Afternoon tea at French Affaire, Stony Stratford

Sign for French Affaire restaurant, with balloons in the foreground

Anyone that knows me or has followed my blog for some time, will know how much I love afternoon tea, and I’m always looking for somewhere new to try out (and it has to be pretty special to make me return for a second visit). Before Christmas, my friend had her baby shower, and we celebrated at French Affaire in Stony Stratford. It’s not somewhere I’d been to before – although I’ve heard and read so many good things, from both friends and on social media. It’s fair to say I was looking forward to it.

As the name suggests, the restaurant specialises in French cuisine, and you can expect to find croques, crepes and baguettes on the daytime menu. While the restaurant is quite small, the décor is stunning – with its glass-front, plush velvet banquettes and lush greenery throughout (as seen above).

One thing I will say before I get onto the food is that when we arrived, the table was still occupied, which meant setting up – and even sitting down – was delayed. I would have thought for a large and special booking, this would have been mitigated. Luckily, we were all sitting down before the surprised second-time mum arrived.

Afternoon tea at French Affaire is priced at £30pp, although you can upgrade to a prosecco afternoon tea for £38. This includes a selection of savouries (not just sandwiches!), scones and sweet treats, as well as two cups of tea or coffee per person. We ordered a bottle of fizz to celebrate… and I ended up having two lattes with the tea.

Glass tray containing savoury elements for an afternoon tea

The savoury selection was so much better than your traditional finger sandwiches and made a nice change. We ate:

  • Turkey, pesto and red pepper sandwich
  • Mackerel pate and picked radish brioche
  • Prosciutto, cranberry jam and brie croissant
  • Quiche with cheese and champignons
  • Goats cheese mousse, fig, honey and pecan crostini

Everything was so dainty and delicious – and I don’t think I could pinpoint a favourite. I loved the different textures and flavours of the sandwich; the mackerel pate was super smooth and more like a mousse; the mini croissant was cute and delicious; and I adore fresh figs so the crostini was always going to be a winner – especially with the combination of cheese, nuts and honey.

While a vegetarian option could be given, the restaurant doesn’t cater to any other dietary requirements with the afternoon tea yet. Our group were well looked after though, as those that don’t like afternoon tea were able to choose a savoury and sweet dish from the daytime menu instead! I’ll definitely be back to try one of the sweet crepes.

Black birdcage-style cake stand containing four scones and several sweet treats

The sweets were brought out afterwards, in super cute birdcage-style cake stands. Alongside two scones per person, we also tucked into:

  • Salted caramel and gingerbread cheesecake
  • Apple crumble macaron
  • Ferrero Roche delice
  • Black forest cherry and chocolate mousse

I usually prefer the sweets to savouries, but on this occasion, I didn’t – and I definitely had a favourite. The apple crumble macaron tasted as good as it looked, it was utterly divine, and I would have bought (and eaten!) a whole box of them! The textures and flavours were just spot-on. Everything else I could take and leave. The flavour of the black forest was far too subtle, and I wasn’t getting any cherry at all… in fact, I thought it was just a chocolate ganache. The chocolate delice was rich and so chocolatey – but, in my opinion, there was just too much chocolate. That coupled with the scones, meant I couldn’t eat it all, and ended up feeling very full.

The scones were gorgeous, however – still warm and super crumbly. We had to ask for more jam and cream as the portions to share were quite small – especially for those that like to pile it on. I wish I could have managed them both. Anything that wasn’t eaten could be boxed up to take home, and the waitress even potted up more cream and jam for the leftover scones.

We also played a few games, including baby bingo – which I won (one of the rounds anyway). And it was so nice to be able to get together and celebrate, before Christmas and baby’s arrival. We ended with the presents before it was time to leave – and we were the last ones in the restaurant.

Judging by the design on the menu, I think we had the festive afternoon tea – although the menu online is still the same one. I’d be interested to see if there’s a different year-round menu, and maybe even try that. Although the day-time dining sounds more up my street. The lobster croque, followed by the apple tatin flambee crepe is calling my name (followed by a lengthy nap, I’d think).

Have you been to French Affaire? Which dishes would you recommend?

Love, Lucy xx

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