Afternoon Tea for Two at The Cornwall Hotel, Spa and Estate
The age-old question of what’s spread first, jam or cream, on some of the tastiest scones ever eaten, quickly became irrelevant. The reason? Well, when wolfing down something that’s so fresh (it’s still warm), in a setting so beautiful, (Laura Ashley, The Tea Room at The Cornwall), one might be forgiven for not really noticing.
From the moment we arrived, slightly dishevelled and tired after just completing another ‘deadline’ week, we started to unwind. The staff, you see, are some of the friendliest and most accommodating people we’ve encountered. We laughed and chatted to several of the team who made us feel that nothing would be too much trouble. It was a sign of things to come for the rest of our stay.
The Cornwall Hotel, Spa & Estate sprawls comfortably across 43 acres of parkland and is situated just outside of St Austell; a short drive away from some of Cornwall’s beautiful beaches and The Eden Project.
The latest addition; Laura Ashley, The Tea Room; is the first and only such tea room in Cornwall. Exquisitely decorated, in a beautiful setting, what more could a person ask for, other than a ‘stomach-rumblingly’ scrumptious spread? With several options to choose from on the menu, ‘The Cornwall’, ‘The Vegan’, or a ‘savoury’ option, we ‘uhmed and aaahed’ for a while.
We both opted for the more traditional ‘The Cornwall’ which consisted of a selection of finger sandwiches, savouries, homemade sweet treats, buttermilk scones (gluten-free for me), and Rodda’s clotted cream and strawberry jam. I have a tomato allergy, so the chef personally came to our table to talk me through the filling options for my sandwiches. Talk about feeling pampered!
Afternoon tea wouldn’t be complete without a suitable brew and we opted for Tregothnan Loose Leaf Tea. I chose a more traditional Earl Grey, which included a blend of rare tea leaves picked from Cornish tea gardens and honestly, once I’d mastered the art of a tea strainer, it was one of the finest teas I’ve tasted. Llew opted for the more adventurous Manuka Smoked Black Tea, consisting of black tea from Tregothnan and Assam, smoked over Manuka woodchip. I personally found it a little too strong for my ‘delicate taste buds’, but Llew loved it and he quickly polished off the entire pot.
The highlight, for me, were the scones: slathered in clotted cream and strawberry jam. Almost indescribably delicious and surprisingly moist, considering mine were gluten free, I ate until I could eat no more. Sadly, my tummy betrayed me, and I could only fit one and a half in (although our lovely server, Lee, assured me that I could take a doggy bag).
Llew, an ardent fudge fan, enjoyed the Cornish fudge immensely, and when I had a nibble, it literally did melt in my mouth. Taste heaven!
We left the hotel, with a sense of peace and well-being, having experienced something very special. There is a real sense of community at The Cornwall, and we drove away feeling uplifted, laughing and chatting at the tops of our voices. We both agreed that it was exactly what we needed after a busy week at work and will definitely be back for more!
Don’t take my word for it though, try for yourself! Pop online to www.thecornwall.com
Written by Stella Nicholls, with Llew Nicholls