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I took a few days off last week and returned to Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve for afternoon tea at The Garden Room. I know I can’t stay away. But after I shared the amazing Sunday Brunch, the lovely folks at Port Lympne invited me back for afternoon tea, and I’m not going to lie, it was wonderful, luxurious and delicious, I felt spoilt.
I see afternoon tea as one of the ultimate treats. Come on, who doesn’t love finger sandwiches, tiny cakes and scones smothered in clotted cream and jam. At Port Lympne that is made even more special with the fact you also get entry into the reserve to see the animals and the restaurant is just so beautiful. There is just something magical about the atmosphere and decor that makes me happy.
So what do you get for afternoon tea at The Garden Room?
I’ve always loved Port Lympne, I’m lucky that it is so close to us, and even better now that it has great food options, and while brunch was delicious, the afternoon tea took it up a notch. Served as a traditional afternoon tea on tiers, it had a selection of finger sandwiches alongside savoury bites, plain and fruit scones, as well as the most delicate and incredible selection of pastries. They also cater for both meat and vegetarian options.
The first thing to note has to be the incredible bone china. I love a good tea set and The Garden Room really picked the perfect set, Wedgwood’s ‘Mythical Creatures’ designed by Kit Kemp. It is whimsical and perfect for the setting, and afternoon tea is always better when it is served alongside pretty china. There is nothing more disappointing than an afternoon tea served with plain, boring crockery.
For the food, we, of course, started with the savouries. For me, my vegetarian sandwiches were lovely, egg and tomato and mushroom, while for my husband, he had ham, salmon and egg. There was also a number of savoury bites, for us both we had sun-dried tomatoes and olive muffins with cream cheese topping that were moist and flavourful, and my husband also had a sausage roll, which he said was delicious, as he much prefers the savoury side of an afternoon tea.
Next up, scones, and I was so pleased that they were still warm to the touch. Both the plain and fruit were nice, but the fruit one was extra special. The local Kent strawberry jam it was served with was also so yummy, perfectly paired with a giant dollop of thick clotted cream. Also, don’t worry if you like a lot of clotted cream as you can ask for more.
My favourite tier of any afternoon tea has to be the cakes, and these were special, a passionfruit and raspberry tart, carrot cake and a chocolate brownie. Now, it is hard to choose a favourite from those, all were incredible, the tart was fruity, the carrot cake moist and the brownie was heavenly. I left still thinking about each one during the safari around the park!!!
Best afternoon tea in Kent – The Garden Room, Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve
This was a London-standard afternoon tea, you know from one of those fancy hotels. It had it all, incredible location, I just adore The Garden Room decor, great crockery, wonderful food, it was just the perfect amount of food, and attentive service. For me, hands down one of the best afternoon teas in Kent.
There was only one little thing, I wish it had a dedicated afternoon tea menu, with all the teas on offer, so I could next time ensure that I chose one that came as loose tea leaves. When you have such wonderful crockery, with a teapot and stylish tea strainer, you want to use them, or is that just me?
Afternoon tea at The Garden Room is served 12-4pm daily, priced £35 per person and includes admission to the Reserve. If you are lucky enough to be staying overnight, you can book afternoon tea for £23 per person.
Don’t forget, if you want to add on the safari, to see more animals like the giraffes, book a safari for when you’ve finished eating.