I am a big fan of going out for afternoon tea to mark a special occasion and having tried my fair few in Norfolk, I think I’ve found the best. And that is Afternoon Tea at The Assembly House in Norwich. This name may ring a bell, as I recently wrote about my evening of Chocolate Tasting I experienced there only in February! Yes, I like chocolate and cake, can you tell? Anyway, we went yesterday with my in-laws as a treat for Mother’s Day, so I thought I’d share why I think it’s somewhere you need to try if you’re local or visiting our fine city!
The Assembly House
The grand imposing Georgian building is elegant and the perfect setting for the truly quintessential British Afternoon Tea. It’s one of Norwich’s most prettiest buildings. I took the photo below standing on the lawn area in front of the building, admittedly not in the best light! In the summer this lawn area is decked with tables and chairs and parasols. In fact, it’s there that in May 2014 we took our parents and told them that we were expecting our daughter. (I have lovely memories of sitting in the sun feeling queasy! Ahhhh…)
Once inside you can see more of the beautiful interior of the Grade 1 listed building. There are tall ceilings, magnificent chandeliers and beautiful decor. It oozes sophistication and elegance and hosts absolutely stunning weddings. My in-laws and a friend have both been to weddings here and said how fantastic they were.
Anyway, we went for Afternoon Tea at The Assembly House, so let’s get onto the main event!
It’s hard for me to say what the best part of an Afternoon Tea at The Assembly House is. Is it the sandwiches (which they’ll bring you more of if you wish!)? Is it the huge selection of tea, which keeps being refilled? The (optional) Champagne? Is it the delicious cakes? Or is it, their “absolutely-the-best-I’ve-ever-had” cheese scones? Tough one…
We have been for Afternoon Tea at The Assembly House on a weekend and we’ve now been on a special occasion, Mother’s Day. The food is served in the same format, i.e. sandwiches, scones (cheese and fruit) and then a selection of cakes and patisseries.
On Mother’s Day the sandwiches included cream cheese and cucumber, Norfolk ham and coronation chicken. There was then an additional layer of sandwiches where the scones usually sit, containing egg mayonaise in a brioche bun and a smoked salmon mouse in a little pastry cone. Both were delicious.
The waiter then brought us our scones. Their cheese scones have a hint of Colman’s mustard. I’ve tried to recreate them at home but I can’t get them to be as good, so I don’t know what their trick is! The fruit scones came with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Heaven! Nothing is too much trouble, we ran out of clotted cream so asked for some more and were given a fresh pot immediately. The service is really good.
The room we sat in is very imposing and was full to the brim with lots of couples and families chatting away. I imagine it was one of their most popular days of the year. There was a pianist playing, which was lovely, but we were sat at the back and it was still pretty loud. It didn’t spoil it, but as more guests left and the room emptied the acoustics seemed to get better. I captured this photo on the way out.
We sat down at 2.30pm and had a wonderful leisurely afternoon, leaving at about 4.10pm. I think they were setting up for another sitting as we were leaving. Afternoon Tea at The Assembly House is very popular and I can only say, rightly so. If you are looking for a lovely setting in Norfolk for a special occasion I can highly recommend it.
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