I’d emailed ahead to reserve a table so that I could treat my mother to afternoon tea at The Mill Hotel for a post-Christmas treat, as I’d previously enjoyed one there with friends 18 month earlier.
On arrival the cheery receptionist gave us the directions to the restaurant, and once we were in there the restaurant staff were lovely and helpful. We’d been given a table with a wonderful view of the pond and it was also fantastic to be able to see the enormous water wheel turning from where we were sitting.
Napkins were folded into Christmas trees, which added to the festive atmosphere, and the decorations were subtle and classy. Immediately, a waitress confirmed that one of us (me) was vegetarian (I’d put that in my email) and offered us tea or coffee (we opted for coffee, which was delicious and plentiful).
Within minutes the 3-tiered cake stand full of goodies arrived. Now, in my email I’d specifically written that we wanted brown bread, that I’m vegetarian and was happy with cheese while mum doesn’t like salmon but does like tuna, ham or cheese. I’d actually emailed a couple of times as this was a special occasion and I wanted everything perfect.
The bread was brown (good) and I had cheese and pickle (good) and tomato and watercress (good) but was also given egg (not a good vegetarian option). Mum was given ham (good) egg (good) but was given salmon and cream cheese (not good when I’d already stated she doesn’t like salmon). I didn’t want to cause a fuss by sending it back, and mum seemed to put up with the salmon without comment, so I chose to ignore it rather than spoil the occasion, but I was disappointed, especially as I’d specifically stated dietary requirements in my email.
The scones were perfect; still warm and utterly delicious, especially when topped with strawberry jam and clotted cream.
The little cakes were also excellent. The chocolate brownie melted in the mouth, the macaroons were great, the fruit tart was gorgeous and the little shot glass of lemony creamy sauce was fabulous.
We were extremely full afterwards and sat at the table chatting for over an hour, but were left alone by the staff and never felt rushed at all, which was nice.
The toilets, I have to say, were immaculate.
Paying was a bit confusing as I went to reception, only to be told I had to go to the bar. I ended up back in the restaurant before a waitress showed us where the bar was. Apparently that’s where the wifi is for the credit card reader. To be honest, we could probably have walked out without paying as neither the restaurant staff nor the receptionist would’ve known if we’d been to the bar and paid or not (I DID pay!)
The afternoon tea for two was £29.90.
It was a lovely experience overall, and the hotel is gorgeous, with stunning scenery right outside the windows. However, I just feel a little let down by the sandwiches. If I’d had cream cheese instead of egg and if mum has been given just cream cheese instead of cream cheese and salmon, it would’ve been perfect.