Welcome to our blog....here we will share all our afternoon tea adventures with you...the good, the bad and the wonderful!

Sunday, 14 November 2021

Tea for Tea....Hamiltons Tea House

Hello there, welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends!

Recently a new tea room has opened in my home town, Farnham, it's called Hamiltons Tea House and of course as soon as I saw it was opening I was intrigued. Farnham, like lots of towns, is packed full of coffee shops, both independent and commercial, but we are sadly lacking in proper tea rooms. I discovered that Hamiltons is a family run business, with a passion for great service and making afternoon tea accessible. So accessible that you don't need to book! 

Hamiltons bakes their own scones daily and uses local suppliers (including the lovely Ellie from Bakehouse) to offer a menu that includes breakfast, lunches, cream teas and of course afternoon tea. They have an extensive tea menu, a great range of coffee and hot chocolate and a martini menu....so you can enjoy a cocktail with their afternoon tea! Sounds perfect doesn't it! 

I've now had the pleasure of visiting Hamiltons on two occasions, once for a cream tea and once for the full afternoon tea experience. The cream tea was my first visit and we were pleasantly surprised by the size of the tea menu, the knowledge of the staff and the general wonderfulness of the scones, which were served warm, with clotted cream and strawberry preserve.....

You can pick a plain or sultana scone and a pot of tea from the menu. The tables have tea timers on them and the staff suggest how long your tea should brew for. The crockery, like the tea room, is modern and simple. 

This Saturday, my sister Lorna was visiting and we didn't have any plans for lunch. So on impulse we popped into Hamiltons to see if a table was available, as it was a busy Saturday lunchtime we had a 20 minute wait, but it was worth it! We decided to try the afternoon tea, to discover what a non-booked tea experience would be like. It's a set menu with savouries, scones, cakes and unlimited tea all for £17.50 per person. I wondered whether offering the tea as an walk-in option would effect the quality of what was being offered, would everything be pre-made and a bit stale? After ordering our teas we had a short wait, but when the food came out we were very happy....

Two fabulous stands full of fresh food were brought to our table! Just look at Lorna looking loving at the scones (she's actually scowling at me because she's hungry and I was taking photos!). The bottom plate housed the savouries and a vol au vent, the middle plate has the sweet treats on and the top has the cream and scones.

The sandwiches were so fresh and the bread to filling ratio was perfect. We enjoyed Cucumber, dill and cream cheese, egg mayonnaise, Ham and wholegrain mustard and rare roast beef and horseradish cream finger sandwiches on white and brown breads. There wasn't a crust to be seen, which always makes me smile. Then there was a huge vol au vent, packed full of coronation chicken. The pastry was flaky and the chicken creamy and mildly spiced. A real highlight for me!

The scone plate includes two scones per person, one plain and one sultana - both were generous in size. The scones are served with butter, clotted cream and strawberry preserve. I only ate the fruit scone on this occasion...but it was fresh, baked the whole way though and not at all claggy - perfect for getting cream and jam into my mouth! I can also confirm that the sultanas in the scone were plentiful. 

Sorry this is an awful photo (I was too excited by the cake)...but each afternoon tea stand included three sweet treats. I think the selection changes, on this occasion we had a mini apple crumble concoction in the shot glass (a crumbly base, topped with apples and cream). We also had a piece of chocolate brownie and a mini lemon slice (which I know is delicious as it comes from Bakehouse). Neither of us could finish the whole stand, but we were given boxes to take the extras home in (which always makes a lovely treat the next day!) 

Our tea pots were filled up regularly throughout the afternoon tea and we were encouraged to try more than one tea. Hamiltons had just launched their Christmas tea, which we decided to try. The Christmas tea was fruity and warming, full of cinnamon and clove - really Christmassy! 

The service we experienced on both visits was brilliant, everyone is friendly and knowledgeable about the products. Even though it was busy, no one was rushed and everyone got the same warm welcome. This is the perfect tea room in my humble opinion....simple, not fussy, serving great produce and with friendly staff. I'd definitely recommend popping by Hamiltons if you happen to be in Farnham, if you want to guarantee a table you can book ahead. More information about the menus can be found on their website. 

Thank you for popping by today, I hope you've enjoyed reading about our latest afternoon tea adventure!

Rachel & Lorna

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