Cost – £14.95 (June 2019)
Parking and Access – There is a good amount of parking right outside the building, with flat access to the Tea Rooms.
There are toilets at the opposite end of the building to the Tea Rooms which also have flat access. It is necessary to go outside to reach the toilets.
Background – We were visiting the New Forest for a weekend so, naturally, I found us a couple of Afternoon Teas to try. Actually I found quite a few others as well so we will have to visit a few more times in the future!!
The Old Station Tea Rooms at Holmsley looked interesting, not least because it is housed in old station buildings. It certainly didn’t disappoint!
Unfortunately a large part of the building was covered with scaffold when we were there.
However, it was clear that they have made much of the buildings being the old station with railway style signs and many old photos from when the station was in use.
There was also a snack bar with outside seating, which served food and drinks. However, we were booked into the Tea Rooms at the end of the station building.
The Tea Rooms are nothing fancy, just plain wooden tables and chairs, no tablecloths or pretty china. However, it is clearly a very popular venue with few tables empty and a good turnover of customers whilst we were there. Looking at the food coming out of the kitchens, the food looked very good and the portions were large. I had a good feeling about this Tea.
Contents – 4 rectangular sandwiches (choose a filling each from a choice of three – smoked salmon and cream cheese, ham and mustard or cucumber and cream cheese. We chose the ham (without mustard) and the salmon and shared the sandwiches between us). 1 large scone (your choice from fruit, plain or cheese. We chose one fruit and one cheese), a mini Tiptree pot of jam (choice of flavours, I chose blackcurrant), a dish of clotted cream, a dish of cream cheese and a dish of chutney (both for the cheese scone). A choice of homemade patisserie or cake from the display (we chose a huge meringue filled with cream and fruit and a slice of Dorset apple cake). Pot of tea or coffee.
Options Available – The only option was to add Prosecco to your Afternoon Tea.
Comments – We were shown to a table in the main room, which was really busy. The waitress, who was a lovely cheerful girl, brought us a menu each. When she returned for our order she brought us a large round white plate each, along with cutlery and a paper napkin each.
The tea arrived quickly in small individual teapots plus a jug of milk. It was of a good strength. We asked for and were given extra water in the pot. The tea was made with teabags.
The Afternoon Tea itself arrived soon after. It was served on a plain metal three tier cake stand with round white plates.
The sandwiches were freshly made and were very well filled. They were topped with a small amount of greenery. The ham sandwiches were particularly good with a nice thick layer of proper ham cut from the bone inside. We had been given a choice of brown or white bread and chose to have the ham on white bread and the salmon on brown. The bread was also very good.
The scone was large, fresh and warm. It was also extremely tasty.
The Tiptree jam was just about enough for the large scone but there was plenty of clotted cream.
My companion had a cheese scone which was also large, fresh and warm. It was accompanied with cream cheese and chutney. The chutney was slightly spicy which was nicely set off by the cream cheese.
The cake part of the Afternoon Tea was our choice from around four varieties of cake and six different patisseries. As we arrived in the Tea Rooms I had spotted some enormous meringues filled with cream and fruit in a cold cabinet near the entrance.
I was really pleased I was able to choose one for my Tea. My companion chose a slice of Dorset apple cake.
The meringue was huge! It was actually two massive meringues glued together with a large amount of cream with fruit on top. It was also deliciously sticky – just how I like it! It was really, really good. I was in meringue heaven!
I noticed when we left the Tea Room that there were no meringues left in the cabinet – they are obviously very popular.
The cake was also good but, whilst it was not small, it was not huge like my meringue! It would have been nicer if it had been warmed up and accompanied by some cream. Luckily, I had so much cream I was able to spare some for the cake!
Service was very good throughout. We were visited and checked that all was ok on several occasions. The Tea Rooms were very busy, but the young staff were all very pleasant and cheerful. There was a very good atmosphere in the building.
This was a very good Afternoon Tea.