Cost – £17.50 (Aug 2014)
Background – The Old Fire Engine House is our restaurant of choice for all celebrations etc. that happen in our family. We are frequent visitors for their cream tea, which includes a slice of cake as well as scones, but we had never tried their afternoon tea which must be booked in advance.
The restaurant is, as its name suggests, set in an old fire station. It is a small place with two rooms, one of which is accessed through the kitchens. The floor is uneven and the tables are rickety. It is a great place for a meal. The food on the main menus is well executed British food. Seconds are frequently offered despite the generous portions offered in the first place.
There is also a lovely garden available for when the weather is good, set with rickety old garden furniture.
Contents – 4 finger sandwiches (egg mayonnaise, ham with piccalilli, smoked trout, cucumber marinated in white wine). 2 small plain scones, a dish of apricot jam, a dish of raspberry and red currant jam and a sherry glass of clotted cream. A tiny strawberry and cream puff, a tiny meringues with cream, a small piece of gluten free chocolate cake, and a piece of blueberry cheesecake. The tea was loose leaf of your choice served in a silver teapot.
Comments – We were shown to a pretty corner of the garden outside the kitchen. A very pleasant location. The table was already laid with two pretty lace clothes, with embroidered linen napkins, some pretty china and flowers from the garden.
The waitress first brought out the teapot, a pot of hot water, milk jug and sugar bowl with tongs all of which were silver! It was the perfect strength. The teapot contained enough tea for more than three cups of tea.
The sandwiches were then brought out on a plate with a small amount of salad. The sandwiches were well filled. Some of the fillings were a little unusual. I was not particularly keen on the marinated cucumber. My favourite was the egg mayonnaise as usual!
Next we were served with the scones in a basket, with the jam and cream. The scones were very small but very nice. They were fresh and light. The homemade jam was just delicious, especially the raspberry and redcurrant jam.
There was plenty of jam but only just enough clotted cream.
Finally we were brought the cakes on a two tier spindle cake stand (one tier each!) The cakes were also very small but were light and tasty. They were accompanied by a few strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. I felt that the cakes could have been a little more generously sized to be perfect.
There was a choice of several teas, which was loose leaf. The tea was of the right strength, there was plenty of water and milk. We also had the teapot re-filled as the water had gone cold. Service was attentive but not overly so!