Cost – £15.00 per person (June 2020)
Parking and Access – The area we chose is the St Helen’s picnic area near Santon Downham, in Thetford Forest. It has a large open car park with plenty of grassy areas around it and lots of woodland to explore beyond. There is a toilet block but this was shut due to the coronavirus at the time of our visit.
Background – We have visited Nancy’s Vintage Teashop on many occasions. Not only for Afternoon Tea. I was really pleased to find out that they had opened for limited hours, with a limited menu during the lockdown. Even better, Afternoon Tea was on the menu!
Ordering was only available over the phone. So, I rang Nancy’s and booked two Afternoon Teas to collect a few days later.
On arrival, we managed to park on the road just a short walk from the teashop. We went in, following a well marked out route and collected our Teas, which were ready for us in a carrier bag.
Contents per person – Four rectangular sandwiches (smoked salmon with cream cheese, egg mayonnaise, chicken mayonnaise and cucumber). One medium sized plain scone and one medium sized fruit scone, a mini jar of Tiptree strawberry jam and a tub of clotted cream. A square of chocolate cake, a mini raspberry cheesecake in a pot, a square of carrot cake and a mini jar of lemon posset. There was a choice of a hot drink, a cold drink or some tea leaves of your choice. We chose a cold bottle of cloudy lemonade each.
Options available – A children’s Afternoon Tea is also available.
Comments – The two Teas were waiting for us packed in a white paper carrier bag.
Inside there were three boxes each, all with Nancy’s stickers sealing them up. The three boxes contained all of the items for the Tea apart from the drink.
On this occasion, as we had collected the Teas from the teashop, we decided to have our Tea as a picnic. We had brought a picnic basket with us, plus folding chairs and a table.
We drove out to Thetford Forest and chose to go to St Helen’s Picnic Site near Santon Downham.
I have based my presentation score on the way the package was presented and the state it was in when collected. It was excellent.
As we were going to have our Tea as a picnic, we both chose a cold drink to go it, as tea would not have stayed hot long enough. We chose a cold bottle of Breckland Orchard’s Cloudy Lemonade, which was delicious and refreshing.
We served the Afternoon Tea itself on our two-tier cake stand with flowery plates, which we had packed in the picnic basket.
The sandwiches were packed in a white box each. They were wrapped in paper and there was a paper napkin and a hand wipe included in the box.
The sandwiches were made with a mix of brown and white bread. They were all well filled, fresh and very tasty. It was so nice to have a chicken sandwich included!
Obviously, we didn’t warm our scones up this time, due to a lack of an oven! They were packed in a brown box, along with a mini jar of Tiptree jam and a paper pot containing a portion of clotted cream.
They were scones were a large medium size and very fresh. There was both fruit and plain scones. The scones were very good, though the fruit scone could have done with a little more fruit!
The jam was a standard mini Tiptree jar. There wasn’t enough for two scones each, though it might be possible to eek it out enough to do it. Luckily, we had anticipated a shortage and had brought some extra jam with us from home! The clotted cream had been portioned out into a small paper tub. It was quite a generous portion and was enough for the two scones each.
The final brown box contained the cakes and desserts. There were two cakes and two mini desserts. All but one of the desserts were in paper tubs like the one the clotted cream was in. The final dessert was in a mini jam jar.
The cakes were fresh, moist and tasty. They could have been a bit bigger but they were limited by the size of the paper tub and the box they were in. However, the desserts were my favourites. The mini raspberry cheesecake was very good but the lemon posset was fabulous. Very yummy indeed! I would love to have more!
One comment we thought of was that some sort of disposable spoon needed to be included for the desserts. A small oversight as everything else was included. Luckily, we had teaspoons with us.
As usual, I have based my service score on the service we received from the company. It was very good.