The White Hart Hotel, Lincoln
Sarah Eddy and guest visited The White Hart Hotel, Lincoln to experience a Pimm’s Afternoon Tea.
We were seated in the lounge area of The White Hart Hotel, Bailgate and we soon started to chat with another couple of afternoon tea takers, at the table next to ours. Uphill Lincoln does have a special quality whatever the weather or season. The White Hart has a unique history of its own as a former coaching inn and complements this heritage with a luxury and style right in tune with expectations in the twenty-first century. The couple shared the story of their day trip to Lincoln with us, which they make fairly frequently by train. It really made me realise not only how perfectly located The White Hart Hotel is but also why our county capital is such a magnet for visitors. What better way to round off their visit and our sociable rendezvous than a traditional afternoon tea?
The White Hart has a special menu devoted to this very English treat. We began with a welcome and large glass of cooled Pimm’s No 1, garnished with a mini fruit salad of strawberry, cucumber, orange and a sprig of mint. You could pay a supplement and have a glass of champagne for an extra special indulgence. There was a tempting choice of seven sandwich fillings on either brown or white bread (servers are able to help with special dietary requirements). Choices included ham and English mustard; free range egg and watercress; tuna, sweetcorn and mayonnaise; or prawn and Marie Rose sauce or smoked salmon, crème fraiche and cucumber (the last two of which carry a £1 supplement). I chose local roast beef and horseradish while my guest chose Lincolnshire Poacher cheese and tomato.
The White Hart Hotel is a member of Select Lincolnshire and prides itself on a food offer which is both homemade and locally sourced. The sandwiches arrived crust-free and garnished with watercress, served on a three-tiered afternoon tea stand. With scones and a dazzling selection of cakes added, the presentation certainly had impact. What a lot of food! We were ready for the challenge and had a pot of delicious Breakfast Tea to sip while we ate.
Our sandwiches were tasty and very fresh. My companion particularly enjoyed the tangy Poacher on brown bread. The scones were served warm – my absolute favourite – and were light, delicate and wonderful with strawberry jam and Rodda’s clotted cream. The room had really started to fill around us now, with plenty of people coming in for late afternoon drinks, families with children and more tea takers; a lovely atmosphere to be part of. The cakes on our stand were the showstoppers; a superb homemade éclair with a dark chocolate topping and filled with salted caramel cream; sticky chocolate brownie served with cream; freshly made raspberry macaron and lastly a delicate cream and berry filled tartlet. My goodness, this was more than we could finish but our server kindly offered to give us a box of what we could not finish to take home.
We certainly felt as though we had enjoyed a particularly relaxing and special treat and at £14.95 a head we were impressed at the value of the experience. The couple next to us were going to walk off some of their tea with a leisurely stroll back to the station. I could not help thinking, much better to be going down rather than up Steep Hill after such a spread.