Cost – £19.95 for two people (Dec 2020)
Parking and Access – Holt’s main car park is not far from the café, and it would be possible to drop passengers next to the building. There is also some on street parking nearby, though this is time limited. The entrance to the café has a small step and there are a couple of steps down inside to reach both the back seating area and the toilets. The toilets were closed for the coronavirus pandemic when we visited. The nearest public toilets are found by the main car park.
Background – Horatio’s is a friendly café near the centre of the lovely village of Holt. We had visited it before and had spotted signs in the window advertising a High Tea but had never got around to trying it. This needed rectifying!
I had wanted to try Horatio’s Festive High Tea when we were in the area in late 2019. However, we ran out of time and didn’t make it. This year I was determined to get there!
However, the High Tea did not include a scone. Did this mean it wasn’t an Afternoon Tea? We knew the café sold scones, although we had not tried them, so we decided to add a scone to our High Tea to make sure it ‘qualified’.
It turned out this was not a good idea!! Luckily, we only ordered one scone, with cream and jam, between the two of us (at an extra cost of £3.55). The scone was enormous!! But, so was the High Tea!! This would be only the third Afternoon Tea to beat us!
Contents per person – Six triangular sandwiches (turkey with stuffing and cranberry), a large sausage roll with a small amount of salad. Your choice of a piece of Christmas cake or Victoria sponge, plus one piece of lemon cake and one piece of apple sponge between the two of us, and a large mince pie with clotted cream each. Pot of tea. We also added one large fruit scone with butter, jam and clotted cream as an extra.
Options Available – There was an option to add Prosecco to the High Tea for an extra £9 for two.
Comments – Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic we had to wait outside until someone came to the door and asked us in. We did not have to wait very long.
We were shown to a table in the back section of the café, down a couple of stairs from the main section. We had rung ahead to make sure it would be ok to have the Festive High Tea, so we were expected.
We were asked for our order. We asked to add one scone with jam and clotted cream to the Tea. The lady asked for our preference of cake. We both chose Christmas cake rather than Victoria sponge.
The tea arrived quickly in a tall white pottery teapot, accompanied by a white milk jug and two white teacups and saucers.
We were also given a round white plate each, along with a knife and fork and a paper napkin.
The tea was a good strength for us and the teapot held a reasonable amount. We were offered a refill later on, which we accepted.
Then the Tea arrived. This was a really big Tea! And it all looked really good! The sandwiches and cakes were on a three-tier spindle type cake stand with round white plates.
Then there were two large sausage rolls with a small bit of salad on a separate plate, and our huge scone with butter, jam and clotted cream on another plate. We felt very greedy for having ordered the extra scone and we knew we were in trouble!
We started with the sausage rolls. These were very large and had been warmed up for us. They were also delicious. The yummy sausage inside was accompanied by caramelised onion, which just made it even more yummy!
We then moved on to the six sandwiches each. These were freshly made and were extremely well filled. They were made on a mix of brown and white bread. The cranberry sauce was in a separate dish, so we could add what we wanted.
Luckily, we realised by then that we could not possibly eat everything, despite, as usual, not having had lunch (we do not usually have any lunch when we are going for Afternoon Tea, as we would not be able to eat it all if we did, and we don’t like to be beaten!!). We both ate three sandwiches and saved the rest to come home with us in a box for later. The sandwiches were very tasty.
The scone was very large, full of fruit, and had been warmed up for us. There was plenty of both jam and clotted cream for the one scone. We did not use the butter – that would be greedy!! We had half each of the delicious, fresh scone. It was very good and had a lovely rustic, homemade look to it!
Finally, there was the sweet part of the Afternoon Tea to tackle. We were getting pretty full by then, so we decided to limit ourselves to one small piece of cake, and the mince pie each. We had the piece of apple cake between us. It was nice and moist and tasted very good. We finished with the warm mince pie each, with clotted cream. As with the other items, this was large, homemade and very tasty with plenty of mincemeat inside.
We had to take home the Christmas cake and the lemon cake, along with half of the sandwiches. These were all boxed up carefully for us to eat later. I can report that the lemon cake, when we ate it, was also nice and moist, and had a good amount of lemon flavour. The large slices of rich dark Christmas cake were interesting in that it had a layer of marzipan running through the middle of it. It was full of delicious fruit and was really yummy.
Service was very good. The ladies were friendly and helpful whilst also following the rules for the virus. It was no problem to have part of our Tea boxed up to take home. In fact, this option was offered when our Tea was first delivered to us.
This was an excellent Tea and was really good value. Whilst we could have done without adding the extra scone, it was a delicious addition. However, the Tea would have been just as good without. It was definitely a case of eyes bigger than the tummy!! We will definitely return to try the normal, non-festive version of the High Tea when conditions allow. And I will try not to order an extra scone next time!
All opinions expressed in this review are my own. The photographs are all my own.
I remain completely anonymous and always pay for my Afternoon Teas. They are never gifted to me by the businesses reviewed.
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