Champagne Afternoon tea at Cafe21, Fenwick, Newcastle
Afternoon tea is always a winner for me (although I've noticed I rarely like the sandwiches served) - I love the little cake stand the whole thing comes on, and it feels like such a decadent treat. Throw in champagne, and I'm in heaven! The champagne afternoon tea in Cafe21 costs £30 for 2 people and includes a selection of sandwiches, scones and cakes. The champagne was lovely, as were the freshly baked scones, but there were a couple of things that let this experience down for me - firstly, we weren't served our tea until after we'd finished our food, and had to ask for it. Although we had champagne, I would've preferred tea with my scone. Secondly, we weren't told what anything on our afternoon tea stand was when it was brought over. As I'm a picky eater, I like to know exactly what I'm eating, or I'm liable to spit it across the room if it's something I don't like (and that could get embarrassing). And lastly, when our bill arrived, a 20% 'service charge' had been added. I am not a fan of service charges - if I want to tip, I will - although I would expect one if we were a large party. Except we weren't; there was three of us. Hmmm.
Cream tea at The Great British Cupcakery, Newcastle
I'm so happy this place isn't anywhere near my daily commute. If it was, I think I'd be cupcaking it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I've popped in a few times to pick up a treat to bring home, but a few weeks ago I popped in with Chloe from New Girl In Toon for a cuppa and a natter. I decided to go for the cream tea, which is £3.95 and includes a humongous jam and fresh cream filled scone, and a pot of tea. I'm smiling on the photo, but about ten minutes later I was almost crying as I couldn't finish my giant scone, as delicious as it was! The only thing with GBC is, as it's a small place, it can get really busy so particularly on a Saturday afternoon it might be difficult to get a table. You can pre-book if you're having the afternoon tea (which I haven't tried, but there were a few people enjoying them whilst we were there and it looked AMAZING).
Vintage tea and cake at VIP Teas, High Spen, Rowlands Gill
Firstly I have to say that I can't believe this little gem is literally a five minute drive from my house, and I'd never been before! Now that I know about it, I'll probably be in every week. Everything is home baked and there are different treats each day. Tea is served in gorgeous vintage teapots with lovely china cups which all add to the vintage tea party theme. I had a cheese scone followed by the Galaxy Chocolate cake (savoury then sweet -I'd call that a balanced meal) and both were delicious. It was around a fiver for that and a pot of tea so great value too. A lovely little place, well worth a visit.
If anyone has any recommendations for great North East cake places, please let me know - I'm always willing to go above and beyond in my quest to review cakes :)