Park House, Cardiff is a wonderful property on Park Place, probably one of my favourite areas of Cardiff, the civic centre and where I went to university.
Park House was built in 1874 by the Marquess of Bute and designed by William Burges, the architect of the renewed Castell Coch, the building is now Grade 1 listed and described by Cadw as ‘perhaps the most important 19th century house in Wales.’
Now renowned for its Michelin-star consultant, a perfect wedding venue, a member-style restaurant, our afternoon tea started with the “should we/ shouldn’t we” dilemma when faced with a sign reading “ring this bell”. The venue is the perfect ‘treat’ offering a personal experience. The House is split across a number of floors offering something special, and a little different, on each.
We went up to the second floor where we had been second guessed and given two very comfortable sofas to enjoy our afternoon tea. Perfect because, whilst we love the ritual of the tea, it is of course the perfect excuse for us each to commit to leaving home and work to have a proper catch up.
We chose Park House simply because of an offer found on Amazon Local, coincidence would have it that some very exciting news in the meanwhile meant this very special location was the perfect venue to celebrate an engagement and begin interrogating wedding plans.
Whilst there is the real chance that the good mood tinted impressions I might bravely say this Afternoon Tea was the best I’ve ever enjoyed. Usually I don’t manage to make it through the entire selection but this time the pace and almost lightness of the scones and sweets meant the task was accomplished.
The tea was a more limited selection than others offer, and I was a little disappointed that there was no citrus or fruit infused tea but going with the recommendation of Lapsang was a great surprise. As smoky as the description it was really enjoyable and has taken me off my beaten track which can only be a good thing.
The sandwiches included cucumber, roast ham, smoked salmon and cheese & chutney. Obviously I am sure they had much better descriptors but oddly the website does not have this season’s menu on so you’ll have to believe me when I say they were good.
It was however the cakes which were something to write home about.
The scones were deliciously light and the perfect ‘middle course’.
Where to begin with the sweet treats!
Well, you will need to tolerate my lack of memory as to what they were but…
That little puff pastry with cream. So the most deceptive thing on the plate. I started with it as it looked a bit boring.
Potentially my descriptions will now likely contain an overuse of the word ‘lush’.
It was lush.
A vanilla infused sweetness with a thin pastry which just oodled deliciousness.
My favourite would be the macaroon with a raspberry overtone but the most perfect hint of rose-water to make it something special.
My least favourite (but only because the others were too lush) was the pistachio based slice, it was good and lovely to admire but overall the base overwhelmed it for me.
And the perfect pick-me-up was the coffee, chocolate and cream slice. Perfectly balanced in flavours, the kick of coffee gave it an extra something.
Being blissfully ignorant where fine dining is concerned, the balance and variety of flavours were absolutely perfect.
And maybe it was the glass of bubbles which had to accompany our Afternoon Tea (purely for celebratory purposes), the laughter and good company, but I didn’t really want to leave.
Park House is now on my list of places to return, definitely for Afternoon Tea but also to explore the other floors and menus on offer.