Cost – £42.95 for a hamper (March 2020)
Parking and Access – There is one step to enter the building and the dining room. The toilets are up a flight of stairs with no alternative access. There is on-street parking available in front of the building.
Background – With the outbreak of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, all cafes, restaurants and hotels have been shut in the UK. Disaster!! What am I going to do for an Afternoon Tea over the coming months? I had no idea.
Then I remembered a leaflet I had been passed on during the early days of the virus. This had been offering an Afternoon Tea to collect from a local hotel. Obviously, the hotel was now shut. But it made me wonder if there was anyone who supplied Afternoon Teas by post. I needed to do some research!
Amazingly, I quickly found a few companies that do indeed offer and Afternoon Tea by post! My sanity was saved! I could still have Afternoon Tea during the lockdown period! Hooray!!!
What you get with your Afternoon Tea by post varies hugely. From just biscuits and tea bags to everything but the sandwiches. Each company seems to offer various options.
We chose the company Delimann, based in Devon. They offer a wide variety of both Afternoon Teas and cream teas on their website. The option we went for was one with everything but the sandwiches included, called the Afternoon Tea Feast.
Contents – Four triangular sandwiches (cheese with rose hip and mango chutney). The sandwiches were not included in the Tea that was delivered. Six large plain scones, a jar of strawberry jam and a tub of clotted cream. Eight shortbread biscuits, six squares of chocolate brownie, a bag of clotted cream fudge and a box of rich chocolate truffles. A packet of Afternoon Tea tea bags and a bottle of Luscombes Sicilian Lemonade drink.
Options available – A bar of chocolate, a lolly pop or some shortbread can be added to this Afternoon Tea.
Comments – This Afternoon Tea was ordered online to arrive on a specific date. It arrived absolutely on time in the morning of the specified date, delivered by DPD. The sturdy box was placed on the doorstep and the delivery man stepped back after ringing the bell to make sure we opened the door to pick it up.
The box was bought inside. There was an instruction on the box to open it immediately as it contained perishable items. Inside the box was a second box which contained all of the Tea items surrounded by wood shavings.
The two glass items (the jam jar and the bottle of lemonade) were well wrapped in bubble wrap.
There was also a package containing the clotted cream in a tub wrapped in a thick plastic envelope containing two small cool blocks. I placed the cream straight into the fridge until it was needed.
I have based my presentation score on the way the package was presented and the state it was in when it arrived.
We served our Afternoon Tea on our dining table. It was laid with pretty blue and white china and a pretty blue and green design glass each. We also had a knife and a cake fork each.
The tea was served in a matching blue and white china teapot accompanied by a matching milk jug.
We made the tea with the teabags from the box. It was a nice tea and was just the right strength for us.
The Afternoon Tea also included a bottle of Luscombe’s Sicilian Lemonade. This was a lovely slightly sharp still lemonade drink. We chilled the bottle in the fridge before serving. It was a nice refreshing drink to have with the Tea.
We served the Afternoon Tea itself on a two-tier cake stand with pretty flower-patterned plates.
The scones were served on a separate wooden cake stand.
The sandwiches were not included in the delivered Tea for obvious reasons, so I made my own. We chose to have cheese sandwiches with homemade rose hip and mango chutney. I have not scored these in the usual way as they were not part of the Tea. I have decided to give them a full score of two. Not because they were perfect (!) but as I feel this is the best way to keep the score for the rest of the Tea in line with the scores for ‘normal’ Teas with everything included.
We had warmed up the scones which were large and plain. They were lovely and light and tasted fresh, even though they had been through the post. The company says they make the scones on the day they are despatched.
They were packed in twos, which meant we didn’t need to eat the whole lot in one go! My only comment would be that I would have preferred an option to choose fruit scones as an alternative.
The jam provided was tasty with large pieces of strawberry in it. There was plenty of it for all six scones.
Likewise, there was more than enough of the clotted cream, which was fresh tasting and of a good texture.
The shortbread biscuits were crisp and tasty.
They were wrapped in two packets of four biscuits, so we were able to use one packet and to save the other packet for another day.
Again, the chocolate brownies were packed in packets of two squares, so we saved a packet for another occasion.
The brownie was delicious! It was gooey and chocolatey. It was also very rich. I really enjoyed it!
Finally, we had a packet of clotted cream fudge and a box of rich chocolate truffles.
To be honest, we were so full that we did not open either of these at the time we had our Afternoon Tea!
However, I am pleased to say they were both very good and deliciously tasty!
Finally, I have based my service score on the service we received from the on-line company. In this case, we felt it was really good. The website was well presented and clear, and the box arrived exactly as promised and in an excellent condition.
I have to say that our first Afternoon Tea by post has proved to be a really good experience. One I would definitely repeat. Luckily, I have created a list of companies to try whilst we are unable to visit anywhere for a Tea. I hope to work through this list in the next months until we are able to return to normal. Hopefully, this review will help others in finding something fun and different to do during this difficult time.