Afternoon Tea is one of my favourite treats ever and I’m not only saying that because it’s Afternoon Tea Week! It’s not just the tea and the cakes, but the daintiness of it all, the opportunity to sit down and take some time to be with friends and family, as well as the sense of occasion to it. It’s not every day you have delicate finger sandwiches and elegant cakes arranged on an elegant tiered stand and tea out of fine bone china cups.
If you want to find out more about where the tradition came from, read my previous post. Today, any luxury hotel or accommodation will offer it and I’m sure you’ve been treated to one at least once in your life, but I want to share with you a slightly unusual location that is close to my heart. Held as Oxfordshire’s secret for a long time, Jane’s Teas is no longer a mystery to many and you’d be wise to book in advance – there are no places left for this year!
Set in the heart of the British countryside, amidst the green next to the Kirtlington quarry, is a really charming Afternoon Tea location by the river. Jane’s Enchanted Tea Garden is run by the delightful, flamboyant and friendly Jane who was awarded the Small Holder of the Year award in 2009.
What makes it so special?
Jane grows as much as possible in her own garden, including the flowers she puts on every table, to give her produce a real local quality and the taste… mmm… her cakes and scones are just divine! Everything is fresh and produced for the bookings, so I’ll be surprised if there is ever as much as a crumb left.
Entering the garden is like entering a childhood fantasy land with little statues, multi-coloured ribbons floating in the wind, old cups and creamer hung on the rails and in the trees and lots and lots of fairy lights. The atmosphere lives up to the name – enchanted – and it feels as much of a treat as a high-end hotel restaurant just with mix-and-match fine bone china instead. The whole place has a homemade but delicate feel to it and it’s an experience you can’t quite have anywhere else!
How to get there?
My personal recommendation would be to park somewhere at the top of the hill or lane and take the 10 minute walk to the garden on the road. Then, having enjoyed Jane’s scrumptious cakes and goodies, burn some calories by walking along the South Oxford canal through the woods. When you get to the old quarry, take the steps up and you’ll get back to the road where you parked the car.
If you need any proof as to how remarkable this place is, just read the outpour of love on their Facebook page.
Thanks for reading!