*Afternoon Tea paid for myself*
Hi everyone, I hope you’re all well!
Welcome back to Best In Sussex, my blog series where I take a particular cuisine, (like Mexican or Indian), or experience (like bottomless brunch, or afternoon tea), and review a whole group of them from around Sussex, and crown a winner for each section…therefore, making it the Best In Sussex!
At the end of each blog post, I will be giving the experience a ‘Heart Rating’ out of 5; 5 being brilliant, 1 being really poor.
I review 10 places in each section. The first section I’ve been covering is Afternoon Tea, and this is my 8th one; we officially have 2 more to go after this, before I crown an Afternoon Tea winner! So close, yet so far…I am buzzing to finish this section, and move onto Sunday Roasts which is the next in the series!
If you want to read my previous posts in the series then, we’ve got a review of The Ivy Brighton here, The Salt Room Brighton here, Joanna’s Boutique Tearoom here, Badgers Tea House here, Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club here, South Lodge Hotel here, and Belinda’s Tea Room here.
So anyway, without further ado…here we go!
Buxted Park Hotel looked beautiful from the outside; I thought this place could be a serious contender. As I’ve found though with reviewing Afternoon Teas, don’t get your hopes up too much.
Buxted Park Hotel Afternoon Tea Menu
Selection of Finger Sandwiches (Egg Mayonnaise, Honey Glazed Ham & Grain Mustard, Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraiche, Beef & Horseradish, Hummus & Mediterranean Vegetables)
Selection of Seasonal Homemade Pastries & Cakes (Carrot Cake, Raspberry Mousse, Strawberry Shortcake, Raspberry Meringue, Mango Curd Tart)
Buttermilk & Fruit Scones
We had a little walk around the grounds beforehand, and they were absolutely gorgeous; I was so impressed. We headed back in to the room where the Afternoon Teas are held, and there were two girls who worked there leaning against the wall. I said we had a booking, and she simply pointed over to some seats in the corner and said ‘If you just wanna sit at that one there’. Now, I am not a stickler for the small things; I care more about the food than anything else, however even in Nandos’ you get taken over to a seat, and when you’re paying a lot of money to have Afternoon Tea somewhere, I do kind of expect for someone to at least walk you over to your seat, maybe hand you a menu…
About 15 minutes later, a man came over and asked if we were having Afternoon Tea. We said yes and he walked off – again, no menu. About 10 minutes later, he brought over a large book that showed off their selection of teas which we chose from. Again, no menu – in every Afternoon Tea I’ve had, I’ve been handed a menu, to see what it entails, and also choose drinks from. I actually quite fancied a Champagne Afternoon Tea, but as no one had offered a menu and the service had been pretty poor at that point, I thought why should we spend an extra £20/£30 here?
As soon as our Afternoon Tea came, and I picked up a sandwich and sighed internally (and externally come to think of it), as they were stale. As you all know, Afternoon Tea is rarely cheap, and if it’s good I don’t mind the cost, but when you get served something that so clearly has had a severe lack of care and attention, it’s pretty infuriating.
Not only was the bread stale, but they were quite flavourless and there seemed to just be a general lack of seasoning.
The mustard in the ham sandwich was just bizarre tasting; I know mustard has a kick to it, but this almost tasted alcoholic; it was seriously strange. The white bread looked anemic, and they just appeared quite thrown together. It put me off the rest of the Afternoon Tea at once, if I’m honest.
The scones were very nice; fresh out the oven, warm and fluffy inside, crispy on the outside, and a generous size. I couldn’t fault them.
The Carrot Cake was nice; moist to the point where it was actually bordering on wet and sticky. The Mango Curd Tart was average; the flavours were nice enough but I found it was nothing to write home about. The same goes for the Strawberry Shortcake which was so pale and plain in appearance and flavour you would never have known it was Strawberry Shortcake unless informed.
I didn’t like the Meringue at all; the pastry was so ridiculously crumbly, and the flavours were odd. I also found that there was way too many berry based cakes/pastries; it would’ve been nice to perhaps have something chocolate based?
The mousse was nice enough, fluffy and refreshing, but again, nothing to shout about. I found that the cake section was rather average, and the scones far better, which isn’t to be expected.
All in all, a very disappointing experience; no one came and asked how anything was, and the service from the beginning was a let down. The sandwiches were so below standard, the scones were nice, and the cakes were average. Online I read that they have ‘impeccable service’, but I’d have to highly disagree with that. It was a waste of £50 and a car journey, in my opinion. The grounds were absolutely stunning, so I don’t regret going, but the food was just not what I expected.
You can visit their website here: https://www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/buxtedpark
Heart Rating Out Of 5: ♥♥
All my love BGP xx