Afternoon tea at Stoneleigh

Afternoon tea at Stoneleigh

By Ann Evans

 

Photographs by Rob Tysall at Tysall’s Photography

 

There’s nothing more English than an afternoon cream tea. Dainty sandwiches, cakes, fresh warm scones with clotted cream and jam and a pot of tea – or coffee if you prefer.

And if you’re going to treat yourself, then what better setting could you ask for than The Orangery at Stoneleigh Abbey in Warwickshire.

Stoneleigh Abbey Walled-kitchen-garden

Stoneleigh Abbey Walled-kitchen-garden

This Victorian addition to the Abbey looks out over tranquil green parkland, ancient trees and the River Avon. Surrounded by acres of greenery and woodland paths it’s perfect for walking off a few of the calories after enjoying your afternoon treat.

 

We’d decided to explore Stoneleigh, booking in for a guided tour which I would highly recommend. You’ll learn the secrets of the Leigh family who took over what was a 12th century Cistercian monastery, maybe discover a ghost or two, and learn of the links between Stoneleigh and novelist Jane Austen. A fascinating tour. But after all that culture, it was time to eat!

 

We went for Afternoon Tea, which as well as a cream tea of fruit scones, clotted cream and jam, also includes dainty sandwiches and a choice of cakes. For me it’s the spectacle of being brought a three-tiered display of mouth watering delicacies that makes it such a treat.

Stoneleigh Abbey,

Stoneleigh Abbey,

We started with sandwiches. There were three different filling with white and brown bread and a little salad on the side, which were all very nice. And then there’s the fruit scones, which I have to say, were my favourite. Big, warm, soft and flaky served with clotted cream and strawberry preserve – heavenly!

 

Finally, if you’ve room, move onto the selection of cakes which included petits fours – those dainty little cakes – and then a large slice of whatever sort of cake you ordered. I went for chocolate, and photographer Rob chose carrot cake. Neither of us could manage them though – but it’s no disaster as the friendly staff are used to giving diners a ‘doggy box’ to take home whatever they can’t eat at the time.

Stoneleigh Abbey Stoneleighs-Orangery

Stoneleigh Abbey Stoneleighs-Orangery

It certainly was a lovely way of spending the afternoon.

 

It’s always best to book your table in The Orangery. For details of opening times and prices please visit: http://www.stoneleighabbey.org/ or call 01926 858585.

Stoneleigh Abbey The-Orangery

Stoneleigh Abbey The-Orangery

 

 

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About Ann Evans

Feature writer and award winning author, Ann Evans has more than 22 books published for children, young adults, reluctant readers and adults. Never content to write one thing at a time, she always has at least half a dozen different writing projects on the go. She worked for 13 years on the Coventry Telegraph as a feature writer and currently writes for a number of different magazines, in print and on-line. Ann is also a writing tutor running classes for adults and doing author school visits throughout the UK. Ann decided to put her years of writing experience together in her book Become A Writer – a step by step guide. Amazon link:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Become-Writer-Step-Guide/dp/1907670246 Blogs:http://annsawriter.blogspot.com