The Wisteria Tea Room at Loseley Park, Guildford - On the Tea Shop Trail
PUBLISHED: 10:37 05 August 2015 | UPDATED: 10:42 05 August 2015
One of Surrey’s most historic estates, Loseley Park is always a delight – and this month Louise Johncox visited their newly refurbished tea rooms
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine July 2015
Need to know:
The Wisteria Tea Room, Loseley Park, Guildford GU3 1HS. Open Sunday to Thursdays, 11am-5pm. Closed on Friday and Saturdays. Tel: 01483 457103. Web: loseley park.co.uk / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Built in 1562, Loseley House is a wonderful example of Elizabethan architecture, with splendid interiors and works of art, and guided tours are available. Housed in the former scullery of the kitchen, the Wisteria Tea Room was newly refurbished this spring. Named after the 200-year-old wisteria on the wall outside, on our visit the flowers were in bloom and the scent was intoxicating. Today, four generations of the More-Molyneux family live here.
Cakes and pastries…
The star baker at the Wisteria Tea Room is Corrina Wilson, from local firm Caper & Berry, who makes all the cakes.
The most popular are apparently the coffee and walnut, lemon and polenta (gluten-free) and spiced apple, all £3 each.
On our visit, there was a tasting plate at the counter where you could try pieces of all the cakes to help you make your choice.
I opted for a large slice of the spiced apple cake – moist with apple pieces, cinnamon and nutmeg.
My mum, Frankie, chose the traditional cream tea, with home-made scone, clotted cream and jam, at £6.50. Tea was served in a pot; good value at £2 each.
In the event, we shared both the spiced apple and the scone – a tasty, satisfying combination I’d recommend.
For those who want the works, the traditional afternoon tea comes with sandwiches, a selection of cakes, scones, jam and cream, at £10.50. Champagne Afternoon Tea costs £19.50.
“Every aspect of our afternoon tea is home-made and all of our ingredients are locally sourced,” says Anna Simpson of Caper & Berry.
If you have children, they can decorate their own gingerbread man at £3 each.
On the menu…
For something a little more substantial, there is also an appetising lunch menu. One couple behind me were keen on the trio of sausage rolls, £3.50, or £5.50 complete with a Caper & Berry Salad and leaves from nearby Secrett’s.
On another table, a lady was tucking into a huge baked potato, filled with grated cheese, baked beans and chive cream cheese, at £6.50.
Another savoury seasonal treat is the summer antipasti board, which comprises cold meats, marinated vegetables, olives, caper berries, sundried tomatoes, salad leaves, Parmesan cheese, bread, olive oil and balsamic, at £8.50.
The refurbished tea rooms have been designed by the More-Molyneux family with help from staff – and Farrow and Ball donated the pretty wallpaper mirroring the stunning Wisteria.
“We’ve gone for a fresh, contemporary look, keeping it simple and cosy in keeping with the rural surroundings,” says Anna.
There are 24 seats inside and a further 39 outside under the canopy. You can also relax on the Mulberry tea lawn – a popular place for high tea alfresco. For special occasions, you can also have tea under the White Garden Marquee.
After our afternoon tea, we entered the magical walled gardens, with roses and herbs to vegetables, and wandered past the lawn with the ancient mulberry tree. We may not have walked off all the calories but it was an absolute delight.
Louise Johncox’s parents, Peter and Frankie, ran Peter’s tea shop in Weybridge from 1958 until 2000 when they retired. Louise has written a book about her parents’ tea shop, The Baker’s Daughter, which is out now in all good bookshops (see louisejohncox.com/index.htm)