Afternoon Tea at Sandy Lane Resort reviewed by guest writer Kirsty Braik-Scivyer.
From the moment we arrived at the impossibly luxurious, world famous Sandy Lane Resort we knew that we were in for a 5 star dining experience. The drive is majestic, sweeping and lined with a multitude of palm trees, elegant fountains burble quietly and uniformed valets kindly park your vehicle as you gracefully ascend the steps.
Here in Barbados, two very English colonial pastimes have been firmly embraced by the Bajans and made their own, the first being the dignified sport of cricket while the second is the more refined tradition of taking afternoon tea often out on a shaded pavilion or veranda. It is here, on the splendid lower terrace, where the Sandy Lane Resort treat their guests to a truly stunning array of cakes, pastries, sandwiches and more all while soaking in the views of the sheltered courtyard and the azure ocean beyond.
The service was simply impeccable and nothing was too much bother for the friendly, respectful and helpful staff. They happily moved full tables further into the shade, created special celebration dishes and suggested options from the extensive, top of the range tea menu. We chose to enjoy two glasses of Jasmine Pearl iced tea which were cool, refreshing and hint-of-jasmine zingy along with our complimentary glasses of champagne.
The tea sets were impossibly cute, not to mention quintessentially English, with rose patterned tableware, crisp white table linen, individual sugar bowls and gleaming steel crockery. Gloriously comfy chaise lounge style chairs are upholstered in pale pink velvet and soft cool cream as you sink into their plump cushions. The marble floor tiles felt cool under your feet as soft island winds blew mauve flower petals onto the courtyard floor, while two white wrought staircases wound their way lazily up to the upper terrace.
Sweet and savoury delicacies were served on an old fashioned triple layer cake platter and included a variety of tasty treats, such freshly baked homemade fruit and plain scones with clotted cream, lemon curd, and strawberry jam. If that’s not enough were open faced sandwiches comprised of St. James smoked Scottish Salmon and crème fraîche, as well as egg salad and water cress. We also had two types of finger sandwiches, tuna salad with cucumber and mayonnaise and coronation curried chicken. However, it was with the cakes and pastries where the stakes were raised with an impossibly soft, sweet coconut cake and a fruity, delightfully moist English fruit cake.
Sandy Lane then pulled out all the stops with a range of petit perfect desserts from light, crisp French macaroons, to sweet, sticky mini apricot clafoutis and rich indulgent raspberry and chocolate tartlets. There were also tiny blueberry financiers, choux praline craquellin and a sumptuous strawberry meringue. On the final tier of this magic medley of incredible treats were two perfectly toasted marshmallow coated strawberries dipped in chocolate and nestled within an edible sugar bowl. Needless to say, each item melted in the mouth and we basked in the luxurious surroundings as we enjoyed the very best of all English customs.
Finally, we were presented with a light, golden brown surprise sponge cake served with dessert cream, fresh strawberries and chocolate ganache to celebrate our honeymoon. We left very reluctantly after a final look out over the ocean, having marvelled at the marble statues dotted around the inner courtyard and after one last glance at the ornate flower arrangements we drove away as the sun set in a blaze of colour behind a beautiful Palladian resort.
Sandy Lane Hotel
Written by Kirsty Braik-Scivyer
Kirsty is a freelance journalist who has written for Bauer media and Vidados. Catch her tweeting @eclipse1473.