Lazy, long winter afternoons
Putting the festive season aside, I have always had this vision of the Autumn/Winter season being this wonderful time of year, where you can get wrapped up and have long, lovely walks in the cold; embracing the chill and spending time kicking up the leaves. In reality; it rains a lot and when the wind is howling it's not so much 'kicking up the leaves' as 'hiding under the duvet'. For one of the very few days where it was a lovely crisp winter day, instead of taking the usual trip in to town we took a trip south of the river (shock horror) to Seaham Hall for Afternoon Tea.
I don't know why I've always thought of Seaham Hall as miles away; it's not, although it's far enough that I would consider staying for the night just to experience it and still feel as though I've 'been away'. For this day though, I was after one thing - cake. There has been so much hype of the Seaham Hall Afternoon Tea, being in the same bracket as Wynyard Hall and Jesmond Dene House. Obviously I had to try it. The Afternoon Tea I selected was the Duchess of Bedford Afternoon Tea, which was just as grand as it sounded. The service was impeccable and very attentive. After being greeted at the door by the concierge and shown through to the lounge, we were then sat at our chosen table. Once settled and taking a good look around, I had serious décor envy. The whole place has a very stylish vibe, mixing traditional country house with modern colours and shapes.
Tea is served from the very impressive Jing Tea menu, which was that good we immediately looked online to buy some for home. I opted for the peppermint tea, rather than a traditional black tea which was refreshing and packed full of flavour. The tea is also regularly topped up, and more was offered throughout the afternoon. I don't know why some venues have made it a 'thing' now of only giving one pot of tea with an Afternoon Tea to encourage more beverage sales, but you try making it through three tiers of bread and cake without needing more than a couple of teacups of tea. Creating an Afternoon Tea menu with unlimited tea is a winner in my book. Apologies now for the amount of times I have repeated tea on my rant there.
The Afternoon Tea was delicious; flavour packed sandwiches, light and airy scones and dainty cakes. Same as the tea, the jams and cream were replaced when running low. I don't know about you but I overload a scone - controversially cream then jam. It's the only way. I can't remember the last time an Afternoon Tea defeated us and we threw the towel in, but this one was left unfinished it was so filling. Again, service to the rescue here and in a flash, the lonely cakes were boxed up ready for us to take home.
This Afternoon Tea was perfect for a quiet weekday getaway for us, but I can imagine it's a great place to take the girls on a weekend for a catch up, preferably with a glass of champagne. For more information on the afternoon tea at Seaham Hall - you can visit the website here, or follow them on Twitter for the latest news.