*This is a collaborative post - we received complimentary afternoon tea
Wynyard Hall sits on the outskirts of Durham and is super easy to find (not far from the A19). Our first impressions were that the building was absolutely stunning. There's nothing quite like visiting a fancy hotel around Christmas time - I adore seeing all of the decorations and Wynyard Hall certainly does not disappoint. I could take photographs of Christmas trees all day! We were here to enjoy afternoon tea as a little treat to begin the Christmas holidays before heading over to Wynyard Hall's Gardens for their Winter Wonderland Christmas Light Show.
I think you'll agree that the setting is simply wonderful. It feels luxurious but still comfortable and the fact that we were seated on sofas and armchairs rather than in a formal dining room really helped us to relax. Christmas music was playing in the background and we were all feeling super festive.
Steve was presented with a rather fancy tea menu and went for one of his favourites - Darjeeling, which he shared with Harry and Heidi. I went for a pot of coffee and Jack ordered an apple juice.
A special Children's afternoon tea is available at Wynyard Hall throughout the Christmas holidays from 17th - 30th December for just £12.50 per person. We were one day too early to enjoy this though so decided to order 3 regular afternoon teas between the 5 of us instead. At £22.50 per tea, this worked out at £67.50 which I don't think is too expensive given the surroundings, service and quality. We've paid more than this for dinner at Pizza Express before!
I have to say, the afternoon tea at Wynyard Hall is impressive. It looks beautiful and I think my children were cursing having a blogger as a parent as they had to wait for me to take a few pics before they could dig in - they couldn't contain themselves!
We were served four platters of sandwiches - Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese, Egg and Watercress, Coronation Chicken and Honey Roast Yorkshire Ham. There was good attention to detail with each sandwich being served on a different type of bread. We managed to polish off all of the sandwiches between us in no time.
Onto the scones and these ones were very good - a mix of fruit and plain scones served with clotted cream and a choice of jams or butter. They were still slightly warm, light and crumbly. Pretty perfect in fact.
Then onto the final tier - the cakes! In fact there were so many cakes that they were spread across two tiers. The children couldn't wait to tuck in (as could the grown ups). The raspberry and pistachio sponge cake was my favourite. It was beautifully light and my sort of cake. I would make the trip all the way back to Wynyard Hall just for another slice.
The strawberry mousse and strawberry jelly served in a shot glass were winners too and was the beautiful chocolate and blackcurrant cake. Yum! The kids weren't so keen on the sea salt and coffee eclair (all the more for me) but we all loved the cute mini mince pies which were really delicate and tasted divine - the pastry chef at Wynyard definitely deserves some praise.
I was worried that there may not be enough food between the 5 of us but there was more than enough. In fact we had to leave a few of the cakes as we were so full up. We were the only family in the lounge but I didn't feel out of place with my children. They were well behaved but I did have to remind them a couple of times not to put their feet on the sofa and Jack needed a trip to the loo to clean up half way through as he decided to squash a blackberry between his fingers. Nice! The staff were professional, warm and welcoming and Steve and I were able to relax. The only thing that would have made the experience even more special was if we could have left the car at home and enjoyed a glass or two of prosecco too.
Steve and I were seriously impressed with Wynyard Hall - it is definitely our sort of place. We have already been eyeing up some of the hotel offers and plotting our return for our next date night.
If you're looking for a lovely, relaxing environment to enjoy a family get together this Christmas, I can definitely recommend booking afternoon tea. You can also purchase afternoon tea gift vouchers which will make a memorable gift for someone special this Christmas.
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