TAKE a picturesque venue, add a touch of old-fashioned elegance, and a smattering of classy food.
Put it all together and you have afternoon tea at the Hardwicke Hall Manor Hotel near Blackhall.
How can I best describe the experience? It was an absolute joy. Think of a time gone by when fine dining was done in beautiful surroundings and with a pianist playing soothing melodies in the background.
That’s what this is. Live music combined with dainty treats on a three-tier stand, each delicious.
Afternoon tea at the Hardwicke Hall Manor Hotel has become a hugely popular way to dine. The hotel and restaurant has just passed the fantastic milestone of having served 5,000 of them since January.
On the day we went, dozens more people were trying it out. If they’re of the same opinion as me, they left happy.
The graceful occasion starts with the offer of a glass of chilled glass of pink fizz. Then came the lovely cake stand with three tiers of food.
First came a selection of sandwiches - beef, chicken, egg and cheese - on white and wholemeal breads. Each superb.
Next, came a mouth-watering lemon slice which was heaven. On the same tier were fresh scones with strawberry conserve and chantilly cream. It was lip-smackingly good.
The top layer was mini chocolate eclairs, meringues topped with fresh fruit and a quite lovely, fresh sundae with blueberries and strawberries.
I was full to bursting by the finish and loved it.
And astonishingly, it cost a mere £19 for two people.