What's Up: Afternoon Tea At The Blackpool Tower Ballroom | GIFTED

My tickets were gifted in exchange for honest review.

left: black text on white background reading 'afternoon tea at the blackpool tower ballroom', right: afternoon tea on a three tier stand


The Setting
The Blackpool Tower Ballroom is famously the big location on Strictly Come Dancing every year, and always looks amazing, but it's even better in person. While the cameras keep all eyes on the dancefloor, I was able to look around to the gallery and the grand, decorated ceiling that has overlooked thousands of dances in its time. 

It's a lovely piece of Lancashire's history and tourism, and a luxurious place to enjoy afternoon tea. The talented organists who play the Wurlitzer live from centre stage boost the atmosphere even further. Between them and the dancers, it really felt like stepping back to a time when dances were the place to be.

a black and white picture of dancers in a line facing away from the cameraan organist sat at the wurlitzer organ centre stage

The Dancers
I stepped into the ballroom under the impression that any of the diners could get up and give the dancing a go. What I wasn't expecting was a dancefloor full of couples who knew every song and step, and performed them perfectly! 

While I felt way too shy to join in alongside such brilliant dancers, I was more than happy to sit and watch them glide around the floor. Some of them looked to be in their 80s and it was obvious from their elegance that these were dances they practised and perfected over many years. 

I'm not ashamed to say I had a little tear in my eye watching them sway and step in perfect rhythm, it made for such a special experience and I'm very grateful to them for that. It has definitely made me appreciate the art of dancing more, and I have a newfound respect for the Strictly celebs who learn these dances so quickly!

The Service
Every member of staff I met at The Blackpool Tower was efficient, friendly, and just wonderful. It felt like they genuinely enjoyed their jobs, and they really helped to enhance our visit. 

Francis greeted us with the warmest welcome at the door, before Leia showed us to our seats. Once we were settled our server, Bethany, introduced herself, took our drinks order, and checked over our dietary preferences, advising us to let her know if there was anything we didn't like so she could change it. 

We also had the pleasure of meeting Maggie, who kindly took some snaps of us from different angles, and was always smiling when we saw her.

scones and small jars of jam on a plate, with dancers out of focus in the background

The Food
Unfortunately the low point of our visit was the afternoon tea itself. Perhaps I've been spoilt by other teas I've tried, but it was a little lacklustre, especially against the grandeur of the setting. 

The sandwiches were egg mayonnaise, tuna mayonnaise, cream cheese and cucumber, and ham and cheddar, and they were fine but could have benefited from a garnish of salad or a few crisps as they looked very plain on the plate.

The scone tier was much better, with large scones full of cherries, and ample cream and jam alongside them. 

Usually the cake tier is my favourite, but I wasn't impressed with the selection in the ballroom. There was a small square of rich chocolate brownie, a slice of Victoria sponge, and a berry coulis topped with synthetic cream. With jam and cream on the scone, sponge, and coulis dessert, the flavours just became repetitive and the afternoon tea would have benefited from more variety. 

Both the Victoria sponge and dessert were in plastic packaging too, which suggested to me that they were bought from a food company rather than prepared fresh. I appreciate the ballroom may not have a full kitchen, but perhaps they could work with a local supplier to bring in fresh, higher quality food for their teas. 

The Experience
While you can eat better afternoon teas elsewhere, it would be difficult to find one in a setting better than The Blackpool Tower Ballroom. It must have been breathtaking when it first opened in 1894, and it's still spectacular now. 

You can buy tickets to visit the ballroom without having afternoon tea, so whether you're a dancer, history buff, or Strictly Come Dancing superfan, I would recommend booking in to see it for yourself.

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