I’m being buried under a pile of boxes and my house now looks like a delivery depot, which can only mean one thing – the move is imminent *insert scary music of your choice here*. Yet, despite the buyers’ insistence that they wanted to move quickly, we still haven’t had a final moving date. Sigh!
There are only so many times a girl can navigate the obstacle course that is now our home before having to escape for a few hours. So last week found us closing the door on the mess and paying a visit to Pontefract Abbey followed by a spot of unusual afternoon tea.
Most of the abbey is more or less a ruin now, but there is a breathtaking beauty in its tumbledown structure, a calmness within its crumbled cloisters. The abbey has been on our Yorkshire bucket list for a while now, and I’m glad I got to wander around its walls – despite the notices everywhere to “Beware Of Falling Debris!”
To celebrate the fact that we emerged unscathed from our abbey adventure we decided to go for a spot of afternoon tea. But not an ordinary afternoon tea, for we had heard on the grapevine that a local bistro style pub had started serving a highly unusual afternoon tea.
Everything served was handmade by the chef, everything was utterly delicious and it certainly was an unusual afternoon tea. Would I recommend it? If you have a huge appetite and know that you’re not going to have the usual dainty sandwiches and miniatures cakes served in the usual way, then yes. If you are after something more traditional then you may be slightly disappointed and overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of food.
I loved it, and would not hesitate to have it again, or recommend it – but here lies a problem. The pub in question has been taken over by new owners who do not seem to care that they have an enormously talented chef on their staff. They are not giving him the freedom to express his creativity and stretch his talent. He is being stifled by owners who do not value him enough to furnish him with even basic equipment. For instance; they refuse to buy him a mixer which means everything has to be beaten by hand – seriously! Not surprisingly he is leaving, and I can’t say I blame him.
They are also letting their establishment fall far below the standard I would expect. The air conditioning has been broken for over a year; the staff and customers are sometimes dripping with perspiration. There is nothing in place to eradicate their fly problem (at least in the dining area, I cannot say for a fact whether they have anything in the kitchen, but I can’t tell you how much I hope they do!!). When we dined on our unusual afternoon tea of much awesomeness we moved tables three times to try and dodge the flies – not the experience you want when you are indulging in a ‘treat’.
If things don’t change, and quickly, I can see the Fox And Hounds becoming a ‘pile it high, sell it cheap’ establishment. All thoughts of fine cuisine will disappear as the owners cut quality in order to up their profit. My thoughts; why not buy a McDonald’s franchise and be done with it. Rant over.
What are your thoughts on afternoon tea? Are you a fan?