When you combine two of my favourite things – afternoon tea and flower arranging it makes me very happy, and it seems that Villandry have discovered that this makes other people happy as well and have teamed up with their in-house florists, Moyses Stevens to host a flower masterclass followed by one of their delicious afternoon teas.
Costing £53 per person, you get expert tuition to create a gorgeous floral bouquet, which of course you get to take home with you, followed by afternoon tea. I went down to their Great Portland Street cafe to try my hand at flower arranging, which is fast becoming a passion, before putting their afternoon tea to the test.
Villandry is one of my favourite lunch spots, centrally located and the menu is super tasty as well as being healthy, and the light in the Great Portland Street cafe is divine, something that bloggers take quite seriously for great Instagram snaps, so I had high hopes for the food, and I can’t seem to go pass the florists without snapping as they have such a gorgeous variety of blooms.
Starting off with our 90 minute flowering arranging class, we used hydrangeas as our focal flower, and created a floral bouquet using peonies, stocks and thistles with nigella, alchemilla, dill, astilbe and mint flower fillers and foliage, by literally layering them up. I’ve done flower arranging before, which helped a little, but I still needed a little expert help finishing off my creation. Thankfully the team at Moyses Stevens were amazing, and assisted me in tying off my bouquet as well as wrapping it up so I got it home in one piece as it was rather big.
With out bouquets looking pretty we then delved into the afternoon tea, which to be honest is what let down the experience, especially as the flower arranging class was so enjoyable. I think it didn’t help that we literally stayed in the same area that we just cut and arranged flowers, a quick clean up, and we were sat at the same tables drinking tea. For me afternoon tea is a special occasion and it felt a little weird that we were using the same area, which was away from natural light that makes Villandry such a great eating spot. Don’t get me wrong the afternoon tea was beautifully presented on white china towers, but I just felt it was lacking something unique.
The cakes being a particular highlight, actually they were divine, we had cheesecake, sponge, mini pavlova, chocolate brownie and a salted caramel tart, all were very yummy. The fact the cakes were so good didn’t surprise me, if you’ve visited Villandry you will have probably picked up a cake or two at their takeaway counter.
What let it down for me had to be the sandwiches, even though they had supplied me with a vegetarian selection, the bread was a little on the stale side for my liking, which made me wonder how long they’d been left out for. The scones, which were some of the largest I’d ever had at an afternoon tea, were also a little disappointing as I felt they were a little dry, but the homemade clotted cream and strawberry jam was delicious.
I always wonder when I go to group events whether it is a true representation of the food, especially as I’ve always had such delicious food there before. I just felt it was a shame as I really wanted to write a glowing review as I think the idea and price is so good. However, I do think if you like flowers and cakes this is could be a fun activity to do with your friends, get in quick though as the spaces are limited.