[The afternoon tea at the Norfolk Royale and cider tasting at The Bournemouth Stable were free/gifted experiences in return for blog and social media coverage. This meal at The Real Greek was paid for with my own money and my friends and I decided to go for a lil celebration meal, but I’ve previously gone for gifted drinks and nibbles in return for social media coverage. Just tryna keep it honest and transparent! X]
read more in my disclaimer
Hey hi hello! Not sure if you remember this post from a couple years back when I tried three hyped up food places in London and sort of reviewed them for you all, but that post has done pretty well so I’m hoping that means you’ve found it helpful, and I’ve been trying to get similar posts together ever since to compile the best of the best food and drink from different places I find myself in, so this is the Bournemouth version! Enjoy.
I have something to admit. I need to hold my hands up. I’m twenty years old and this was my first afternoon tea ever. I know it’s the most classic British things ever and one of those things you just do for a treat, an experience you can be gifted at Christmas or something, something you do as a celebration with your family, but this was my first afternoon tea ever and remains my own afternoon tea ever – for now. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that I lived in Australia for a bit, the fact that my parents aren’t from here, the fact that I don’t have extended family members about to book a lil family celebration, or a combination of all three, but I got to experience an afternoon tea for the first time ever at the Norfolk Royale recently and it was a lot better than I ever expected.
I’ll be honest, I never thought afternoon tea food would be my sorta thing, probably another reason as to why I’d never had it. But I really enjoyed this. I was also so surprised to find that it really filled me up, I thought I’d go home afterwards and make a proper lunch because I’ve always seen afternoon tea as a bit of a snack-y thing, but this filled me right up and left me feeling so fulfilled and satisfied.
We were given a selection of finger sandwiches, sweet treats, and one big scone each with plenty of cream and jam. The scones were incredible, they’re the most important part of afternoon tea and they were the best part of this one. This might sound weird, but sometimes when my mum makes scones at home and I have a couple, they do that thing where they hurt my tongue and make it go a bit lumpy. This scone didn’t do that at all, so it passed my personal test.
In terms of the other bits, I loved them. To clarify, I’ve had cream tea before (you know the one that’s just scones and no other bits) but not afternoom tea, so this was my first time trying the extras.
I’m not much of a sandwich girl at all, I love a good toastie but usually not a cold sandwich. The ham finger sandwiches here though, I am salivating just thinking of them now. The ham was so good and thick. I need to recreate it because I now can’t stop craving them.
And the sweet treats, my god they were good. As soon as I saw macarons on the stands when the food was brought out, the Norfolk Royale had officially won me over. I’m not sure if macarons are usually a thing that come with afternoon tea but I certainly didn’t expect to see any so it was the best surprise ever. The little tarts and cakes were all things I never usually eat and they were the perfect little sweet treats to hit the spot, not sickly at all which can sometimes be a worry with lil cakey things.
One last mention for the latte I had, you all know how I am about my coffee, I am a self confessed coffee snob and I 10/10 recommend the coffee here.
All in all, for my first afternoon tea experience this was an amazing one. I’m not quite sure what exactly I expected from an afternoon tea but this exceeded all my expectations and, as I said, left me feeling so full and satisfied. I’d definitely recommend booking afternoon tea at the Norfolk Royale for a celebration or girly day or anything along those lines.
My last evening in Bournemouth before driving home to move back for the Summer was spent in the best way possible, cider tasting at The Bournemouth Stable. We were invited down to taste the ten ciders that had made it to the finals of The Stable’s own Cider of the Year awards, running all Summer long so you can head down, try them out for yourself and vote either online or at the bar.
The tasting was run by The Stable’s resident cider expert Ross. Before starting, we learned about the five different types of cider so we knew exactly what it was that we were drinking. There’s West Country, the traditional way to make cider with with cider apples, Modern cider which is made with cooking apples, Flavoured cider which has added fruit (my fave), Perry and Pear cider which, you guessed it, is made with pears, and Keeved cider, where cider is naturally sweetened and carbonated in a tank.
Starting with the best, the cider that won my vote was Apricot from Dudda’s Tun Cider. I am a fruity, flavoured alcohol gal through and through, especially when it comes to cider, so this was an obvious winner in my eyes. Some of the other highlights for me were Nightbird, a Modern cider by Nightingale Cider Company made in Kent with Kentish dessert apples, and Hallets PX by Hallets Cider, a West Country cider which is matured in sherry casks, that we thought tasted a bit like rosé. You can read about the other seven ciders up for the award here, and ofc head down to The Stable yourself to try them out.
We were also given some food during the evening. The Stable are known for their pizzas and I can confirm that they are definitely worth the hype. My favourites were the Duck Norris which had hoisin duck on top, the Prawn to be Wild which had prawns and pulled beef on a BBQ base, and The Blazing Saddle which had more pulled beef and aoili (!!!). I also loved the loaded wedges which had pulled beef on top. Can you tell I love pulled beef? Literally had it for dinner last night.
The cider tasting was so much fun, we even got to go outside and attempt to learn how to pour drink like the Spanish do! I think I’ll stick to letting the people behind the bar do it when I go to Mallorca next month though.
I could not recommend booking a cider tasting at The Stable more, especially with the awards going on at the moment. It’s a great alternative to a wine tasting if you’re not much of a wine person unless it’s a sparkling, flavoured rosé like ya girl over here.
So this is a bit like Byron in my London edition of this post. Yes, it’s a chain widely available all over the country and not exclusive to Bournemouth, but because I don’t have it at home home in Brighton then it’s going in here.
Greek food is the type of food I always find myself eating at home in a casual hummus and pitta way, but never go out to eat. That’s all changed, after eating at The Real Greek I want to go there every time I’m near one now.
First of all, you get student discount. So that’s a win. Second of all, they do great deals to get lots of food. And I mean great deals. There’s an early dinner deal where you get four things from a select menu for a tenner, then the set menus for two are where the magic really happens. There are three different options, £34, £38 or £40. Four of us split the £38 version and got a couple extra things on top, and we all paid between £10-£20.
The good thing about the set menu is you get to pick eight things in an either/or choice out of sixteen, so you get two lil towers worth of food and a really good range of different things because they split your options up into two things that are very similar. I cannot recommend the spicy feta dip enough, it was definitely my highlight of the dips. But be warned, you will most likely need extra bread or veg sticks to finish all your dips. Or just eat them.
This is the perfect dinner and drinks / drinks and nibbles type meal. Pick different bits of meze, try a bit of everything, and pair with with an Alperol Spritz or glass of wine or something. The Bournemouth branch also has a really cute wine bar on the ground floor one, this is the thing we were invited to try for free a few months ago and we had a good time with good wine.
So there we have it, three completely different food spots to try out if you’re in Bournemouth! A bit of something for everyone, nice variety x
Let me know if you’ve found any other good spots in Bournemouth, I also wanna do a brunch and/or coffee guide to Bmouth too.