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ESP's food writer Kelly Jackson just loves an afternoon tea, but this time she's tried one with an Italian flavour...

Think afternoon tea and what springs to mind? Small square sandwiches filled with cheese and cucumber or egg mayo, to name a few, slices of cake and scones with cream and jam – am I right?

At the Bean Around coffee shop in Peterborough, you get all this albeit with an Italian twist – and it’s a rather splendid take on the traditional British afternoon tea!

We delighted in a selection of Italian savouries, sweets and pastries all tantalisingly displayed over three tiers, combined with the usual scone, jam and cream. This was enjoyed with a large mug of tea; coffee lovers can opt to wash down their food with a creamy sweet coffee instead.

It was a welcome surprise to try some Italian favourites rather than sandwiches. My top choice of the savoury items was the arancini, stuffed balls coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried, oozing with mozzarella. Dough parcels filled with ragu were also on the menu – and what an addition they were!

This was followed by scones and finally, a wide selection of various Italian cakes and sweets, with chocolate and lemon among the flavours.

You usually leave an afternoon tea feeling stuffed to the brim and vowing never to eat anything but salad ever again – or is that just me? I didn’t feel this way after our food at the Bean Around. There was enough to go round and fill our bellies, but our plates weren’t overloaded. A good and rather tasty experience all round.

Afternoon tea for two at BE.AR. The Bean Around café on Cathedral Square in Peterborough is from £25. You can upgrade your tea or coffee to a glass of prosecco for an additional charge.

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