High Tea at The Orangery: What we thought of the new addition at Rockliffe Hall

Just when you thought Rockliffe Hall couldn’t get any better, it launches an exciting new high tea experience.

Pistachio and olive oil cake
Pistachio and olive oil cake

Known as a world-class destination, Rockliffe Hall is a resort that offers it all and then some. An award-winning spa, a 18-hole championship golf course, a superb hotel and wedding venue, a variety of top restaurants, and now an indulgent serving of High Tea.

This unique food experience is served in the venue’s flagship 4AA Rosette Orangery restaurant, and is brought to you by executive chef, Richard Allen.

High Tea at The Orangery is the perfect opportunity to experience Richard’s exceptional culinary creativity while indulging in sweet and savoury treats. Inspired by the award-winning dishes created in The Orangery for Richard’s renowned tasting and à la carte evening dinners, the new Orangery High Tea offers a modern take on the traditional favourite.

The Orangery High Tea menu and table setting.

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    Boasting a garden-to-plate ethos, the High Tea menu reflects the changing seasons while featuring an abundance of produce grown in the kitchen garden and estate grounds.

    The savoury selection is served first and includes an open sandwich, a tart and a wagyu beef burger. I knew before even tasting the tart that it was cooked to perfection, as when cutting into it the centre was soft and gooey while the crust crumbled. The tart was a fusion of warm Whitby crab, warm ratatouille and garden chard topped with Wensleydale cheese. The different ingredients and textures worked well together and it left my palate wanting more.

    The open sandwich consisted of duck egg mayonnaise layered with cured Cumbrian ham and pickering watercress, and was light and flavoursome. Saving the best until last, the wagyu beef burger was served within a caramelised onion brioche topped with Yorkshire relish. This savoury dish was particularly moreish and still makes my tastebuds water everytime I think about it. This dish was definitely my favourite.

    The sweet dishes were served shortly afterwards and we were treated to a classic lemon tart, a pistachio and olive oil cake and raspberry shortbread. You can’t have cake without tea, so before tucking in I ordered a freshly brewed pot of breakfast tea from the menu’s vast selection of hot drinks. Everything was beautifully presented, however, it was the seville orange frosting on top of the pistachio and olive oil cake that grabbed my attention.


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    Raspberry shortcake.

    I noticed this cake had matcha tea in it, which isn’t an ingredient I’m fond of, but this cake was absolutely delicious. The cake itself was light and soft, and the pieces of frosting packed a zesty punch.

    I then went for the classic lemon tart, which was topped with fresh strawberries and edible gold. The tart had a soft, zesty centre encased in pastry that fell apart when I bit into it. The strawberries were fresh and complemented the lemon, while the edible gold gave a lovely luxe touch.

    Last, but not least was the raspberry shortbread and spoiler alert, I had definitely saved the best until last. The shortbread was buttery and crumbly, and the raspberries were bursting with flavour. This treat was topped with Rockliffe Estate honey and candied lemon, which created a sweet, but zesty aftertaste.


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    From The Orangery you can see that the venue is surrounded by miles of gorgeous grounds. So, once we’d finished our tea, we ventured outside to explore the surroundings while walking off the lavish amount of food we’d just enjoyed.

    Wagyu beef burger with caramalised onion brioche

    The Orangery High Tea is available every day between 1pm and 3pm and is £35 per person. There is also a Champagne Tea, priced at £49 per person, which includes a glass of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut.

    The Clubhouse offers a traditional afternoon tea experience, which includes finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and homemade cakes. This is served Monday to Friday, 2.30pm to 4.30pm, from £25 per person and £12.50 for children.


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    Whitby crab tart
    Duck egg mayonnaise with cured Cumbrian ham
    Lemon tart