Technically it was after noon, so it qualified as afternoon tea, but in my heart (and stomach) it was still lunch. FLC pre-booked afternoon tea at Fanhams Hall as a celebration (around £18 per head). Fanhams Hall Hotel hides in plain sight, on the edge of Ware, yet somehow in the middle of the countryside.
It is quite a grand environment and the room was impressive. We were seated at a low table with sofas - someone else had cunningly bagged the best table in the bay window. In fine weather, I am told it is wonderful to take tea outside on the terrace. This day was rainy however, so indoors obligatory.
A gentleman asked if we would like to sniff the teas available and brought a wooden chest with samples inside. Wanting to have the whole experience, yet faintly embarrassed, we duly obliged. Speciality coffees were available at a supplement.
Sandwiches, cakes and home-made scones arrived on tiered stands and we ploughed through.
If it had not been for the odd choice of music on a slightly tinny sound-system, we would have felt like extras from Downton Abbey. Perhaps the pianist had the day off?
The service is very good and it was fun to do - I wouldn't spoil it by doing it too often though. I also came away with a rather sickly feeling - it is, after all, a very cake-centric affair. Treat your Mum, Aunt or Granny - they will love it.
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