Cost – £18.50 (Sept 2018)
Parking and Access – Arbor Restaurant is located within the Green House Hotel. The hotel has a car park available with numerous spaces, although it was full when we visited (we arrived by foot). There are several steps up to enter by the front entrance but I believe there was an accessible entrance elsewhere. There were toilets available without stairs.
Background – We had booked a weekend in beautiful Bournemouth so, obviously, Afternoon Teas were going to be involved! I did a bit of internet research and found the Arbor Restaurant. The Tea looked and sounded interesting so we booked.
Arbor Restaurant is found within the Green House Hotel, which is situated one road back from the cliff top road above Bournemouth beach. It is a hotel that is proud of its sustainability credentials and this is continued into the restaurant where they try to use local, sustainable ingredients wherever possible.
Contents – Four triangular sandwiches (ham, tuna with cucumber, egg mayonnaise, cheese and chutney). A medium/large sized plain scone and a medium/large sized chocolate chip scone, strawberry jam, lemon curd and clotted cream. A blackcurrant and cream shortbread sandwich, a chocolate tart topped with meringue and a slice of ginger cake. A pot of tea.
Options Available – Gluten free, dairy free and Vegan options are available on request. 24 hours notice required.
Comments – We were shown into the restaurant and offered a table next to the window. The table was laid with linen napkins, cutlery and round white crockery.
A waiter then brought us a bottle of tap water and poured us a glass each.
He also asked us what sort of tea we would like to drink. As usual, we chose English Breakfast tea.
At the centre of the room there was a really interesting wooden sculpture of a tree.
Whilst some of the windows had a sort of grill in front of leaves. It was very attractive.
The tea arrived in two white pottery teapots plus a white jug of milk between us. The tea was of good strength. We were offered refills as soon as the waiter spotted us pouring out the second cupful.
The Afternoon Tea was brought out in three sections, one after the other, shortly after the tea had arrived. There was a slate containing the sandwiches, a wooden chopping board containing the scones and, finally, a lovely two tier “tree” containing the cakes. It was all very well presented and looked very tempting.
The sandwiches were all really fresh and were well filled. We had asked for there to be no mustard in the ham sandwiches and this had been catered for. The sandwiches were on a mix of white and brown breads.
The scones were absolutely delicious! They were freshly made and warm and of a really good size. The chocolate chip scone was full of slightly warm chocolate chips and was particularly good! The lemon curd was really tangy and very nice and the strawberry jam was homemade with large bits of strawberry in it. There was plenty enough of both jam and lemon curd. There was also plenty enough clotted cream. We had only put cream on one scone each as we had put the lemon curd on the plain scones. However, there would still have been enough cream if we had spread it on both scones, it just would have been a little thinner than we had it (which was pretty thick!!)
Finally, the cakes were all really good. They were all very tasty and were a little different from the usual. The chocolate tart was made with a chocolate base filled with a chocolate ganache, topped with a soft sticky meringue topping – delicious!
The shortbread sandwich was made from two thin pieces of shortbread with a layer of blackcurrant jam and a layer of thick cream in between them.
Lastly, there was a good-sized slice of ginger cake with a centre of salted caramel and butter icing. All three were particularly yummy and well made.
The service was very attentive without being over the top. We were given a 25% off voucher for our next visit, when we asked for the bill.
This was a really enjoyable Afternoon Tea.