architecture buildings gardens gardens open to the public

Harvington Hall – a great place for afternoon tea.

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.


Afternoon Tea for Two – how English we are!

Afternoon tea is such a quintessentially English thing to do isn’t it? We recently used our voucher for tea for two which was a present from our son Jamie and his wife Sam. We chose a sunny  but chilly day so we took advantage of being indoors enjoying our treat and looking at the bright weather outside.

We drove through the ancient town of Ludlow and a little way into the countryside to find our destination, Fishmore Hall. We knew we were looking for a grand white manor house surrounded by countryside and it was easy to find and it was everything we expected it to be. It certainly lived up to our expectations. Doesn’t that blue sky look great against the white stucco.

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We were shown the way to our table by a window so we had great views out into the garden.

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And we even had an typical English flower on our table, a red rose.

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After a pot of tea and a pot of coffee were delivered to our table, the food began to arrive. A plate of neatly cut sandwiches with a variety of fillings was delivered first closely followed by a cake stand loaded with a rich assortment of little cakes. We had been set a challenge! We had to get through them all but we had the luxury of 2 hours to do so and plenty of tea and coffee.

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Jude was tempted first by a freshly baked scone with home made jam and clotted cream.

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And of course once the aroma escaped from her freshly cut scone I had to follow suit.

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Well after two hours and plenty of tea and coffee we were proud to have risen to the challenge. The plate of little sandwiches was empty and the cake stand similarly empty. Jude’s expressions shows how we felt.

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Many thanks to Jamie and Sam for a great gift. So good in fact that we wondered if we should do this on one afternoon each month. Nice idea!