This month’s edition saw me making a return visit to the Ampersand Hotel, one of my favourite afternoon tea venues, and also enjoying an enormous home made scone in a garden centre.Last year when Immy and I went to the Ampersand for their Science Afternoon Tea and I’ve wrote about it briefly in Scones of the Month – January 2015 – Part II Scones on the Town. This time Katie and I visit as she has been unable to make it last time.
Our Science Afternoon Teas arrived beautifully presented, complete with smoke effect which certainly gave it the WOW factor. We each had our own three tier cake stand filled with tasty treats and it was accompanied with a pot of tea of our choice, I chose the Ampersand Blend. There was a delicious and varied selection of finger sandwiches and my vegetarian option consisted of Egg mayonnaise & mustard-cress on milk bread, Tomato & olive tapenade on basil bread, Goat’s cheese & chutney on walnut bread and Cucumber, dill & cream cheese on brown bread.
The scones were large and served warm. There was a white chocolate one and a plain scone. They were accompanied with generous portions of Devonshire clotted cream and home made strawberry preserve served in individual pots.
Both scones were delicious and had that perfect consistency of being crunchy on the outside, soft in the centre and melted in the mouth. I particularly liked the white chocolate one, as the taste and texture had the perfect balance, as the chocolate flavour was delightfully noticeable but not overwhelming.
The pastries with a science theme were very creative and eye catching. There was a hazelnut, walnut and chocolate cake with mango mousse volcano, two chocolate dinosaurs, a pistachio macaroon, a citrus cocktail which came in a beaker with the measurements marked on it and raspberry planet cake with a white chocolate ring around it. We both enjoyed all the pastries apart from one. I kept my planet cake to last, as on my previous visit it has been my favourite cake, but sad to say this time we both felt it was a bit hard, dry and tasted a little bit stale.
The service throughout our stay was excellent, we were offered extra sandwiches and our teapots were replenished. The hotel has a lovely light and airy, contemporary feel about it and I love its quirky décor. The Science Afternoon Tea is excellent value at £32.50 per person. I enjoyed another very relaxed and pleasant visit and the hotel is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a good value whether you’re looking for a fun and quirky themed afternoon tea or something more traditional.
Ratings: Scones: 3, Accompaniments: 2, Service: 3, Ambience: 2, Overall: 10/12
This month I also enjoyed a cream tea the Atrium Restaurant at Carr Farm Garden Centre in Meols, Wirral. First off I must apologise for the lack of photos as it was an impromptu visit when I was back home while I was sorted out my late father’s things, and I only had my phone on me. My auntie and uncle drove us to Carr Farm Garden Centre. It’s a huge garden centre which also sells food, gifts and clothing and which has its own self service restaurant. (For Londoners think Crews Hill).
We went to the counter and ordered our tea and scones. The scones are humungous, seriously I didn’t eat for the rest of the day! A large scone served with butter and jam is excellent value at £2.25 and there is a small additional charge if you want cream. The scone was served with 2 packets of butter and 2 packets of Duerr’s strawberry jam. The accompanying portion of cream was fresh rather than clotted, which I always find slightly disappointing.
The scone was served cold. There was ample jam, cream and butter for the size of the scone. The fruit scone was delicious, firm on the outside with a soft on the inside. It was extremely filling due to its proportions. The restaurant is large and there’s plenty of seating. Staff were friendly and kept extremely busy either serving at the counter or clearing the tables. The garden centre made a lovely day out and the scones were the cherry on the cake, or should that be the jam and cream on the scone. It’s definitely worth a visit if you find yourself on the Wirral.
Ratings: Scones: 2, Accompaniments: 2, Service: 2, Ambience: 2, Overall: 8/11
Until next time…