Cathedral 73: The Afternoon Tea of Dreams

On Monday, I graduated in the sun and with my friends. To celebrate afterwards, my mum, brother, Aaron and I headed to Cathedral 73 for, without a doubt, the best afternoon tea I’ve ever had. And I don’t mean to brag, but I am an Afternoon Tea Expert. Instead of now popping the letters “BA” after my name, I will be adding “ATE.” I know a good afternoon tea when I taste one, and Cathedral 73 does too. A fifteen minute walk from the hustle and bustle of the capital, the hotel sits on attractively on a road dotted with lovely Welsh buildings- just as beautifully as the three tiered glory that sat beautifully in front of our rumbling bellies.

IMG_3401IMG_3393IMG_3403Modern and welcoming, the bright lighting meant I, of course, was going to take a few snaps. When the tea arrived looking so gloriously Instagrammable, I knew Cathedral 73 was not going to disappoint. All of my friends were heading straight to dinner once we’d returned our robes, ravenous tummies, because we had all missed lunch (boo!) due to our awkwardly timed ceremony. My mum, however, had come up with the idea of celebrating with our favourite summer (and, let’s face it: autumn, winter and spring) tradition: afternoon tea. I adored the idea, being the pretentious Brit that I am. It’s definitely a bit of a different idea for an after graduation celebration and as the food tasted as good at it looked, we can all confirm it was the best idea.

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Although I loved every – every – piece that made up the best afternoon tea I have ever eaten, here are my top five favourites of the early evening meal:

  1. The scones I smothered with clotted cream* and jam
  2. Carrot cake
  3. Salmon and cream cheese sandwich
  4. Frangipane
  5. Cucumber and mint sandwich

As should be obvious from my WAIT-DON’T-START-EATING-YET-I-NEED-PICS photos, the presentation was handsome. Bite after bite, the food delivered, too. Once again, I must convince you of my expertise. I have had a cookery course by a top chef in London who taught us how to make a traditional afternoon tea. This ticked all of the boxes and probably more. It covered the traditional pieces perfectly and added a few sprinkles of unique with the Welsh cakes!

IMG_3417IMG_3423From start to finish, we felt welcome at Cathedral 73. The service was brilliant. Tea was brought out and we had a nice slice of time before the grand three tier tower of dreams appeared. We slowly made our way through the bites of yum; bottom to top, naturally. We were asked if everything was okay (“So yummy, thank you”) and ten minutes later the staff came over for a more than welcomed natter about their day full of graduates. We polished off every last crumb before ordering another teapot of tea each as well as another jug of their fruit-infused water. We had time to recover, nervously chuckling about whether we had room for the main event: the scones.

Spoilers: We did. The scones were perfectly warm and we, as usual, debated about the proper way to apply the cream and jam. Right answer? Cream first. Jam last. Duh. I then explained that the one thing I took away from my three years at university is that there are no rules to confirm who says scone with an “o” and who says scone… wrong. No money or class comes into the equation. It’s a free for all, I tell you. As my full tummy said goodbye to its last bite of the best food in the world, we all agreed that we just didn’t have the space for the lovely-looking Welsh cakes. The staff packaged them up and I ate mine a couple of days ago. As you may have guessed, it was delicious.

IMG_3427I plan on returning to Cardiff in October for their wonderful half marathon (*fingers crossed*) and I most certainly will be spending the evening celebrating at Cathedral 73. I would love to get the chance to test out their cocktail and wine menu, enjoying the piano and what I’m sure is the perfect evening atmosphere. After a busy day on our feet, I felt relaxed and content in my seat by the window, looking out onto the lovely Cardiff street or looking inside to admire all of the decor that will inspire my future home. The staff interacted with us, making us feel very welcome (even if a waiter mocked us for our “boring” tea choices- I still persist that you must go for a traditional tea with your scones) and, as I have repeated just a few times throughout this post, the food was to die for. If you would like to find out more about the hotel that appears to be a triple threat (fab decor, staff and food), you can find them on Twitter, Instagram or over on their website!

~ Kat ~

*The clotted cream is always what has drawn me to an afternoon tea. What has repeatedly offended me is the blasphemous-amount of clotted cream everywhere seems to deem an appropriate amount. Cathedral 73 were far from stingy and I confirmed, once again, to my mum that she had chosen the right place for the job as soon as I saw the BIG pot of cream.

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