Afternoon tea is one of life’s treasures; savouring every moment so to revisit it like it was only yesterday. An occasion for all but made even more special when dining with your little sister. Or so I think.
Visiting Helmsley is one of favourite things to do. The small Yorkshire town offers the best in café’s, antiques and country retreats. One of the hotel sit’s proudly, looking out onto the square and offers the most delightful afternoon tea.
The Black Swan Afternoon Tea
Priced at a very reasonable £21.95 per person, the Black Swan’s afternoon tea is served in the hotel’s café; a quaint yet unfussy tea rooms with just the right amount of chine. Kirstie and I sat in the window, able to look out and people watch; it was the perfect afternoon after our stay at Ox Pastures Hall Hotel.
The afternoon tea came with an array of teas to choose from which, we noticed, looked like they were made for the hotel exclusively. I opted for a Gin and Tonic tea while Kirstie went down the traditional route of Earl Grey, the perfect accompaniment to any cake. We were also treated to a glass of Louis Reoderer Champagne (£10.50 per person), and can I just say this Champagne was divine. It slipped down a treat and if I didn’t have to drive back to Harrogate, I would have ordered a bottle.
The arrival of afternoon tea was what any afternoon tea experience should be like – pure perfection! The three tiered cake stand laden with sandwiches, cakes and scones was one to savor. The first tier of sandwiches included Cucumber with Cream Cheese & Chive, Free-range Hen’s Egg with Mustard Cress, Prawn & Marie Rose, Yorkshire Ham & Dijon Mustard Mayonnaise. Although a little heavy on bread and lacking on the filling; the choice of sandwiches was lovely. The second tier held two scones with the creamiest of clotted creams and delicious jam. We even had a choice of jams; Kirstie chose strawberry but I’m more of a raspberry girl myself.
On the third and final tier were the cakes, now having worked for Bettys for many years I know this is the most important tier. Standing proudly were four cakes all with my name on. The Earl Grey Panna Cotta, in the cute jam jars, was insanely refreshing. I then picked up a Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake which had a lovely kick of ginger to it, I followed it with a tangy Lemon Cream Profiterole and last but no means lease the Chocolate Dacquoise finished with a passion fruit jus.
I harp on about how much I love Helmsley, Maybe because it reminds me so much of Harrogate. It offers a love warm welcome weather you’re a family, couple or one man and his dog. So if you’ve never been or indeed if you’re a regular like me, try to squeeze in a visit to the Black Swan for afternoon tea – you won’t regret it!
P.S Thank you to The Black Swan for inviting my sister and me to experience your gorgeous hotel at the heart of Helmsley.