Review: Afternoon delights at the Mercure George Washington

Review: Afternoon delights at the Mercure George Washington

Over the past year I’ve developed a real thing for afternoon tea – it’s like a really posh mini buffet all of your own and I friggin’ love a buffet. I’ve snaffled a few I’ve not had a chance to post about at venues including Malmaison and Linden Hall Hotel and I held my own Slimming World-friendly afternoon tea too. By far the best of the bunch was the afternoon tea I ate a few weeks ago at the Mercure George Washington. The new afternoon tea menu only went live this month, but I was invited for a sneak preview by the chef and was blown away by the quality of the food served in their lovely orangery.

I headed along to the George Washington with my friend Hannah, who often gets a feature on the blog, here she is getting into the festive spirit in a Christmas hat. When we arrived at the hotel we were really pleased to find there was a Christmas dance going on, so along with our afternoon tea we were treated to some classic Christmas choons, as well as some beautiful decorations.

Hannah Mattinson at the Mercure George WashingtonWe ordered coffee and tea respectively, which was served right away. Not long after arrived a festive feast to end all feasts. The afternoon tea starts at £14.95 per person and while I think we were treated to an extra layer of treats for Christmas that may not come as standard (including a Yule log each and some seriously yummy mince pies with a good whollop of citrus), there was certainly a lot of food to devour.

An afternoon feast of sandwiches, patissserie and scones at the George Washington

Along with salmon, ham and egg sandwiches was a standout savoury star of the show in the form of a mini cheesy scone with a hint of spice, this came topped with cream cheese and strips of ham and was the favourite item of all for both Hannah and myself. I was supremely pleased to find mini eclairs (butterscotch no less) and fruit tarts on the cake stand. The chef at the Mercure Washington was previously a specialist patisserie chef and it really shows – each and every cake offered something different in terms of texture, flavour and skill in making it. Surprisingly, we each managed to squeeze in a scone, which you’d have to when they look like this….

a cream tea

Even if the afternoon tea had been half as big, the quality of everything we ate and the friendly service would have made it well worth the usual £14.95 price tag. After tea we made use of the hotel’s spa facilities (another bargain at £5 for use of the swimming room, jacuzzi, steam room and sauna) and I treated myself to a head massage. Unlike the spa rooms at some other hotels the treatment area was clean, beautifully decorated and smelt scrum-diddly-umptious thanks to some scented candles. After the trip I’ve become a bit of a Mercure mega fan, along with recommending the place to everyone in office I’m planning to take Ma Berg for Mother’s Day too.

Do you have any local recommendations for afternoon tea? What do you think makes a good afternoon tea?! Let me know in the comments below.





  1. January 5, 2015 / 7:57 am

    You got a Christmas party hat at afternoon tea?!! AMAZING!

    I pride myself on being a bit of an afternoon tea pro (I go to far too many) but this is one I didn’t know about … it looks so lovely!

    My ultimate recommendation for afternoon tea is Jesmond Dene House, if you haven’t been you really must go – it’s the best! I’ve also done a top 5 afternoon teas post here:

    Chloe x

    • Fay
      January 5, 2015 / 6:18 pm

      Not just a party hat Chloe – there was a Christmas cracker too! Jesmond Dene House gets mentioned to me time and time again and when we visited recently for the Aldi do the venue looked amazing. It’s a little pricier than the average though so might require some saving! x

  2. January 6, 2015 / 11:28 am

    Glad you had a lovely time Fay, sorry I missed you when you were finished!

    • Fay
      January 7, 2015 / 8:53 pm

      Hi Irene, I’ve been meaning to email you, I’ll be in touch in the next few days to book my next visit. We had an amazing time!

  3. January 6, 2015 / 8:16 pm

    I love afternoon tea and been to a few including linden hall redworth hall beamish hall is lovely but my favourite by far is the black horse pub in beamish huge generous portions though but if you can’t finish they will wrap it up for you to take home

    • Fay
      January 7, 2015 / 8:54 pm

      Hi Pamela, I’ve not heard of the Black Horse, I’ll have to look it up. I know the Running Fox over near Morpeth comes highly recommended too – it even includes a choice of pie (mmm) so I’m hoping to fit that in soon.

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