Cost – £9.95 (Oct 2015)
Background – The River Tea Rooms in St Ives is unsurprisingly next to the River in the pretty, historical town of St Ives in Cambridgeshire. It is situated right next to a lovely ancient stone bridge which is closed to vehicles but can be crossed by foot.
The tea rooms have a narrow outside sitting area which is alongside the river. It is a very pleasant place to sit in warm weather and is where we chose to sit on our visit. However, we found there to be a bit of a seagull problem with one actually making a large deposit on our table!! Luckily before the tea was served. We had to have clean crockery and cutlery provided though as it managed to cover a large area!! It made us a little anxious about the three stands containing our tea and we ended up fashioning a cover for each stand from napkins!! I don’t know if we were just unlucky – I didn’t see anyone else have a problem, but it is something to bear in mind when choosing where to eat at this tea room. Despite the ‘problem’ we had, I would probably still choose to sit outside if possible as it was very pleasant sitting by the river.
On this occasion there were four of us eating together.
Contents – 4 triangle sandwiches (All one variety, choose from ham, egg mayonnaise and cheese and pickle or tuna). 1 large fruit scone, a small individual jar of jam (choose from a selection of flavours), a small individual pot of clotted cream, and a large slice of your choice of cake, tea made with tea bags.
Comments – We had our tea in the outside area overlooking the river. It was very pleasant but we had a small problem with seagulls flying overhead and ended up putting serviettes over the cake stands in case!
We were first brought out a large white china teapot between us plus a selection of assorted ‘vintage’ china cups and saucers plus plates. The sandwiches for all four of us then came out on a two tier china cake stand with the scones, jam and cream on a second stand and the large slices of cake on a third stand. As seems to be the trend, none of the china matched but all was pretty.
When we ordered the tea we were asked for our choice of sandwich filling. There was a choice of four fillings. When they arrived the sandwiches were obviously freshly made and were very well filled. However, the egg in the egg mayonnaise was not well chopped and the pieces of egg white were very big.
The scones were huge! They felt a little dry when they were picked up but were actually very tasty. The portions of jam and clotted cream were adequate. There was a mini pot of jam and a mini tub of Rhoddas clotted cream each. It was nice to be offered a choice of jam flavours. I was able to choose my favourite blackcurrant jam instead of the usual strawberry.
As with the sandwiches, we were asked for our choice of cake when we ordered our afternoon tea. There was a good choice of interesting cakes. When they arrived the slices of cake were large. They were each resting on top of a cake slice so they could be easily moved from the cake stand when needed. The cakes were all fresh and extremely tasty.
The tea was of good strength but cooled quickly as we were outside in October. A refill was offered. The tea was made with tea bags.,