Sunday afternoon, on the hunt for a “Tea Shop” – Steeped in history, we headed for Shakespeare County, home of Ann Hathaway, and the site of the Royal Swan Theatre (where today still many of Shakespeare’s plays are performed). STRATFORD UPON AVON
It may have been a lazy Sunday afternoon for us, but Stratford was heaving with the visiting public, even the Avon was bustling with many varieties of river craft.
Stepping out of the car our ears were first made accustom to the sounds of the brass band playing, from the bandstand across the river. There were many musical performers dotted around Stratford waiting to grab your attention, wanting you to stop, listen, and pop a few pounds into the ready available hat or for those that are well experienced at busking they could supply you with a CD for the bargain price of £10.
It wasn’t long before we came across the Arden Hotel, offering a traditional Afternoon Tea. Finger Sandwiches, Cakes, Scones and all types of…… Coffee? Alas, they only served English Breakfast Tea, and a few herbal teas, but the waitress wasn’t too sure what flavours (-2) the service was a little slow, but there were lots of things that we could watch while we waited. Just across the road was the newly furnished Swan Theatre, lots of interesting people milling around, there were couples, Friends and families taking part in traditional pub games, on the ride side.
ODC’S cold lemonade arrived first, (which she had consumed by the time our hot drinks had arrived) – Couldn’t this all of arrived at the same time? (-1), when the coffee did arrive it was half a cup, so I had to request hot water so a full cup could be had (-1). However, each hot drink was served with a little crisp, fresh almond biscuit (very nice) (+1) ODC’s screams of delight could be heard throughout the restaurant, (inside and out) when the waitress produced the wonderfully odd shaped sugar cubes of brown and white, instead of the refined sugar we get at home. The display of food that arrived was very nicely presented on a two tier china cake stand. Sandwiches on the bottom (Salmon on brown, cucumber on white and chicken with tomato also on white) Cakes on the top (Chocolate cake – slightly dry , Lemon drizzle, with just a hint of Lemon – very nice, Walnut cake and two plain scones – which may have been freshly made, but seemed a little stale) (-1)
The outdoor seating (where we sat) was in a black wicker and in contrast the inside seating had plush sofas and leather chairs. Inside was well aired, bright in appearance and well laid out with space to move.
When the bill arrived, I was surprised to see that a 10% service charge had already been included (-1) this is a real bug bare of mine L – I will gladly tip good service, but if I’m not happy with the service I have received why should I be forced to give a tip?
So I award the Arden Hotel 5 out of 10 – (this is of course given out of my own design, and has no bearing on the Hotel and its services – purely for personal use only).
Hope you enjoy the photo gallery.
Thank you for looking 🙂
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