Lords of the Manor - Upper Slaughter

Nestled in the Cotswold village of Upper Slaughter is the Lords of the Manor Hotel. Befitting the hotel's name we decided to pop in for high tea. As expected with such an establishment the staff were warm and welcoming. Ushered through to a lounge, our adjacent sofas looked out over the garden and to picturesque fields beyond. This was the kind of place you could just sit and whittle away a relaxing afternoon - And that we did.

Working through the tea menu, there was a good selection of high quality infusions to choose from. I plumped for a smoky Lapsang Sochong that hit the spot with the savoury sandwiches and the sweet treats.

Moving to the food. Mrs Richinflavour is having to control what she eats at the moment. A few weeks prior to our visit she diligently emailed and put in her special requests. One request being the use of sourdough for her sandwiches, as it does not contain yeast (it only contains natural air born yeast). The request was all okayed by email, not a problem was the response. Sadly when we double checked on arrival the message came back from the kitchen they had made her special sandwiches with gluten free bread and they didn’t have any sourdough. It need not be said, but I’m going to anyway, gluten free and yeast free breads are different, surely chefs should know this.

The friendly quick thinking waiter suggested she would be able to choose something from the lunch menu. That she did and a plate of smoked salmon with a herb salad replaced here afternoon tea. Not quite what she thought she would be eating. As you would expect however, the soft sheets of salmon were the ideal comfort blanket for the tongue, with the herb salad adding a little extra bite to the dish.

Served on a tiered platter there was a pleasing element of occasion as rest of the group were brought our afternoon tea. A waiter rattled off a description of all the different delights before another waiter served the tea. With clockwork efficiency a pot of tea was individually fetched to the table and placed down. Then came a mini saucer with strainer. He placed the strainer on the cup with the handle placed at the same angle each time and poured - I'm unsure how he gave pouring the tea such occasion, but it worked.

The sandwiches were all good, a goodly layer of butter with the typical afternoon tea fillings. Two scones, one with currants and one without were next on my list of goodies. A crusty exterior with a light interior were perfect platforms for piling on the clotted cream and jam.

The cream jam debate ensued. The right way round is to first dollop on the clotted cream, followed by a generous spoonful of jam. Eating scones this way gives you a fruity start to the bite that cuts through the cream and into the scone below. Apparently the ‘proper’ way to eat a scone is to place the jam in your hand before popping half the scone in your pocket and then smearing the cream all over your face. I’m sure this was the somewhat bizarre way my friend Tamsyn suggested I should eat my scones (or was it jam before cream?).

Moving onto the cakes there was a sticky lightly flavoured ginger cake. A sweet green macaroon that I’m pretty sure had an apple jam filling. A small slice of a fairly non-descript cake. This was then followed by the flavour highlight of the afternoon a white chocolate and crème patisserie number that can only be described as pretty special.

All in all the location and service from the waiting staff made this afternoon tea memorable. The food and tea were good with just one slice of cake not really hitting the mark. My only criticism comes from them not providing what they agreed to prior to our visit. For a special treat in an amazing location and at a reasonable price you can’t go far wrong with the Lords of the Manor.

For more details on their rooms and restaurant offerings check out the Lord of the Manor website.