Cost – £19.95 for two (June 2018)
Parking and Access – There is a car park next to the pub. There are toilets available inside the building on the ground floor.
Background – I only discovered this Afternoon Tea venue very recently when looking on the internet. It looked like the perfect place to try out on a sunny June afternoon, down by the river in Littleport, near Ely.
I have to admit, I don’t think I have ever been to Littleport before! It is a large village to the north of Ely on the River Great Ouse. The Swan on the River is a pub and restaurant with rooms, which overlooks the river.
It is situated between a railway crossing and the river and is next to a bridge.
There are also moorings for boats. There is an outside seating area next to the river.
Contents – Four triangular sandwiches each (choose two from the list on the menu. We chose egg mayonnaise and tuna mayonnaise). One medium pre-cut fruit scone, ready jammed and creamed. A cup cake, a green macaroon, a profiterole, a small slice of Battenberg cake and a finger of chocolate brownie. A large pot of tea.
Options Available – The only option available was to add a ‘mini’ Prosecco.
Comments – I rang to book our Afternoon Tea the day before we wanted it. I was told that more notice is usually required, however, as there was only two of us it would be ok for the next day.
When we arrived, we were shown to a reserved table set ready for us in a room overlooking the river. It was a very warm day but the room was lovely and cool with air conditioning running. The table was laid with a linen tablecloth topped with a flowery runner across the middle, and a small vase with flowers in.
First of all, we were asked to choose between English breakfast tea, Earl Grey tea or coffee. And to choose two types of sandwich from the five types on the menu. We chose English breakfast tea plus egg mayonnaise and tuna mayonnaise. We were also asked whether we wanted white or brown bread. We asked for one of each.
The tea arrived quickly in a large chunky white china teapot, along with a mini milk bottle of milk. It was made with loose leaves and were provided with a tea strainer. The tea was only slightly on the strong side, so we asked for it to be topped up with hot water after we had drank a cup each.
The rest of the Afternoon Tea arrived soon after on a three-layer spindle type cake stand with mismatched vintage plates.
The sandwiches were freshly made and were very well filled. There was also some lettuce around the sandwiches. Our only negative comment would be that the egg had only been roughly chopped so the pieces were quite large. This did not bother me but my husband is not so keen on it like this. The brown bread was particularly tasty.
Next, we came to the fruit scone which had been pre-cut and filled with jam and cream. This is something I do not like as I like to eat my scone one half at a time, with jam and cream on both halves. However, the scones were tasty and were a reasonable size. They had been made with mixed dried fruit, so contained a small amount of peel as well. Once we had pulled them apart and rearranged the jam and cream, there was not really enough for the two halves. The cream did not appear to be clotted cream.
Finally, the cakes all appeared to be homemade and fresh. There were also pieces of strawberry amongst the cakes. The little macaroon was slightly sticky and was very good. The cupcake, little Battenberg and profiterole were all good, but the finger of brownie was really delicious. I could have eaten a lot more of that!
Service was friendly and attentive. We were given a refill of the teapot when requested and were asked if all was ok on several occasions.