Cost – £17.50 (Sept 2021)
Parking and Access – Chilworth Manor Hotel has a large car park situated mainly at the front of the hotel, including right by the entrance. It is also possible to drop passengers right by the front entrance. The entrance to the hotel is on the level.
Afternoon Tea is served in the bar area, which is just a few steps from the main entrance. It is also possible to have your Tea served on the terrace.
There are toilets available nearby, which are also reachable on the flat.
Background – We have stayed at Chilworth Manor Hotel on many occasions, usually prior to going on a cruise. However, with the pandemic still ongoing, very few cruises are going, and we had had some cancelled, re-booked and re-cancelled. As a result, we had moved a booking for the hotel three times already! When our cruise was cancelled yet again, we decided that this time we would make use of the hotel and come down to the New Forest area for a short stay instead.
I had seen the hotel advertised an Afternoon Tea, so we decided to book and try it for ourselves.
Contents per person – Three rectangular sandwiches (tuna mayonnaise, egg mayonnaise and chicken and ham with lettuce). One small plain scone, one small fruit scone, a pot of jam and a pot of clotted cream. A small triangle of Bakewell tart, a small triangle of Victoria sponge cake and a small triangle of lemon drizzle cake. Pot of tea.
Options Available – There were no options available for this Afternoon Tea.
Comments – We arrived a little early for our Afternoon Tea, after a remarkably easy journey down to the area. The table was already set, so we asked if we could sit down. The hotel were happy for us to eat then, so we did.
Our table was away from the slightly more enclosed area where there were another couple of tables being served Tea. We were seated next to the ornate fireplace in the galleried bar area of the hotel.
Our low table had four large comfy chairs around it.
The table was laid with a linen tablecloth, linen napkins, and chunky white crockery. There was a full-size knife and fork tucked into each napkin.
The tea arrived fairly quickly in a large, stained, stainless steel teapot. Unfortunately, there was no milk with it. The milk took some considerable time to arrive.
The tea was rather too strong for us. So, after pouring an initial cupful each, we asked for the pot to be topped up with just water. We had a refill of the tea later, as well.
The Tea arrived on a plain metal three-tier cake stand with chunky round white plates that matched the rest of the crockery.
The sandwiches were easily the best part of the Afternoon Tea. They were well filled and tasted freshly made. However, there were only three each.
The scones were small and had been warmed up for us. They were the smoother type of scone and did not taste like they were particularly fresh. There was little fruit in the fruit scone.
There was enough of the strawberry jam, which was a smooth catering type jam. However, there was not enough clotted cream for the scones.
As for the cakes, my mother would have commented that if you blinked you would have missed them! They were not big! My companion commented that they looked very much like ‘conference fare’. This comment was backed up shortly after as a large tray of the same cakes was taken into the adjacent hall, where a conference was taking place!!
Service was not the best. However, I suspect the one lady who appeared to be serving was probably a bit rushed off her feet dealing with the conference going on as well. We did eventually manage to get attention when we needed it.
Whilst there was nothing wrong with the food, there was nothing outstanding either. The sandwiches were good, but the rest was nothing special. The cakes were cut far too small and the scones were not fresh. I was a bit disappointed that the hotel had not put on a bit of a better show. I also felt the price was a little high for what was on offer.
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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