Cost – £15.50 (July 2017)
Background – Strattons Hotel has long been on my Afternoon Tea ‘to do’ list. However, we had not been able to find it on previous visits to the pretty little market town. Luckily we finally managed to spot the entrance when we were in the area, had a quick peek and liked what we saw. Then it was merely a case of waiting for a good time to visit.
The hotel is actually right in the centre of Swaffham down a little side road between two shops just near the central market square. Once you start to go down the road the hotel is visible straight
ahead. At the front of the hotel there is a nice area with grass on which there is a large metal sculpture of a stag.
There is also a small café and deli in a separate building to the right, and an area for sitting outside with parasols.
Inside the hotel, the reception is found off to the right with the lounge (where Afternoon Teas were being served) being located beyond that. The lounge was nicely decorated in a mix of very old, in keeping with the age of the hotel, and modern. The chairs, which were
purple and green, were very comfortable. We had a view out over the small rear garden which also looked very attractive with lovely red Acers.
Contents – Four finger sandwiches each (smoked salmon with cream cheese, cheese and pickle, plus two of ham) served with a sprinkling of mustard and cress. One smallish plain scone, one smallish fruit scone, a pot of strawberry jam and a pot of whipped cream. A small piece of chocolate brownie decorated with a raspberry and little flowers on the top, a small piece of raspberry and pistachio opera cake decorated with a piece of pink chocolate, and a lemon cake pop covered in blue chocolate and decorated with a tiny flip-flop! The tea was made with teabags.
Comments – This Afternoon Tea needs to be booked ahead so there was a table laid ready and reserved for us in the lounge of the hotel. However, we were offered the choice of two different tables and chose another table which was by a window overlooking the pretty little garden. There was an enormous, very fluffy cat in residence in the lounge, fast asleep on one of the lovely chairs!
The tea arrived first in a round stainless-steel teapot along with a jug of milk. It was followed after a short wait by the Tea on a pretty three-tier metal cake stand with pretty glass plates.
The sandwiches were averagely well filled and tasty but were a little small. They were all on malted brown bread.
The scones were very good. They were nice and fresh and very well made. Just how a good scone should be. There was just enough homemade strawberry jam but there was nowhere near enough cream. Added to that, it was whipped cream, not clotted. We asked for some more and were given a second, smaller pot.
The cake selection was delicious. The chocolate brownie was very rich and was covered in a layer of chocolate as well as two little flower decorations and a raspberry. The raspberry and pistachio opera cake was different, very tasty and not too soft and squidgy (as opera cake can sometimes be). Finally the little cake pop was a fun addition and tasted nicely of lemon. Our only problem was that we wanted more!!
The tea was of a perfect strength for us. When we asked a refill we were offered a new pot, which we accepted. There was a choice of teas available but we had our usual English Breakfast tea.
The service was good and friendly with two young ladies checking we were happy on several occasions.