Friday, 13 March 2015

Afternoon tea at Sugar Therapy, Harrogate


A couple of Saturdays ago, Rich and I headed into Harrogate for the day to go wedding ring shopping. Rich bought my engagement ring from a jewellers there, and I had never been, so we decided to go be tourists for the day and hopefully tick another thing off the eternal wedding to do list.

As I was getting ready upstairs and Rich downstairs, I received a WhatsApp from him. Thoroughly confused, I opened it to see the magical words "Afternoon Tea?". Yep, I did my happy dance. He had been on TripAdvisor and had found Sugar Therapy who came very highly recommended.


We headed into Harrogate and went straight to Sugar Therapy. It was a tiny bit out of the town centre, but still perfectly walkable, and near to the train station. When we entered it looked a bit unassuming, but the display celebration cakes in the window were impressive so my belly did begin to rumble in anticipation. We were escorted upstairs to the "Afternoon Tea Suite" which was a lovely airy room, brightly decorated and with artwork for sale on the walls and on a couple of easels positioned around the room. It was relatively quiet, considering it was a Saturday afternoon, but this was a good thing as I felt we could really relax and take our time.


Charlotte, the owner (who was the chef behind Gu desserts apparently!) came up to talk us through the tea choices. You could clearly tell that she had put a lot of effort into creating the blends of tea, mentioning that she had tweaked a couple of them so the taste competed less with the specific type of chocolate she uses, and made others more complimentary with her baking. After spending some time sniffing the little jars of tea, particularly the super berry which smelled amazing, Rich and I decided to go for our usual coffees. Never have I wished I liked tea as much as I did when I was there! 


Our coffees arrived, and we were offered some water for the table, which arrived in an amazing pink decanter, very chilled, and completely free. It always makes me happy when places offer this alongside their other drinks, especially when you get a lot of water so you can keep topping your own glasses up. 


The afternoon tea arrived on a simple two tier cake stand, with some muffins and cream cheese on separate dishes. This is not an afternoon tea for those who like their sandwiches, as there wasn't one in sight, but the savoury part of the tea were these amazing cheese and red onion muffins, served warm from the oven. Charlotte talked us through the full cake stand, and again her passion really shone, I found myself getting very excited along with her! 

I had never tried a savoury muffin before, as I can be a bit funny about mixing sweet and savoury, but these were amazing, especially with copious amounts of cream cheese spread on them. They were a bit crumbly, and didn't come out of their cases very easily, so a lot was left behind, but overall they were really delicious. In fact, they were Rich's favourite part of the afternoon tea (and not because he doesn't like sweet things, because believe me he does!)


Once we had munched our way through the muffins, it was time to start on the sweets. I didn't like that we were only given one serving plate each for the whole tea, as it meant that I had some savoury crumbs on my plate which would have been mixed with the sweet things (told you I was funny about mixing sweet and savoury!) however we were on a table laid for 3, so I may have swiped the empty spots plate for digging into the sweet things.

I'm not going to list every single thing on the stand, as there were quite a few, but I will mention that the brownie was incredible, no nuts, gooey and decadent, but not sickly in the slightest. Also, the moussy thing in the little globe balls was incredible. It was easily my favourite part of the afternoon tea, as it was sharp, sweet, had a blob of a citrus curd on the top and some gold leaf. As Charlotte said, "It's bling for your belly."


The choux pastry thing in the front of the picture was my only let down of the whole tea, but that's probably due to the rhubarb in it, which I am just not a fan of. The oreo cream concoction on the left was another stand out treat, the biscuit on the bottom was gooey and almost a cross between a brownie and a biscuit, and the cream was decadent and meltingly good. You can really tell that Charlotte is an exceptional patisserie chef, this was not your run of the mill afternoon tea at all. 

By the time we had munched our way through the whole thing, we were suitably full, so for £15 each (which included our coffee instead of tea) I think it was brilliant value for money. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this afternoon tea to anyone. In fact, if I heard that anyone I know was heading to Harrogate I would immediately tell them that they have to try out the Sugar Therapy afternoon tea, and probably go on about it so much that they'd just go to shut me up. I can't wait to go back and try it again at some point, and I'm still dreaming about half of the treats I tried. Amazing.

Rachel x
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