For those of you unfamiliar with Winchester, it’s a cathedral city steeped in history. With that history comes great beauty. Many of the side streets in and around Winchester Cathedral are stunning with the buildings capturing bygone eras. The cathedral itself stands at the heart of historic Winchester, once the seat of Anglo-Saxon and Norman royal power. The cathedral with its roots in the seventh century was once the most important royal church in Anglo-Saxon times with many early kings including King Alfred the Great being buried there.
Winchester for me is like a home from home. With my aunt and uncle living in the town centre and cousins in the outlying villages, I tend to visit two or three times a year. I have learnt where the good places are to go through exploring the city. There are many great places to have a bite to eat and each time I take the time to explore I discover something or somewhere new.
This time was no different with my discovery of Saint George Tea Room. A small tea room that specialises in afternoon tea, light lunches and breakfasts with plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
Everything is handmade taking inspiration from its sister venue and a personal favourite destination in Winchester, The Wykeham Arms.
With the Saint George Tearoom being closed Mondays and Tuesdays, Steve and I prolonged our latest visit by a day in order to sample their afternoon tea. We arrived at 2pm on Wednesday to a warm welcome. Joining the last of the lunch-goers before they headed off on their afternoon city explorations. For us, this afternoon tea was a treat after a blissful walk along the River Itchen. We had spent a couple of hours taking in the beauty of our surroundings.
I have to admit I was pretty ravenous when I arrived so was really looking forward to what was on offer. It didn’t take us long to decide on an afternoon tea for two complete with freshly baked scones, small cakes and finger sandwiches. A tea menu is also provided so you can choose your individual pot of loose leaf tea to suit your taste lovingly curated by the famous Winchester tea shop Char. If you love tea like me, Char is well worth a visit in itself.
Our order taken we sat back and relaxed chatting about the wonderful few days we had spent in this beautiful city. Assam tea for me and Jasmine for Steve. Before long our finger sandwiches arrived. Wiltshire honey roast ham, egg mayonnaise and smoked salmon and cream cheese. Each made to order and generously filled. In all honesty, this was a meal in itself. Thank goodness I was hungry after our walk! If I could make one constructive criticism here I would suggest a slightly more refined savoury option to replace one of the sandwiches. A savoury tart or quiche perhaps? This way there is less bread. Don’t get me wrong, I love bread, especially good bread but the sandwiches seemed a bit much on top of the sweet treats.
Next, the scones with clotted cream and homemade preserves arrived. One fruit and one plain per person, as well as homebaked carrot cake with a white chocolate frosting, a mini three-tiered Victoria sponge with fresh cream and strawberry’s plus an exquisite raspberry and chocolate macaron. The scones were light, fluffy and served warm and the small cakes were all very good. The raspberry and chocolate macaron was exceptional.
Steve and I spent the best part of two hours soaking up the laid back atmosphere at Saint George Tea Room. It’s decorated tastefully with a nod to the old fashioned. Plush velvet-covered chairs, dark wood tables and vintage-inspired china set the tone for a quintessential afternoon tea experience. A must-have stop off if you find yourself in Winchester. I am pretty sure that Steve and I will be back. Maybe next time we will be able to enjoy the beautiful gardens outside? I hope so.
You can find Saint George Tea Room at 75 Kingsgate Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9PE.
Disclaimer: I was invited to the Saint George Tea Room to sample their afternoon tea menu. I was not paid for this post and all views are my own as always.