Tuesday 14 November 2017
I was back in Essex as Alfie had his eight-week check-up and immunisations and wasn’t yet registered with a doctor here (truly traumatic btw mummas, but he also had a slight chest infection, which was horrible to see). It was a good opportunity to see mum as Tuesdays are notoriously a busy day for Ashley and I didn’t fancy spending the day alone. I mentioned about doing something or going somewhere for lunch and mum suggested Merrymeade House, which used to be a college and where she lived. These days the rooms can be hired for events, conferences and the like – but there’s also a tearoom!
It’s a shame there wasn’t much else to do, as it would have been lovely to go for a walk. The scenery was lovely, especially at this time of year. We did walk along the dirt track to where mum used to live, which is now a nursery, but that was it.
The tearoom was inside the house and although small and cosy, has been decorated so nicely – think neutral colours with a slight vintage feel. They’d also been decorated for the festive season and there were items to buy, including house decs and tealight holders. We sat in the window, meaning there was room for Alfie in his car seat – I propped it up on a chair. There would have been no room for his buggy, so mummas, leave those in the car – there isn’t that much space between the tables or to manoeuvre.
You have to go up to order and pay before you leave but your food and drink is brought to the table. There are light bites like sandwiches and homemade soup, as well as more substantial fare including jacket potatoes. But we were there for afternoon tea (standard) – mum’s treat!
First up, look at that china – I loved it! When our tea was brought over, the waitress said she had tried to match the cups and saucers but I quite liked the mismatched sets, which added charm to the tearoom. There was a choice of tea on offer and we went for breakfast tea – traditional. We had a selection of sandwiches (not too sure if we were meant to choose our fillings), which consisted of ham salad, brie & cranberry and smoked salmon & cream cheese. There were nine finger sandwiches in total, so one-and-a-half of each filling and all were tasty.
The scones weren’t homemade, so Merrymeade lose points for that, but they were still enjoyable – made better with the lashings of clotted cream and strawberry jam we had. And to the cakes... well we could choose two varieties of cake, from a choice of about seven. Mum chose fruit cake over coffee & walnut, because let’s be honest, it goes with tea better. The slices were packed full of currants and cherries so it was a good choice. I picked the peanut butter & banana loaf cake with peanut butter frosting, following a recommendation from our waitress – she mentioned it was homemade, too. Banana and peanut butter is a winning combination in my eyes and as it was the crunchy variety that was used, it added a bit of texture to the soft sponge.
I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon – it made a change to go somewhere different and somewhere I’d not even heard of before. It was also good to spend some time with mum, although I still see her regularly, and for her to see Alfie. I’d definitely return for a mid-morning coffee and cake catch up, or even a bite to eat.
Love, Lucy xx