I’ve had many afternoon teas over the years and I’m always left wanting something a little bit extra. Don’t get me wrong, I’d never say no to an afternoon tea, the food is always nice and the quintessential britishness on point but something always seems missing.
Never quite being able to put my finger on what was needed, it wasn’t until my experience at Alma de Cuba last week that I finally realised what I was looking for in my afternoon tea.
Alma de Cuba itself is an incredible restaurant and bar situated at the heart of Liverpool’s nightlife. Set inside a converted church, Alma de Cuba is an eclectic mix of South American influences with the fun, lively spirit that Liverpool as city embodies. I’ve visited many times before to dance the night away. Partying under the rose petal shower and shimmying with the samba girls, it’s a place like no other. So when I was invited to try the Samba Afternoon Tea, I had very high hopes.
Arriving at peak time, there were several hen parties already in full party mode but we were still promptly seated and poured a chilled glass of prosecco.
The food was classic afternoon tea with delicate finger sandwiches, fresh scones and delectable cakes. Obviously I went for savouries first, I’m not an animal! I’m a sucker for anything in a croissant so demolished mine in seconds. This was followed by a gorgeously tangy pickle and cheese sandwich and my ultimate favourite smoked salmon and cream cheese. After um-ing and ah-ing about what to eat next (which took approximately 0.5 seconds) I had to have the macaron.
I LIVE for macarons. They’re my favourite sweet and this one did not disappoint. Crisp shell with a gorgeously chewy centre and buttercream filling. I could have eaten a whole box. A sharp yet sweet lemon tart, silky smooth chocolate torte and a little orange soaked red sponge that was so moreish I’m still thinking about it. Even though I was particularly stuffed at this point, I couldn’t have afternoon tea without scones. Light and buttery soft, I slathered my scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Divine.
Back to that extra afternoon tea je ne sais quoi. I knew that Alma de Cuba had samba dancers but I had no idea how this would be incorporated with scones and cake.
One of the lovely dancers asked if we’d like to try on a traditional samba headdress. Covered in feathers and jewels, as a child with princess dreams I would have been in my element. Oh wait as a grown adult I was still ridiculously excited.
Of course, I had to have a pink headdress and honestly I’ve never felt more glamourous. I had serious visions of me sashaying down the Met Gala red carpet (theme: Samba bodies, Dancing and the Latin imagination) and I’ve already got my eye on several outfits on ebay.
Whilst we enjoyed our food and sipped our prosecco, other groups were invited to dress up and let their latin sides loose. Before we knew it a conga line had started and it felt like we had been transported to Rio carnival.
Doesn’t my A Love Affair with Beauty mother look a vision in purple?!
Time to Party
The Samba Afternoon Tea is every Saturday from 2-4pm and £29.95 per person. After a little detective work looking at afternoon teas round the city, this is actually very competitively priced. Plus for the level of entertainment provided, it’s a fantastic experience. The only negative I have is that the website does not do it justice. It’s hard to get across the excitement and lively atmosphere that fills Alma de Cuba. The dancers are incredible, the fun is infectious and you can’t help but want to join in. Which is exactly what my mum did when she busted out her salsa moves to Beyonce Crazy in Love.
Whether you go as a duo or as part of a group, afternoon tea at Alma de Cuba is a must. Oh and if I was you, I’d head straight downstairs afterwards, crack open a bottle of bubbly and dance the night away Brazilian style!
I’m off to see about becoming a samba dancer,
*I was invited to review the Afternoon Tea at Alma de Cuba but all views and opinions are 100% honest