Browns Brasserie & Bar, Leeds – Afternoon Tea Review
By Kirsty Reid, August 2023
Looking for a pick-me-up one rainy weekend in July, Mum and I headed to Leeds for some retail therapy – it was there we stumbled upon Browns Brasserie & Bar.
Housed in a historic former banking hall, the beautifully converted Browns sits at the heart of the city, a stone’s throw from The Light shopping centre.
A warm welcome awaits as we step through the grand entrance. Large windows flood the room with natural light, creating a bright and airy vibe – despite the gloomy weather. High ceilings, towering greenery and art-deco styling with opulent gold accents add to the luxe and grandeur.
It’s not long before we are shown to our table, in the dining area, on a separate level from the bustling bar.
Browns are currently celebrating their 50th anniversary, and Mum and I are more than happy to join in the celebrations and indulge in their celebratory Champagne Afternoon Tea. But while it wouldn’t be a celebration without bubbles, it wouldn’t be afternoon tea without tea. So, we order a pot of loose-leaf English breakfast tea, alongside a glass of Moët & Chandon Impérial Champagne (if Champagne isn’t your thing, you can opt for a cocktail instead).
We are still caught up in the grandeur of the venue, when our server brings out a beautifully presented three-tier stand adorned with sweet and savoury offerings.
The afternoon tea is a set menu, but Browns are more than happy to cater for any dietary requirements. They also serve a bespoke gluten-free afternoon tea, accredited by Coeliac UK.
While we didn’t order the gluten-free option, we decided to substitute the brioche rolls of smoked salmon and prawn, due to personal preference.
Instead, we stick with the more traditional fillings – ham and Dijon mustard, hen egg mayonnaise, and Cheddar and Bramley apple chutney. Served in crustless dainty finger sandwiches for added sophistication, the savoury platter goes down a treat.
In-between chit-chat and ample tea (and Champagne) sipping, we turn our attention to the bottom tier – scones – an afternoon tea must-have.
Two fruit and two plain scones are accompanied by strawberry and blackcurrant jams, and clotted cream. Served warm, perhaps fresh from the oven, the baked goods are soft and crumbly with a golden glaze. Delicious! Even more so with a layer of raspberry jam and topped with a dollop of thick, clotted cream.
The top, and final, tier features a mouth-watering display of sweet treats that look (almost) too good to eat.
Bringing a hint of sunshine to the celebration is a mango and passionfruit torte – a delicate dessert bursting with exotic flavours.
“Slice of heaven”
A delectable chocolate delice and refreshing lemon posset profiterole also feature in the selection of creative mini cakes. The profiterole is less favourable than the other desserts, but it’s a welcomed variation to the usual offerings.
We might have had our sugar-fix, but we’re not done yet…
It wouldn’t be a birthday celebration without a birthday cake, and Browns have created a raspberry marble sponge to mark the occasion. The raspberry swirled bake not only looks great it tastes great too. Light and fluffy, it’s a slice of heaven and the perfect end to their anniversary celebration.
I’ve tried and tested a lot of afternoon teas over the years, and Browns is in a league of its own. If a taste of luxury is what you’re after, Browns is the place to be.
Browns Leeds, Unit H28 The Light, 70-72 The Headrow, UK, LS1 8EQ
Mon – Thu 10:00 – 23:00
Fri 10:00 – 00:00
Sat 9:00 – 00:00
Sun 9:00 – 22:00
Served daily from 3pm-5pm, the afternoon tea starts at £22 per person and £32 per person with the addition of a glass of Champagne or cocktail.