Well, what a miserable day today was for an afternoon tea trip! The horrible weather meant that we couldn’t get on our beautiful bikes and have a lovely little ride down there. But, we didn’t let that get us down…there is no way we were going to miss this one.
We had been only once before to Healing Manor for afternoon tea…about 2 years ago I think…and we weren’t overly impressed with it. I had it on very good authority that there was now a new chef in the kitchens at the manor and that afternoon tea was changing. We decided to give it a little while to get sorted, before going back today, in the hope that we would not be disappointed for a second time…I can tell you now that we definitely were not!!
We were shown to a table that was all set up ready for us, with a lovely view of the garden and the moated island. The room itself is very well lit and is nicely decorated with a white and grey colour scheme and one feature wall at the end of the room which ties in very well. Each table had a crisp white cloth and different dark wood chairs around them.
We were asked what kind of tea we would like and if we would like a jug of water bringing to the table. I don’t think I need to tell you what tea we chose…we don’t like change in our tea :o)
When our tea was brought over, we were told to let a member of staff know when we were ready for a refill…that was already the first ‘gold star’ moment, as last time, we had to pay for extra tea.
We didn’t have to wait for very long at all for our afternoon tea to be brought to the table. I won’t bother typing out the menu as I have added a photo of it at the bottom, but when you look at it, you’ll see that it doesn’t do it justice at all. You get much more than expected that’s for sure. We honestly couldn’t believe it when it was served to us;
Two slate trays, one filled with savoury and the other sweet and then a two tier cake stand with even more of a sweet selection on it…wow.
We decided to start with the celeriac and apple soup. To be completely honest…we were slightly hesitant at first. I’d never had celeriac before and immediately thought “there is no way i’m going to like this”, but wow was I wrong! It was amazing! Still hot, even though we’d been sat staring at everything for about five minutes, a nice thick consistency…completely different to anything i’d ever tried before. I’m finding it so difficult to describe because it tasted so different…all I can say is, I could have eaten more, and coming from a fussy eater, that is good!
The cute little sandwiches that were cut into squares were all really lovely. Both the white and brown bread were soft and the fillings were all very tasty. Danielle in particular very much enjoyed the cheese and pickle…in fact, she wouldn’t shut up about how much she loved the pickle haha! I really enjoyed the gammon and mustard. I have never been a fan of mustard, but this was lovely. It almost gave the sandwich a sweet taste, which is always a good thing in my book. (I should say at this point that we swapped out the salmon for chicken and mayonnaise)
We have now reached Danielle’s favourite savoury…the scotch egg. It had a brilliant crispy outside that was nicely browned and a golden gooey centre. The meat was so flavoursome…could really taste all of the seasonings.
The second slate serving tray was such a treat! Toffee popcorn milkshakes and miniature apple crumbles.
The milkshakes – at first we forgot what flavour the milkshake was, but as soon as you take a sip, you immediately realise…the flavour came through so well that there was no way of not knowing. My favourite sweet by far was the apple crumble…this was my turn to not stop going on and on…it was absolutely delightful! Light, sweet and fruity with a custard surprise in the centre. The crumble topping even had a surprise…POPPING CANDY! It honestly was the best apple crumble i’ve ever had EVER!
Next we had the soft sultana scones which were so tasty with their sweet, crisp exterior. They came with strawberry Tiptree jam, clotted cream and what we think was a home made orange jam/marmalade…what ever it was, it was beautiful! Danielle put it on half of her scone, but I enjoyed it so much that I just had to eat it from the pot…I couldn’t leave it.
The two tier cake stand had a lovely selection of cakes on it, as well as the two scones;-
*A gooey chocolate brownie,
*Sweet treacle tart,
*Soft ginger cake,
*A cute teeny tiny pink macaroon, filled with cream and freeze dried raspberries,
*Baked vanilla cheesecake, and
*A cake that almost had the flavour of a battenburg, except that it was a chocolate cake.
We enjoyed all of these cakes, but our favourite was the chocolate battenburg type cake. It was gorgeous. There were 3 different consistencies within this cake…the top was a harder texture with a very tasty sticky glaze, the middle of the cake had a chocolatey cream running through it, and the bottom was a soft chocolate sponge. This coupled with the added almond flavour…just delicious.
Although it sounds like there was a lot of cake on that stand, and yes, we were most definitely stuffed by the end of all of this amazing food, we really liked the fact that the cakes were not served as humongous pieces. They were perfect sizes to be a bit more than just a taster of what the chefs in the kitchen at the manor can do with their baking skills.
*Lots and lots of tea.
*The selection of food was fantastic.
*Friendly and attentive staff.
*Definitely value for money.
*We really did struggle to think of a con…the only thing we can think of was the tea service could have been a little more thought about. Miss matching jugs and tea pots etc is absolutely fine, but it is nice to have a matching cup and saucer. But this is just us being picky…it in no way affected our experience.
We rate this experience a 10/10! We are very impressed with all of the changes that have been made since our last visit and would happily go back again for many more visits. Well done to the team of chefs…you have definitely improved Healing Manor!
Lovely view of the garden
Celeriac and apple soup
Toffee popcorn milkshake
I think it is important to say that the afternoon tea at Healing Manor changes on a weekly or sometimes even a daily basis. This is because everything is made fresh in their kitchens for the day, and depending on what gets added onto the afternoon tea is down to which desserts they make for service that day. So if you decided to go…there is a high chance that you won’t have what we were served today. I bet it’ll still be fab though :o)