Review: Afternoon tea at The Jetty, Brighton
Practically smack bang in the middle of Brighton's city centre, The Jetty resides within the wonderfully chic Brighton Harbour Hotel, looking out on to the Grade Parade. Lined with big, beautiful windows, it's the perfect place to grab a sophisticated bite while people-watching or gazing out to where the sea meets the sky and contemplating life's big questions, like: do I get unlimited Tea Pigs or a glass of bubbles with my Afternoon Tea!? (More on that later.)
The decor is bright and airy, with the perfect combination of block-colour walls, detailed embellishments and modern artwork. The furnishings are elegant yet comfortable, completing the welcoming atmosphere in what could be an intimidatingly stylish setting. The stained glass window overlooking the open kitchen is a truly gorgeous addition, setting a rather grand scene when watching the chefs go about their cooking.
While I've never really been one to appreciate good crockery (I'm much more of a mismatched, shabby-chic kinda gal), I couldn't help but notice the sleek, modern crockery and tableware, which absolutely added to the dining experience.
The Food and Drink
There is a choice of two types of Afternoon Tea at The Jetty: High Tea and Cream Tea. We opted for High Tea, to have a bit of savoury with our sweet. Our High Tea came with a choice of bottomless tea pigs, a really wonderful tea brand, or a glass of champagne. Being the tame two that we are, we opted for a pot of earl grey and a pot of chai.
The High Tea comes on the most unique and stylish stand - a little piece of architecture for the table - laden with a selection of sandwiches, scones and cakes that are all small, delectable and a little bit different from the norm.
The smoked salmon, lemon and caper butter sandwich was to die for - I'd have happily devoured an entire plate of only these. The smoked chicken, mango and tortilla wrap was super scrummy and different, a nice addition to the usual suspects of egg mayo and cress and chive cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches. Fanny (our photographer and a vegetarian) really enjoyed her substitutions of a fresh veggie wrap with peppers and courgette and an additional classic egg.
Feeling a little full already, we tucked into the cheese scone, which was a little dry due to the kitchen being out of bacon jam, but was otherwise nice and cheesy. From one scone to another, we tucked into the sweet stuff, adding lashings of thick and yummy strawberry jam and clotted cream to our buttermilk scones.
Our selection of fresh cakes were an apple tart, rhubarb cake, a chocolate brownie and raspberry macaron. The apple tart was soft with a nice bite from the thinly sliced apples. The rhubarb cake was spongey and sweet, without any of the sharp tang rhubarb is known for. The chocolate brownie was a stand-out, with a dense, dark chocolate flavour and a cherry on top to cut through and compliment the sweetness. The macaron was beyond cute - blue with a little raspberry on top. If only I could have more than one!
The Jetty surpassed my expectations when it came to dealing with Fanny's allergy request (perhaps a comment on the not-so-great experiences we've had elsewhere) in that they did not skip a beat at all. As a vegetarian with a nut allergy, Fanny often runs into trouble when eating out, dealing with large substitutions or having to change her order.
At The Jetty, they were wholly prepared (without being notified prior to our meal) with creating substitute sandwiches that still kept the theme of the original and bringing my macaron - which of course could not be re-made - on a separate plate so as not to cross-contaminate. We were both very impressed.
High Tea at The Jetty was traditional with a twist and truly filling. In addition to it's wonderful, comfortable yet u--market atmosphere, they also had gender-neutral toilets, which is something I think should be commended. Give it a go!
Written by Sofaya.
Photography by Fanny. You can find more of Fanny's photography on her website.