It was my birthday yesterday and the last day of my son’s exams – so what better way to celebrate than afternoon tea in Oxford?
And what better place to choose than the Old Parsonage? One of the best-known hotels in Oxford, it’s housed in a pretty 17th century building and boasts a shady stone terrace that’s just perfect for afternoon tea. No wonder the place is so popular with newly-graduated students. There were loads of them there yesterday, resplendent in their mortar boards and gowns, taking tea with their proud parents.
The three of us went for broke and chose what the Old Parsonage calls its “very high tea.” Actually, it was a “very big tea” – a mix of smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches (with their crusts cut off of course), scones and cream and divine-looking cakes, all washed down by a special blend of tea named after the Old Parsonage. We tucked in with alacrity, although we couldn’t quite manage the cakes. “No problem,” said the charming waiter. He hurried inside and reappeared a few minutes later with the cakes packed into neat brown boxes.
At £16.95 a head, afternoon tea at the Old Parsonage wasn’t exactly cheap but it was a special occasion after all. Not only that, we were so full by the time we got home that none of us could possibly manage supper later on. And even better, we’ve got these luscious cakes (below) to look forward to for tea today…