Nestled in the Cotswold’s and its many beautiful cream stone villages is The Slaughters Manor House, whilst not being too far from my home, has been on my visit list for a while. Especially, as the menus for the restaurant and afternoon teas, are designed to showcase the best of the Cotswolds and local produce.
I had arranged myself and Carly, The Bleary-Eyed Baker, to visit for afternoon tea. This wasn’t just the usual catch up lunch for plenty of gossiping and cake eating. But was to celebrate knowing each other for the last thirty years. Granted we met when I was 18 months old and Carly a year old when my family moved in next to hers, but that’s a lovely achievement as friends.
We’ve gone through learning Disney songs together, ruining her mum’s garden having a mud fight, covering her room in Backstreet Boy posters, Saturday’s watching MTV music videoes, to her become a wife and a mother to a gorgeous little girl.
Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea
We decided to share afternoon teas that were on offer, especially as there was the savoury Gentleman’s afternoon tea to be tried. With both of us loving a charcuterie board, it was a no brainer option. With a selection of English cheeses and charcuterie, including gherkins and pickles, warm cheese and onion scones (which I may have filled with more cheese and ham!) was a delicious alternative to a traditional afternoon tea.
As well as the cheese and meats, there were hearty pork pie slices, with crumbly pastry and chunky flavoursome filling. If that wasn’t enough, there were warm golden wedges of Welsh Rarebit, which it’s ultra-cheesy, beer and mustard topping. All afternoon teas should feature some Welsh Rarebit!
Full Afternoon Tea
To balance out the pure meat and cheese feast with the Gentleman’s Tea, we went for the Full Afternoon Tea to share. As everyone needs some cake in their lives.
We mixed this savoury plate with the savoury items from the Gentleman’s as we were going along. Feta and Black Olive Pastry Wheel, Egg Mayonnaise with Black Truffle in Brioche Roll, Wiltshire Ham and Pickle Finger Sandwich and Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Finger Sandwich made up this plate. I liked the mix of more traditional sandwiches with the twist of the feta wheel and the truffle with the sweet brioche.
Of course, had to tuck into the Fruit Scones with Strawberry Jam and Clotted Cream. Lovely, light and fluffy, as a great scone should be. And before you ask, of course, I put the cream on before the jam.
Now, the beautiful dessert plate and the grand finale of the afternoon tea. I loved the pastel colours of the plate to complement the gorgeous sweet creations.
Traditional Battenburg, which I have very high standards for trying new ones, as my Nanny made an excellent one for Sunday tea. Pleasured to report this one was excellent as well, great sponge and plenty of marzipan.
Rhubarb and Custard. Bubble gum pink coloured dome of gentle rhubarb and custard mousse on a delicate buttery biscuit and a tart rhubarb compote. A beautiful example of seasonal ingredients in their prime.
Jaffa Cake. Not your usual Jaffa Cake. Tender soft sponge, with a tart zesty orange jelly layer and dark chocolate ganache. I’m now I can’t go back to the shop bought ones.
And to finish, Tonka Bean Cream and Sour Cherry Cone. Delicately perfumed cream with the complexity of the Tonka bean and the sharpness of the cherry cutting through the richness of the cream.
It was a wonderful setting to celebrate the special occasion, with the staff attentive whilst the space being relaxed to allow us gossip and giggle together. As ever, I had a wonderful time with Carly and here’s to many more years of friendship to celebrate with many more afternoon teas.
Slaughters Manor House
Copsehill Road, Lower Slaughter, Cheltenham GL54 2HP
Tel: 01451 820456
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