Reviewed by Sarah Bowyer
My mum and I have just spent a lovely afternoon at Browns restaurant on the Headrow in Leeds.
The restaurant is a five minute walk from the train station. If you walk straight up Park Row it is right in front of you on the Headrow.
It was arranged for us to have the Royal Afternoon Tea (this is to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday and runs until the end of June) and our booking was for 2:30. When we arrived we were greeted by a lovely lady who seemed to be in charge of the front of house. She gave us a warm welcome and was extremely polite and friendly. She showed us to our table and advised us that our server will be with us shortly.
We were seated next a huge window that over looked the busy, bustling Millennium Square and it was a great place to just sit and people watch.
The restaurant was decorated with a 1920’s theme with big planters overflowing with ivy and arched mirrors with black frames. It was a lovely setting for afternoon tea.
Our server Gaz, arrived and introduced himself and spoke to us about the Royal Afternoon Tea that we were going to have. He knew everything about the menu and let us know that there were a few slight changes to the original menu, but nothing that detracted from the experience.
We started off with an amazing cocktail. We requested a non-alcoholic option as the original cocktail was made from vodka. Gaz told us that he would speak to the bar man and ask him to create something special.
What came was a real treat. It was presented in a champagne saucer with a bamboo cocktail stick that had 2 huge blackberries covered in icing sugar on. Floating in the cocktail was a viola flower. The cocktail was apple juice with rhubarb cordial topped with soda water – delicious!
The afternoon tea was presented on a three tier stand. On the bottom was 6 miniature brioche rolls. Two were filled with chicken and avocado, two with smoked salmon and cream cheese and two with egg mayonnaise and watercress.
The second tier was full of cakes and treats. It included two each of red velvet cake, Earl Grey and lemon sponge cake, the most delicious salted caramel and cream profiteroles and a chocolate shot topped with Pimm’s jelly.
On the top tier were two fruit and two plain scones served with strawberry jam and clotted cream. This was all served with a choice of tea and coffee. My mum chose to have coffee and I chose to have a pot of tea and it was large enough to get at least 4 or 5 cups out.
The miniature sandwiches were delightful. They were topped with a garnish of pea shoots. The chicken and avocado was my favourite and there was plenty of subtle and tasty filling.
The cakes were fabulous. There was a good selection of sweet treats offering a variety of flavours. We were really spoilt for choice. The salted caramel and cream profiteroles were amazing. Both me and my mum agreed that we could have eaten a lot more of those.
If I had to be picky about anything then I would say the scones were a little on the dry side, but that could be because they were small.
The restaurant was a great setting for afternoon tea. Both my mum and I agreed that it was delicious and we would be very happy to come back and try the other food or afternoon teas that were on their menu.
We had a lovely chat with Gaz about his holiday and the weather (typical grey summer). He was really helpful with the menu and was always there if we needed him with ordering or with any questions we had.
I would definitely recommend going to Browns for something to eat. The setting, service and most importantly the food were all wonderful. I will definitely be returning there to have something else in the near future.
Served daily throughout June from 2.30pm to 5pm, the Royal Afternoon Tea with a British Royal cocktail is £17.95 per person. For more information or to book a table visit www.browns-restaurants.co.uk.
Browns, Unit H28 The Light, 70-72 The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 8TL | 0113 243 9353