Ding Ding. The bell rings and the receptionist immediately comes bounding through the door, all smiles. “Can I take your coat madam”, I am asked before being shown to an armchair situated by a soft glowing fire. I am surrounded by traditional furniture and an old grandfather clock ticks tocks in the background. The last guests of a wedding reception slowely filter out from the bar and I am left sitting in near silence with another couple that read the newspapers in peace.
I wish I could see what was beyond the patio doors but it is mid winter and pitch black. I pick up a brochure for the hotel in which I am sitting and gaze longigly at images, taken in the summer, which show the beautiful serene surroundings that I know are there but just not visible.
I am at The Nare Hotel to sample one of the hotels famous cream teas. The Nare, in case you weren’t aware, is the highest rated four star hotel in Cornwall and has been so for more than 15 years. It is considered to be the most comfortable hotel in the West Country. Unfortunately I was not stopping for long but my trusty brochure showed me the wide range of fantastic facilities on offer to guests. Indoor and outdoor heated pools, a spa, tennis courts, a gym and a hair salon all reside at The Nare. No wonder the guests sat opposite me in the living room looked relaxed.
The high tea stand arrived and was adorned with cucumber and smoked salmon sandwiches on the bottom layer, freshly baked scones with jam and clotted cream in the middle and mini cakes on the top. I was pleased to see mince pies included in the mini cake selection, a nice touch considering it was mid December.
The sandwiches were simple yet delicious with crusts no where to be seen. The scones were my favourite – fresh and utterly delicious with lashings of jam and clotted cream smothered on top. By the time I made it to the top tier, my stomach was telling me to slow down. I managed a taste of the mince pie and was impressed by the rich and buttery crispy pastry and the mini bakewell slice. I wasn’t so impressed with the mini chocolate fondant style cake as it was ever so slightly dry.
After finishing, I stayed a while longer to enjoy my surroundings – a large and beautifully decorated Christmas tree sat in the corner of the room and it was at that point that I began to feel Christmassy for the first time in 2011.
The Quarterdeck full afternoon tea for two people costs £34.
Food For Think was a guest at The Nare Hotel.