Molly Miller celebrates the culinary classic that is afternoon tea and explains why the autumn is the perfect season to savour it…
There’s a certain indulgence to working your way through what’s essentially dessert tapas, especially when you find yourself at one of Royal Tunbridge Wells’ finest hotels or restaurants. Our nation is celebrated for its delicious afternoon tea offerings, and as we leave summer behind and the evenings become cooler, there’s no better moment to try something new. Salomons Estate, a 36-acre Victorian manor house, is a perfect place to do just that. Their pastry team has taken the traditional British afternoon tea and given it an autumnal twist, making it a great way to welcome the new season.
Nestled amidst the winding country lanes in Southborough, Salomons stands as a grand, Grade II listed estate boasting period features and 36 acres of rolling gardens. Afternoon tea is served every Wednesday and on selected Sundays in the conservatory, which overlooks the iconic grounds, providing the perfect backdrop for such a quintessential tradition. This beautiful spot excels in both sweet and savoury treats which change with the seasons, and this autumn the pastry team has spared no expense.
The spread kicks off with delicate finger cut sandwiches, filled to the brim with smoked salmon and chive cream cheese. Cucumber ribbon and mint cream cheese double decker sandwiches are also on the menu, as well as savouries like coronation chicken and baby gem bridge rolls and brie and caramelized onion tart.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, showstoppers at Salomons include a delectable, spiced pumpkin cheesecake, a creamy and tangy lime posset, and a mouthwatering chocolate and blackberry mousse cake. There are the requisite scones, home baked and still warm, topped with fresh clotted cream and strawberry jam which can be washed down with an enticing selection of hot brews.
Pre-bookings can be made on salomons-estate.com for £25.00 per person, or guests can upgrade to a glass of prosecco for £5 more.
Salomons’ Spooktacular Afternoon Tea Party
Second only to Christmas as one of the best celebrations of the year, Halloween has so much more going for it than trick-or-treating, and this half-term, you and your little ones can enjoy a ghoulishly delightful afternoon at Salomons Estate, as tickets for their Spooktacular Afternoon Tea and Party are now on sale. Before tucking into a spooky-themed afternoon tea, the little ones will have a blast playing games like musical zombies, pin the spider on the web, mummy relay, and colouring activities. They’ll even get to decorate their own witch or wizard hat and a pumpkin cookie to take home!
After the games, it’s time to enjoy a tasty spread of sweet and savoury spooky treats. Think vampire black velvet cupcakes, boo brownies and potion punch! Adults will have their own feast to tuck into, served with a selection of Halloween themed cocktails and seasonal hot drinks like pumpkin spiced lattes.
After refuelling, the adventure continues in the estate’s grounds with a quest to find hidden clues to unlock the missing letters of a magical spell, Meanwhile, be sure to count how many eyeballs have been hidden by the ghastly goblin that hides under Salomons’ bridge. Don’t forget to dress up in your scariest costume, because there will also be a chance to win best dressed!