Take an Afternoon Tea Tour
A traditional Afternoon Tea is still a treat which brings a smile to everyone’s face. The summer months are the ideal time to explore further from your doorstep and discover some of the hidden gems of tea rooms and tea houses which are located across the county. The cakes and savoury goodies served are often home-made on the premises, using the finest Lincolnshire produce. Here we have a choice of some of the best in the county and don’t forget, nominations are open for the Lincolnshire Life ‘Taste of Excellence’ Food, Drink and Hospitality Awards 2022. If you visit one of these tea rooms and would like to put them forward for our Best Tea or Coffee Shop of the Year you can vote via our social media or online at: www.lincolnshirelife.co.uk
WOODHALL’S HIDDEN GEM
The Dower House Hotel, in the heart of Woodhall Spa, is a hidden gem. Nestled in the trees opposite the Bracken Course of the Woodhall Spa Golf Course, the hotel is a private and tranquil setting for any occasion.
Currently undergoing refurbishment, the hotel is getting a make-over. The function suite was first on the list; now an elegant space with cool grey tones and neutral fabrics. The public areas are nearly complete, retaining the country house hotel charm but with a more modern flair.
You can enjoy Afternoon Tea in the beautiful, tranquil gardens; in the elegant Garden Room Restaurant or its Terrace, or in the delightful Harry’s Bar. Enjoy the chef’s delicious Gin & Tonic Key Lime Tart, a piece of Classic Dower Shortbread and a flavourful Strawberry Panna Cotta, among other delectable items. A wonderful dining experience awaits, with attentive service in an intimate setting with stunning garden views.
More details can be found on their website www.dowerhousehotel.co.uk, or you can call 01526 352588 or email email@example.com
TIME TO RELAX AT HEMSWELL ANTIQUES
Hemswell Antique Centres is the ideal venue for a wonderful day out! Once part of RAF Hemswell – the home of the Lancaster Bomber during the Second World War – the Centres are regularly featured on television and now offer a wonderful mix of items from bygone times.
Explore the maze of rooms in each of the four buildings, which feature an unrivalled choice of beautifully presented high-quality items keeping you enthralled for hours.
Take time to relax with freshly prepared food, homemade cakes and a Stokes Coffee at one of the two Coffee Shops in The Guardroom or Building 1. Dine al fresco during the summer and enjoy a glass of prosecco outside on the terrace. Why not book an Afternoon Tea to complete your antiquing adventure? Speak to the Coffee Shop today on 01427 666017 who will happily discuss any dietary requirements. The website is updated daily with fresh pieces and contains over 6,000 antique items for sale. Purchase online and have items delivered directly to your door.
Open 7 days a week, 10am until 5pm. Apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Call 01427 666019 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the website at www.hemswell-antiques.com
ENJOYING EDIBLE TREASURES IN A SECRET GARDEN
Sarah Eddy discovers the delights of traditional Afternoon Tea at the award-winning Garden Tea Room in North Hykeham.
If you’re looking for somewhere to switch off and relish the delights of a quintessentially English country garden while feasting on a home-made selection of sweet and savoury treats, a visit to The Garden Tea Room feels like a step back in time with the chance to enjoy simple pleasures.
Owned and run by Jade Hawkins since 2017, this friendly award-winning licensed café has earned a well deserved reputation as the perfect place to meet for outstanding afternoon teas, cakes, pastries and light lunch bites, as well as a choice of breakfast favourites with vegan and vegetarian options.
Winner of the Taste of Excellence Best Sweet Treat award in 2020, Jade was also awarded top honours for Best Cakes or Bakes last year, as well as being one of the three finalists in Best Tea of Coffee Shop and earning a Gold Citation for Best Sweet Treat. So it’s no surprise that her reputation has spread quickly throughout the local community and beyond.
We visited on a sunny midweek afternoon and sat outside in the delightful garden area, which features vintage tables and chairs nestled among pretty cottage garden borders and pots of tumbling flora in pastel shades against a backdrop of humming happy bees.
This unique garden party atmosphere all combines to offer an idyllic oasis of peace just outside of Lincoln.
The tempting specials menu, changed monthly, offered a selection of light lunches, including Mexican chicken tortilla bowl (£10.95), cheese chilli dog (£9.50) and 1/2 lb cheeseburger served with cheesy nachos (£10.95).
There is an impressive selection of salads too, all served on a bed of fresh mixed salad leaves, with tomatoes, cucumber, peppers and a choice of toppings, including goat’s cheese, red onion and walnuts which we opted for.
Served with a well balanced balsamic dressing, this beautifully presented dish was full of flavour and tasted like it was packed with sunshine and vitamins galore!
The summer drinks menu includes Pimm’s served over ice with strawberries, passion fruit, cucumber and mint leaves topped with lemonade (£7.50 per glass or £15.95 per jug), as well as a selection of fabulously flavoured iced teas featuring peach, pink guava and lime, cucumber and mint and passion fruit and lemon (£3.95) and refreshing iced lattes (from £3.50).
We chose the Traditional Afternoon Tea, accompanied by a choice of loose leaf teas from the Lincolnshire Tea and Coffee Company, served in delicate china pots and cups. Customers also have a choice of upgrading and adding a bottle of prosecco if they wish – ideal for those special occasions!
