Cost – £21.95 (Oct 2015)
Background – The Swan Hotel in the pretty village of Lavenham is a well known venue so it is essential to book ahead if you want to eat there. The hotel was built in the 15th century and it is a beautiful black and white building. Inside there are lots of different areas with beams and other features everywhere. There is also a small garden.
The Swan Hotel offers three different afternoon teas. We opted for the Emperor Swan tea.
Contents – 4 triangular sandwiches on different ‘artisan’ breads (venison and cranberry, smoked salmon, egg and cress, and crab and lemon mayonnaise). 1 small fruit scone, a small apple and walnut scone, a bowl each of strawberry jam and clotted cream. A cube of carrot cake, a Bakewell tartlet, a meringue and cream swan and a small glass of red fruit jelly. The tea was made with tea bags.
Comments – We were seated in the modern Brasserie area with views out onto the garden, as the lounge areas were fully booked.
The tea was brought out in a round stainless steel teapot with little legs. Milk and sugar arrived on a little tray in white pottery.
The sandwiches and scones were presented on a interesting hammered metal two tier cake stand
with the cakes served on a separate white rectangular plate.
The sandwiches were fresh and well filled. However, the ‘artisan’ bread was quite crusty and, whilst very tasty, was quite hard work. We asked for our crab sandwiches to be exchanged for extra egg and cress following our bad experience with crab at the Gonville Hotel. This was not a problem at all and our request was granted.
The scones were both quite small but were well cooked. It was a nice difference to have the apple and walnut scone included.
The strawberry jam was plenty for all of the scones and there was only just enough clotted cream.
The cakes were very tasty with crisp pastry on the tart and moist sponge for the cake. It was nice to see the meringue swan, given where we were eating! It was very imaginative.
The mini jelly was well flavoured and was particularly delicious.
The tea was a good strength and was hot. There was enough for two good cups each and we were offered refills. There was a choice of teas available.