Arden Hotel, Stratford-on-Avon

Afternoon tea at the Arden Hotel in Stratford-on-Avon was the perfect setting to catch up with a favorite aunt and uncle – in a nutshell, the setting was lovely and quiet, the tea and food delicious, and the service solicitous and helpful.

When I let my aunt know I’d be popping across the pond from America (yes, the same lovely aunt whose Victoria Sandwich won first prize at a village fete!) and that I wanted to make sure to have afternoon tea with her and my uncle, Arden Hotel was added to the itinerary.

And what a great stop it was! The red-brick hotel is directly across the street from the Royal Shakespeare Theater and the river Avon, not to mention in the middle of architecturally interesting Stratford, so it’s in a beautiful setting that makes it easy to take a stroll before – to work up an appetite! – or after – to work off what you’ve just eaten!

The hotel offers both a sweet and savoury afternoon tea option; we stayed traditional and went with the sweet afternoon tea – sandwiches, scones with lemon curd and jam, and pastries. They serve Newby Teas, which I wasn’t familiar with, but their go-to black afternoon tea was perfect with the rest of the tea.

The sandwiches are quite hearty – a decent size, and nice thick bread and fillings. I was filling up after the first couple of sandwiches, so had to hold back a bit to still have room for the scones. The farmhouse ham with mature cheddar had to be my favorite – there’s just something mouth-watering about local tangy UK cheddar cheese that you can’t get anywhere else.

In spite of the filling sandwiches, we polished off most of the scones as well – the lemon curd hit the spot, especially.

Really liked the black and white botanicals motif on the china; kind of reminded us of Alice in Wonderland drawings.

Of course, we had no room left for the pastries at the end, so we packed them up in a takeaway box and added them to our “proper tea” at home the following afternoon. While the hazelnut chocolate operate cake was delicious, and the lemon tarts and coconut macaron equally yummy bites, our favorite pastry was the mixed fruit mousse – light, airy and fruity, and left one with room for more.

Check out the menu (below) and check out the Arden Hotel if you’re looking for a fancy but reasonable afternoon tea next time you’re in Warwickshire!

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