The Tulip Tree Tea Room, Chiddingstone - a charming café in the heart of historic Kent
What I loved about it:
It was lovely to have some slightly different items and flavours in our afternoon tea. The food was delicious, everything beautifully presented and the setting perfectly cosy and homely. The ideal festive treat!
Value for money (out of 10):
Homemade, flavoursome afternoon tea
Tucked away down a little cobbled lane behind the village’s historic post office and shop, The Tulip Tree Tea Room in Chiddingstone is one of my favourite hidden gems. This charming and stylish tea room offers a great selection of homemade cakes, sandwiches, quiches and pastries, as well as impressive afternoon teas.
Earlier this month, we visited to try one of the seasonal Christmas Afternoon Teas and it’s safe to say we were very impressed. Upon arrival, we were welcomed by staff and shown to our table (perfectly placed close to the much-needed and cosy wood burner) in the main part of the cafe. A mixture of homely, wooden tables and a couple of comfy sofas, The Tulip Tree is full of characteristic features and pretty decor. They also have a lovely little garden terrace for sunny days.
Shortly after being seated, we were brought two steaming glasses of aromatic mulled wine to start our afternoon tea experience. With slices of orange in and warm, wintery flavours, it immediately made us feel festive. We had the choice of unlimited tea or cafetiere coffee to accompany the afternoon tea, and we both opted for pots of Earl Grey which came quickly and in beautifully ornate and elegant teapots and teacups.
Then came the main event – a three tiered masterpiece of festive food! On the bottom layer sat four sizable finger sandwiches filled with beef & horseradish, and goat’s cheese & red onion marmalade respectively, as well as large pigs in blanket sausage rolls and brie & cranberry puffs. Personally, I often prefer the savoury items of an afternoon tea more than the sweet, so it was great to see some different sandwich fillings and a good variety of savoury options. I loved the goat’s cheese & red onion marmalade sandwiches and the pigs in blanket sausage roll was very tasty too.
In the middle, the warm homemade scones sat pride of place alongside some sweet Kent strawberry jam and clotted cream. We had a combination of plain and cranberry, cinnamon & orange scones which were bursting with flavour and felt so Christmassy. Again, it was refreshing to have something slightly different included which felt so festive, as well as jam produced locally.
Finally, we came onto the top, sweet tier which included slices of traditional Christmas cake, mince pies with brandy clotted cream and a chocolate Christmas pudding each. Oh my goodness, these were delicious. Very boozy but delicious!
We scoffed when we were told we could take some home in a doggy bag if we didn’t finish it all, confident we’d manage it, but as we enjoyed all the luscious layers, I have to admit that it did defeat us! We saved the Christmas cake and chocolate Christmas pudding to devour at home later that evening, perfectly packaged up by the helpful team at The Tulip Tree.
Christmas afternoon tea is served Monday-Friday at The Tulip Tree until 6th January. Call 01892 871504 to book a table.