Cost – £14.95 (April 2018)
Parking and Access – There is a private car park next to the hotel with direct access into the side entrance of the hotel (pictured below). This door leads directly to the restaurant but is not in use in the evening. The main entrance to the hotel is accessed by an old revolving door with not a lot of space in each section. There is also a large multi-story car park nearby. We were served in the restaurant which was accessed from the bar area if you enter via reception. Toilets were available nearby.
Background – We were looking for a new Afternoon Tea to try that wasn’t too far away from home. We decided to try the Peterborough area, an area we haven’t really explored Tea-wise yet (although there is a great looking one coming up very soon that had been booked for some time). Several different options came up and have joined the ever increasing list of places to go to. However, we chose the Great Northern Hotel as our first as we knew where it was and knew that we could park nearby. Also, it is very near the shopping centre in Peterborough if you need retail therapy as well!!
The hotel is the original railway hotel in Peterborough and is built right opposite the entrance to the train station. It is an old building with a newer block added somewhere around the sixties or seventies.
Inside appeared well decorated and looked after, and was bright and clean.
Contents – Four finger sandwiches each (smoked salmon with cucumber, ham with mustard, egg mayonnaise and cheese and pickle). Two small/medium sized scones, one plain and one fruit, a mini Tiptree jar of strawberry jam and a dish of clotted cream with a halved strawberry on top. A pink macaroon filled with chocolate each, a small triangle of cherry slice, a piece of sticky toffee cake topped with a blob of lemony cream, a miniscule lemon tartlette and a mini strawberry panna cotta in a shot glass.
Options Available – Traditional, gluten-free and gentleman’s Teas are available. We had the traditional Tea.
Comments – We were shown into a nicely decorated and bright restaurant with old photos of the hotel around the walls.
A table was reserved and laid ready for us.
We were asked what we would like to drink and, as usual, we asked for standard tea. We were also offered a jug of iced water.
The tea arrived in a chunky white coffee pot style teapot along with a jug of milk. It was very strong. We used the first pot (three cups) and asked for the pot to be refilled. Again, it was too strong so we poured out one cupful and asked for the pot to be topped with more water. The tea was made with teabags.
When we had been asked what we wanted to drink, we also asked for sandwiches with no mustard. The waitress returned saying they did not use mustard in the sandwiches. However, we later found there to be mustard in the ham sandwiches!!
The rest of the Afternoon Tea arrived soon after the tea on a three-tier metal stand with round blue and white plates.
The sandwiches were reasonably fresh, although my cheese and pickle sandwich was beginning to get quite dry. They were adequately filled and were tasty. The sandwiches were on a mix of brown and white bread. The pickle provided with the cheese was a Branston type pickle.
The scones were good and tasted fresh. There was nowhere near enough jam in the tiny jars for two scones each. However, there was plenty of clotted cream for the two of us.
Once again, the macaroons were homemade. They were a little flat but were slightly sticky and the filling was delicious. The cherry slice was good, especially the base, which tasted slightly coconutty. In fact, the sweet section was all very nice. I would have liked rather more of the lemon tart, which was particularly tiny but was absolutely delicious. Very lemony. The mini dessert was also good but the spoons didn’t reach the bottom of the shot glasses! We had to use the wrong end of the spoons to get the last bits of panna cotta from the glass!
Service was a bit variable.