Why you need to try Park House’s new French afternoon tea!


Thanks to Park House, Cardiff for inviting us to sample their afternoon tea

We had the pleasure of being invited to Park House today. Set in a beautiful 19th century gothic building this restaurant inspired by French cuisine oozes luxury at every corner. From the plush purple velvet that coats the seats, to the beautiful fireplace and gorgeous crockery, this place is the perfect setting for afternoon tea. The French inspired restaurant has Michelin recognition and is often visited by celebrities such as Sir David Attenborough, Ed Sheeran and Lionel Richie.

Now I am a big afternoon tea fan. I mean who doesn’t love finger sandwiches and dessert? Oh and coffee, lots of coffee. I have tried many afternoon teas in my time and I can honestly say this was my favourite and outstanding value for money.

We enjoyed canapés to start. I enjoyed Beetroot and yogurt and tomato mozzarella wafer cones. My husband was treated to chicken croquet with mustard mayonnaise and salmon and lemon wafer comes. Now I know you are meant to savour the taste of fine food but when they taste as good as these, they don’t last long. They were melt in your mouth. The additional flavours enhanced the exceptional taste. I am blown away at how chefs can make the simplest ingredients that you always have in your house taste so delicious.

We then moved onto butternut squash soup. My husband is usually a meat and two veg kind of man. Often he isn’t too keen on butternut squash when I cook it in a curry. However, today he couldn’t get over how divine the soup tasted. The soup was light and fragrant with just the right amount of chunks. If I could take a batch home from Park House for my lunches I would be a very happy lady! This soup really highlighted how beautiful vegetables can be if they are cooked by somebody who is truly a wonderful chef.

We then had the delight of our finger sandwiches. Am I the only person who gets over excited about finger sandwiches? I know you can easily cut the crust off your sandwiches at home but it just isn’t the same is it ? Your cucumber and cream cheese finger sandwich can never compete with the ones you have for afternoon tea. I went for a vegetarian choice and I was certainly not disappointed. I had the most delicious cheese and chutney sandwich of my entire life. I am still thinking about it. I also enjoyed an egg and cress on brioche, beetroot and cream cheese on brown and cucumber and cream cheese on rye. My husband had crayfish on wholemeal with confit lemon, egg and cress on brioche, chicken and whole grain mustard on white and cream cheese and cucumber on rye. He was in heaven. He had never tried crayfish before but he is already planning an excuse to visit Park House again just for the Crayfish! What I love most about the choice of sandwiches is that a lot of the ingredients are locally sourced. Even the breads are made using floured milled in Pembrokeshire. The restaurant adapted the menu to vegetarian with no trouble and the best part was they offered choice. Often if you request vegetarian you are left with egg and cheese. But they combined ingredients such as beetroot to add colour and flavour to my plate.

After we finished our sandwiches we were offered an array of coffees and teas. I was delighted when the tea arrived with tea leaves and the coffee was in a cafeteria. There is nothing quite like proper tea and coffee. Especially combined with rich food. Plus the crockery was gorgeous. What made the experience even better was the little touches. The milk for my coffee was warmed up, we had water placed on the table and there were sugar cubes. I eat out a lot and often I don’t return to places if they don’t provide those little touches. Park House certainly know what they are doing.

So now we go onto the stars of the show. The desserts. Well, just look below to fall in love. They were just like bites of heaven. I didn’t even think about the calories because what does it matter when they taste so beautiful. As soon as the dish arrived Nancy dived straight in for an Eclair au Chocolate. My girl has taste.

I went straight in for a Paris-Brest (a classic French dessert of choice pastry filled with praline infused cream). This was divine, the cream inside was as light as cloud. My husbands first choice was the Panna Cotta. Every restaurant we go to he always orders Panna Cotta, without fail. Often he picks a restaurant behave there is Panna Cotta on the menu. He honestly hand on heart said this was the best Panna Cotta he had ever tasted. Now I can’t pretend to you, I really dislike Panna Cotta. I just don’t like the texture. Luckily Matt isn’t a fan of Tarte au Citron Meringue, we did a quick switch and we were both happy chaps. The meringue on my shortcrust pastry and lemon curd was beautiful, I could list a lot of adjectives, but they aren’t needed. The picture speaks for itself. We then went onto the fruitful meringue made with berries. The meringue was filled with delicious summer berries and was a dream for anyone with a sweet tooth. I did wonder if I would miss the old scone and clotted cream with the afternoon tea but I can tell you I certainly did not. I left with a full belly and a big big smile. For the first time

So from Nancy and myself we would hand on heart recommend the afternoon at Park House. We were treated to so many delicate treats and I can honestly say what they offer is exceptional value for money. We not just have to think up another excuse to go there again.

Kelly Yasmin Bayley