Looking out across to Brighton Pier sat in The Salt Room, you can’t pick a more idyllic location for an afternoon tea. With the sun pouring into the dining room, the waves lapping onto the pebble beach. And that’s even before you set eyes on the perfect afternoon tea selection.
We visited when they had just launched the new afternoon tea menu, which was such an exciting mix of items to liven the usual offerings of finger sandwiches. We were celebrating a couple of special occasions, so the food and setting were perfect. As well as the staff were being incredibly attentive and patient with a little nephew who wanted to wave to all the waiters.
Of course, being by the sea, the dishes have a nautical theme to them. Nothing garish but a gentle nod to the amazing ingredients on offer and the inspiration from their stunning views.
Crab Bun, Brown Crab Mayo, Mustard Cress – In a striking black bun, overflowing with delicate crab meat with a light mayo dressing, not drowning the natural flavour of the crab, paired with the peppery cress to add a kick. Better than any normal finger sandwich!
Whipped Cod Roe, Malt Vinegar and Chips – the poshest version of fish and chips, I’ve ever had. Tender potato with the joy of the super crispy outside for the ultimate crunchy chip experience. The cod roe and malt vinegar gave the punchy kick in a refined way, rather than the normal vinegar dowsed chips way.
Crispy Egg, Seaweed Salad Cream – This was a stand out dish for me, a perfect crisp golden shell, perfectly oozy egg yolk to cling to crisp shards of the coating and the salad cream with a hint of savoury seaweed to lift the whole dish.
Salt Cod Fritter, Roast Garlic Mayo – Golden panko breadcrumb coated, soft salted cod middle paired perfectly with the sweet roasted garlic, a combination made in heaven.
Potted Ham Knuckle, Piccalilli – chunky ham nuggets all pressed into a meaty delight with a hearty piccalilli, with pickled shallot boats on top to capture all that sharp vinegar goodness to cut through the richness of the ham. Very, very good
Homemade Scones with Orange Marmalade and Clotted Cream – I like it when you get a variation on the usual strawberry jam, which in my opinion gives you a sugar hit just before diving into the dessert plate. So the sharp, tart, thick shred marmalade was just the ticket to clear your plate of the savoury wonders to move on to the sweet treats.
Sticky Toffee Pudding, Whisky Caramel – A rich grown-up dessert, with a rib-sticking sauce with a boozy warming note from the whiskey, soaked into a rich treacly sponge.
Rhubarb, Custard, Meringue – Delicate meringue shell, with light poached pink rhubarb stems nestled in a coat of vanilla-rich custard. A season in a mouthful.
Chocolate Orange Doughnut – A traditional pier treat, has had a grown-up refresh with naughty zesty orange chocolate filling in a soft yeasty doughnut with plenty of sugar coating. Just try not to lick your lips when eating!
Floral Macaron – A chewy almond shell, with a tart passionfruit curd to cut through the sweetness of the macaron. Decorated with delicate edible flowers on top, rather than the usual glow in dark coloured macarons. I prefer these dainty bites any day!
Chocolate Pebbles – You can’t visit the beach without finding a nice shaped pebble to bring home or if you’re my nephew, spending hours throwing the pebbles back into the sea. These pebbles are not going to have that same fate, beyond rich chocolate truffles shaped and dusted like a Brighton beach pebble. So incredibly rich that you would need a nap in a deck chair to recover.
The staff also made my nephew the happiest little boy with a surprise big cloud of cotton candy, which we helped him with, as wanted him to get to sleep some time this year! But was so thoughtful of them and he had the biggest grin as we all did after having such a wonderful lunch all together with great food.
I would really recommend The Salt Room, such an interesting menu, all carried out perfectly and full of flavour and textures. If you’re looking for a different afternoon tea, head to the seaside.
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