Cost – £19.95 plus 10% aded automatically to the bill. (Oct 2019)
Parking and Access – There is a private carpark for the hotel just over the quiet road. There is also a large public carpark nearby if the hotel’s carpark is full. Access is all flat into the hotel, with three lifts available in reception to take you to the upper floors of the hotel. Our Afternoon Tea was served in the HarBar on the top floor. The lift took us to the entrance of the bar. Toilets were available on this floor, with level access but were at the other end of the floor.
Background – We were down in Southampton to bring a couple down for a cruise. We knew we would have some time to wait between seeing them on to the ship and watching the ship leave, so we looked for a nearby Afternoon Tea.
We found one that looked perfect, but after a conversation on the phone, it became obvious that you could not have Afternoon Tea at teatime in the afternoon, only at lunch time! So we looked again and decided to try the new Harbour Hotel.
We found their website to be confusing and difficult to get details from, so we rang the hotel and spoke to a helpful lady, who sorted out the booking for us.
The hotel is located in the new Ocean Village area of Southampton and overlooks the small yacht harbour there.
It is designed to resemble a small ship, with the back stepping down towards the harbour.
The top floor of the hotel is mainly taken up with a large bar area in two parts. The back part for eating, whilst the larger main part was a lounge area with comfy chairs.
There is also a nice outside seating area for warmer days.
Contents – One triangular sandwich (egg mayonnaise), half of a wrap (smoked salmon), a roll (chicken and tarragon), a mini caramelised onion quiche and a quarter of a scotch egg. A medium sized fruit scone and a medium sized plain scone, a dish of strawberry jam and a dish of clotted cream. A mini fruit tartlette, a raspberry macaroon, a small éclair, a square of carrot cake and a small square of chocolate brownie. A pot of tea.
Options Available – There is also a children’s Afternoon Tea available. The adult Teas are also available with sparkling wine.
Comments – On arrival at the hotel’s reception desk, we were told to go up to the sixth floor to the HarBar.
When we reached the top floor, we were shown to a window table in the bar, overlooking the outside terrace and the harbour beyond.
The table was laid with round white crockery, knife and fork, a glass and a linen napkin.
We were asked for our choice of drink – we chose English breakfast tea, and whether we would like some water, which we did.
We were each poured a glass of water from a jug which was not left on the table. We later asked for more water and were again poured some from a large jug.
The tea arrived in a nice white teapot. The pot was not large and only made just over a cup each. However, we were offered more and ended up having three teapots full. The tea was a little on the strong side but, as the teapot was small, it didn’t last long enough to stew too much. We had to ask for a jug of milk as this was not brought with the teapot!
The Afternoon Tea itself arrived on an interesting metal two tier cake stand in a rocket shape, with round white plates.
The scones were served on a separate plate, wrapped in a linen napkin.
The savoury part of the Afternoon Tea was a little different as it was not all sandwiches. All parts were freshly made and tasty. Our only thoughts were that the quiche was very small and that half of a scotch egg would have been better than a quarter!
The scones were medium sized and had been warmed up. There was barely enough strawberry jam and only slightly more clotted cream. We could have done with a little more of each. However, we decided not to ask for some more on this occasion.
The fruit scones were particularly well fruited.
The cakes were well presented and looked inviting. The fruit tartlette was ridiculously small and the macaroon was slightly undercooked. However, the éclair was nice, it was filled with flavoured cream and was light and fluffy. The carrot cake was tasty with a hint of cinnamon and, finally, the chocolate brownie was very good but too small!!
Service was good, we were visited and checked on, on several occasions by the staff.