Suffolk Food Hall afternoon tea review: 'What a treat to enjoy this at home'
- Credit: Nicola Warren
Nicola Warren and her family try out a takeaway afternoon tea ahead of Mother’s Day.
Suffolk Food Hall has helped me to keep some sort of normality for me in the past year.
Whether that’s meant taking my daughter Jessica for a jump on the bouncy pillow, or meeting my mum for a socially distanced takeaway cuppa from the café.
Last week, ahead of Mother’s Day, we thought we’d try out their takeaway afternoon tea.
Because although we won’t be able to enjoy afternoon tea at a Suffolk eatery on the day this year, we can certainly enjoy one at home (or even meet one-to-one outdoors and enjoy one with our mums).
The food hall offers afternoon tea to pick up on Fridays and Saturdays between 1pm and 4pm (and you can also pick up on the Sunday for Mother’s Day).
It is very easy to order – I ordered ours online last Friday for pick-up on Saturday.
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My husband Phil went into the food hall to collect ours, as he needed to buy some essential items too, but there is also the option to drive to the contactless collection area, and staff can bring the tea out to your car for you.
There are options for all dietary requirements – vegetarian and vegan, and gluten-free and dairy-free. Boxes can’t be mixed so, because I don’t eat meat, we chose the vegetarian afternoon tea for two priced at £29.90.
I was keen to see what was in the box once Phil brought it home – it was packed with sandwiches, savoury treats, scones and cakes, and I couldn’t wait to tuck in.
First, we tried the selection of sandwiches – white bread with cheese and pickle, fresh, soft granary bread with egg mayonnaise, and more granary sandwiches containing an interesting mix of hummus and coleslaw – tasty, and a nice alternative to the usual veggie sandwiches.
Next, we went on to the savoury treats. A tasty cheese and caramelised onion quiche. Phil noticed it had a slightly soggy bottom.
The vegetarian Scotch egg was a triumph! A perfectly soft, golden yolk, and the egg was cased in a savoury surround, it had a texture and flavour similar to an onion bhaji but without the spice, and was absolutely delicious. I hope they sell these on the deli counter because I’ll be buying one next time I visit for essentials if they do.
I usually save the scone until last but I decided to have mine next. The fruit scone had that lovely freshly baked flavour, and soft fluffy texture, and was delicious with Tiptree strawberry jam and Rodda’s clotted cream.
Next I went for the triangular cake, which I think was banana cake, a lovely light, sweet cake with raisins in and buttercream on top.
I thought the last cake was going to be carrot cake, and Phil thought coffee and walnut, but I think it was just walnut cake, with a hint of spice and some raisins in. I couldn’t see any tell-tale strands of carrot.
By this time Jessica was enjoying one of the chocolate cakes and had declared it ‘yummy’. This had a rich, dark chocolate flavour and a close texture, with a squiggle of sweet, dark chocolate buttercream on top.
We really enjoyed having the treat of afternoon tea at home, and I was impressed with the vegetarian savoury items particularly the Scotch egg. The scone was perfect and my favourite cake was the chocolate sponge.
I think the only thing that could have improved it was if there was an option to add a box of tea, such as Butterworths, to the order, or even a bag each. I forgot to ask Phil to pick me some up, so we ended up having our usual brew.
With the Mother’s Day afternoon tea, there is the option to add prosecco to the order, and your mum will get two chocolates with it too. If you aren’t able to enjoy the tea with your mum on the day, as many of us won’t be, and she is on her own, you can order an afternoon tea for one for the day for £14.95.
We would certainly order afternoon tea from the food hall again, hopefully one day soon we can enjoy one in the Cookhouse restaurant and enjoy those glorious views of the River Orwell while we do so.
We pay for all our meals and restaurants do not know they are being reviewed.