Holders of the 2011 Tea Guild's Award, may I present to you The Angel Hotel in Abergavenny here in South Wales.
I have been for afternoon tea there on three occasions, so I can vouch that I have reviewed it thoroughly. I have sampled lots of patisserie, been served tea of different varieties, and got a good look at the vintage china. Afternoon tea is £17.80 per person, and worth every penny.
On my last visit in November of last year, we were escorted to the small sitting room adjacent to reception. The dining room is the main room used for afternoon tea, with a larger function room also utilised at particularly busy times.
Very good sandwiches - freshly made, mix of white and brown breads (good quality) and fillings were egg mayonnaise, salmon, home-cooked ham and cream cheese. Nice to see a bit of salad on the side.
I say 'cake' but what you get at The Angel is threefold. First, there's the patisserie. All delectable, fresh and exciting. In our selection we had profiteroles, mini custard slices, mini cream horns and creations involving meringue and fresh fruit. Next, mini trifles. I love trifle. Finally, scones with cream and jam. I know what you're thinking: I couldn't eat all that! They know this at The Angel, and will happily and prettily box up anything you can't manage to take home.
I really enjoyed being in the snug surroundings of the little sitting room on such a wet and cold day, and it was nice to be afforded some quiet and privacy, as one of my friends brought her baby along. It's tastefully and classically decorated, but feels quite homely rather than grand.
All of the crockery used is vintage, and each set is different - you never know what you're going to get! This time it was a pale pink floral design that graced our teacups.
An outstanding selection of tea. I chose the rose tea, and it arrived in a glass teapot so that I could marvel at the rosebuds floating in it. I love rose flavoured and scented things, so this really hit the mark for me.
The overall experience was relaxed, civilised and above all tasty. The price is perfectly reasonable and I envisage returning again and again. I am going to make a bold claim here and say it's the top place for afternoon tea in Wales. I might need to sample a few more places before I can back this up - I'll get back to you with some more reviews soon!
To end, here are a few gratuitous photos of my friends and I playing pass the baby.