Afternoon Tea For Two

On a whim my husband and I decided to book a last minute week off of work to make the most of the summer weather. Neither of us are particularly tolerant of the heat however, and we managed to pick what turned out to be one of the hottest weeks of the season. After a few days of road trips to the local lakes and countryside (each time wilting after about half an hour of wandering) we decided to book afternoon tea and enjoy a bit of scenery… this time from the comfort of a nice cool bar!
So one sunny afternoon we jumped in the car and headed to The Oundle Mill in Northamptonshire, which was recommended to us by a friend.
We made our way upstairs to the restaurant, which has a boutique, contemporary feel with rustic oak beams, exposed brick and dark leather seating and offers views out onto the River Nene. I’m not a big drinker but inspired by the setting, I couldn’t resist a champagne cocktail.

Peach and champagne – my favourite combination

Soon our afternoon tea was served. This consisted of perfectly cut sandwiches, homemade scones with the most delicious jam and vanilla chantilly and last but not least, 5, yes 5, mini desserts! All were beautifully presented on slabs of slate with bone white china accompaniments. I immediately made a mental note to google ‘slate plates’ when I got home to see where I could buy some. I know that some foodies/chefs are purists who believe that everything should be served on plain white, round plates, but I like to play around with different ways of presenting food, and this place gave me plenty of ideas.

Oak smoked salmon and dill

Havensfield Farm free range egg and cress

Trendall’s cured Blythborough ham and English mustard

Fivemiletown cream cheese and cucumber

Buttermilk fruit scones, seasonal jam, Madagascan vanilla Chantilly
Jam and cream – a perfect combination

The desserts were small but perfectly formed and I loved the miniature ice cream cone presented in a shot glass (which disappeared in one indulgent mouthful!)

I would love to say that there was just too much food and that I had only a taster of each… but in truth I polished off the lot as we chattered excitedly about our recent trip to the London Film and Comic Con, discussed our upcoming plans and attempted to answer life’s big questions, such as if you could have a dinner party for five, who would you invite? (Alive or dead, fictional or real, comic book characters count!).

I was very impressed that I had somehow managed to coordinate my nail varnish with my dessert… until I realised just how badly I’d painted them!! *blush*

Feeling very full, we headed out onto the balcony to enjoy the late afternoon sun and views across the river.

It was lovely and peaceful, but still so very hot! A leaf caught my eye as it floated from a tree, caught the breeze and gently drifted towards me. Transfixed, I followed it’s journey until it landed on the decking beside me. As I looked down I realised it wasn’t a leaf – it was a butterfly wing! Nature is a beautiful thing sometimes, and then sometimes just as you’re thinking that it deposits half a butterfly at your feet!

And with that, we headed home, bellies full and content in the knowledge that we could head straight to the sofa for a lazy movie night… and no washing up – bliss!

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Peterborough | UK
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