Recently we visited Stirling up in Scotland and of course we had to have afternoon tea. We visited the Orangery at the Victoria Square Hotel, which was not too far from Stirling town centre.
It was a warm and sunny day when we visited and the light streaming into the room gave it a welcoming ambience. We had the room all to ourselves, seated by the large windows, looking out to Victoria Square – it was beautiful.
When we visited, the sandwiches we had were:
- Crowdy and rocket;
- Scottish smoked salmon;
- Cucumber; and
The bread was very soft and delicate. I learnt that Crowdy was a cheese, which tasted quite nice with the rocket, which I’m not usually too fond of. My favourite filling was the salmon, which was lovely.
There were two trays of sweets, which is a lot compared to what is usually served for afternoon tea. On one tray there were:
- Lemon chiffon cake;
- Toast with dates;
- Almond cake; and
- Chocolate brownie with coconut.
The lemon flavour of the lemon chiffon cake was very refreshing and I really enjoyed this sweet treat.
We were told that the toast with dates was a modern recipe of the ones Queen Victoria used to eat in Osborne House, based in the Isle of Wight – a nod to how afternoon tea used to be served back in the day before cakes modernised it. We ate this with butter and strawberry jam and it was really good.
The almond cake had a caramelized sweet treat on top, which I couldn’t quite place – this one was ok.
Then the chocolate brownie with coconut was very nice and not sickly at all, which can often happen with rich brownies – I enjoyed this one.
The second tray of sweets held:
- Victoria sponge with frozen raspberries;
- Battenburg slice;
- Chocolate sweet treat; and
- Plain scones.
The Victoria sponge was very delicate, and I noticed there were raspberries inside the cake as well as on top of it which was a nice touch.
You can’t really go wrong with a Battenburg slice. I enjoyed it, though sometimes the marzipan gets a little too much for me.
The chocolate sweet treat was a little confusing to me: I expected this to be like chocolate rice crispy cakes that we used to make in school, but it was not like that. Quite hard to pinpoint what exactly I ate to be honest, but it was covered in chocolate.
I didn’t manage to eat the plain scones unfortunately – I was too full at that point! The hubby enjoyed it and was glad that they were small as he was struggling too.
The atmosphere was lovely, most likely because we were the only ones in the room. The teas were good and we had pots of water for refills from the beginning which was handy. The sandwiches were great.
The most sweet treats I think I’ve ever had from afternoon tea. Usually my favourite tier, but there was just so much sweet that I actually wanted a bit of savoury by the end!
I liked that the chef wanted to try traditional recipes with a modern twist, like Queen Victoria’s toast with dates and of course the Victoria sponge.
We had the traditional afternoon tea, but the Orangery also serves a grand afternoon tea that had more savouries. Worth a visit and I hope the chef continues adding a modern twist to traditional parts of the meal.