American-style Afternoon Tea at Karbon Grill

Who’s ever had an American-style afternoon tea before? Not us! So, when we were invited to Karbon Grill to try their American Sharing Tower we were intrigued to see whether this would be a welcomed alternative or whether we should just stick with the classic. Read on to find out more!

Karbon Grill is the bar and restaurant inside the newly opened Hilton hotel in Sunderland. I knew it was close to the Stadium of Light, but it’s literally by the car park!

The interior is slick and modern with a very minimalist feel which I like, and the bar is filled with comfy seating and is a great place for drinks or business meetings.

For a sophisticated Hilton bar and restaurant, I thought it was a little odd that they’d do novelty food like an American-style afternoon tea, but Karbon Grill‘s menu focuses on signature grill dishes such as ribs, steaks and burgers.


I was impressed, when first seeing the afternoon tea, with how dainty they made burgers and calzones look! They were perfect miniature mouthfuls. However, I know that stylistically the burger looks better placed on the top tier for wow factor, but it would have been nice if they’d followed some of the traditional afternoon tea etiquette and put the trio of desserts on the top tier – then you’d look down and find your sandwiches had been transformed into a burger!

So, let me give you a rundown of each of the items that you get in your American afternoon tea (which is called an American Sharing Tower on the menu!)

It’s £14.50 per person and is for a minimum of 2 people.

Savouries include mini calzones, pork and chorizo sliders, buffalo chicken wings and cheese and pickle bites.



Sweets include key lime pie, Mississippi mud cake and pecan tart.



To drink, you can have tea or coffee, but their offering is a banana and strawberry milkshake!

The sliders and calzones were tasty and fun to eat, and the cheese and pickle bites were very more-ish, but I found the buffalo wings too messy! I know it’s not a traditional afternoon tea, but I still don’t really want to be licking my sticky fingers and trying to wipe my hands on a napkin! I felt like this was the most out of place item on the menu, as everything else was so petite and easy to eat.

The desserts and milkshake were really what stood out for me. Karbon Grill have gone for some delicious and classic American favourites that no one could resist. They all tasted great and were the perfect size for a sweet, indulgent treat. The milkshake was thick, creamy and you could taste the natural strawberry and banana tastes rather than artificial syrups which can so easily be used. I happily sipped on this instead of a hot drink!


Would I call it an afternoon tea? It does have some similarities, but it really is it’s own concoction: an American Sharing Tower. Try it for a fun alternative, who knows, you might prefer it! (For those afternoon tea purists out there though, don’t worry, they still do a classic afternoon tea too! I took a picture of the menu for you to browse below – enjoy!)


5 thoughts on “American-style Afternoon Tea at Karbon Grill

  1. Nora says:

    We are Americans, originally from North Carolina, who happen to consider Newcastle-Gateshead our “summer home”. Frankly, even growing up in our South with all of its food traditions around gentility, the idea of a true afternoon tea isn’t something we do.

    It’s an interesting idea, but I think mostly a novelty.

    • Rosie says:

      Yes, it’s definitely a novelty. Us Brits love afternoon tea and I think it’s a way of hooking in customers to give something new a try – albeit not an authentic American delicacy!

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