Cost – £8.99 for two (Oct 2018) (This was a special buy one, get one free offer)
Parking and Access – There is plenty of free parking in the large car park at the garden centre. It is a short walk to the café from the entrance but it is all on the level. There are toilets available inside the building.
Background – Every now and then our local garden centre does a buy one, get one free offer on their Afternoon Teas. A voucher is printed in their leaflet, which is delivered to all households in the area.
There are three branches of the garden centre, in Great Shelford (reviewed some time ago), Horningsea and Fordham. We visit all of the branches of the cafe, particularly the Great Shelford branch, on a regular basis as they have very good cake and bake offerings. This time we decided to try the café at Fordham which, along with Horningsea, is one of the smaller branches.
The offer is incredibly popular and usually results in long queues at all of the cafes. So far, I have never heard of them selling out, despite the number of people taking up the offer!
It has to be said that this special offer makes the Afternoon Tea incredibly good value!
Contents – Four triangular sandwiches each (ham, egg mayonnaise, cheese and tuna mayonnaise). One medium/small fruit scone, a small Tiptree pot of strawberry jam and a small pot of Rodda’s clotted cream. A slice of Victoria sponge and a triangle of millionaire’s shortbread. A pot of tea.
Options Available – There are no options available.
Comments – Due to the buy one, get one free offer, there was a large queue in the café. However, there were still several tables free. When we reached the front of the queue we were given our drinks order (tea for two) and a number to put on the table.
We chose a seat in the marquee extension of the café, next to the window and an open door. It was a beautiful day and really quite warm.
Our tea arrived pretty quickly, just a few minutes later. It was on a three-tier metal cake stand with round white chunky plates. The waitress also brought us a plate each, we had to collect our own cutlery.
The sandwiches were fresh and were adequately filled. They were on a mix of brown and white bread. The brown bread was particularly nice.
The scone was also freshly made and tasty. The scone was not the largest we have had so there was plenty of both jam and cream as we were given a whole pot of each per person.
For the cake selection, the piece of Victoria sponge was of a good size, fresh and tasted good. The piece of millionaire’s shortbread was just big enough and was really delicious! I could have eaten quite a lot more of that!
The tea was served in a large metal teapot with a jug of milk. The tea was made with teabags. We did not try to get a refill of the teapot on this occasion but we know from experience that it is usually possible to get some more hot water for the teapot.
Service was friendly and helpful but limited due to the nature of the large and very busy café.