On a chilly but bright February afternoon I headed down the A38 towards Plymouth to the beautiful Boringdon Hall with Steve, Alex and Tim. At 430 years old, she is still looking mighty fine and took my breath away as we approached up the winding drive. What a rich and varied past Boringdon Hall has. Monarchs, dukes, ladies and many distinguished guests have played their part in Boringdon Halls history. Between 1547 and the 1920’s where Boringdon had fallen into disrepair, royals such as Queen Elizabeth 1 and King Henry V111 are said to have visited. With a nod to local history, Sir Frances Drake had a banquet held here to celebrate his raid on the Spanish at Cadiz Harbour. I should imagine that the Great Hall that I marvelled at as I ate my afternoon tea has barely changed in all that time.
The hotel was taken over by the Nettleton Family in 2011 and renovated with the hope to make Boringdon Hall a destination hotel and spa. They have recently been awarded 5 stars by the AA which has made Boringdon Hall one of the leading hotels in the south-west.
Many of my regular readers will know that I have a love of tea and cake. So an afternoon tea is one of my favourite ways to while away a couple of hours with friends and family. Boringdon Hall serve their traditional afternoon tea alongside a speciality tea that changes its theme monthly. To coincide with the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang in South Korea, the chefs had come up with sweet treats such as gold medal medallions, Italian meringue Olympic torches, beautifully decorated shortbread biscuits and coconut snowballs. The idea was indeed a good one but by comparison to the traditional tea, it lacked the wow factor in my opinion. The cakes didn’t live up to my expectations from a five-star hotel.
On the other hand, the traditional tea was visually spectacular and laden with sweet treats. Strawberry shortbread macaron, raspberry and lychee tarts, chocolate tiffin and an opera gateaux. Of course, both teas came with a selection of fruit and plain scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam.
The savouries I felt were a little on the tame side. Particularly when I asked for one of our teas to be vegetarian. There were plenty of cucumber sandwiches but not a lot else apart from a Mediterranean vegetable tartlet. Perhaps a little more thought could go into vegetarian options?
Teas were plentiful. In fact, so much so a tea menu is supplied to help with your choices. Over the course of our fireside tea, the four of us tried the assam, rosebud, jasmine and chai teas all provided by Jing Teas. You really can’t beat a delicious pot of loose leaf tea alongside your sweet and savoury delicacies. I thought the tea menu was genius and would recommend other venues take this on board!
The great hall was the perfect setting for us. We were nestled cosily by the wood burner which was a welcome relief from the biting chill outside. That being said, once we had had our fill of tea and cake we ventured back out for a walk around the grounds. The building is visually stunning and reminiscent of Bovey Castle or the Pig at Combe. It’s easy to imagine yourself in your sumptuous Elizabethan gown complete with corset, collars and ruff shimmying through the grounds and that’s just what I did before I waved farewell.
Afternoon tea is served daily between 1 pm and 4 pm and the full tea will set you back £27.00 per person. If you fancied a champagne upgrade then you would pay £39.00 per person.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Boringdon Hall to sample their afternoon tea. I was not paid for writing this post and all views are my own as always.