Afternoon tea at Sprowston Manor in NorwichMonday, August 17, 2015
I'm not familiar with many places in the city so to be honest, I too would be asking where can you get afternoon tea in Norwich? Well now I know, thanks to being invited to come along write a review. Sprowston Manor is a Marriot hotel and country club about ten minute's drive from the city. It's so spacious and open and green, we visited on a sunny day and it felt very British to see golfers working their way round the course and we drove up to the hotel. When I heard it was a gin afternoon tea I knew one very willing companion who would happily drink gin and eat cake with me.
The hotel was fairly quiet when we arrived, with about a third of the tables taken in the garden room that we were in. It was spacious and relaxed with a lovely feeling of ease about the afternoon, although things looked set to busy up as we were leaving as a wedding party gravitated inside.
Our waiter was most polite, I have to admit to having one of those moments when I felt terribly gown up when he addressed us as ladies, such attentive service and I really appreciated it.
The table was neatly arranged with a tea menu. There must have been 12-14 different varieties all with a detailed explanation of flavours (I naively assumed we'd be drinking 'just tea'). While Hazel went for mint, I couldn't resist the white pear and ginger which was the right choice; a bounty of flavour and a huge teapot of it all to myself. I only made one error of not using the strainer with small blip in concentration but only two shreds of leaf flowed out so it wasn't the end of the world. Unlike my dining buddy. Ooops.
We started with the finger sandwiches which stuck with traditional fillings: smoked salmon, cucumber, ham and a nice cheese and pickle. We left two; mindful of the remaining three tiers. It was cute little shortbread biscuits and mini macrons next to be demolished as well as the shot glasses of thick mousse. Mine was lemon (yum) and Hazel had the milk chocolate counterpart which looked super rich. Controversially, I leapfrogged straight to the scone on the top tier and set about layering it up with strawberry jam. My appetite conked out partway through the second half of the scone so I enjoyed the last of the tea from my pot. The slices of walnut cake were in fact banana and walnut but barring a crumbling at one corner they remained in situ. No room.
Hazel nobly worked her way through both gins which was met with a seal of approval (as I was designated driver and I steadfastly refuse to drink even a little bit before getting behind the wheel). We were feeling rather smug about how well we'd done when the smile was rather swiftly wiped from our faces as our cheerful waiter appeared with a large chocolate cake on a trolley. Instinctively, we politely decline but he looked so crestfallen that I suggested we had one piece to share between the two of us. Hazel had a token mouthful and I somehow ate most of the rest.
It's fair to say we were full when we left and happy too.
Thank you to Sprowston Manor for inviting us along!