Afternoon Tea in Abergavenny – Welsh 100 #59

Now this is one that I really enjoyed. One of my favourite pastimes involves eating. And it is even more of a pleasure when you can do it with old friends, and even more so when Aunty gives me full permission to indulge myself. The last criteria is as rare os hen’s teeth. It was raining, so I hit upon the plan to take our friends to Abergavenny and have High Tea at the Angel Hotel. And it didn’t disappoint. High Tea is a particularly British tradition. It involves sitting down (something I’m good at) and eating sandwiches, scones, cake and drinking tea (also part of my skills set). Afternoon tea became the fashionable thing to do in the 19th century thanks in part to the influence of Anna, the Duchess of Bedford. In those days the gap between lunch at mid-day and dinner at 8pm in the evening was obviously too long for some. It would certainly be the case of yours truly. And so Afternoon Tea became a stop-gap.

Abergavenny is an old town in the North of Gwent, and has a long and interesting history from the Romans through to today. But we were here for Afternoon Tea, so let’s get onto it. Because of it’s popularity I had to book to make sure that we could get in. That presented an initial challenge as I was phoning in the morning and the staff were obviously busy with late breakfasts and other things. I eventually managed to book on line, but fair play to the staff they returned my call from my abortive attempts to speak to them.

It was raining hard in the afternoon, and we had looked around the town and priory church and tried our luck at getting in a little early from our booking time. The staff couldn’t have been more helpful. We were immediately greeted at the reception and our wet coats taken from us. Then promptly shown to our table. Then the real attentive service started. We were spoiled from start to finish. The tables were laid out beautifully with matching a matching china tea service. That was easy, the difficult bit was choosing what tea to have. Aunty counted more than 40 different teas on the menu. There were also different coffees, but we’ll ignore them as we were here for tea. I don’t want to influence your choice if you go there, but the Earl Grey was the best I’ve tasted.

Soon after we ordered our tea, though it did require a little deliberation the three tier stand arrived with our goodies. This little bundle was between Rob and myself. Aunty and Jo had their own set of goodies. If I said everything tasted fantastic, beautiful and gorgeous you’ll just have to believe me. As if 10 different pastries, 10 cream cakes and 10 quarter sandwiches wasn’t enough between 2 of us, we also struggle though a cream scone each. Life and be a real challenge at times and you have to ‘man up’ and meet it head on. But I was a little full afterwards. I now have to save up again and take Number One Daughter – what a sacrifice Dads have to make.

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