Tag Archives: scones

The Scone Chronicles XXII – Afternoon Tea

Sorry, I had intended managing one instalment of the Scone Chronicles a week, but we haven’t been out much this year and when we do go out it tends to be repetitive. Added to that, I don’t always take photos, I don’t want to admit to all the rubbish I eat and I’m not always very efficient.

This post has been maturing like a fine wine, for over a week. This probably tells you something about my definition of “fine wine”. That, in turn, reminds me of the wine kits they used to sell in Boots chemists thirty years ago. No, forty years ago…

How time flies.

However, I will return to the subject of scones rather than drift off on a digression relating to cheap wine.

Julia’s brother and sister-in-law have been up to visit and invited us to Afternoon Tea at the St James Hotel in Nottingham.

The review is a bit tricky because I don’t want to criticise a meal I’ve been treated to. Fortunately, after we’d left, the in-laws said it wasn’t a patch on their local tearoom and was more on a par with the local Patisserie Valerie. That’s not meant to be a slur on Patisserie Valerie, because they are a chain and a chain does things differently to somewhere claiming to be a boutique hotel. Or it should do.

It is, considering the deal they do, a very good value budget Afternoon Tea – if their website is correct, afternoon tea for two costs slightly less than afternoon tea for one at Bettys. If you don’t get the discount, it’s still a lot cheaper. However, don’t be fooled by the picture on the website, the sandwich fillings were much less generous in real life and the cake selection was not as good.

In fact, the sandwich fillings could accurately be described as meagre, the cakes and scones all seemed to be mass produced and they really should have been quicker on bringing the tea.

However, they surroundings are pleasant, and not as crowded as Bettys at Harlow Carr. The company was, as you would expect, excellent, and the neighbours were sufficiently far away as to be part of the background chatter, again, unlike Bettys.

So – comparisons.

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Scones with jam and cream

Cakes at Bettys were far better. Sandwich fillings at Bettys were better. Scones at Bettys were better (and not dusted with icing sugar – I hate it when they do that).

However, sandwiches at St James’s were fresher, surroundings were more relaxing and the cost was more affordable.

At St James we got one pot of clotted cream between two of us – it’s enough, but it’s the only place I’ve ever been that does that. Don’t know whether I’m happy not to clot my arteries or unhappy at being short-changed.

I’m not sure which was better value, as they both had their good points, and both had their less good points. Nor am I sure if either is worth repeating.

I suppose I’ll just have to keep eating until I find a better place.

 

(Sorry about the quality of the photography – low lighting).

The Scone Chronicles XX

I’ve decided to stick with Roman Numbers for the time being – it seems rather lightweight to use the word Chronicles then use ordinary numbers. With snowflakes, Millennials and all the rest of that stuff, we don’t need more lightweights. We need austerity, Spartan living conditions and more of those rough grey blankets we used to use as bedding when I was a lad.

Duvets, I suspect, have a lot to answer for in the softening of the species.

We couldn’t add to the chronicles at Bempton, because there wasn’t room. It was quite crowded and, despite the rain, even the outside tables were all taken. There was room at some, but people seemed to be indicating a preference for solitude by the way they were spreading their kit about.

The only table with nobody on it was one that was ringed with tripods and telescopes, indicating that someone would be back to use it. Or that tripods are becoming sentient and demanding food.

I’ve probably been reading too much Terry Pratchett…

You’d have thought they might have made provision for a seasonal rush.

We had, as you can see from the photograph, prawn sandwiches from Tesco, whilst sitting in the car on the seafront at Scarborough. That tiny stump in the distance is Scarborough Castle. It’s more impressive in real life, and it has a colony of Kittiwakes nesting on the cliffs below.

One the way home we had chips at Filey. They are excellent chips and the fish is probably the freshest I’ve had from a chip shop.

You do, however, pay a premium for this. At £6.50 a portion it’s nearly as expensive as sitting down in some places. That is the dilemma – eat excellent fish and chips in the car whilst watching the sea, or, for almost the same price, have peas and tea, and sit at a plastic table that exudes an aura of stickiness whilst moaning about the poor quality fish.

Decisions, decisions…

 

Scone Chronicles XIX

Sorry, I decided it didn’t matter if I missed a day posting and, six days later I’m only just getting back to blogging.

I have plenty of things to write about, but no enthusiasm for the work.

However, I will give it a go, as scones have recently reappeared in my life. On that subject, I may dispense with Roman numbering after the next one. That’s what they did with Spitfires in WW2. They got to Mk XIX and the next one was the Mk 20.

