Birmingham’s latest hotspot Nocturnal Animals offers an afternoon tea to stimulate all of your senses.
Forget quintessentially English finger sandwiches, scones, bone china and raised pinkies. Nocturnal Animals‘ afternoon tea is a festival of surprise for your ears, eyes and mouth. A culinary experience to remember.
Upon arrival you’ll enter a world of bold, dynamic colours… electric blue velvet and leather booths, black and white geometric floor tiles and club-style neon lighting all blended together perfectly with plush, pastel pink.
The afternoon tea has a playful 80s pop theme submerged in the pink, plastic world of Barbie.
During the five-course tasting experience your ears will be treated to ultimate 80s classics from Elton John, Kate Bush, Tracy Chapman, Cyndi Lauper and Phil Collins et al. playing merrily in the background.
The menu is rife with references to the plastic pop generation of Barbie & Ken and the vacuous world of reality TV. There’s an entire course titled No Carbs Before Marbs.
To begin we were given a sparkling, curious-looking blue cocktail – Nocturnal Animal’s take on one of the most-loved drinks in the 90s, WKD Blue Vodka. Luckily for us it tasted a lot better.
The first course was chicken liver parfait, damson & hoisin sauce, compressed plums with a poppy and linseed cracker. Definitely a firm winner for my husband Jim.
Next was my favourite of the five courses. Perfectly cooked tempura monkfish, gherkin and garlic aloha with statement pink “lips” in homage to Barbie.
A very pink trio of sweet treats arrived next accompanied by a capsized Barbie doll in a bowl of dramatic smoke and flowers. Because, well, why not?!
The Little Miss Piggy macaroons were a sweet, rich combination of white chocolate and bacon. I have to admit, these were wasted on me as I don’t like macaroons. I know, what a heathen…
However, the Little Shoe choux pastry eclair with white chocolate and gooseberry jelly and Victoria’s Plum layered sponge cake with plum jam and clotted cream were complete winners.
The penultimate course was a heart shaped Pink Forest Gateau – a revamped version of the retro classic. A rich and delicious crowd pleaser full of chocolate sponge and black cherries.
The finale came in the shape of a sexy pair of Juicy Lips – white chocolate with caramel and damson – a smooth, sweet but intense flavour perfectly accompanied by a cup of tea.
Nocturnal Animals is a brand-new venue from notorious Birmingham chef Alex Claridge. Alex is head chef and founder of The Wilderness, a highly-regarded and much-talked about fine dining restaurant in the Jewellery Quarter.
However, Nocturnal Animal’s afternoon tea is overseen by MasterChef: The Professional’s finalist, Brett Connor.
There’s an impressive loose-leaf tea menu to choose your pot of tea from including Dragon Well Green, Chamomile Flowers, Raspberry & Rose, Green Apple & Hibiscus, Lemon Verbena as well as the normal classics English Breakfast and Earl Grey.
There are also three coffee to choose from including the award-winning Kopi Luwak roast, priced at £10. This Kopi Luwak coffee (cat poop coffee) is “the most expensive coffee in the world” and is made from cat poo. I’m not even joking! I 100% would have tried this but I didn’t realise they served coffee until we were about to leave. Rookie error!
I did however, try the the loose leaf Green Apple & Hibiscus tea. Not too sweet and not too fruity, perfect.
Style: As afternoon teas go this is definitely one you’ll remember. The presentation, the decor, the music, the menu, the vibe – all superb.
Food: The decadent layers of flavour and innovative style of each course will certainlty impress you. Flavours you’d never expect to compliment each other did, perfectly.
Detail: The food is curiously creative and it is obvious a huge amount of time, effort and thought has gone into every dish.
Vibe: Who wouldn’t want to spend an afternoon delighting their eyes with radical neon interiors; their ears with soulful tones of Phil Collins and their mouths with perfectly cooked tempura monkfish hanging out of Barbie’s lips?
The afternoon tea experience at Nocturnal Animals costs £28 per head and lasts approximately two hours. For more info visit: www.nocturnal-animals.co.uk.
*Disclaimer: Nocturnal Animals invited me for afternoon tea in return for a review. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are 100% my own and honest.*