The Grand Hotel Birmingham is the city's original grand-dame; a stunning, sprawling hotel built back in 1879, and designed by renowned architect Thomson Plevins. For nearly 20 years her doors were closed, but after a huge, £50 million refurbishment the hotel has a new lease of life which brings together its heritage architecture and stylish, contemporary details.
If looking for somewhere special to enjoy an afternoon tea, whether it be for a birthday, Mother's day or Christmas treat, The Grand is one of the most luxurious spots in the city. Afternoon tea is served in the jaw-dropping Madeleine Bar which features rich, darkly-hued walls, jewel-toned seating and double-height ceilings. The ornate windows flood the space with light, while a modern take on a classic chandelier adds drama overhead.
The Madeleine Bar is a glamorous setting and to keep it so, the bar has a few house rules such as no fancy dress, overt hen or stag parties and no sportswear or football shirts. Afternoon tea is served Wednesday to Sunday and bookings are very much advised, which can be made online for up to eight people.
The menu is inspired by French cooking and Parisian style, curated by Head Pastry Chef Roger
Lomas, the dishes centre on classic English flavours while using French techniques. For example, sandwiches include compressed cucumber slices layered on Normandy Fromage Blanc cream cheese, alongside smoked salmon tart with dill and lemon crème fraiche topped with Exmoor caviar, and Aubrey Allen Roast Herefordshire Sirloin of beef with a mustard emulsion.
As usual, scones are served warm with toppings, but these aren't your average. Expect an Earl grey soaked golden raisin and vanilla scone with a choice of English strawberries and lime preserve, as well as lemon curd and whipped Rodda’s clotted cream.
For sweets, you can enjoy the likes of a 74% Millot cremeux encased in a cherry chocolate choux, topped with a 53% Hukambi milk chocolate cream and finished with gold leaf, which is perfect when savoured with a glass of champagne.