I adore Rockliffe Hall. There’s just nowhere else that compares to the place in the North East.
Rockliffe boasts a five-star rating which is no surprise since it’s a very luxurious golf and spa hotel offering an award-winning spa, an 18 hole championship golf course and a wide range of restaurant options which cater for all palates and purse strings.
Nestled in the tranquil village of Hurworth, on the edge of the County Durham and North Yorkshire border, Rockliffe’s location is ideal for discovering the treasures of Durham city, the drama of the North East coastline and the rugged beauty of the North Yorkshire Moors.
Rockliffe is a little something for everyone, whether you’re after a romantic break, somewhere to celebrate a special occasion, a unique wedding venue or a place to do business. The atmosphere allows you to forget the outside world and enjoy everything that this country retreat has to offer.
If you’re an avid reader of my blog, you’ll remember my last visit to Rockliffe to celebrate their Festival Of Food at the Taste of the North East Banquet event, which was fantastic! You can read all about it, here.
I’ve been desperate to head back and explore more of their offering, so when I was invited to discover their indulgent new afternoon tea experience I couldn’t say no!
Rockliffe launched High Tea at The Orangery in July to allow guests to experience Richard Allen, Executive Chef, exceptional culinary creativity whilst indulging in sweet and savoury treats.
Inspired by the award-winning dishes created in The Orangery for Richard’s renowned tasting and à la carte evening dinners, the new Orangery High Tea offers a modern take on the traditional favourite.
Richard and The Orangery team take inspiration from the changing seasons and the abundance of produce available on the Rockliffe kitchen garden and estate grounds.
I arrived on a sunny Sunday afternoon with my cousin (who’s like the sister I never had) for a girly afternoon. The entrance to Rockliffe is very grand as you would expect so we had a mini Instagram shoot on our way in. I couldn’t not show off my new gorgeous dress from ANGELEYE, how bang on trend is the polka dot design, please?! They have a gorgeous range of Wedding Guest Outfits so make sure you check them out!
We then headed to The Orangery and were shown to our window view table. The grounds and views of the place are idyllic, breathtaking really. We browsed the menu and learned that The Orangery High Tea is available every day between 1 and 3 pm for £35 per person. There is also a Champagne Tea, priced at £49 per person, which includes a glass of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut.
As much as I’d of loved the Champagne Tea, I’d been out the night before so played it safe with the traditional High Tea and took advantage of the unlimited tea and coffee. The High Tea menu has a variety of savoury and sweet delights which all sounded utterly amazing.
The savoury selection included Duck Egg Mayonnaise and Cured Cumbrian open sandwiches, Wagyu Beef, Yorkshire Relish and Caramelised Onion Brioche and Warm Whitby Crab and Wensleydale Cheese Tart with Garden Chard.
Don’t tell me your mouth isn’t watering right now… mine is too thinking about each treat as I’m writing this. They were all absolutely divine and I can’t actually decide which was my favourite out of them all, but if I had to put them in order I’d say the Wagyu mini beef burgers stole my heart immediately as the beef just melted into my mouth and oozed flavour! Then the warm Whitby Crab tart. Crab is something I’ve just newly discovered and boy have I been missing out. From the pastry to the crab itself it was all just so delicate and fresh on the palette and I thoroughly enjoyed. The duck egg sandwiches were equally as tasty and worked so well with the cured ham!
After a short break, the sweet treats arrived! The selection included Single Estate Chocolate Éclair, Salted Caramel and Gold Leaf, Pistachio and Olive Oil Cake and Raspberry Shortbread with Rockliffe Estate Honey and Candied Lemon.
I think you lot all know by now that I have a sweet tooth so any kind of dessert is a bit of me! Especially anything chocolatey so you can imagine my delight when I saw the Chocolate Éclair presented in front of me. I mean, just look at it! It was definitely my favourite and the salted caramel which oozed out as you took a bit was heavenly! The raspberry shortbread was super sweet and tangy, you could taste the freshness of the raspberries. The shortbread itself was crumby yet so moist, the ideal consistency. And last but not least, the pistachio cake! Which actually wasn’t a dish I was particularly looking forward too but it was marvellous and so tasty.
After we’d polished off each dish, I really didn’t want it to end. It was all so delicious. I’d go as far as to say it was the best version of afternoon tea I’ve ever had. It’s a slightly different set up to traditional afternoon tea but so much better. The food was just out of this world instead of just a few sandwiches and a scone.
I can not recommend High Tea at The Orangery enough, beautiful setting, five-star food and superb service from staff too.
To book call 01325 729999.
*This was a complimentary visit in return for an honest review.
*In collaboration with ANGELEYE.