Cakeaway Takeaway from The Assembly House, Norwich
In her second Eating In series, Sarah Hardy reviews Cakeaway Takeaway at The Assembly House, Norwich
What did you try?
We, my husband and I, sampled afternoon tea from The Assembly House, Norwich. I opted for a savoury cheese one and he had the classic, fully caked up one. Each was priced at £20.
Who runs it?
The Assembly House comes under Richard Hughes’ umbrella, with Sam Matthews as general manager and Mark Mitson as the pastry maestro.
How does it work?
It is all pretty clever and is basically a super posh takeaway. You order what you fancy on the Assembly House website, and there are lots of options for culinary tastes and dietary requirements such as vegetarian, dairy free or gluten free afternoon teas. You choose a collection time, with each at 10 minute intervals. You then simply drive up to the Assembly House, wriggle through the rather tight gates and someone appears, as if by magic, asks your name, pops inside, reappears and places a bulging goodies bag in your car. And off you drive – tummy rumbling in anticipation!
When is it available?
The Cakeaway is available Wednesdays to Sundays inclusive, from 11am to 2.30pm.
What is offered?
There are variations on an afternoon tea theme, plus celebration cakes, drinks, chocolates and even flowers. A children’s afternoon tea is available at £14.
What did you have?
Our two different afternoon teas shared a few common elements. We each had a selection of finger sandwiches – ham, egg mayo, smoked salmon and the like – plus some loose leaf tea – the Assembly House’s own blend. We also both enjoyed a mini sausage roll, a little muffin, and a yummy cream cheese with a piece of savoury shortbread.
My cheese themed tea was, indeed, just that! It included a selection of three Mrs Temple cheeses, including that big boy, Binham Blue, and masses of crackers, plus apple chutney and some wonderful pickled grapes – I want that recipe.
The traditional afternoon tea included four mini cakes including a sticky toffee cupcake, and a sea salt caramel chocolate eclair.
I think we both had scones although there was so much it was hard to keep track. I kept my cheese scone for supper – that I do remember!
What’s the presentation like?
Everything was very neatly and efficiently packed in little boxes but we did struggle to work out what belonged to each of us – though we got there in the end. I liked the dainty portions and attention to detail – you could tell a pastry chef was involved.
Anything else we need to know?
The Assembly House is also offering a selection of ready meals, some frozen and some fresh. They include a slow cooked belly of pork and that Richard Hughes classic: chicken and ham pancakes. A delivery service is also available in most of Norwich city centre.
There is a bit of much needed theatre about this afternoon tea. I enjoyed driving to that beautiful building to collect my tea and the set up was very speedy and efficient. It all tasted good, too.