Has something so simple as a fictional story made you feel so alive that it consumes your entire being and ignites the magic that lives within you?
“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
“Its just a few children’s books” some people will say, but if you grew up reading Harry Potter like I did, it’s much more than just a book. Growing up, I was a quiet, timid, somewhat nerdy bookworm, I went to an all-girl’s school and felt very different to most people there. But when I first read Harry Potter, it transported me to a world that was far away from the one we were living in, the books soon became the only solace I had. As a grown up woman, I still read and re-read the books over and over again even though I could probably recite them in my sleep. It’s not the storyline of the books, but moreover now, it’s more the feeling of hope and love that J. K Rowling’s groundbreaking writing instills within this tiny heart of mine.
So, naturally, when Colwick Hall invited me to travel to Nottingham to try their Wizarding afternoon tea which is HALAL, I almost passed out with excitement! Can food really make you feel that emotional?
Despite having been blessed with the opportunity to travel the world, as if you’d believe that I’ve never been to Nottingham before .. ever! Such an uncultured little soul, so I travelled out to Nottingham on a windy morning and got there with plenty time to spare so I could walk around the city a little.
I was pleasantly surprised as it’s a very pretty city with so much history and culture…
After a bit of site seeing and chilling with Robin, I started making my way to Colwick Hall Hotel which is a little outside of the city (maybe about 10 minutes drive). I got to the grounds and was stunned at how pretty the grounds are!
I was shown the the brasserie where the afternoon tea was served and then it started. Colwick Hall offers 4 different afternoon teas – Wizarding, Winter Queen, Traditional and The Grand (which is huge!). The decor was a mash up of the wizarding afternoon tea theme with the festive winter queen. And what a perfect blend of Christmas with Harry Potter.
My fellow Potterheads.. can you imagine an afternoon tea with snitches and chocolate wands and butter beer (with no actual alcohol FYI!) in a setting which I can only describe as a mix of Christmas with letters addressed to my main man Harry Potter meant to be delivered to Privet Drive!
I had the warmest welcome from the loveliest staff showed me to my table (with natural lighting of course!)
They showed me to my table and offered me a reception drink, most of which were alcoholic which I was gutted about as there was a Love Potion! I wanted one but they offered to make me a beerless Butter Beer instead. Potterheads – have you even lived if you haven’t had butter beer? It was so delicious, like a caramel-y ginger beer (which FYI also doesn’t have any beer in it!)
And then out is came in all its goodness. The excitement in my eyes must have been evident as the lovely lady serving me asked “So, you’re a Potter fan then?” haha! Yes.. you could say that! They brought out the savouries and the desserts together. If I’m totally honest when they invited me up, I couldn’t say no to Harry, but coming from the home of afternoon teas and all the amazing afternoon teas I’ve had in London, I thought it would be nice but not comparable to the London ones. However, what I saw in front of me in that very moment was all way beyond my expectation.
So let’d talk through the savoury first.. 3 layers – 1st layer were scones (plain and cherry) with clotted cream; 2nd layer was Pea and Mint Soup, Pumpkin Pastry and Cheese Wand; 3rd layer were sandwiches – Chicken with cranberry sauce (chicken served was halal), Mature cheese with a tomato radish, Roasted vegetables with Hummus and Smoked Salmon with cheese (they had replaced these for the beef, which isn’t halal)
As you know, scones are my favourite part of any afternoon tea. If the scone isn’t right, it kind of puts a downer on the whole experience. But these scones were just perfect. Warm, soft, yet crumbly, full of flavour and probably better than most of the afternoon teas I’ve had in London to be honest! (BIG statement). The clotted cream was so fresh which made it even better. Winner!
Not a huge pea fan or a soup fan to be honest, but this soup was made beautifully – it was tasty, thick but not too thick and just the right amount.
Can we talk about this cheese wand though!! LOVE!
The sandwiches were great, and I was so happy that they were able to accommodate for halal eaters. The chicken and cranberry was my favourite, but also Hummus was so good, and so different too. Although the sandwiches good, they weren’t the highlight of the afternoon tea for sure.
Next, and what I was dying over was the dessert platter. Potterheads – please try to contain the excitement (or not!).. Top to bottom – Chocolate Frog Cupcake, Buttery Beer (no beer) Caramel Cheesecake with Chocolate Wand, Golden Snitch Pop Cake and Bleeding Victoria Sponge Cake.
In the words of Dumbledore “Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both influencing injury, and remedying it.” – unfortunately, in this case, I was kind of lost for words! Each dessert was made to perfection, and so much thought was put into it.
My favourite of all the desserts was the Buttery Beer Caramel Cheesecake. No exaggeration when I say it was one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever had.. possibly even better than Cheesecake Factory!! (EEK!)
Overall, I have to say whether you’re a Potter fan or not, I would recommend this afternoon tea to anyone! The food served was of such high quality in both taste and in their presentation. What I loved is that the staff were so friendly (I was served by the lovely Hannah who shares the love of afternoon teas and scones like me too), but more than that the hotel is so open to creating their afternoon teas with whatever requests you have – apart from catering for halal meat, they can also create the teas sugar free, gluten free, suitable for vegetarians and anything else you can think of. I hope more restaurants could take a leaf out of their ethos!
Food – 9 out of 10
Service – 8 out of 10
Atmosphere – 6 out of 10
Experience – 9 out of 10
Overall, giving Wizarding Afternoon Tea at Colwick Hall Hotel a total TLH score of 9 out of 10.
Address: Colwick Park, Racecourse Rd, Nottingham NG2 4BH
Halal Status: Halal chicken can be requested with 72 hour prior notice, but alcohol is served on the premises.
Closest Station: Nottingham Eastern Railways
Did you guys enjoy reading this blogpost? Let me know what you’d like to see next!
PS. this post was sponsored but all opinions are my own.