Hendricks Afternoon Tea at 1565, Park Regis, Birmingham

Afternoon tea and gin are two of my very favourite thing, so when I heard that 1565 at Park Regis did a Hendricks Afternoon Tea, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for my birthday. Dave and I both had the day off, so we booked in to give the afternoon tea a try.

Hendricks Afternoon Tea

Rather than the traditional tea, the Hendricks Afternoon Tea is served with a cocktail. The Hendricks cocktail is Hendricks gin, jasmine tea and elderflower syrup, in a tea pot. The cocktail was very light and refreshing. Definitely deadly though, as it wasn’t boozy tasting at all. Dave and I both really enjoyed it, which is saying something, as Dave isn’t a gin fan as a rule, or much of a drinker at all. You can add tea or coffee to the afternoon tea as well, and the staff checked in on us regularly to make sure we were suitably decaffeinated. 1565 serve Starbucks coffee, which I will admit to not being the biggest fan of, but I had a pretty decent latte.

Amuse Bouche

Before the main event, we were brought out an amuse bouche, with smoked salmon on rye bread and a chicken liver parfait in a green crisp cornety thing, which looked like alien deelyboppers, but were super delicious. The salmon was gorgeous, but we were both amazed by the parfait. It was light, and creamy with a good strong flavour of chicken liver. Whatever was in the cones was a great complement to it.

Afternoon Tea

The Hendricks Afternoon Tea itself is presented very simply, on a two tier slate board. The simple presentation worked perfectly, allowing the bright colours and pretty pastries to pop. The whole tea is inspired by the botanicals in the Hendricks gin, so there’s a lot of cucumber, elderflower and rose, as well as the classic afternoon tea flavours.

  Sandwiches

First, the sandwiches. We had four kinds; Cucumber & Mint Cream Cheese, Honey Roast Gammon Ham with Dijon Mustard, Rare Roast Beef, Horseradish &Tomato in a  Brioche Bun and a Smoked Salmon & Chive Crème Fraîche Wraps. The bread was fluffy, the wrap was packed full of salmon but the real standout was the beef brioche rolls. The beef was cooked to a perfect rare, and was really tender. The kick from the horseradish was a really nice contrast against the sweet brioche bun.

Scones

There were two kinds of scones, which made me very happy. The savoury scone was Cheese and Chive, served with Maldon Sea Salt Butter. The cheese flavour came through beautifully and the butter was  a triumph. It was so well whipped it looked almost like cream, and was salty enough to provide a nice flavour with the scone. Still warm, inside, the fruit scone was my favourite. I piled on the clotted cream and the jam and was in scone heaven.

Afternoon Tea in Birmingham

The pastries were designed by 1565’s pastry chef, and are handmade on site every day. There were all so pretty, and colourful, and looked so enticing. We had a Rose & Gin Macaroon, Cucumber & Rose Cupcake, Elderflower Chocolate Opera Cake, Chocolate & Cucumber Tart and a Cucumber and Rose Delice.

Pastries

Each pastry was so tasty, and so well flavoured. The Macaroon was my favourite, which has a strong rose flavour, almost like Turkish Delight. The cucumber cupcake was like a good carrot cake. Savoury, and moist, with sweet cream cheese icing. The opera cake was rich and chocolatey, without tipping into being sickly. Dave’s favourite, the white chocolate tart was baked in some of the most delicate pastry I’ve ever seen. I didn’t get much cucumber taste from this, but the white chocolate was fantastic. The Delice was somehow incredibly strongly cucumber flavoured. It was tasty, but definitely unusual, and I think the small piece was exactly the right serving size. Any more would have been just too much cucumber.

1565, Park Regis

The 1565 restaurant is such a relaxed vibe, with chic furniture, funky light fittings and low music. It was relatively quiet when we went in, but it didn’t feel empty, as the restaurant is divided into clear ‘zones’ or the bar, the lounge and the main restaurant, allowing the staff to seat people so it feels busier. Dave and I were both super relaxed by the time we left, as it was so calming in there! The staff were polite, friendly, and knowledgeable, talking us through each element of the Hendricks Afternoon Tea and checking up on us throughout without hovering.

We were both thoroughly impressed by 1565 and the Hendricks Afternoon Tea. It was the perfect birthday treat. I’d definitely like to go back and test out the main menu, as what I could see being eaten on other tables looked delicious!

 

The Hendricks Afternoon Tea was booked and paid for entirely by ourselves. 1565 and Park Regis didn’t know I was a blogger. All opinions are entirely honest and my own. 

The Weekly Round Up

Birthday week edition!

Weekly Vlog

This week was my birthday week, so I’ve been off work and it’s been bliss! We celebrated my birthday in style, with a gin themed afternoon tea at the 1565 Restaurant at Park Regis. I will be writing up a review, but you can see what we ate in this week’s vlog. Spoilers, it was a lot.

I took Dave to Rofuto for a drink afterwards. as we were already right downstairs. The views from the bar are incredible. I was very touched too, as they saw an Instagram from me about having a birthday drink there, and they brought me a little surprise in the form of a small fruit platter with ‘Happy Birthday’ written in chocolate. Nice touch, Rofuto.

5 Free and Easy SEO tips for bloggers

 

SEO is one of the best tools at a blogger’s fingertips. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and if you get it right, you can really boost your traffic, without spending any cash. Combining good SEO practice with a good understanding of what your Google Analytics is telling you is a great way to grow your blog. So let’s get into five easy SEO tips for bloggers.

Easy SEO tips for bloggers

keywords

Keyword research is a little old hat now, and doesn’t hold the weight it used to, but it still has a place in boosting your search traffic. Pick a keyword for your post. Depending on the content, this could be ‘SEO’, or ‘Autumn trends’ or ‘healthy brunch recipe’. Whatever the main point of your post is. Take this keyword and use it everywhere, as naturally as you can. Try and work the word into your main blog post, use it in your image names and use it in your title. Title’s are important. Make them relevant, and using your keyword. Don’t use something obscure.

Link building

Good quality links is a big influence on how Google decides where to rank your site. Link naturally, but link well. Where it’s relevant, link back to your own content and link out to other, good quality sources. Keep an eye on broken links though, and either amend or remove them.

Alt Tags

Don’t leave your image called the random string of numbers your camera spits out. As you’re adding images in, give them relevant titles and alt tags. Alt tags tell google what the image is of. This is good practice, as it makes your site more accessible for those using screen readers, but it also helps Google’s bots figure out the your post is a good source for that keyword you chose earlier.

Tools

There lots of great tools out there to help you boost your SEO. If you’re a WordPress user, try the Yoast SEO Plugin. Yoast will help you optimise every post you write, by measuring it’s readability to suggesting whether you need more images. Moz can help you measure whether it’s working, by showing you how your Domain Authority is shaping up.

Social media

SEO can also be helped along by some good social traffic. Make sure your posts are easy for your reader to share, whether it’s with some sort of ‘share it’ buttons on the post itself, or by actively encouraging people to share. Share your posts yourself, using relevant hashtags, and tagging brands you’ve spoken about. This can help traffic and shares.

Five easy SEO tips anyone can do! What do you find works for your SEO?