Cost – £14.95 (May 2015)
Background – We found the Donnington Valley hotel when we were looking for somewhere to stay on the way to Southampton. The hotel was offering a good deal via the Secret Escapes site, which we use quite often. The hotel is modern and is near the town of Newbury. It has a restaurant and a bar area near their golf course. There is also a lovely swimming pool area.
Contents – 5 finger sandwiches (egg mayonnaise, cucumber, ham, cheese and smoked salmon), a good sized fruit scone and plain scone, a tiny pot of strawberry jam, an individual dish of clotted cream, a chocolate brownie, a fruit tartlet, a Bakewell tart and an iced cupcake. The tea was served in an individual stainless steel teapot.
Comments – We were served in the bar area on a table reserved and laid for us.
The waitress brought out the tea in individual stainless steel teapots. It was brought out some time before the rest of the tea. The afternoon tea itself was served on a plain three tier cake stand with round white plates.
The sandwiches were well filled and served with some rocket. They were on a mix of brown and white bread and were nice and fresh.
The scones was of a good size and the plain scone was tasty. Sadly the fruit scones were rather hard and dry. In fact I was unable to finish mine as it was so dry. We managed to use three small pots of jam between the two of us. There was only one ice cream scoop of clotted cream between us for four scones which was not really enough.
The cakes were a good size and very light and tasty. The chocolate Brownie was particularly good. Including a cupcake was an interesting inclusion that we haven’t seen before though I am not particularly keen on the thick icing that is usually on top.
There was no choice of teas offered. It was made with bags. Each teapot contained enough tea for two cups of tea and was rather strong.
The atmosphere and environment were not ideal as we were seated close to a bar, next to the entrance steps making it rather a busy area to try and eat tea. However, other parts of the bar were much calmer and nicer.
We returned to the Donnington Park Hotel in July 2016 on a package which included an Afternoon Tea. On this occasion we were sat further away from the bar area, which was far more comfortable and much more pleasant. Most of the Afternoon Tea was similar to our first visit but on this occasion the chocolate brownie was replaced with a piece of Rocky Road (always a winner with me!) and the cup cake was replaced with a piece of ginger cake which was tasty and moist. The scones were much fresher and we received more clotted cream than on our previous visit.