Monday, 5 September 2011

Tea For Two

Bob did some ‘mentoring’ earlier in the year, and as a thank-you gift, his ‘mentee’ [what a silly word] gave him a voucher for two luxury cream teas at Rushton Hall. We had never heard of this place, but a quick look at the website revealed it was rather nice! We decided to use the voucher as a belated Wedding Anniversary Celebration. So I put on a posh frock, he put on a suit and tie, and off we went [via the Charity Bookshop – where we donated another 50 books in a continuing attempt to clear our shelves!]

The Hall is in Northamptonshire, close to the Leicestershire border, in the lovely Rockingham Forest. It looked so impressive from the car park…so utterly splendid


We walked up to the front door


It was very grand!


Bob had reserved a table for 3.30pm, and we were greeted and shown to our place in the sumptuous tea room – the Grand Hall, full of portraits, and Knole Sofas and sumptuous carving [it looked like the work of Grinling Gibbons but I am not certain] Building work began on the house in 1438.

great hall

Rushton Hall was at one point owned by Clara Thornhill, a great friend of Charles Dickens – and he conceived the idea of Havisham Hall whilst staying at Rushton. I did not see any elderly ladies float past in faded wedding dresses this afternoon – although you can hire the Hall as a ‘wedding venue’. For the ‘Fairtytale Package’ with 120 guests, reckon on paying upwards of £20K [forget that idea, girls!]

From 1957 – 2003, the RNIB owned the Hall and ran it as a school for blind and partially sighted children – but now it is a family run enterprise – committed to maintaining the grandeur of the property for future generations.

The meal was delicious – a choice of about 15 different teas to drink -from English Breakfast to Rooibos via Earl Grey and Darjeeling - with milk or lemon. There were four sorts of finger sandwiches, 4 sorts of cakes and scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream. Bob looks terribly relaxed, as if this is his normal fare


As usual, I appear a little more anxious – What if this pink meringue explodes in a cloud of icing sugar? What if I get jam on my nose? How many calories in this meal? I won’t spill tea on this pristine white linen napkin, will I? Are we allowed to take photos in here?


I think I need to visit a few more times, then I shall be able to relax properly! It was utterly fabulous and we did enjoy ourselves. In the end I felt really special, and the service was excellent. The waiters were charming and funny – and not at all supercilious [and they brought us fresh pots of tea. I love the three tier stand with carrying handle on which they brought our food.

How kind of Bob’s friend to give such a thoughtful present. Isn’t afternoon tea such a wonderfully civilised English custom? I wish you could all have joined us – we’d have had such fun together.


  1. Wow!! It reminds me of the one glamorous tea time we had at the Ritz in London, but yours looks much more comfortable. what a thoughtful gift.

  2. What a lovely gift, and a fantastic experience! And you're looing great, Ang. I'm a bit covetous of that dress...

  3. Yes, I too think you must visit a few more times. Just so you can feel relaxed. Tell Bob he'd better get busy. And make those mentees happy! :)

    Blessings, Debbie

  4. That's something to remember. We obviously have something to live up to at our Cornish Cream Day here on 29th!

  5. You look lovely Angela! I love your outfit - froogs xxx

  6. You both look as though this is a daily event!
    Love the posh outfit...perfect afternoon tea attire!
    Jane x

  7. Oh, what a magnificent building- I have a love of architecture and this would have kept me entertained for hours!

  8. that looks ever so good,

    Gill in Canada

  9. I think afternoon tea is the height of luxury! Wonderful! and congratulations for not once mentioning your diet! One needs to have the occasional treat! and one tea won't make much difference!

  10. What a beautiful place and a thoughtful gift!

  11. Oh, I love when you show us pictures of Bob wearing a tie! And you, my dear, look so lovely--and svelte!--in your polka dots. What a nice gift.


  12. its really nice to see such beautiful place ....
    i feel better after go trough your blog,....


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