'Little morsels of heaven' - Why Heydon Tea Rooms is a must-visit for cake lovers
- Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP
In the idyllic village of Heydon, near Aylsham, lies a tiny shop and tea room.
And although it prides itself on being a traditional tea shop–serving creams teas, homemade cakes, and light meals such as sausage rolls and soup - it was the afternoon tea which called to me.
So, with the ups and downs of lockdown part two firmly taking hold in my household, I decided nothing could be more joyful than sampling the delights of one in the comfort of my own home.
Heydon Tea Rooms has recently launched an extensive online booking website, but I ordered via its Facebook page. The response was quick and friendly.
On the day of collection, we queued outside and, once the staff was ready for us, we went inside where a makeshift serving area had been created. The staff was efficient and friendly, and our order was already prepared and ready to takeaway.
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The food was carefully wrapped up and made it back home in one piece.
Feeling ravenous, I practically ran indoors to pop the kettle on as we had been provided with bags of Norfolk Tea to make ourselves. Then, like children on Christmas morning, the unwrapping began.
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Firstly, we were greeted with a selection of white and multi-seeded finger sandwiches (why do they always taste better like that?) stuffed with mature cheese, tuna and cucumber, local smoked ham and mustard, and egg mayonnaise. Next came the miniature sausage rolls, followed by scones, and pots of jam and clotted cream.
We chose the fig and apricot scones but could have had the choice of fruit, plain, lavender, or cheese, which is served with cream cheese and a red pepper and tomato relish.
But our eyes nearly popped out of our heads when we saw a delightful platter of four different varieties of individual, handmade and decorated cakes, as well as a mini dessert pot.
It looked impossible to get through. Almost.
The sandwiches were divine, made with fresh, fluffy and flavorsome bread. The fillings were simple, yet delicious, especially the ham. The sausage roll, although small, packed a punch. Its meaty texture and well-seasoned insides went perfectly with the golden flaky pastry.
The scones were incredibly sweet, which I enjoyed, and hit the spot nicely. The choice of eating them with apricot jam was a winner too. These would be lovely enjoyed as a cream tea on another day.
But the cherry on top had to be the miniature cakes – lemon sponge with vanilla cream, a stem ginger cake, a carrot cake muffin, and a beautifully presented Battenberg – delicately decorated and brimming with all the textures and tastes of the dessert rainbow, if such thing exists. There is clearly a lot of time and energy dedicated to this element of what is honestly, a stunning afternoon tea.
I saved room for the dessert pot, which reminded me of a millionaires' shortbread but transformed into a cheesecake mousse-type finish. I could have easily eaten one double the size.
All in all, this was a perfect treat to have on a cold November afternoon, while being stuck indoors. I can’t wait to go back to enjoy it all over again in the beautiful garden behind the tea room – once we’re able to, of course.
It is always a delight to sit on the green in beautiful Heydon, although on this occasion we decided to take our food home as it was just a tad too chilly to sit outside. This is a stunning little tea room though, with gorgeous tea sets, and a beautiful garden out back to enjoy.
The afternoon tea was £15 each and included a sachet of tea for us to make up at home. I did not think to ask but I’m sure the staff would have included a take-away coffee or a different drink if we had asked. I believe out of lockdown, the afternoon tea is priced at £20 per person, with an additional cost for prosecco.
A variety of tea and freshly ground coffee is on offer here. Prosecco can be added to an afternoon tea for £5 per person. Breckland Orchard’s posh pops and Norfolk cordial is also on the menu.
There is a small step to get inside the building but the staff is very accommodating in bringing orders outside.
There are also vegetarian, pescatarian, and gluten free afternoon tea options, with a vegan option coming soon. There is also always a vegetarian and gluten free soup on offer, and other vegetarian and vegan options across the menu.
A new gift voucher section has also been added to the website recently.
Heydon Tea Rooms has social distancing down to a tee. There are sanitiser points at each doorway and currently a separate entrance and exit. All staff wear face coverings and the doors and windows are open for ventilation. Customers are temperature checked and must wear a mask.
The staff are very friendly and helpful too, as well as knowledgeable about their products.
For me, this had to be the miniature cakes. There was a lot of skill and care that went into creating those little morsels of heaven.
Whatever you fancy, even if it’s just a quick cuppa and a cake, this is a must-visit place. Heydon it beautiful but the tea rooms are one of the many places in this tiny village which adds to the character of the place. And the food is perfection.
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Our food reviews are always independent. They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the venue when they visited. The establishment is not aware of our visit, is not informed we intend to write a review and bills are paid by the reviewer. The choice of places reviewed is also independent and is not based on venues which do or do not advertise in our publications.