Cost – £12.00 (Oct 2018)
Parking and Access – The hotel does not have it’s own car park. However, there is plenty of parking in the nearby area. There is on street parking outside the hotel and a car park nearby. The entrance to the hotel and the restaurant is all on the level, as is the access to the toilets.
Background – St Ives is a pretty town to the north of Cambridge. It is centred on the River Great Ouse which is crossed by a much photographed bridge with a chapel on it. The bridge is now closed to traffic and is crossable only by foot.
The Golden Lion is an old coaching inn (over 400 years old!) right in the centre of the town.
It is opposite a rare statue of Oliver Cromwell, who lived in St Ives for a few years and who was born in Huntingdon, near by.
Contents – Three large rectangular sandwiches each (ham and cucumber, cheese and cucumber and chicken and pesto). A medium sized fruit scone, a mini Tiptree pot of raspberry jam and a pot of clotted cream. A piece of Rocky road, a mini éclair and a piece of lemon drizzle cake. A pot of tea.
Options Available – There are options to add an alcoholic drink to the Afternoon Tea.
Comments – We had booked our Tea ahead; however, it would appear that booking is only normally required for Teas served between 12.00 and 2.00.
A table was reserved for us in the window of the hotel with large comfortable chairs.
The table was laid with blue and white mismatched china, two glasses, knife and fork and a paper napkin.
The only odd thing was one of the teacups was in pink and white!
As we sat down at the table we were asked what we would like to drink. We both chose tea, which arrived soon after in two blue and white individual teapots plus a white milk jug. The tea was made with tea bags.
The Afternoon Tea arrived a few minutes later on an interesting three-layer brass cake stand. With two blue and white plates and one pink and white plate. The cake stand was designed so that one half was like cage, with the other side open.
The sandwiches were generous rectangles. They were fresh and well filled. However, I had a bit of a problem with the chicken and pesto sandwich, which had a huge amount of pesto in it. Pesto is not my favourite ingredient so I scraped as much as I could out of the sandwich. The waitress then gave me a fresh knife to replace the one covered in pesto.
Our other comment about the sandwiches was that the cucumber was a bit agricultural!
The scones were of a good medium size and were well fruited. They were not warmed. In fact, they were very cold inside. We suspected they were kept in a fridge. Whilst the scones were still fresh, they had not been made that day. There was plenty of clotted cream each and it was nice to see raspberry jam instead of the usual strawberry.
On the cake layer, the mini éclair was very mini but was fresh and well filled with cream. The lemon drizzle cake was very good with a good lemon flavour. However, the rocky road, usually one of my favourites was let down by having been made with what tasted like cheap cooking chocolate.
Service was pleasant and helpful. We were offered a refill of the teapots, however the one we had topped up was returned without a teabag, resulting in very weak tea!