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Published September 19th 2016
An indulgent afternoon tea by the sea
Afternoon tea at the Camelia Hotel is a truly British way to celebrate a special occasion. The Camelia is a boutique hotel in Southend-on-Sea, situated in an idyllic location just one minute from the beach, making it the perfect place to sit back and relax. With a spectacular sea view of one of Britain's most favourite seaside towns and food to die for, you will definitely be coming back time and time again.
When you first walk into the hotel you are warmly welcomed by the friendly staff who instantly go out of their way to make your visit extra special. We had booked afternoon tea for my aunty's birthday and the staff did their best to fit us in even though they were very busy. We were seated in the bar area rather than the main restaurant, which was excellent as we had a sea view and a large room to ourselves. Even though it was a busy time of day, the staff served us promptly, decorated the room with birthday balloons and added birthday candles on our assortment of cakes.
The décor of the table was a talking point with its seaside theme and array of different styles of china plates and cups. The décor had a shabby chic meets the seaside kind of feel, which gave the restaurant some personality and made the afternoon tea a little more fun.
The food was all freshly prepared and as we had booked in advance, our sandwiches were served promptly. We were surprised by the large amount and different options of sandwiches on offer and there were also options of bread and wraps, which both tasted divine. The tantalising options were salmon with cream cheese, cucumber, egg mayonnaise and ham, tomato and mustard. After we had eaten our way though the sandwiches, we were presented with the visually appealing tiers of different cakes. At first, we were reluctant to touch the cakes as they looked so pretty, like a piece of art in the middle of our table. We were spoilt by white chocolate covered strawberries, brownies with Guylian chocolates, flapjacks, mini chocolate eclairs, fruit tarts and of course the famous scones with clotted cream and Tiptree jam. To top it off, all of the fruit used on the cakes were big, juicy and fresh.
At the end of the afternoon tea, it was extremely difficult to choose a favourite sandwich and dessert because everything tasted so fresh and amazing. A bonus for my mother was that the tea pot was always checked by the waitress and filled up when it got low or started to lose its temperature. We were also lucky enough to use a discount code seen on Facebook to get a free glass of prosecco each, which topped off the meal.
The Camelia hotel arguably hosts one of the best afternoon teas in Southend, with its perfect location, friendly staff, beautiful decor and unbelievable food. After consuming all of that food we were able to take a peaceful stroll down the seafront which made our day just that little bit extra special.