What better way to spend an afternoon than popping along to a beautiful English Country House Hotel for a spot of afternoon tea?
|Can you resist the power of the cake?|
Don’t say ‘shopping’, come on, we both know that you’d not be able to resist the power of the cake, tea and abundant green, lush garden.
Really, what a treat. I was kindly invited along to Ox Pasture Hall* near Scarborough with some other bloggers for our very own afternoon tea party.
|Ox Pasture Hall Hotel – frontage|
Ox Pasture Hall is, for me, a quintessential luxury country house hotel. Very beautiful surroundings, thoughtful decor, attentive service…all of those things you wish for on a mini break. I was so pleased when there were no faux airs and graces to this place, no stuffiness, no snootiness – everything just seemed right, and having met the manager, I think it’s safe to say it’s down to her appreciation for the details and love for what she does.
Anyway, here’s me rambling on, keeping you from the part you’re excited to read about. Yes my love, afternoon tea. I’d hoped for a crisp, white tablecloth, with delicate china cake stands atop, the clinking of cup against saucer, and the aroma of freshly baked scones…
|Strawberry cheesecake – afternoon tea style|
I wasn’t disappointed. Everything was just so. In fact, more than so. More often than not, us gluten-free types sit and watch on at afternoon tea, picking at a salad then being overjoyed at the appearance of a slightly soggy polenta cake. It’s not usually that great.
But Ox Pasture Hall, oh those little beauties, cater for those of us without-wheat.
Delicate finger sandwiches? Oh yes. With fluffy gluten-free bread. Filled with the obligatory cucumber and cream cheese (remind me again, why I don’t eat that every week?), cheese and tomato and roast beef. From the ‘yum’ sounds being heard around me, I think it’s very safe to suggest the ‘normal’ versions of these were excellent too.
But let’s face it, you don’t really care about the sandwiches, do you. You want the sweet stuff. Anyone who’s having afternoon tea is really all about the cakes.
My fellow bloggers were faced with an abundant selection of sugary goodness in the shape of chocolate brownies with pistachio, strawberry cheesecake, shortbread, lemon meringue… plus freshly baked scones, with jam and cream. They looked good. Actually, scratch that…they looked great. Amazing. I was ready to say ‘who cares’ and stuff a brownie in my mouth, but I didn’t. No, I wasn’t just afraid I would have been in for a fight. I actually had stuff that looked (ahem) even better.
Let’s take a run down of the treats: berry creme brûlée, mango rice, a mini pavlova and the dinkiest raspberry milkshake I ever did see.
Of course I said ‘oh, I’ll never finish all of this’. Of course, I did. It was so delicious, it would have been terribly rude not to. Every mouthful was gratefully received (and greedily, if I’m honest).
Total ten out of ten for Gluten Free Afternoon Tea. Ithankyou.
|Cakey Collage (why not)|
Spurred on by sugar, we were taken on a whistle stop tour of the hotel and grounds. I’m gonna say this now, I am going back, as soon as I can, for a night’s stay. It’s airy, bright and clean-feeling. All the rooms and suites have their own unique touches and style, with wonderful views over the Yorkshire countryside. There’s no lack of personality here, which is what I liked the most.
|Oh, here’s the countryside views you ordered m’am…|
Everything in the newer part of the hotel was picked by the management team themselves, most decorative extras even came from the high street, so it gave it a real feel of a ‘proper’ bedroom, rather than a dull corporate-coloured hotel room.
There’s a pretty great grand suite which was set up for a family of 6 when we walked round, but still managed to feel massive.
So after wistful thinking about spending a weekend here soon, we popped back outside again for a couple of photos and then were on our way. Smiling and high on sugar.
You can phone 01723 365 295 to book or visit the Ox Pasture Country House Hotel website.
See you there soon?
Below is a list of fellow bloggers who tea-partied down…why not check out their posts too?
What’s your favourite thing to have for afternoon tea? Do you know of the most amazing place to go for it? Share in the comments!