For my birthday this year Gavin surprised me with an over night stay at the Malmaison in Oxford. Located in HM Prison in Oxford this haunting spot has been converted into a boutique style hotel boasting 95 rooms and suites. I really do love the Malmaison chain although I have never dined in any of their hotels apart from their Reading branch. The day we checked out actually fell on Valentines day so we booked a table for their afternoon tea to celebrate in style. When it come’s to afternoon they have two options:
Classic Cream Tea – £10
Fruit & plain scones, clotted cream & strawberry jam, lemon & polenta cake (gluten free) and salted chocolate brownie (gluten free) with your choice of speciality teas for £10.
Mal Afternoon Tea – £17.50
Hot smoked salmon & crème fresh wrap, chipotle chicken & avocado wrap, mini mal burger, fruit & plain scones, strawberry & vanilla pavlova, salted chocolate brownie, lemon & polenta cake, peach & amaretto cream, summer berry smoothie and your choice of speciality tea. You can also upgrade your afternoon tea to include a glass of Mumm NV Champagne or a cocktail for £25 each.
With it being early afternoon on a Tuesday we opted for afternoon tea without the alcohol and instead studied their vast selection of teas before both settling on what we know – English breakfast tea. The food arrived on a two tier stand with the savoury on the bottom and the sweet on the top. We decided to work from the bottom up starting with the wraps and mini burgers. I did find the wraps to be a little on the bland side so I left these to leave more room for the cakes. The mini burger’s on the other hand were absolutely delicious and I could have eaten a hundred of these. Moving onto the desserts the salted chocolate brownie was our firm favourite and I also really enjoyed the berry smoothie. I do find with some afternoon tea’s the amount of cake can mean they are quite stodgy and too filling but the different treats the Malmaison have chosen really compliment each other and mean you don’t need necessarily need a doggy bag to take leftovers home in. I also liked that the scones followed and they didn’t all arrive at the same time because this can be quite overwhelming when too much food arrives at once.
Overall, considering the price, I thought the whole afternoon tea was very reasonable. I do think they need more work on their savoury choices but all of the sweet options were delicious and I would go back for the salted chocolate brownie alone. If you are looking for a no frills spot for afternoon tea with the girls then the Malmaison is the perfect place.