I thought long and hard about how I wanted to celebrate my 30th birthday. I knew that the big evening party I would have liked would be quite difficult to achieve, since most of our friends have children, and I did not yet feel settled enough in Bristol, having relocated less than a year before. So I decided that what I really, really wanted was to spend a decadent afternoon with my closest family, and my chosen treat was afternoon tea Thornbury Castle.
Thornbury Castle is a hotel and wedding venue about 30 minutes drive from Bristol. My parents, sister, and brother joined me, Sophie, and Matthew (Nick was away in Canada for work). Let me say this: it really was a treat. We were seated in a beautiful old library, the food was lovely, and the reception and waiting staff were so polite and made us feel so welcome. They were not fussy at all about the children making noise or running around, a high-chair was provided for Matthew, and Sophie thought she was in a real princess castle.
Afternoon tea at Thornbury Castle costs between £8.50 for a cream tea (scones, jam and cream and a pot of tea or coffee) and £31.50 for a full afternoon tea with Champagne. Sadly there was no Champagne for us as we were all driving, so we opted for the full afternoon tea which was £21.50 per person.
There was a wide range of teas to choose from but, being British, we all opted for the special afternoon tea which was very nice. As for the food, we ordered five full afternoon teas and, as the pictures testify, there was a lot of it and it was excellent: finger sandwiches with various fillings; scones, cream and jam; and a selection of miniature cakes including macarons, lemon drizzle cake, fruit tartlets (my fave), mini eclairs, and a strange mousse thing of which none of us could work out the flavour (Sophie ate two of them to herself though!). Everything tasted delicious and fresh and was presented so beautifully.
The only negative remarks heard from our table were, firstly, that the jam provided with the scones was cherry flavour which, although tasty in its own right, didn’t complement the scones as well as its more traditional counterparts, and secondly, that we would have preferred one less sweet thing and one more savoury thing on the cake stand – a mini quiche or a bruschetta, perhaps. But none of us went away disappointed or hungry!
Thornbury Castle is an impressive venue and, had the weather been nice, we would have sat outside and enjoyed the lovely walled garden. As it was, we had a brief walk in the grounds and stumbled on a Spanish wedding, which Sophie found intriguing, and a pretty little rose garden. And, since we had all parked our cars in the overflow carpark – a field at the back of the castle – Sophie took the opportunity to make a run for it, which was the perfect hilarious and heart-warming sight to end a wonderful afternoon.
The views expressed in this review post are entirely my own. I have not been sponsored or paid to write this review.