I have to say that this post about my and Bethany’s Free From Afternoon Tea at The Pavilion Bedford is the easiest post I’ve written for a long time.
Bethany, as you may already know if you’ve read any of my blog before, has a tough time of it. She deals with so much, too much for a 13 years old to have to deal with and sometimes we feel as if we’re just treading a hamster wheel, going through the motions but something quite marvellous happened last weekend and that something was that we got to spend the best part of an afternoon together, talking and giggling whilst relaxing in the beautiful setting of Bedford Park, in the most relaxed café with the friendliest staff.
I happen to frequent the Pavilion Café Window for a coffee whilst walking the dogs if it’s a lovely day and I knew only too well that they have a delicious seasonal menu on offer, with some particularly delicious looking breakfast options. However, when I saw the Afternoon Tea advertised on their Facebook page I made enquiries immediately to see if they could cater for both me and my daughter. I guessed it wouldn’t be an issue, as they already offer gluten free and dairy free cakes to accompany my coffee’s… ah! Did I say that, I don’t have cake every time I walk the dogs, honest!
Moving on; as expected I was met with a friendly response saying of course we they could cater for a Free From Afternoon Tea…and so the date was set immediately.
I am still on cloud nine as I gear up to write this next bit, I have a huge Cheshire Cat grin on my face reliving in my mind the delicious foods we ate that day, but that was not all, the grin gets bigger when I remember how the table place was set for us on arrival. Bethany and I felt like we had red carpet treatment, I assure you this is the same for everyone who books at The Pavilion, you are made to feel so welcome and special.
The table was set beautifully, adorned with tea lights, beautiful retro crockery and two three tier cake stands awaiting our food. I had a cheeky afternoon Prosecco and tea whilst Bethany had her own pot of tea. The first plate to come out was the finger sandwiches. Bethany had gluten free and I had dairy free versions of smoked salmon, ham and mustard, ham and lastly cucumber sandwiches. I have discovered that, if made the correct way, I adore cucumber sandwiches, who knew after 41 years, ahem I meant to say 38 years!
The last two plates delivered to our table were jam packed with mouth-watering goodies; my tummy did a somersault in cautious delight (how on earth were we going to eat all of this?) On the two plates we had a warmed hot cross bun with butter, jam and clotted cream for Bethany and I had the same but with a dairy free spread and jam. There was a raspberry cheesecake in a cup with a swirl of raspberry coulis (I’ll come back to this in a moment). We had a selection of cakes; coffee and walnut, Bakewell and chocolate brownie bites. There were three types of macarons; raspberry and chocolate with a chocolate cream and for me I had a pistachio with a dairy free fig puree filling. We also had two energy balls each.
Phew! You can understand why I worried we were not going to be able to do the Free From Afternoon Tea justice…it was a glorious banquet of an Afternoon Tea.
I said I’d revisit the cheesecake, this was the winner for both Bethany and I, we loved it, I mean making silly noises of taste pleasure loved it! It may have been the simplest of recipes in the world, I’m not sure, but it was perfect and serving it in a cup was genius, the perfect size portion and the perfect presentation.
Emma Garrett, owner of The Pavilion and Kiosk in the Park came over to see how we were enjoying the tea and I told her that this was a rare opportunity, so rare in fact that Bethany and I had never been able to experience this before. Something as simple as going to a café for afternoon tea and tucking into an array of delicious savoury and sweet treats is unheard of in the free from world. For the time we sat there we were a ‘normal’ mum and daughter enjoying some well over due rebuilding and bonding time and it’s all thanks to Emma and her amazing chef and staff.
Now tell me that, after reading about our experience, you’re not grinning like a Cheshire Cat too? My only regret…that the sun could have shone and parted the thick grey rain clouds enabling me to take better photos!
For further details on how to book click here or Call 01234 351104
Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this review and we paid for our Afternoon Tea on the day, this is my honest opinion of the quality of service and food we were provided on the day.