PR invite // All thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own.
The Marine North Berwick is a Marine & Lawn hotel located in North Berwick, a mere 10 minute walk from the train station. It overlooks the North Berwick links golf course as well as the North Sea and when you step inside it is almost like taking a step back in time to a world of glamour and sophistication.
The hotel is meticulously designed and besides being a hotel, there’s also a spa and restaurant. North Berwick is in itself a lovely destination, easily reached by a half an hour train from Edinburgh, and I will definitely keep The Marine in mind when we need an escape as I know they do special offers including an overnight stay, breakfast, spa treatments and dinner which sounds like an absolute treat. It is also such a bonus that the spa is working with products from one of my favourite skincare brands Caudalie – and I would highly recommend their products if you have not tried them yet.
Our afternoon tea was served in the Bass Rock Bar, where you can also enjoy breakfast, lunch or a cocktail or two. It was a calm and elegant setting and the staff were so friendly and helpful if anything was needed. We were served our glasses of champagne straight away after we were shown to the table and I also ordered a teapot of Earl Grey, whilst Mr C chose an americano instead. The head pastry chef Sarah Brion came out to present the afternoon tea to us and straight away we were intrigued by the menu.
Afternoon Tea Scottish Berries Menu
£29.50 per person or £39.50 with a glass of sparkling wine or Palmer & Co Brut
Barbecued Chicken & Bacon Sandwich
Mackerel & Gooseberry Sandwich
Goat’s cheesecake with onion jam
Pork & Thyme Sausage Roll
Tomato & Strawberry Gazpacho
Warm Homemade Scones with homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream
Blueberries & Tonia Bean Tartlet
Scottish Strawberry Sponge with vanilla cream
Blackcurrant & Violet Macaron
I really like when an afternoon tea takes the traditional components and puts a twist to the flavours. The Marine North Berwick uses different themes for their afternoon tea menus and this time the menu is designed around Scottish berries.
The classic finger sandwiches consist of a chicken & bacon mix with a blueberry barbecue sauce and the second option celebrates the often forgotten gooseberry along with mackerel. They both felt so fresh and interesting in their flavour, which was a recurring feeling throughout each layer. It also feels so right to include a sausage roll on a Scottish afternoon tea and there was also a strawberry and tomato ketchup along with it. Finally there were also bitesized little goat’s cheesecakes with onion jam that cut through the creaminess. On the side there was also a spicy tomato and strawberry gazpacho which was a wonderful experience to cool down from the hot weather and to add to the variety of the afternoon tea.
Such a tasty mix of things!
The scones are homemade and the jam as well and as always I’m a clotted cream and then jam kind of person and will not settle for anything else… There were plain and raisin ones and I’m always quite picky with scones but these were lovely and not dry at all.
I’m always excited to see a macaron, as it’s some of my favourite sweet treats, but that also means I’m picky. Sarah, the pastry chef recommended leaving the macaron for last as the violet flavour could easily overpower other flavours so that’s what we did, but I thought the flavours were really well balanced. The strawberry sponge cake was incredibly fresh and moist in the best possible way and it might be many happy memories of strawberry cake throughout Swedish summers but it really tasted like pure summer to me. The blueberry and tonka bean tart was actually my favourite out of the sweets as it was just perfect in flavour, consistency and size.
Overall the menu was very well designed in its variety and combination of flavours. Mr C even said it’s the best afternoon tea he has ever had! Since he is not a big fan of cheese, eggs or mayonnaise it can be a dangerous game when ordering an afternoon tea for him, but this menu was just great for him as well.
We worked our way up starting with the sandwiches but by the time I had my first scone I was starting to get full so it was great that they also offered a doggy bag so that you can bring any food that you don’t finish home. We took three of the four scones home and I’d recommend microwaving them for 20 seconds before eating and they almost taste freshly baked again.
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