When my sister asked if I wanted to join her for Afternoon tea at Leonardslee gardens, I jumped at the chance. She’d received a voucher, and it was for Restaurant Interlude, which had recently won its first Michelin star!
We visited Leonardslee gardens for the first time in the Summer for my Grandma’s birthday, it is stunning! With it’s own vineyard, a number of cafes, dolls house exhibition and plenty of nature and wildlife, it’s a delightful day out. The afternoon tea we had in the Summer at the Clockhouse cafe was very good, and enough for 2 people. It was very reasonable at £11.
This time we were back for a different experience!
We visited Restaurant Interlude on a Saturday in mid- December. It was quite quiet, with less than half the restaurant full. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. We were very pleased to not have people all around us, we could take lots of photos (without people looking!)
As soon as we walked into the house, we were amazed. The Christmas tree standing proudly in the centre of the hallway, beautifully decorated. I nearly cried when I saw the self-playing piano! It all added to the magic of the place.
There was a wide selection of tea, we chose the Christmas blend which was a chai tea. It was a perfect choice for the time of year. As with any good afternoon tea we could have as much as we liked. We got through a few pots each!
Classic Christmas Afternoon Tea
Cucumber and cream cheese
Hay Smoked Chalkstream Trout
Estate Egg Mayo
Coronation Chicken Bun
Potato and Leek Ragout
Homebaked Spiced Cranberry and Plain Scones
Clotted Cream, Strawberry Preserve, Lemon Curd
Selection of Christmas inspired individual Patisseries
Choice of Cake from our Trolley
A selection of loose leaf tea: £40 pp
A glass of Benguela Cove ‘Joie De Vivre’ Méthode Cap Classique: £50pp
There’s also an option of having a Savoury Tea at £43pp. I’d love to try this next time as I am more of a Savoury person than sweet. Having said that I am very glad I tried the sweet options on this occasion. You really appreciate the artistry, I really was blown away by the beauty of the Patisserie selection.
The sandwiches and savoury selections were also very tasty, the classic sandwich fillings being elevated to something more than you’d regularly have. The bread was so fresh and soft, I could have had a few more!
The service was professional and friendly, and the staff were confident with the menu and options available.
Once we’d finished the patisserie selection we were offered a slice of cake!! Even though it was on the menu, we’d forgotten about it. We were so full that we took it home in a box. £40 is not cheap, but it’s definitely worth it! There was so much attention paid to every part, it’s more than just food. The few hours we spent there will stay in my mind for a while to come. If you’re looking for somewhere special to spend an afternoon with friends or family, it’s a great place to mark a special occasion. Ours was a chance to spend time together as sisters before my new niece or nephew arrives, and it was just perfect!
Menu and more information can be found here: https://www.leonardsleegardens.co.uk/afternoon-tea-at-leonardslee-house