Recently spending two nights at the gorgeous Highbullen Hotel & Spa in North Devon, the one thing we couldn’t miss out on during out time here was a visit to their brand new Laura Ashley Tea Room. I’ve seen lots of these Laura Ashley Tea Room’s popping up across the UK as of lately and honestly I hadn’t given them much thought – until now. Indulging in what turned out to be one the best Afternoon Tea’s that North Devon has to offer.
If you fancying experiencing this great British tradition yourself, then this couldn’t be a more perfect place to enjoy it. Magnificent views over the rolling hills of Devon, all whilst sitting within the gorgeous surroundings of this brand new tea room, designed in the distinctive signature Laura Ashley style. They’ve don’t a great job here and in fact we loved it so much, we wished they’d open it up as a restaurant during the evenings. Something we later discovered was set to launch June 2019 in under the name “The Supper Room” with a casual, brasserie style menu.
We opted for the addition of Champagne which was a glass of Pol Roger. Chilled, buttery and perfect for enjoying those beautiful views across the countryside. On a sunny day, you can enjoy afternoon tea on the elevated terrace which looked down over the golf course. We were also served a small flute of citrus foam with a raspberry sauce (I think) which went down a treat.
Offering a delicious selection of homemade Cream Teas, Full Afternoon Teas and Brunch throughout the day, you’ll find it very hard to leave this place once you sit down. We decided to make a change and order the slightly less traditional savoury afternoon tea, filled with just about all of our favourite things.
Tucking into the warm top-tier, we started with the fish goujons. The fish was juicy and meaty and the batter golden and crispy. The quail scotch eggs had the most amazing duck meat filling and golden crumb surrounding the egg, but sadly the egg yolk inside was over cooked and had to be discarded. A little more care with those yolks and they’ve got these spot on.
On the side was a selection of dips for the savoury bites. A punchy tartare sauce and a full-flavoured chutney.
I really loved the selection of finger sandwiches on offer. The breads were fresh (no dried out edges in sight) and all of the classic were here. Cucumber with cream cheese, ham & tomato, egg mayonnaise and roast beef. If that wasn’t already enough, some excellent little mini quiches which were so moist and open smoked salmon crostini’s. The salmon was smoked very well and had a lovely texture to it.
As for our sweet treats, two perfectly crafted red berry tarts, topped with the most wonderful meringue which was as light and as fluffy as a cloud. Even better were the buttermilk scones. So good in fact my dining companion said they were the best they’ve ever had. Crumbly, warm to the touch and not too heavy, with a choice of original and raisin. To accompany those delicious scones, you’re give the option of toppings alongside clotted cream. We went for strawberry jam and a thick lemon curd, both of which I loved.
We had a really lovely afternoon here at The Laura Ashley Tea Room which is a fantastic new addition to this properties choice of dining options. It’s well-priced, the views are fantastic and just about everything we ate was delicious. Would we come back? Absolutely!