Cost – £16.50 (Feb 2019)
Parking and Access – There is some parking right outside the front of the hotel, opposite the entrance. There is plenty more to the left of the building, still close to the entrance. The toilets are a short walk from the dining areas and have flat access.
Background – Slepe is the old name for the town of St Ives in Cambridgeshire. It was changed to St Ives after the body of St Ivo was found buried in the town in around 1000. The current Slepe Hall was built in the 1850’s and was a school for a time before finally becoming a hotel.
It is situated within easy walking distance of the historic centre of St Ives and its lovely bridge over the river Great Ouse.
Options Available – No options were available for this Tea.
Contents – 4 rectangular sandwiches (salmon and cream cheese, ham and tomato, cheese and pickle and egg mayonnaise). 1 medium/large fruit scone, a pot of strawberry jam and a pot of clotted cream. A mini lemon tartlet, small piece of chocolate brownie and a mini pavlova each, plus a tiny chocolate cake and a tiny plain cake between the two of us. Pot of tea or coffee.
Comments – We were given a table in a small room off the main restaurant, near to the hotel’s reception desk.
The table was laid with large square white plates, thick white cups and saucers, a small glass each and a thick paper napkin topped with a knife.
We were asked for our drink order soon after we sat down. We chose tea but were not offered a choice of types of tea.
The tea arrived quickly in a large white teapot along with a white jug of milk. The tea was a pretty good strength for us. We didn’t need to ask for a refill but were not asked if we wanted one either. The tea was made with teabags.
The Afternoon Tea arrived fairly quickly a few minutes later. It was served on a three-tier spindle type cake stand with round white plates.
The sandwiches were fresh and were well filled. The ham sandwiches were particularly cold, as though they had come straight from the fridge. All of the sandwiches were tasty.
The scones were quite large, fresh and tasty. Mine was tall enough for me to get three slices out of it, which has to be good!! However, there was not a lot of fruit in it. The scone had been warmed up.
There was plenty of both jam (which was thick and sticky) and clotted cream.
The sweet items were all rather on the small side but were fresh and all were tasty. The lemon tartlet was particularly good but was very small (less than three centimetres across), the brownie was also tasty but was thin and not very big. However, the mini Pavlova was a bit bigger and was topped with some nice fresh fruit. The two mini cakes on the other hand, were ridiculously tiny (around two centimetres across) and there was only one of each. I always find it annoying when there are not two of each item on the stand. Amazingly, we managed to cut each in half so that we had the same!
Service was ok to start with but we had to go to the reception desk to find someone to ask for some butter instead of cream, when it was required for one member of our party.