15 August 2014

Afternoon Tea at Wentbridge House

Though I think every week should be Afternoon Tea Week, this week it actually officially is, woo! So it only makes sense that I tell you about the most amazing afternoon tea that I had at the weekend at Yorkshire's very lovely Wentbridge House.

Now, those with a good long term memory may recall that I didn't get on so well with Wentbridge House on my last visit, but I was encouraged to give them another go and I'm so glad I did!

afternoon tea cake stand


I will get back to the tea and cake after a little ramble about customer relations I promise! But I've heard so much about brands and companies reacting badly to complaints or negative reviews (though the French food blogger who was sued for her scathing report on a restaurant is an extreme example, I've often heard of bloggers threatened with legal action or having massive public fall-outs with brands, or at the very least being asked to take the offending post down), that I thought credit was due to Wentbridge House for dealing with my issues in such a professional and helpful way. Having read of my dissatisfaction they immediately contacted me to apologise and try to put things right. Though I was initially reluctant to return despite being offered a complimentary afternoon tea, the manager spoke to me with such sincerity about how proud they were of their usually impeccable service and generous tea offerings that I couldn't help being convinced.

So, Saturday afternoon I dragged Sammie and Hayley along with me to give them a second chance!


I'll just cone out right from the start and say my experience here this time around couldn't have been more different - and I completely see why this place has near unanimous praise all over the internet. On arrival we were first led into a bar area where we were offered a drink while we perused the tea menu - an extensive list of Taylors of Harrogate's well loved tea blends. I do love a good tea list - the amount of times I've gone for afternoon tea where they've worked really hard on nicely presented sandwiches and cute little cakes but more or less forgotten the importance of tea! I quickly opted for one of my favourites, the China Rose Petal Tea - with Hayley choosing Blackberry and Elderflower and Sammie going for a Sweet Rhubarb Tea.

sandwich platter
After the tea, the first plate out was full of sandwiches! We made poor Sammie eat all the salmon ones as she was the only one of us that likes the stuff, but the others - ham with tomato and mustard, cucumber and cream cheese, egg mayonnaise and tuna - were shared out a little more equally, and between us we managed to finish them all!
  
I've usually been brought sandwiches out on the same cake stand as the cakey bits, so it struck me as slightly unusual that they brought out the sandwiches first but imagine how pleased I was when I realised it's because the cake stand had an extra tier of cake! Obviously the cakey bits are the best part of any meal so I was over the moon when I saw that we not only got this scrumptious looking set of deliciously light strawberry shortcake, rich and squidgy chocolate orange cake and melt-in-your-mouth rose and raspberry meringue....

strawberry shortbread
.... but that it was topped with even more treats in the form of these absolutely adorable pear panna cotta pots, with blogger-favourite macaroons to finish off! I felt very treated and highly sugared up!

pear panna cotta macarons
I would usually do scones before cakes, but since I couldn't resist diving in to the above lot straight away the scones had to wait 'til last! Despite being very full of cake by this point, I still managed to polish off one of these beauties - served warm with jam, lemon curd and clotted cream.
afternoon tea yorkshire

Throughout our afternoon tea the Wentbridge staff were incredibly friendly and polite, happy to refresh tea pots and bring extras, and generally make sure we felt really well looked after. If I were more cynical I'd say they were pushing the boat out to avoid any further complaints from moany me, but it did seem all the other tables received the same level of attention - and everyone seemed very happy!
I don't think I've ever had such a turnaround of opinion - all negative thoughts of this place have been happily replaced with warm fuzzy ones! All due credit to the management team at Wentbridge House and all the lovely staff members working that day - especially the genius in charge of making those little meringues!

8 comments

  1. OMG this looks like a seriously epic afternoon tea, I've seen (and eaten) a lot in my time so it takes quite a bit to make my eyes pop out .. but wow this looks good! Need to look up where it is :D

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  2. Wow! Looks amazing!

    I'm pleased you had a better experience this time around.

    Caroline
    www.puttingyourlifeinorder.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. I still forget just how nice this was!
    Sammie
    www.littleblondelife.com

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  4. This looks so amazing, bet it was super yummy! I recently had afternoon tea at a local hotel / spa and I think I am hooked now haha. Tea and cake is the perfect combination :D

    Sophia Meola | A Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

    xx

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  5. oh wow looks amazing! all the food looks yummy.

    Sophie
    xx
    www.pocockins.co.uk

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  6. WOW...This looks too pretty to eat ;)

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  7. That was so sweet of them to contact you so they could "make it right" so you could have a nice experience! Those sandwiches look so yummy! :)

    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

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  8. This sounds lovely and the abundance of cakes looks amazing :D xx

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