“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tea At The Oast

Mother's Day 2012. What to do, what to do...? Take Mum out to lunch. But where? Tea At The Oast, that's where. Tea At The Oast is the brainchild of a young and talented chef named Jess. She's managed to create the atmosphere and ambiance of a 1940's tearoom, from the decor to the music to the vintage crockery to the warm and friendly welcome and superior service.

Seriously, I have never known a waitress to smile as much as this young lady did. So from the start I was in hog heaven. But let's talk about the food, shall we?

Sunday lunch at Tea At The Oast is a traditional affair. You have a choice of two meats (it could be chicken, lamb, beef or pork - you don't know ahead of time), with all the trimmings a Sunday Roast should have - roast potatoes, carrots, peas, cabbage and Yorkshire Pudding, followed by a choice of two desserts, all for £17 a head. This day being Mother's Day though, Jess added some petit fours and coffee. Oh, and it's advisable to book - it's only a small place and fills up fast.

The menu looked like this:

What's Hokey Pokey, you ask? We'll get to that.

I started with the lamb.

Whoo boy.
Charlotte who was sitting next to me had the pork.

Look at that Yorkie - proper food, no messing about.
For dessert, Sis had the hot chocolate fondant tart - it was kind of like molten chocolate on the inside!

Everyone else had the pavlova which was - well, like we'd died and gone to heaven. Light and creamy and fluffy and fruity without being too sweet, and that Hokey Pokey, which is basically cinder toffee, like the honeycomb from a Crunchie bar, was a delight.

Coffee and petits fours followed. The coffee and tea was of course served in vintage cups and teapots.

The petits fours consisted of the following:

Blueberry jellies in little shot glasses, with blueberries actually IN the jelly, and little squares of clotted cream fudge.

Freshly made chocolate truffles.
The young lady kept coming and refilling my coffee cup, and I wasn't about to stop her. In the USA it's taken for granted that you will get refills on your coffee in most eateries, but it's a rarity here in the UK. It was such a lovely experience to sit and eat and soak up the atmosphere that I really didn't want to leave. However, leave we did, but not before congratulating Jess on such a sumptuous and scrummy lunch. We will definitely be going back. And if you can't get down to see Jess and co., maybe you will see them on June 3rd...

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