Lumley Castle, Chester-le-Street

Afternoon tea at Lumley Castle.
Afternoon tea at Lumley Castle.
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The British tradition of afternoon tea is enjoying a renaissance at the minute with different versions of the classic popping up all over the place.

I’ve had many over the past couple of years, but I have to say this was the most value for money tea yet.

At £13.50 per person, it’s half the price of some I’ve eaten and the vintage china cake stand came laden with more food.

As an added bonus, it’s served in splendiferous surroundings. I hadn’t been to Lumley Castle for years and I’d forgotten just how stunning it is.

We were seated in the grand library bar where afternoon tea is served weekdays from 2pm to 5pm and weekends from 3pm to 5pm.

There’s plenty of food to go around with a middle layer of sandwiches including beef, tuna and cream cheese and pepper. They were tasty, but were outshone by the sweet sections.

The scones were perfectly prepared with a warm fluffy interior which we smothered with lashings of clotted cream and jams.

Meanwhile, the top layer boasted a pick ‘n’ mix of tempting treats including brownies and mini tarts.

The only letdown was the service, which was slow, and we were also mischarged on our bill, which took about 20 minutes to fix for some reason.

Despite this glitch, the superb food and lavish setting is enough to lure me back.

Katy Wheeler