Cost – £27.50 (May 2020)
Parking and Access – 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 – We are back to an Afternoon Tea by post this time. The company is called Hay Hampers and it’s website is available to view on www.hampers.co.uk.
As with the other Tea by post companies, they offer a wide variety of hampers, including a whole range classed as Afternoon Teas. We chose the Cream Tea for Two option as it included the clotted cream, which several of the others didn’t.
Contents per person – Four large sandwiches (ham and homemade richly spiced plum chutney and roast beef). The sandwiches were not included in the Tea. One medium fruit scone, a large jar of raspberry jam and an individual pot of clotted cream. Four shortbread biscuits, a piece of iced fruit cake. A packet of Ceylon tea bags. We augmented the items provided with a raspberry tart and a packet of crisps.
Options available – There were no options to add to your hamper.
Comments – We ordered our Afternoon Tea online to arrive on a specific date. As usual, it arrived on time on the specified date, in a cardboard box.
I have to say, we have not been let down by any of the delivery companies used by the Afternoon Tea by post companies we have tried so far. The Teas have always arrived on the date specified, despite the pressures and problems caused by the corona virus pandemic. We have been very impressed, so far.
Within the cardboard box there was a nice red coloured box with a magnetic flap to shut it.
This contained all of the food items padded with polystyrene worms and shredded cardboard.
Inside the red box was an insulated bag
which contained the two clotted cream jars
and the two scones, which were individually wrapped in cling film. I opened the package immediately and placed the cream in the fridge until it was needed.
It was another beautiful day, so we served our Afternoon Tea in the garden. We used a different area of the garden to that used previously, choosing to sit under an arbour covered in yellow and red roses.
We set up two small tables beside a wooden bench.
We chose plates with a flower pattern on, with a teapot depicting a cat in a hammock and china mugs depicting scenes from Paris.
The tea was made with the teabags provided with the hamper. These were Ceylon teabags from Basilur. It was of good strength and had a lovely flavour.
We served the Afternoon Tea itself on a two-tier cake circular stand with slate plates.
The sandwiches were not included in the delivered Tea for obvious reasons, so I made my own. We chose to have two roast beef sandwiches and two with ham and homemade richly spiced plum chutney. The bread was a delicious roasted seed loaf from a local bread shop, Maison Clement.
We had warmed up the scones in the oven. They were medium sized, fresh and were full of delicious fruit. The scones were really good, it was a real shame there was only one each!
The jam provided was made by the company Mrs Darlington’s. It was a raspberry jam, which is one of my favourite jams. It had a really lovely flavour. As we were sent a whole normal sized jar of the jam, there was plenty for the scones, with lots left for us to enjoy another day.
There was also enough of the clotted cream for the scones. The cream was nice and smooth and easily spreadable. However, it was not easy to extract it from the mini jars!
Finally, the cake part of the Tea.
The shortbread biscuits were made by Duncans of Deeside.
There were eight in in the packet, so we had two each and save the remaining four for another day. The shortbread was very good. It was light, crisp and buttery. Definitely yummy!
The iced fruit cake was nice and fruity. However, the icing was a hard slab on the top. We would have preferred it without. There was plenty of cake to have a slice with our Tea and to save the rest for another day.
We supplemented our Afternoon Tea with a raspberry tart each from the shop we had bought our bread from – Maison Clement. They were super delicious and had loads of raspberries. It also tied in with the rest of the Tea as we had raspberry jam as well. I have not included the tart in my scoring, though it would definitely have got full marks!
As 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. For this Tea, the packing was smart and well presented but there was no instruction to open the box immediately, which might have been a problem if it was being sent as a gift.
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. In this case, the website was well presented and clear.