Our afternoon at Evelyn’s Traditional Tea Room in Fair Oak, Hampshire, was one of those rare occasions when it was just us girls.
My younger sister and I booked for my mum, nan and older sister to join us for high tea at Evelyn’s, in honour of my mum’s birthday.
I honestly can’t tell you when the last time it was just the five of us doing something together, I am probably wrong but, thinking about it, I suspect it may actually be the only time. I felt bad my dad wasn’t with us but if we invited Dad then we’d have had to invite the rest of the men of the family and sometimes it’s nice to just have a bit of relaxing girlie time.
My younger sister had been to the tea room before and loved it so we thought it would be a nice idea for Mum’s birthday, after all, who doesn’t love a good tea room?
We were booked in for 2pm on a Sunday afternoon and (due to the its busy reputation) were surprised when we got there that we practically had the place to ourselves except for one or two couples.
It doesn’t really look like much from the outside, you could easily walk past and mistake it for a hairdressers or something like that, but inside was a delightfully quaint pastel coloured haven of a tea room with different tables, mismatched chairs, and decorations of cake stands and bags of loose leaf teas.
As soon as we walked in we were warmly welcomed by the staff before being shown to our table. We were then given a menu and told that they serve 29 different varieties of loose leaf tea and all the cakes and breads, in fact ‘as much as possible’, is handmade in the store, and that they even cater for the gluten free-ers.
We, of course, proceeded to make life difficult for those working there with our orders (we can never just pick something straight off the menu – there always has to be some sort of change “I think I’ll go for the lemon cake. But could I have it without the lemon?” OK maybe were not that bad but near enough) and, there were a couple of things not quite right by the time the order came out but frankly, that’s understandable, and they made no fuss when we pointed this out – they happily corrected it for us.
When we did get stuck into eating…the food was great. I will point out too that I was poorly when I visited, so 1. the fact I still thought the food was great, must be a real testament to it and 2. I sadly didn’t get to try any of the 29 varieties of tea as I was hitting the coffee hard to keep alert. My older sister works nights as a carer so was also on the coffee that day. Black. She didn’t want the milk to dilute it. She may as well have been crunching away at the beans. My nan has only ever drunk coffee (I have never seen her drink a glass of water in my entire life) so she didn’t try them either. My younger sister and my mum however, shared a pot of fruity tea, the name of which escapes me, but they said it was lovely. So that’s two thumbs up for the tea.
Back to the food.
We shared two high tea’s between five of us because the amount of food you get is immense. For £22 (one round of high tea) you get eight sandwiches (two rounds) with three flavours to choose from: egg, ham or cheese; crisps; two giant scones with clotted cream and a variety of jams; and a big slab of cake to finish off.
All of it was delicious, but by the time we’d finished the scones, none of us had room for cake so they were put into doggie bags for us to take home. I had mine – a victoria sponge – the next day, and although I was slightly disappointed that it wasn’t strawberry jam in the middle (it was blackcurrant, I think) I admit it still tasted sensational.
We overstayed our welcome and were the last to leave but the staff were still all smiles with us to the end. We left rolling down the road in a dizzy mess of laughter, over stuffed with too much food and reminiscing about the silly things we did as children.
And above all, my mum enjoyed it. She works so hard (more than she should, tut tut) that we wanted to give her some time out and a nice memory of us all together. I hope she does remember it.
The only word for this place, its atmosphere, its food and the service, is this: delightful.
If you’re ever in the Fair Oak area…it could happen…then be sure to give Evelyn’s Traditional Tea Room a go. I’m hoping they’re going to branch out soon…preferably into the Bracknell area…it could happen… as there’s nothing like this around where I live, and I think it would do astonishingly well.
I would probably be the tea room’s number one customer though so on second thoughts maybe it’s best there’s not one around here.
Have you had a good high tea, afternoon tea or cream tea recently? As I just can’t get enough of them.
Until next time. x