REVIEW: Tipsy Tea @ 97 & Social, Newcastle

Posted on July 24th 2017 by Whats on Northeast

Words and photos: Laura Brown for Proper Scrumptious

There are some amazing venues to treat yourself to afternoon tea in Jesmond, but I think I may just have found the prettiest. 97 & Social is a bar and eatery located at the top of the lovely Osborne Road in Jesmond. Decked out in dim lighting, copper accessories and velvet furnishings, it’s contemporary and sharp.

We’d booked in to try out their Tipsy Tea number before stumbling from bar to bar. The vintage twist on a classic afternoon tea includes a large teapot for two. But instead of a good old brew, you can choose from a selection of summery cocktails to accompany your fancy finger food.

There’s some incredibly interesting concoctions, but as you know, I can’t resist a gin. We chose the Old Blighty cocktail sharer that contained Tanqueray gin, elderflower liqueur, orange marmalade and earl grey tea. The drink arrived in the cutest teapot! With dry ice making the jug look like it was steaming, and accompanied with a bottle of Victorian Lemonade and a selection of garnishes. The lovely waitress told us to add half of the teapot mixture to our pretty, antique-inspired teacups and top it up with the Fentiman’s lemonade.

The cocktail was incredible! Sweet from the elderflower and lemonade, a bitter tang from the gin and marmalade and wonderful woody notes from the earl grey. You get a good amount from the sharer too – not overloaded with cubes of ice as you usually find with cocktails.

Finally, the food arrived. We were asked to choose two sandwich selections out of four. I believe the choices vary depending on the day, but the options available for us were cucumber sandwiches, egg mayonnaise, smoked salmon and cream cheese and honey roast ham with French mustard. We decided upon the latter two. The rest of the afternoon tea was said to be made up of ‘cakes, macaroons and secret surprises’. The presentation, again, was too pretty. The floral, classic style cake stand matched our teacups and the bite-size delights looked so very tempting.

Compared to usual afternoon teas in Jesmond, the size of the Tipsy Tea at 97 & Social was much smaller, but considering we were hitting the tiles after a resulting food coma wasn’t on our wish list. It turned out, the size was perfect. Far too many times I’ve been for various afternoon tea sittings to ask the waiting staff if I could take home a doggy bag (not that I’m complaining about being given too much either!)

We received four triangular sandwiches each, two of each selection – both of which were divine thanks to soft bread with a generous amount of filling. The salmon and cream cheese especially was light, fresh and flavoursome. The mustard paired with the honey roasted ham perfectly and just gave enough of a kick to enhance the meat.

We were also treated to a fruit scone each. The scones arrived with the options of blackcurrant or raspberry jam and the smoothest clotted cream, which I’m sure was laced with orange zest. Scrumptious. The rest of the sweet treats included mini cinnamon doughnuts, hazelnut praline brownies, coffee macaroons and coconut samoa bites, all of which were baked perfectly and had a fantastic range of flavours for every palette. Huge shout out goes to the miniature brownies – the absolute best thing about the whole experience.

The venue, whilst plush, is comfortable, welcoming and almost cosy. The staff are a delight, answering any questions you had and making polite chit chat at every interaction. And the Tipsy Tea? The perfect start to a girl’s day out. Incredible cocktails and delightful food that’s just the right amount of lining for your stomach. It’s a hard decision when it comes to choosing afternoon tea in Jesmond, but give this little number a go. I promise you won’t regret it!

Head to 97 & Social’s website to find out more about their Tipsy Tea and more, and check out Laura’s website Proper Scrumptious for more food reviews and ideas.

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