A day out in St Albans included taking in the sights of the magnificent Cathedral and the park with its lakes. A well deserved relaxed afternoon in a luxury setting was in store after all the walking around.
Afternoon Tea at Sopwell House is either served in the cocktail lounge or in the restaurant. A fireplace, shelves of books, sofas, cushions, a beige and brown decor, made up the plush and comfortable seating area of the cocktail lounge. The windows looked out onto the beautiful gardens.
Normally with Afternoon Tea, the choice of tea chosen for myself is either English Breakfast or Earl Grey. But recently, herbal teas are more favourable. The Twinings Peppermint tea was served by the pot and it was nice to be able to get refills throughout the afternoon.
For the main event, the finger sandwiches, scones and cakes were all delightful. Chunks of chicken on white bread with cranberries had the right balance of sweet and savoury. Classic egg mayonnaise and ham sandwiches were fresh. It was a change to have thin cucumber slices sandwiched between basil bread. The flavours of the sandwiches worked well and the quality of the food was high.
The next tier was the scones. Plain and fruit scones were served with the clotted cream. The scones were buttery and it was nice to have strawberry and raspberry jam. The jams were Tiptree jams which had been specially selected by Five Lakes and Sopwell House.
The cakes were a great variety. The chocolate eclair was filled with fresh cream. It’s been a while since I had Battenberg cake. The colourful cake squares were surrounded by a wonderful almondy marzipan. The richness of the chocolate square was balanced by the thin cream layers. Small fresh berries topped the creme patisserie fruit tart. Pistachio cream went well with the soft half domed cake. Last but not least, the pink macaron had the crispy outer with a lovely flavour with the cream.
The staff were very friendly and gave us very personal service. They asked us throughout the afternoon if we required more sandwiches and scones and also if everything was okay.
If you want to have a really special Afternoon Tea, then Sopwell House is the place to go. It made for a memorable happy occasion.
Sopwell House, Cottonmill Lane, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 2HQRating: