I saved him until last… The Gingerundead Man with his little iced fangs was by far my favourite. I thought I’d quite like him anyway, as spiced things are my thing, but he really packed a punch. It was the chewy gooey kind of biscuit that made him even better than expected. He was fresh, zingy and not too sweet. I ate him head first and have absolutely no regrets.
Because I’m a little slow on posting, and I did have the afternoon tea the day before it ended. I’m afraid you’ve missed out on these delights.
Fear not, though. The Assembly House always have a trick and new theme up their sleeve. The magical Narnia theme is running now, over Christmas, up until 2rd January 2022. So get on it.
Here are some other afternoon themed teas I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing.
And you can head over to this Pride Unicorn themed tea post for accessibility details.