Cost – £30.00 for a hamper (April 2020)
Parking and Access – As before, this tea was taken in the outside area of the venue. There is one step down to enter the garden. The toilets are inside and up a flight of stairs with no alternative access. There is on-street parking available in front of the venue.
Background – This is number four of my ‘Afternoon Teas by post’ reviews. I hope they are giving you some ideas of ways to scratch the Afternoon Tea itch during the Covid-19 pandemic. I have to admit that, whilst I would prefer to get out and have my Teas at a café, etc, I am rather enjoying the excitement of receiving boxes through the post and opening them to reveal our next Afternoon Tea experience.
As mentioned before, I am scoring them slightly different to ‘normal’ Afternoon Teas – see the end of this review. Hopefully they can be compared with each other easily.
We are back to Devon this time, with a hamper from Devon Heaven. We chose their Afternoon Tea Hamper from the selection found on their website.
On their website, when going to ‘check out’, there is a highlighted comment saying ‘couriers are very busy, please be aware that your order may experience a delay! Order chilled items at your own risk, our Devon food hampers or cake & biscuit hampers would be an advisable choice.’ However, having received my hampers on time, so far, I decided to take the risk, and order the Afternoon Tea Hamper, which includes clotted cream. The hamper did arrive on time.
Contents – Four square sandwiches (two each of ham with homemade grape and apple chutney and cheese with homemade grape and apple chutney). The sandwiches were not included in the Tea. Two large scones, one fruit and one plain, a small jar of strawberry jam and a tub of Langage Farm clotted cream. Four Teoni’s strawberry and cream shortbread biscuits, a square of Ryder’s Bakery chocolate brownie and a square of Ryder’s Bakery yogurt topped flapjack. A packet containing three Classic Breakfast, Devonshire Tea Bags and three Smugglers Brew, Cornish Tea Trading Company tea bags.
Options available – There were no options to add to this hamper.
Comments – There is an option to either aim to receive the hamper on a specific date, or to have it sent as soon as possible. We requested a specific date, so that we could enjoy it at the weekend. It arrived on the date specified in a neat cardboard box.
Inside the box was an insulated package containing the tub of clotted cream. This was moved to the fridge on arrival.
As we were lucky enough to have another beautiful day, we decided to serve our Afternoon Tea in the garden, again. You have to make the most of sunny days, when they come!
As before, we set up two small tables beside a wooden bench. We chose our brightly coloured plates again,
with the matching teapot and white milk jug.
As the Tea was a Devon Tea, we used the Devonshire tea bags. It was of good strength and flavour.
We served the Afternoon Tea on a two-tier cake stand with pretty flower-patterned plates, that has been seen before!
We served the sandwiches on the strawberry cake stand.
The sandwiches are not included in the delivered Tea for obvious reasons. Luckily, we are, at last, getting better at the sandwiches. So, this time, we had two different fillings! Ok, they are not the most thrilling fillings in the world, but all shopping is a bit difficult at the moment, and we have to manage with what is easily available. We chose ham and chutney and cheese and chutney sandwiches. Our chutney of choice for this Afternoon Tea was homemade grape and apple chutney, with both the ham and the cheese sandwiches. The ham was nice and thick. The bread was an oat, sunflower and pumpkin seed sliced bread. We also added a packet of crisps.
We have always maintained that there are two types of scone. One is the ‘normal’ homemade type, which is light and crumbly but has a fairly firm texture. The other is a much smoother, more cakey texture, which my companion always maintains is cooked with steam. These scones don’t usually break into halves naturally. Both are tasty and perfectly good, but there is a definite difference.
Today’s scones were of the second, softer variety.
We warmed them up in the oven before taking them outside. The scones were light and fresh tasting. The scones had been packed in twos. Two plain in one packet and two fruit in the other.
The jam was a strawberry jam from Hogs Bottom. It was a slightly runny jam with some strawberry bits in it. There was plenty for the large scones provided.
There was also plenty enough of the clotted cream for the scones, with some left over.
The strawberries and cream shortcake biscuits were quite sweet. However, they were crisp and light and the jam in the centre was tasty. The box contained eight biscuits in two packets, so we didn’t need to eat all of them in one go.
Both the chocolate brownie
and the yogurt topped flapjack were a little on the small side.
However, they were both very good. The brownie was quite moist and tasted delicious. The flapjack had a layer of fruit through it, which gave it a difference to standard flapjack.
As I mentioned before, I am scoring these postal Afternoon Teas in a slightly different way. I have based my presentation score on the way the package was presented and the state it was in when it arrived.
I have decided to give the sandwiches 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.
Finally, I have based my service score on the service we received from the on-line company. The Devon Heaven website was well presented and clear and they offer a good variety of products. Ordering was pretty easy.