If you visit Bath and want to find somewhere to have afternoon tea, you are truly spoilt for choice. There are so many unique places to visit that will suit most budgets and dietary needs.
We were very fortunate to visit the magnificent Gainsborough Hotel. This stunning 5 star hotel was originally built in the 1800’s and is now centred around a spa which draws on the healing natural spring waters that this city is renowned for. It has been named amongst the top 100 places to visit in 2018 by Conde Nast Traveller and after our visit we can quite see why it has earned this prestigious accolade.
The spa has been inspired by the ancient legend on which the city of Bath was established. The story, dating back to 863AD, features leprosy stricken Prince Bladud being banished from his kingdom and seeking refuge in the area. The healing waters cured the prince and he was able to return to his kingdom. As a mark of gratitude Prince Bladud founded Bath.
When you enter the elegant and stylish foyer of the Gainsborough, the charming staff greet you with a warm welcome. We were taken to the Canvas Room, a comfortable and impeccably decorated room, that creates a quintessentially English character which was very conducive to an afternoon of amazing food and chatter.
As tea lovers we were very impressed with the extensive tea menu that included a huge range of teas to suit every taste. We opted for the Gainsborough Tea which was a specially blended combination of Darjeeling and Assam. It was the perfect cup of tea served in beautiful chinaware.
Our waitress for the afternoon was attentive, allowing us enough time to peruse the menu without feeling rushed, but not leaving us so long that we felt forgotten. She checked that we didn’t have any dietary requirements which points to there being options for all dietary needs. The service felt very personal and added to the overall experience of the afternoon.
The food that we were presented with was fabulous. We had a choice of four different variety of finger sandwiches. We tucked into locally sourced ham, salad and mustard mayonnaise, Coronation Confit Chicken, Scottish Salmon, cream cheese and cucumber and egg mayonnaise with mustard cress finger sandwiches all of which were delicious.
After our savoury course we enjoyed a freshly made, warm plain scone and fruit scone with clotted cream and seasonal preserve. The scones were light and airy with a golden outside and totally yummy! To complete our afternoon tea we had a stunning selection of delicate tea pastries and cakes. We think that this was the most special part of the tea.
The selection of cakes and sweet treats left us speechless! The cake selection consisted of a red velvet cake filled with a rich chocolate mousse filling and a decadent chocolate mousse cake. They were both exquisite and the perfect portion size left us feeling nicely full but with enough room for sampling more. The small pot of lemon posset was tangy yet sweet and was a refreshing interlude to the heavier (but still delicious) desserts. We finished off our afternoon tea with a slice of banana cake with light peanut buttercream topping and a mini jam doughnut.
The staff aim to make your visit to the Gainsborough one where you can unwind and enjoy a fabulous, homemade afternoon tea – we can safely say that they absolutely achieved this. We left with big smiles on our faces having had a very special afternoon in a very special place. We think you might like it too.