The Salt Room turns heads with its new Afternoon Tea (with a twist)
The Salt Room has launched a new Afternoon Tea menu with a twist – it’s inspired by the seaside. Introducing locally sourced seafood and its signature candyfloss into the mix, it’s created something sure to turn foodies’ heads. As a fish lover, I thought it sounded like an absolute treat and I snapped up the restaurant’s invitation to try it out.
I went along to review with my guest on a Friday afternoon – we were booked in for 2:30pm when the restaurant takes its first seating for Afternoon Tea. Arriving right on time, we are met with a warm greeting from Shannon, who takes our coats and suggests we sit up at the bar and have a drink whilst our table was prepared.
Tipples with tea
We place our cocktail order and just before they are ready, another waitress is at our side offering to take us to our table. The prudent barman reassures us that he can send our drinks over to our table as soon as they are ready – now service like that is the difference between dining and fine dining.
Once seated, our waiter takes us through the Afternoon Tea options, which come with varying tipples such as a traditional JING tea or Roasted Bean Co. coffee for £24.95, a flowering tea for £26.95, a trendy G&T for £29.95, or finally with champagne for £34.95.
With everything else on the menu being less traditional, we opt for the JING Assam loose-leaf tea. It’s no more than five minutes before it comes already brewed in the pot. Its signature maltiness is clearly detectable and served at a temperature to drink straight away. You know how good the first cup of the day tastes? Well, imagine that and that’s how this tasted. The only oversight was the pot hadn’t been warmed so, halfway through our dining, it turned cold.
Oysters in green suits
Now for thoughts on the food. Beginning with the bottom tier and the savoury selection, we tuck into our Rockefeller oysters. They are warm and crumbed with something (I’m not sure what) that’s the colour of a green highlighter pen. I loved it and the oysters’ green suit did a great job of making it more palatable for my guest who had been hesitant to try.
Heavenly and worth the heart attack
After this, it’s over to the truffled grilled cheese, which turns out to be our savoury favourite. Sandwiched between twice slices of fried bread is a beautiful baked soft cheese, my guess Camembert, alongside a sweet onion relish. It’s more than likely all my calories for the day but it’s heavenly and worth the heart attack.
Squid Ink Bun – More for show
We then move on to the crab scotch egg, made from white crab meat and heavily seasoned with tarragon. It’s crisp and delicious – a nice rework of the original meat version. The last savoury item is a smoked salmon and squid ink bun. Visually it’s certainly a talking point and there’s also a welcome punchy kick of horseradish that complemented it well. But the bun doesn’t taste of much and was quite filling. The Salt Room always like to do something a bit quirky / visually impressive but I feel like this is more for show than for taste.
Dreamily creamy clotted cream
Next up was what I feel is the most important element to a proper English Afternoon Tea – scones (and by the way if you want to be ‘proper’ about it, the correct way to pronounce it is ‘skones’). The Salt Room Afternoon Tea comes with miniature scones, which are trickier to deliver light and soft, owing to the fact that smaller cakes tend to dry out when baked. As I break it in half, it’s firm but remarkably it still tastes really good. And I’m not exaggerating when I say that the strawberry and elderflower jam that accompanies it is stunning. The familiar flavour of ripe strawberries from my garden oozes out and I begin to wish for more scone to enjoy it with. The house-made clotted cream is also dreamily creamy and holds its sculpted shape with ease as it’s balanced on top of the jam.
Orange & Yazu Posset – pure perfection
The last tier is filled with three further sweet items plus the signature candyfloss. The chocolate pebbles were devastatingly rich and sweet. Too sweet? No, not for me but they were for my guest. The pistachio & raspberry battenberg cake followed and was more sweet in flavour than nutty. Then, the rhubarb & custard macaroons, which were light and creamy. The final treat, and a bit of a masterpiece, was the delicate orange & yuzu posset. Encased in an upside down dome-shaped meringue it was sweet but not sickly, light and creamy and beautifully decorated with edible flowers. Just pure perfection.
PRICE: £24.95 – £34.95 each – depending on drinks options
RATING: Must Go | Worth it a Try | Give it a Miss
My benchmark for Afternoon Tea is Claridges in London. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff, and the tea, sandwiches and cakes are all excellently executed and on constant refill. While this was not quite a Claridges level of service, (no top up of tea offered – so we had to ask), the food itself was excellent. It’s a must-go from me and it’s one of the best Afternoon Teas I’ve had in Brighton.
NEED TO KNOW:
The Salt Room is located opposite the West Pier and is one of ‘Brighton’s Best Restaurants‘. Afternoon Tea at the Salt Room is served from 2:30pm-4:30pm.
Have you been for Afternoon Tea at The Salt Room yet? What did you think – are you a traditionalist, or do you welcome a new modern twist? Leave me a comment and let me know, or hit the heart button below if you enjoyed my review.
*Disclosure: The Salt Room invited me, plus a guest, to dine but this does not have any bearing on my review which will always be an honest account of the experience.