Food | An Afternoon at Patisserie Valerie

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In 1926, Belgian born Madam Valerie came to London with one mission; to introduce luxury continental patisserie to us Brits. Since the first store opened in London’s Soho, the brand has spread throughout the UK becoming a well known name in cafe culture. In 2015 a store in Newcastle city centre opened and, as a Christmas gift to my grandma, I thought I’d treat her to afternoon tea there to see what all the fuss is about….

The first thing we noticed, besides the delicious cakes in the window, was how busy the place was with the queue outside the door. As we weren’t allowed to book we had to wait for half an hour before being seated. In a bustling city centre this is probably to be expected but maybe the option to pre book for a special occasion might be a better idea.

There were four of us in our party and mum and grandma decided to share the afternoon tea on offer; priced at £25 for two. We thought this was a good price however our waitress preceded to advise us that it wouldn’t be as per the menu. It still sounded okay and with a couple of amendments they decided to still go ahead. I ordered the ham & cheese croissant with my brother, as always, sticking to a coke as he doesn’t like anything too different. PV Picture 1 .jpg

The drinks arrived fairly quickly but the food was quite slow to follow. The sandwiches were a very poor affair, hence why I haven’t bothered including a picture. We asked for no salmon and unfortunately we seemed to get a double serving. On the positive side the quiche lorraine and the scones were served warm which is always the perfect touch. It seemed like the cakes were meant to be bite size samples having noticed this from looking at other tables. Ours, however, were just one eclair and one large berry slice. Although they were lush, they didn’t seem to suit the ‘afternoon tea’ experience. PV Blog Post 2

So here’s the final verdict! The staff were very pleasant and what we did receive tasted lovely. It just didn’t seem right for a gift – whether because this was a busy Saturday or just an off day, I couldn’t tell from just one visit. I’d probably try again but just for a quick cake and a coffee. I can’t help but wonder if the original ethos pursued by Madam Valerie has all but vanished as this brand has grown.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried Patisserie Valerie in any of their locations. Where else would you recommend to try for afternoon tea in the North East?

Declan

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11 thoughts on “Food | An Afternoon at Patisserie Valerie

  1. Elanor says:

    It’s a shame you didn’t get the full experience you were looking for, I had a similar experience at a place with my mum last Mother’s Day. I’m always on the lookout for a good afternoon tea place, we will hopefully be trying a new one this weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Katie Bryson (@cookingkt) says:

    I think Patisserie Valerie is a bit overrated if i’m honest. The cakes are pretty good, but i’d rather take them away than have to queue to sit down and get second-rate service, especially when you wanted more of an afternoon tea experience. I’d say Cafe Royale is good, as is Jesmond Dene House if you’re going swanky!

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  3. newgirlintoon says:

    This sounds like such a disappointment! I’ve been to the one in York and we left thinking it was too expensive for what it was. Cafe Royal just round the corner do similar style cakes that are loads better. The new Mason + Rye in Fenwick’s Food Hall is great too. The best afternoon tea in Newcastle is definitely Jesmond Dene House – you have to try it!

    Chloe x
    newgirlintoon.co.uk

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