Cost – £22.50 (June 2019)
Parking and Access – There is a large car park to the side of the hotel with a short walk to the main entrance. Disabled badge holders are able to drive up to, and park near to, the main entrance. The toilets were upstairs and were not particularly easy to find. I did not see any disabled toilets or notice a lift. However, the hotel’s website mentions accessible toilets on the ground floor. The entrance to The Brasserie, where Afternoon Tea is served was all level.
Background – We were going to be returning home from Southampton following a cruise. We knew we would be leaving Southampton fairly early in the day so we decided to find an Afternoon Tea along our route so that we could break our journey. We knew we would be passing Oxford, so we decided to look in that area. Eynsham Hall Hotel sounded like a good place to visit.
Contents – four rectangular sandwiches (smoked salmon and cucumber, egg mayonnaise, ham and cheese and spring onion mayonnaise). 1 medium plain scone, a mini Tiptree pot of strawberry jam each and a pot of clotted cream between two. A chocolate cup filled with chocolate mousse and orange sauce, a small vanilla cupcake, a square of passionfruit cheesecake and a square of chocolate brownie. A pot of your choice of tea.
Options available – This Afternoon Tea was also available with gin and tonic or with Prosecco.
Comments – The approach to Eynsham Hall is down a long drive giving a lovely view of the Hall as you arrive.
The entrance lounge is a large grand room with comfy sofas and an interesting display of items associated with the Hall’s past. There is also a rather out of place neon sign over the grand fireplace!!
We went to the reception desk to find out where to go and were directed to towards The Brasserie which is in the left-hand wing of the Hall. We were then shown to a small table by the large fireplace in the room.
There was already a large party in the room having Afternoon Tea on a big long table at the end of the room.
The small square table was laid with small round white plates and teacups and saucers. There were white linen napkins and a knife and fork each. Unfortunately, the chairs were rather uncomfortable!
We were asked for our tea order soon after we arrived. We chose our usual English breakfast tea.
The tea arrived quickly in large individual metal teapots. Unfortunately, the waitress forgot to bring the milk. We asked for some milk and were given a small metal jug full.
The tea was made with loose leaves held in a strainer type affair within the teapot. The strainer was jammed full with tealeaves with the obvious result that the tea was undrinkably strong!
We tried asking for a water top up for the teapots in the hope of making the tea a little less strong. The waiter we asked was quite rude, asking if we needed it now. However, he did top up the teapots for us. The tea was not particularly hot and we noticed that it was being made from jugs of hot water brought in from the kitchen! We asked again, explaining that we would like a new pot made with half the quantity of tealeaves and with hot water. This attempt was more acceptable. It was still very strong but was a big improvement on the previous pots.
The Afternoon Tea itself was served on an attractive round metal three tier cake stand.
The sandwiches were not quite as advertised on the hotel’s website with the breads changed round and no tomato in the egg sandwich (which was an improvement in my opinion!!). They were reasonably well filled and were fresh. However, the egg mayonnaise was rather underfilled. The cheese sandwich was particularly tasty. There was a mix of brown and white breads.
The plain scones were not warmed up and were rather lopsided, which makes them very difficult to split. There was enough of both jam and clotted cream.
The cakes looked lovely on the stand, all decorated with flowers.
The vanilla cupcake was a little boring
but the other three cakes were all very tasty and were really good. The best of all was a little cup made of chocolate which was filled with chocolate mousse. Under the mousse there was a little biscuit layer below which there was some orange flavoured sauce. It was inventive, different and really yummy!
Service could certainly have been better. The tea situation was silly and annoying and one waiter was rather rude to us. However, we had no further problems. The room was rather noisy with three big parties in by the time we finished our Tea. However, the cakes at the end were very good and we enjoyed most of the Tea.