It’s not every day one is treated to a delightful afternoon tea at the prestigious and very beautiful Gleddoch Hotel and Spa. But this is indeed what Fiona and I from Advertizer & Insight HQ were invited to sample one relaxing Sunday afternoon. And my goodness me, did we enjoy it!
The approach towards Gleddoch sets the tone; the sweeping driveway running alongside the immaculately kept golf course with spectacular views over the Clyde. Upon entering the hotel we are led into the stunningly quirky Camellia room with its vibrant mustard wingback chairs, matching mustard antlers on the wall and beautiful flock wallpaper.
Fiona and I are greeted warmly. Our waiter takes our coats, introduces himself and advises us that he will be looking after our every whim that afternoon… we are to be indulged! The Camellia Room is a retreat from life – quiet and relaxing – no sense of urgency here, which is a wonderful way to take a break from ‘normality’.
Once seated, we are promptly brought a glass of bubbles before being served our exquisite Camellia Afternoon Tea. First we are asked which tea we would like from the extensive menu. I choose the Celestial Jasmine, which the waiter brings for me to smell; and what a delicately floral scent. Fiona plumps for Scottish Brew, which she politely declines to take a whiff of. As for the food, the presentation is just as one would imagine afternoon tea in such prestigious surroundings should be – beautifully dainty and delectable, with finely presented savouries garnished with edible flowers (yes we did try them – I made Fiona go first). The savouries are served first – Fi and I have saved ourselves for this and we are very ready for them! The Ayrshire pork and pommery mustard filled sausage rolls are just enough for a mouthful – a posh sausage roll! The pastrami and horseradish on home baked soda bread is divine, as is the caramelised ragstone and beetroot tart with candied walnuts.
There is no sense of being hurried when one takes afternoon tea at Gleddoch, which is refreshing. We are allowed to rest and let our food settle for as long as we so desire. And while we do, we are served some Angel Water – an alkaline water with naturally occurring electrolytes – so while taking our afternoon tea, we are in fact improving our health… bonus! When we are ready, we are served ‘dessert’. Laid out in an old fashioned canary cage, the choice is fantastic. From lemon posset topped with a perfectly bitter sweet blackberry compote, which is actually like heaven, to chocolate coated strawberries, butterscotch tart, strawberry and black pepper fudge, followed by freshly baked granary scones, with sumptuous clotted cream (amazing) and sweet preserve to accompany. In fact it looks almost too good to eat. But eat it we do. And then we roll ourselves out the door to return home for a lie down on the sofa…stuffed!