Cost – £15.95 (May 2021)
Parking and Access – There is a large car park at the Hall. However, it is a short walk, some of which was over very uneven cobbles, to reach the café from the carpark.
The café is currently situated in the Terrace Bar, the access to which is flat. There was also flat access on to the outside terrace, where we had our Tea.
Unfortunately, I did not notice where the toilets were situated on this occasion. However, as the Hall is used as a hotel, I imagine there were accessible toilets nearby.
Background – Well, the coronavirus pandemic is still with us, and we haven’t enjoyed an Afternoon Tea for some time. At last, the weather was looking good, so we made the decision to try a new Afternoon Tea. Preferably somewhere we could eat outside.
I had seen that Madingley Hall, on the outskirts of Cambridge, in the village of Madingley, offered an Afternoon Tea. We had never visited the Hall, which is owned by the University of Cambridge, so it looked like a good opportunity to go and investigate.
The café requires advanced 48 hours notice for Afternoon Tea.
Contents per person – six rectangular sandwiches (between two of us we had three egg mayonnaise, one ham and mustard, five smoked salmon and three cucumber and cream cheese), with a small amount of salad. 1 medium fruit scone, half a strawberry, a small plastic pot of Hartleys strawberry jam and a pot of Rodda’s clotted cream. Two macaroons, a mini éclair, a small cube of red velvet cake, a small cube of black forest cake, a small cube of a green and red cake and a raspberry. A pot of tea or other hot drink.
Options available – There is also a Ploughman’s Afternoon Tea available.
Comments – On arrival, we were shown to a table that had been reserved for us on the outside terrace,
overlooking the croquet lawn
and an area with topiary trees.
There was a parasol open over the table as it was a beautiful sunny day.
As we were visiting during the coronavirus pandemic we had to sign in to the NHS track and trace app on arrival. There was a QR code on the table for us to do this.
The table was laid with white chunky pottery plates, knife and fork, white pottery cups and saucers, a covered sugar bowl with sugar tongs, a glass each and a linen napkin.
We were asked for our drinks as soon as we were settled. Along with a hot drink, we were also offered still or sparkling water or a cold drink from the bar. We ordered a pot of tea for two plus a cold drink each. One of us had cola and the other had an orange and clementine drink.
The drinks arrived quickly. The tea arrived in a large tall white teapot along with milk in a white milk jug.
The cold drinks arrived at the same time and were well iced.
The tea was rather strong for us as it was made with four teabags!! We removed two of the bags immediately and took the last two out a little later. There was plenty of tea in the pot, however, as we were outside, it got cold quiet quickly. Unfortunately, we never saw the waiters again until we had to search for them to pay at the end!
The Afternoon Tea arrived shortly after the drinks on a three-tier cake stand with round white plates that matched the ones the table was laid with.
The sandwiches were an odd mixture with one of one filling, up to five of another! They were on a mix of brown and white bread and were topped with a small amount of salad. The sandwiches were all well filled, and were all freshly made and tasty.
The medium sized fruit scones were not warmed up. They contained a reasonable amount of fruit and were the smoother, less homemade variety. However, we both felt they were not very fresh.
There was barely enough of jam in the small catering packets. However, there was plenty of clotted cream.
All of the cakes were small. The macaroons appeared to have been brought in and were of mixed flavours. However, they were fresh and slightly sticky. The sponge cake cubes reminded us more of the sort of cake one might expect at a mass catering event. All of the cakes were fresh and reasonably tasty.
Service was very good to start with. Unfortunately, once the tea was delivered, the staff disappeared. In fact, we went to pay at the end and, once we found someone to speak too, they had cashed up for the day and we were sent over to the hotel reception to pay.
However, it was a beautiful day and we had a acceptable Afternoon Tea outside in the sunshine in beautiful surroundings.
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.
I am the legal copyright holder of the content and images on this blog.
Looks like a lovely place. Shame a few things were not up to par. They could have done so much better.
Lovely place. Lovely people, many of whom are local. Brexit has not helped with the staffing situation, but having stayed there many times over the years, I have never been disappointed.
We went today and the staff were very attentive.