Review - Afternoon tea at Metrodeco

Review – Afternoon tea at Metrodeco

Tucked away in Kemp Town village, Metrodeco is a gorgeous 1930s Paris-inspired tea room that’s regularly hailed by Brighton’s cake-eating population as the place to go for afternoon tea. So, when I wanted to organise a special girly get-together, but knew evenings were tricky – we all have toddlers, staying awake beyond 9pm is ambitious – this was the first place that came to mind.

We had booked for a Saturday afternoon and were shown to a lovely window table in the sunshine, where we simply had to order which tea we wanted – the food would be taken care of. No decision-making? Perfect for a group of knackered mothers.

They take their tea seriously at Metrodeco, with no less than 23 to choose from. I love a classic cuppa and went for the ‘strong and gutsy’ Chrysler breakfast, which flavour-wise was spot on. My friend’s Lapsang Souchong was incredibly smoky in aroma but surprisingly mild in taste. I liked it a lot. The tea menu includes a great choice of infusions, as well as the on-trend and antioxidant-rich green matcha tea.

Vintage crockery and Art Deco teapots add a touch of old-school glamour to your afternoon tea experience

Vintage crockery and Art Deco teapots add a touch of old-school glamour to your afternoon tea experience

Our food arrived on a cute three-tier cake stand and looked so attractive and appetising without being over-stylised and contrived. We couldn’t wait to dig in. Starting at the bottom tier, the mini bread rolls came topped with egg and cress, smoked salmon and cucumber, cheddar and caramelised onion chutney, and ham with grainy mustard. The bread (sourced from Real Patisserie) was fresh and soft, the toppings great quality.

Open sandwiches on Real Patisserie bread are topped with the best-quality ingredients.

Open sandwiches on Real Patisserie bread are topped with the best-quality ingredients.

Scones were excellent. Baked in-house, they were soft in the middle with a slight biscuity crust, and came with generous portions of clotted cream and tangy, sweet strawberry jam from Paynes Bee Farm in Hassocks.

Cream or jam first? Who cares!

Cream or jam first? Who cares!

And finally, the tier I couldn’t wait to attack. We gorged ourselves on choux buns filled with caramel and chocolate crème patissiere; pistachio, raspberry and lemon macaroons; pistachio and vanilla marshmallows; mini fruit tartlets and little Nanaimo bars (apparently a Canadian dessert), which tasted like delicate, fruity versions of chocolate fridge cakes. They disappeared fast.

A selection of petit fours and sweet treats - the raspberry tartlet was sublime

A selection of petit fours and sweet treats

Service is excellent – attentive, yet unhurried – and I have to mention how brilliant their customer service is. I must have phoned the place about six times to change our party number and booking time, yet staff remained courteous, at one point even re-jigging their seating plan to accommodate us. Thank you guys (and sorry). They were also extremely thoughtful in providing us with food that took into account one friend’s pregnancy and another’s vegetarianism.

At £18 a head for a huge spread, plus refilled tea pots, afternoon tea at Metrodeco is great value and a real treat. It’s informal and relaxed, yet feels really special. Strongly recommended.

38 Upper St James’ Street, Brighton, BN2 1JN. Visit their website here

To book a table for afternoon tea, call 01273 677243

Words and photographs by Suzanne Rose Metrodeco exterior photograph by Emma Gutteridge