A beautifully presented three tiers of deliciousness arrived with a smile and a flourish, generously packed with an elegant selection of sweet and savoury delights to share.
Starting on the bottom savoury tier, we began with mini sausage rolls and then onto a selection of neatly cut sandwiches featuring classic fillings such as coronation chicken, cream cheese and cucumber, tuna crunch (with peppers and red onion), ham and mustard mayonnaise, cheese and pickle, and egg and cress.
Next it was on to the middle layer with a selection of home-made cakes, including chocolate Caramac sponge, coffee and walnut cake, lemon meringue blondie, chocolate ganache pots and our absolute all-time favourite, the cookie cream rocky road slice made with Oreo biscuits, golden syrup, mini marshmallows and rice crispies – pure indulgence!
We sensibly took a break between courses and enjoyed two refreshing iced teas; passion fruit and lemon and peach, pink guava and lime – both decorated with colourful edible flowers and slices of lemon.
fresh seasonal berries on the side to pick at too! Such a treat, what more could you want? And if you can’t finish everything, the friendly and efficient staff are on hand at the end of your meal to package up any leftovers to take home and enjoy later!
community, Jade also goes to great lengths to give back to neighbouring groups, holding events, donating to local charities and offering a place of solace where everyone is welcome.
This summer, Jade has organised a number of special events with something for everyone, including a Create Your Own Fresh Flower Crown with Afternoon Tea, as well as a Gin and Tonic Afternoon tea with acoustic music from Jamie Nowell on 16th July (tickets £19.95, to include afternoon tea, plus one gin and tonic per person).
Keep a look out for updates on upcoming events on their Facebook page.
If you want to celebrate summer in style, a visit to The Garden Tea Room is a must – but make sure you come hungry!
The Garden Tea Room is open Monday to Saturday 9am-4pm. The Garden Tea Room, 141 Moor Lane, Lincoln LN6 9AA, Tel: 07538 862963, www.gardentearoom.co.uk
CAFÉ AU CHOCOLAT’S FRENCH STYLE AFTERNOON TEA
For those seeking something a little bit different from the traditional afternoon tea, Café au Chocolat in the heart of Stamford offers an authentic French twist with a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’.
Enjoy a taste of France with a choice of savoury-filled croissants (salmon and crème fraîche, brie and cranberry, ham and cheese, cheese and tomato) and delicious Continental-style pâtisserie, cheesecakes, mousses and tarts; as well as locally produced brownie bites, plus luxury chocolates from French chocolatier Valrhona, which can all be enjoyed with a pot of English Breakfast Tea, or ever popular bottle of prosecco. Of course, if you prefer the traditional, fruit scones with jam and clotted cream are always available!
This chic and cosy family run café/crêperie offers a selection of classic French crêpes, eye-catching pâtisserie, fine artisan chocolates, together with speciality single origin coffees and organic hot chocolates.
The experienced skilled staff pride themselves on the original Breton art of traditional crêpe making and use gluten free buckwheat flour to create mouth-watering sweet and savoury crêpes/galettes as customers look on. This is a café with a difference, there is something for everyone at Café au Chocolat.
For more information visit www.cafeauchocolat.co.uk
THE BEST OF BRITISH INDULGENCE
‘There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as Afternoon Tea’ – Henry James, American British author.
Why not take that hour and visit Hardy’s to enjoy their locally renowned Afternoon Tea.
“True to tradition, we serve finger sandwiches with a delicious choice of fillings, homemade large fluffy scones and sweet treats (GF and savoury options also available) all served on vintage china (only £25 for 2 people).
“Our Afternoon Tea is available to eat indoors, outdoors, to takeaway or alternatively it makes the perfect gift. All available to book online. Please note: 24 hours’ notice is required.
“We are also delighted to announce the recent addition of our newly refurbished café garden, which now includes a play area and our four alpacas. Please note dogs are welcome in our café, but must be kept on leads at all times.”
EAT, DRINK AND RELAX AT THE MARCH HARE!
Situated in the picturesque village of Corby Glen, the March Hare Tea Room and Mad Hatter’s B&B, which serves freshly made food, home baked cakes and delicious drinks throughout the day, has long been popular with locals and visitors alike.
Owned and run by Amy Roberts, here you can indulge yourself and enjoy traditional breakfast favourites and a delightful selection of light bites and lunch dishes, along with homemade bakes, including classics such as Victoria sponge, coffee and chocolate, as well as brownies, mint tiffin, croissants and cookies – with vegetarian, gluten free and vegan friendly options.
The Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea includes a classic selection of sandwiches made using Hambleton Bakery artisan bread with an array of favourite fillings, followed by cakes and bakes, plus homemade fruit scones served with strawberry jam and clotted cream.
In 2021, the March Hare also opened a three bedroom apartment available though Airbnb and was awarded the prestigious Customer Care award from the Stamford Mercury.
Open seven day a week, customers can relax inside or in the attractive “secret garden” area, with takeaways and local deliveries also available.
For more information visit www.marchharecorbyglen.co.uk