The Swan is a hotel in the beautiful mediaeval village of Lavenham in Suffolk. The whole village is quaint and picturesque and the inside of the Swan has a sense of old world charm and splendour. This afternoon tea was a birthday treat for a relative and it certainly did not disappoint.
The Swan offers three types of afternoon tea – traditional, savoury and high tea. The high tea includes a substantial savoury starter such as scotch egg with crushed peas or smoked salmon and chive omelette, followed by two different scones and a selection of cakes. The traditional afternoon tea features finger sandwich slices followed by two different scones and a selection of cakes. The savoury afternoon tea features finger sandwiches, two savoury scones and a selection of savoury pastries such as smoked salmon and crab blinis and coronation chicken tart. There is also a tea menu, offering a variety of different teas including English breakfast, Earl Grey, fruit teas, lapsang souchong, darjeeling and oolong.
The finger sandwiches included traditional cucumber, dill and black pepper, maple roast Suffolk ham, egg and light mustard mayonnaise, and smoked salmon with creme fraiche served on a beetroot bread. When we had finished, the waitress asked if we would like a further round of sandwiches for the table, quite a nice touch when other establishments seem to have strict portion control. We were also offered more than one pot of tea, and as much jam and cream for the scones as we liked – it was nice to know that we could really enjoy the food on offer.
Two types of scone were offered – walnut and fruit – and they were both delicious. the cream was clotted cream and the jam seemed to be freshly home made, offered in both raspberry and strawberry flavours.
Because it was Wimbledon fortnight, the cakes had a Wimbledon theme. This included a battenburg that was designed to look like a tennis court, strawberry and cream panacotta, a Pimms jelly cup with a green pistachio tennis ball macaron, and a victoria sponge with a chocolate decoration.
Every item served was beautifully presented and tasty with quality ingredients. We were allowed to take our time, and the setting added to the whole experience. Of all the high teas I have tasted this was definitely one of the best and when I am next in Suffolk, I will definitely return.