Cost – £11.95 (Sept 2018)
Parking and Access – There is plenty of car parking available in the public car parks a short walk away from The Exchange. There are toilets available in the venue with flat access. However, there are steps up into the building from the street.
Background – We had never visited March before so we thought we would see if we could find an Afternoon Tea to try in the town. Luckily, The Exchange Tea Parlour and Bistro looked perfect.
March is a market town in the north of Cambridgeshire right in the middle of the fens, with the old course of the River Nene running through the centre. There are some lovely big churches, of which St Wendreda’s is the most well known. There is a small market square, with markets held on Wednesdays and Saturdays, next to a small town hall. The Exchange Tea Parlour is also next to the market square.
The Tea Parlour contained several tables with comfortable chairs, plus some comfy looking sofas as well.
Contents – Four finger sandwiches each (cucumber, ham, egg mayonnaise and cheese), a small pot of ready salted crisps. One large scone from a choice of fruit or plain, a mini Tiptree pot of jam (choice of strawberry, raspberry, blackcurrant or apricot), a small pot of Rodda’s clotted cream, a small bunch of grapes. A slice of cake (choice of chocolate sponge or Victoria sponge). A pot of tea (from a large choice of teas).
Options Available – Classic, Sparkling, Gluten Free and Children’s.
Comments – We booked our Afternoon Tea in advance but this is not usually necessary except in busy periods.
We were shown to our reserved table and were each given menus to choose our tea from. We both chose the Exchange breakfast blend. We were also asked which options we would like for our scones, jam and cake.
The tea arrived quite quickly in individual white china teapots along with a jug of milk between us. I assume the tea was made with loose leaves but there were none visible, nor were there any teabags!! We were not offered a refill of tea.
The rest of the Afternoon Tea arrived shortly afterwards on a three-tier cake stand with round white plates.
The sandwiches were fresh and very well filled. However, the cucumber was a little ‘agricultural’. The cheese sandwich contained grated cheese made from mixing cheddar and red Leicester cheese together. There was a mix of brown and white bread. It was nice to have a few crisps to eat with our sandwiches.
We had chosen fruit scones along with a pot of blackcurrant jam and a pot of apricot jam. The scones were large and homemade and had been warmed through, although we both suspected that they were not freshly made. They were tasty and well fruited. There was plenty enough of both jam and cream.
There was also a small bunch of grapes each along with the scones, which was a different but nice addition.
We were offered a choice of chocolate or Victoria sponge as our slice of cake. We both chose the chocolate sponge. However, we discovered as we left that there should have been carrot cake offered to us as well.
The cake was fresh and very tasty and the slice was of a good size. We both enjoyed it.
Service was good to start with but once we had our Tea we never saw anyone again until we left. And even then, we had to ring a bell to get someone to accept our payment! By this time we were the only people in the room.