A perfect pastime if rain stops outdoor play! Great locations coupled with rather unexpected ingredients (not always edible) here is Our Norfolk’s top 5 pick of where to enjoy afternoon tea in Norfolk, take a worthy friend and treat him/her as a thank you for all that friends are for.
1. The Tea House, Elm Hill, Norwich
Situated on Norwich’s oldest street, stroll the length of cobbled Elm Hill with its independent shops and glorious architecture before heading into Wrights Court and The Tea House (approx 1/2 way down Elm Hill, look out for a doorway and tunnel into its courtyard). Co-owner Peter will guide your nose through 30 different loose leaf teas that are on offer which you can try alongside a traditional fruit scone cream tea or other bakes such as white chocolate and raspberry muffins. Join in the conversation on Twitter @teahouseNorwich or find them on Facebook.
2. Byfords, Shirehall Plain, Holt
Believed to be the town’s oldest building, Byfords houses a store, posh B&B rooms and an all-day café. Rummage through the independent shops of Georgian Holt then sit down to tea, served between 3.00pm and 5.00pm. THE CLASSIC consists of finger sandwiches, scones, preserves, clotted cream, Byfords cakes, tea and coffee.
Pack a rucksack with home-made goodies and pick a beach! Today we select Cley. Visit the Cley Smokehouse shop for some salmon, park up at the Reserve (perhaps buy some yummy cakes inside before your walk) and find a good spot on the beach out of the wind. Don’t forget your hat, blanket and a flask! (This time of year is obviously cold but the sunset will be so romantic!)
4. Sandyhills Amusements and Café, Sea Palling
From the outside, the quintessential bucket and spade café with perhaps the highest concentration of ‘A-sign’ ad boards in the county but don’t let that put you off! Enjoy a stroll on the stunning beach then pop in for a proper cup of tea, some freshly baked doughnuts (the ones you get to shake in a paper bag full of sugar) and take some time to look round the walls of the café, covered in framed newspaper cuttings about the Great Flood of 1953 and more recent events. The personal accounts make interesting reading and the images remind us of our coastline’s sometime destructive nature. Out of season you may find their one-lane bowling alley free. Loser pays for refreshments?
5. Heydon Tea Rooms
The picturesque cul-de-sac village of Heydon provides perhaps the most lovely Norfolk village setting I’ve yet seen, complete with an idllic village green, church, Husk Bakery, Heydon Hall and The Earle Arms pub. The traditional Heydon Tea Rooms serves afternoon tea from a front room that overlooks the village green. The cake selection is beautifully displayed under glass domes. Mars bar shortbread and sticky gingerbread with Guinness are two I can recall. Mismatch china adds a quirky touch.