Posts Tagged With: Afternoon Tea

The Victoria Restaurant

Victoria Restaurant had been recommended to me as a “traditional-style” venue; and that part didn’t disappoint. After finding my way up (staircase between a jewellers and a clothes shop) I found myself in a gallery/store selling decorative serverware and shiny memorabilia, which led the way to the café, to its left. Upon entering I was greeted by a glass display-trolley filled with a variety of cakes – a pleasant start, I had to admit. Next, I took in the surroundings: it was an open-space room in a simple vintage décor, partly occupied by elderly couples, but feeling mostly empty. It was only 3pm on a Friday… which is, however, the right time for an Afternoon Tea, I guess? Some of the customers did enjoy three-level platters overflowing with finger sandwitches, dainty pastries and scones, accompanied by an Elizabethan tea set.

Cappucino at The Victoria Restaurant

Cappucino at The Victoria Restaurant

I was attended shortly after taking my seat, and presented with the cake trolley when expressed my interest in the day’s bakes. There was an impressive variety of scones available, and I opted for the one I considered least naughty – apple and cinnamon, lured by its healthy “bran” colour (which was in fact, of course, the cinnamon). They did not serve mochas, so I had to choose between their filter, caffetiere or “strong continental style” cappuccino. I decided strong coffee was what I needed… but that’s where I was in for an unpleasant surprise.

The cappuccino was definitely not strong – mild, at its best. It was also too hot and milk was not as frothy and smooth as it should be. I did like the presentation – but nothing else. It only worked fairly well to wash down the scone – which was also very nicely presented with a little pot of jam and some slices of butter on the side.

I suppose Victoria has some vintage charm about it for its target clientele, who, I assume, is the older generation. As I think about it, it reminds me a bit Valvona & Crolla, although I’d say the latter had slightly more style and warmth to it. Although Victoria’s staff was pleasant enough, they did not create a welcoming atmosphere, I regret to say. Then again, most of the customers around me seemed only interested in their own business and not really keen on a chat with a stranger…

And I have to say, that Afternoon Tea did look rather tempting…

Cappucino: £2.15

Verdict justification: The theme seems to complement their impressive looking Afternoon Tea, yet the place feels a bit cold and soulless – and the coffee, albeit its temperature, does not make it any better

Categories: Aberdeen, Cafes, Local, UK | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

The Dome

What better place to review during Christmas than the world-famous Dome? Impossible to miss for it’s pompous decorations with thousands of lights, tinsel and two huge sparkling trees – in the Garden Café and at the main Grill Room opposite the door, year on year it attracts more amateur photographers and growing queues of curious customers; and no wonder, as the cinnamon-scented (intensely) venue is not only stunning to look at – one’s sole presence inside, the décor and the service make for a luxurious experience without the premium prices.

The Dome at Christmas

The Dome at Christmas

I’ve visited The Dome every festive period since arriving to Edinburgh, so it was justified to have high expectations; despite my previous experiences, however, I did not expect those queues that awaited me and my friend at the door to all Dome’s dining rooms.

To increase our chances of finding a table for a wee afternoon-tea we made our way through the crowds straight to the Afternoon Tea room upstairs – only to learn that we would have to wait up to an hour to get seated. Fair enough, I thought, it was Saturday early afternoon after all, and was ready to go and look for a quieter spot, but my companion would have nothing of that; she stubbornly insisted that the experience will justify the wait. So we waited.

After about 45 minutes we finally got a seat, and felt our spirits lift as the place started working its magic again. My companion knew straight away she’d order a sticky toffee pudding – to complete this special moment – and a tea to wash it down; I stuck to my mocha, as it was served with a mini mince pie – a yearly tradition indeed.

Christmas Tree in the Garden Cafe, The Dome

Christmas Tree in the Garden Cafe, The Dome

Surprisingly, the pudding was served first, but the drinks followed shortly after; or maybe not so surprising if you think about the number of people that was being served at the same time – after all, in the Afternoon Tea room drinks would form the majority of orders. Sticky Toffee looked great, but the sight of my mocha worried me a lot. It seemed watery and had an unhealthy light-brown colour; the foam on top looked shiny and fragile like that from a washing liquid and added to my concerns, which were confirmed after the first sip. It was bland and nearly tasteless if omitting the bitterness of cheap or weak coffee. I immediately added sugar, which, as ever, made it even worse. Thank goodness for that mince pie… and the one my friend was served with her tea, which she happily shared with me; thanks to those, I managed to get through most of my coffee, but that wasn’t enough to recover my trust in The Dome.

Mocha at The Dome

Mocha at The Dome

Whether my taste buds have changed as a consequence of becoming a mocha addict or whether the quality suffered due to the level of business, I do not know, but I feel heartbroken having to give The Dome a low mark for the beverage this time. Nevertheless, visiting this place, for a drink or food, is a must when you’re in Edinburgh and overall is – and will always be – a great experience.

Mind the weekends, however.

Mocha: £2.40

Verdict justification: The place, the atmosphere, the whole experience – brilliant; what a shame for the poor coffee!

Categories: Cafes, Edinburgh, Local, UK | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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