Jude the Undergardener and I have become very fond of indulging in afternoon teas, a true English tradition which has been revived here in the UK in recent years. Our children often treat us to one as a present and we easily find reasons to treat ourselves with friends.
It seems such a civilised English way of giving ourselves a treat even when not celebrating any event. Our visit to Harvington Hall however was a present from our son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Arriving at this unusual-looking and very ancient building you immediately sense you are in for a special treat. The walk up the garden path to the entrance took us over a stone bridge over a moat and gave us beautiful views of the frontage. Near the gate was what we imagined to be one of the most ancient trees we had ever met.
As we had allowed ourselves a few hours to spare for a casual wander around both inside and outside the hall we indulged in coffee and cake and of course we could check up on the tea room!
Once fully refreshed we set out on an exploration of the outside of the rambling range of buildings that constituted the hall. There was a surprise discovery awaiting around every corner and through every doorway. We found little secret gardens, alleyways and more rooms.
Our wanderings prepared our thirst and our appetite for our afternoon tea. It was a feast well worth the waiting.
We had just enough time after our refreshments to explore the interior secrets Harvington Hall had awaiting us, doorways with ancient locks, old sculleries and bedrooms fully furnished and even original ancient wall decorations.
We had discovered what it meant to be treated to a traditional afternoon tea at Harvington Hall, dainty sandwiches and fancy cakes with plenty of freshly brewed English Tea plus a whole lot more, a full afternoon discovering and experiencing the architectural and social secrets hidden within its ancient walls.