The recent 6pm curfew sends another wallop to the hospitality industry causing many eateries to overhaul menus to stay afloat. But despite the damaging changes, the debut of afternoon tea at Café Bohème certainly manifests as a silver lining in a very turbulent cloud.
Serving up impeccable French inspired food matched with the best wine and stellar service, Café Bohème was a place I lusted for all the way through lockdown and I kicked myself that I didn’t book before the new restrictions came into play. Luckily for me, the team at Café Bohème put their thinking hats on and reimagined there elegant lunch and dinner menu into an afternoon tea that was (as the French would say) “magnifique” *kisses fingers*.
Not going to lie, an afternoon tea is never my initial go to for dining out. The same old sandwiches, generic tray bakes and it’s all just a bit samesy for me and if your thoughts are like mine, you’ll be all for the medley of marvels that are instore at Café Bohème. Joining me for the experience was long-term bestie, fellow extra human and absolute egg head Hayley (otherwise known as Haylzer) who arrived dressed to the nines ready for her first taste of Café Bohème.
Sat next to its roaring fire (the best seat in the house) within a warm, brick lined alcove, the murmurings of Be Our Guest could be heard in my head while I took in the French lodge come saloon interior which Cogsworth and Lumiere could definitely settle into.
Removing my focus from talking antiques, we concentrated on the menu to see what delights were away to spoil us and before I could even drool over the items I was taken aback at just how different this afternoon tea was to any I’d had before.
Firstly… no scones and secondly… no scones! A breath of fresh air to say the least. This selection was completely inspired turning your traditional afternoon tea on its head welcoming culinary genious and elegant French patisserie all onto one three tier stand – quite unlike anything in Aberdeen.
Starting off with the mocktails, the menu very much followed the tone of the afternoon tea selection – totally fresh and contemporary. I went for the Blackberry & Rosemary which was deep in jammy flavour with the heated notes of ginger and blended with aromas of piney rosemary. Hayley went for the Virgin Passion which Porn Star Martini gannets will be all for.
With mocktails half guzzled, our three tiered afternoon tea arrived. I wasn’t too sure what to expect but the overall set up looked phenomenal with treasure after treasure in prize position waiting to be devoured (ever so ungracefully going by our table etiquette). And arriving in a cute china cup next to our afternoon tea was the roast butternut squash veloutè which was the perfect warmer after bracing the autumn chills outside.
On the bottom tray we had our savories which put a flamboyant spin on the traditional addition of sandwiches with the cheese fueled braised ox cheek comte croque monsieur which melted in the mouth and was soon chased by the garlicy grilled brie and spinach French toasties. Sandwiches, take a hike – you’ll never come close to these beauties!
Along side the rectangle bites of heaven were the Toulouse sausage en croute (or sausage roll to you and I) which was flavoursome with pork from across The Channel giving you a taste of France when a holiday seems less likely right now.
Moving to the upper levels, we set our eyes on true indulgence with beautiful treats waiting to spoil. The plum tart tatin caught my glance first looking ever so decadent with stewed plum with sweet glaze and topped with clotted cream – if I could eat these every day, I’ll definitely be in heaven.
Second favourite was them lemon meringue pie with velvety lemon curd encased in crisp pastry and topped with a tear of flamed meringue. Coming in at third place was the raspberry fruit pastille which burst with zingy sweet flavour which would definitely take many prisoners if used in the Fruit Pastille Chew Challenge.
And special shout out to the decadent chocolate torte with orange and candied pecan which took me high into the clouds. Chocolate orange is always left over in my selection box (can’t stand the stuff) but always up for trying new things, I tried the torte and it was far from the artificial tastes I’ve come accustomed to with. Fresh orange blended through a textured layering of dense dark chocolate above a brownie like base – “It’s not Café Bohème’s, it’s mine!” comes to mind in true Terry’s Chocolate Orange fashion.
How to book
Afternoon tea at Café Bohème can be booked via its website or by calling 01224 210677 and is available to book between 12pm and 4pm on Thursday through to Sunday.
Why this need to be on your eat-list
I mean it when I say that this is like nothing I’ve ever had in Aberdeen. The blend of cosy surroundings, attentive service and amazing food that break tradition makes this an all-round special experience that is perfect for both a celebration and a nice treat. But if that’s not enough for you, how about the price of £20 per person? An absolute bargain considering everything is made exquisitely by the team.
And if that’s still not enough, just support local ok!? I’d hate to see a gem like Café Bohème disappear from the local food scene.
Stay safe and eat well!