I suppose it’s all part of the dumbing down of the world. First we stop using Latin numerals, then, under pressure from Microsoft, we adopt American spelling.

We’re on the verge of electing a buffoon, and have a fine choice, with both Johnson and Farage, so we’re following America in so many ways.

I’m going to fail to post before midnight, but I’m not rushing. It’s a bit late to worry about my posting record.

On Wednesday we went to meet Julia’s brother and sister-in-law who were visiting family in Radcliffe-on-Trent, a large village just outside Nottingham (which I thought was a town, until I checked when adding the link). The Atrium is a converted bank, and is very pleasant, though the name had led me into expecting more glass and plants.

The staff were efficient, cheerful, and very patient, which was good as they had a lot of kids running about. One of the kids was my great nephew, who is just over a year old now. He’s not quite walking but he’s on the verge, and manages to get about well enough.

The scones were large, and light in texture, though a bit sweet and slightly deficient in fruit. It doesn’t make them bad scones, but it does stop me talking of them in glowing terms. I’d happily go back for scones if I was in Radcliffe-on-Trent again, but I wouldn’t necessarily drive all the way from Nottingham for them. Julia had Bakewell Tart. It was a bit lurid compared to last week’s Bakewell Pudding.

Still having difficulty posting using the ancient netbook, so I’ll call a halt there. It’s amazing really, a few years ago I thought this machine was brilliant, but after using a laptop for the last three years it’s like torture.

 

 

Catching Up on Scones – Scone Chronicles XVI

Having been kept at home this morning by various jobs, we popped out to do a bit of shopping this afternoon. It was raining a bit so we went to TESCO in Bulwell because it has a car park under the shop and you can walk from car to shop under cover.

I’m in such a state these days that if I get wet I’ll probably need a going over with WD-40.

We are currently on diets as the kids are cooking and trying to make us lose weight, so we decided to sneak a scone while we were out. It was a mistake.

The cutlery was dirty, the tea was OK but the scones were dry and tasteless. We did have cheese scones to be fair, so there was a lack of jam to help things along. We were trying to avoid excessive amounts of fat and sugar. Honestly.

Definitely not moreish.

Must do better TESCO.

Below, I have put the links for the first 15 parts of this series – I had to do that as I couldn’t remember if I’d covered TESCO before. I hadn’t.

 

Tearoom Tour – Number 1 – Thoresby Park

More on Scones

The Scone Chronicles – Number 3

The Scone Chronicles – Number 4

The Scone Chronicles – Number 5

The Scone Chronicles – the 6th visit (the one with No Scones)

The Scone Chronicles – Number 7 – Done as a Haibun

Not Quite Scones – but I’m calling it Number 8 in the series

The Scone Chronicles – Number Nine

The Scone Chronicles – Number Ten – Bettys II

The Scone Chronicles XI

Scone Chronicles XII

The Scone Chronicles XIII

Scone Chronicles XIV

The Scone Chronicles – XV

 

Scone Chronicles XII

When I was looking for the cactus photographs I used in the first post of the day (this is the 3rd!) I found some photographs I’d forgotten about.

We went to Springfields while we were off for the week. While we were there we bought turmeric capsules, criticised the bookshop stock and looked in the craft shop (well, one of us did, the other sat and watched the ducks in the water feature).

While Julia was looking at other stuff, I sat in the cafe and waited. Patiently. It’s a skill I have developed over 30 years of marriage. It’s a lot like sleeping with your eyes open. Or sleeping with your eyes open and nodding your head in time with the conversation. All useful skills for a married man.

Anyway, when Julia returned she get us scones and tea from the counter.

They were surprisingly good. We tested the fruit scone and the cheese scone – both had good open texture and good flavour. They were well up with the top scones, though the shape of the fruit scone was ather alarming. That is, partly, what happens when you twist the cutter when you cut the scone out.

This is part of the same group that made me the worst fish and chips ever, so I was surprised.

Unfortunately, there was food trapped under the glass top of the table, so there is still oom for improvement.

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Trapped food – lovely!

Now I remember I was going to do the write-up about Brierlow Bar

Harlow Carr Garden

Harlow Carr is the Royal Horticultural Society Garden just outside Harrogate, a town which is home to Betty’s Tea Room and a Sainsbury’s supermarket that has a sushi bar. In Yorkshire the only dead fish you normally see has been fried in batter.

Just a few photos for now.

 

Well, maybe a few more…

There will be more when I have time, plus two more scone reports.

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A Summary in Pictures

I’m in a hurry and may be back late tonight. Hopefully some pictures will keep you entertained, and give a clue to what my day may hold.