This year’s Bolton Food Festival was the best to date. It was a special one too, as the festival was celebrating its 10th birthday. To mark this momentous occasion, Bolton hosted an afternoon tea in the dreamy and gorgeous Celebrity Chef Marquee replete with billowing white chiffon. I loved the quaint table setting that channelled flowery gentility.
Seated on circular and perfectly dressed tables, the afternoon tea was catered by northern powerhouse chocolatiers Slatterys. We were served Breakfast Tea by Phom in lovely ceramic ware, which was delicate on the palate and altogether sublime.
Next followed a selection of savoury platters, that included open turkey and stuffing rolls, cheddar cheese and real ale chutney sandwiches, quiches in pepper, onion, broccoli and tomato variations, open egg mayonnaise rolls, roast ham and tomato sandwiches, Peking duck wraps with spring onion and cucumber, hummus and roasted pepper wraps, smoked salmon and cream cheese choux balls, Cheddar cheese and tomato sandwiches, cream cheese and chive choux balls and homemade cheese straws.
These light bites were perfectly seasoned; my favourite savoury bite was the salmon and cream cheese choux ball.
My only point with the sandwiches, is that they appeared to be a little clumsy. They were delicious and lovely to eat – however, for an afternoon tea, delicacy and daintiness is the order of the day.
The sandwiches and quiches were cut into clunky, chunky triangle wedges. This is also the traditionalist in me talking, but the sandwiches weren’t crust-less. And they were served on plastic platters. They seemed out of place on the gorgeous table setting, which I thought was a real shame, as everything else was so perfect.
The sweet selection came on beautiful tiered cake-stands, which were a pleasure to behold. Treats served for our delectation included macarons, lemon drizzle squares, triple chocolate mousse pots, scones served with jam and clotted cream, and the famous Slattery milk chocolate discs.
My favourite was the chocolate mousse pot. It was luxuriously smooth and the mousse, as light as air. There’s no doubt that the beautifully buttery chocolate with caramel undertones was the star of this dessert. Slatterys are predominantly a patissier and chocolatier, and this is really obvious from their afternoon tea offering. Just another teeny tiny point to mention, is that the scones weren’t warm.
An afternoon tea is supposed to be an all encompassing event. It’s more than just eating food. Having afternoon tea is like a first date. It’s getting dressed up in your best frock, it’s the anticipation of meeting and eating delicious food, it’s the ambiance, it’s about how you feel.
The event was the biggest afternoon tea sitting outside London, so I guess the pressure was on. It’s a shame that corners had to be cut in order to serve the food. Overall, this afternoon tea was nice and I look forward to visiting Slatterys soon for their legendary chocolate.
*Many thanks to Sanj for sending me some photos, they’re fab! X