Cost – £13.50 (Apr 2017)
Background – I was given a voucher to have Afternoon Tea at The Grove Hotel in Cromer by my younger son for my birthday. We decided to use it only two weeks later on a beautiful sunny April day. It was a very good birthday present!
The Grove Hotel is on the outskirts of Cromer on the North Norfolk coast. It is an old manor house that has been converted to a hotel.
The outbuildings have been converted for self catering use. There is also a ‘glamping’ area with yurts to hire, and an indoor swimming pool.
There are some lovely gardens to walk in including access to the cliffs and beach through a wooded area to the rear of the hotel.
There is a choice of places in which to eat Afternoon Tea. These were the lounge area, the bar area, one of the restaurants or outside. We chose to eat in the small bar area with large comfy leather chairs.
Contents – Six sandwiches each (two each of ham (square), smoked salmon (triangle) and egg mayonnaise (finger). One small medium sized fruit scone and a small hot cross bun each, a very small amount of strawberry jam and a small amount of clotted cream. A choux ring with almond slices on top, a thin piece of fruit cake, a small chocolate tart topped with raspberries, a mini Victoria sponge and a small meringue with white chocolate and a mini Easter egg on top. The tea was made with loose leaf tea.
Comments – We were offered a table in a choice of three areas. We chose to sit in the small bar area in a sort of conservatory. We could see outside to the gardens and because of a glass roof there was lots of light.
The tea arrived quickly in a white traditional design round china teapot. The Afternoon Tea arrived straight after, served on a three-tier cake stand with round white plates with the scones, buns jam and cream on a separate round plate.
The sandwiches were fresh and well filled and were served with a sprinkling of mustard and cress. There was a mix of brown and white breads with the egg fingers having brown one side and white the other!
The scones were rather small given there was only one but I suspect there might usually be two. We also had a hot cross bun each on the scone plate which we thought might have replaced a second scone due to it being the Easter holidays. The bun was tasty but was pre-buttered only on one side (I like to open it up and eat each half separately). There was the smallest amount of strawberry jam we have ever been served and a tiny blob of clotted cream. Not even enough to do one small scone let alone one each! We asked for more and were given far bigger portions of each so we wondered if it had been a mistake to have been given so little the first time.
The cakes were mostly of a good size apart from the piece of fruit cake which must have been cut with a laser it was so thin!! They were all fresh and very tasty. I enjoyed all of them but my favourite was probably the Victoria sponge (which we topped up with cream in the middle from the extra we had been given!! Delicious!). The chocolate tartlet was also really good and was made with chocolate pastry as well.
The tea was initially very weak but soon became very strong!! The pot was too small to do two tea cups each so we had a refill as well.
Service was very quick and helpful. Our only minor niggle was that people kept sitting beside us to wait for friends using the toilets – a little weird!