Back to the tea and cake….
A week ago today was Mother’s day and as a treat for my Mum I decided to take her for afternoon tea rather than buying her a gift.
I had a look around a few places and was really shocked to see so many taking advantage of Mother’s day and doubling their prices in return for a ‘gift for Mum’ . The Runnymede Hotel, which is right on the Thames near Egham, was the exception. They were offering their normal spring afternoon tea or a special Mother’s Day lunch.
I booked us in at 4pm for afternoon tea in the lounge and My Dad dropped my Mum off so we could keep it a surprise. The entrance to the hotel is truly lovely, even on a grey afternoon, there are sculptures and many beautiful chairs to perch on leading up to a welcoming entrance.
This is probably the only slight niggle I have about the day. We entered and on our left were the hotel reception desks and on the far right the restaurant, in front of us the seating for The Lounge, but no obvious restaurant podium to go to. Luckily the security guard on the door noticed by lost-looking-loitering and asked if we needed any help. He then kindly escorted us to the right place. At the edge of the lobby and lounge there was some live music of a man and his guitar, which was lovely.
We were served by the lovely Carys who was a real credit to the Runnymede. She offered to let us settle into our seats and offered us a glass of white or rose champagne before she bought over our afternoon tea. I honestly couldn’t remember if the champagne was included in the price, but i thought to hell with it, it’s mothers day and we had a glass each. This champagne was AMAZING, I wish I knew what it was, it had underlying honey tones. UPDATE: the Runnymede have since informed me it was Besserat de Bellefon.
After we were settled with our champagne Carys came over and explained that we were having afternoon tea with sandwiches and asked what tea we would like. We could have had different, but we both settled on Earl Grey.
Horrah our afternoon tea arrived, again Carys explained what we had an each tier. Firstly smoked salmon, ham, egg mayo and cucumber sandwiches. Then petit fours of banana cheesecake, lemon tart, raspberry and white chocolate macaroon and a passion fruit layered thingy (can’t remember the name). Followed by last but not least two scones with jam and thick, thick cream.
I can honestly say I enjoyed every element
We had a break before we tackled the scones as despite having a very small lunch (banana and yoghurt) I was already full, we had polished off our tea so I asked Carys, who seemed to appear at the perfect moment, for one more pot. Talking of the tea there was one more small niggle, we weren’t offered lemon for our earl grey. I’m sure if I’d asked I would have been given some, but it’s nice to be offered! Again I was expecting to pay extra for this tea, but felt we deserved it. One fo the lovely things about The Runnymede hotel is the view, even on a grey day, sitting next to the edge of the Thames there are always things to look at it. The heating vents next to the window ensure no nasty draft and I was toasty warm throughout tea. I always worry about getting cold as I have bad circulation but this wasn’t a problem here.
It was already nearly 6 by the time we finished our afternoon tea and we were never rushed or hurried, simply enjoying our chatter! It was getting dark outside so I asked for the bill and had a surprise. But a very pleasant one, everything we had was included so at £25pp this afternoon tea was very good value. As I was paying the bill Carys bought over a lovely plant in a gift bag for Mum, which neither I or her were expecting. A great way to end a lovely meal, I can’t wait to go back. Next time I’ll have to try the lunch.
I was not paid or encouraged to write this review, nor was I given anything for free. I simply enjoyed the service!