Afternoon Tea at Dearden Tearooms, Haslingden

My sister recently turned 30 (she'll kill me for telling you that), and asked to go for afternoon tea, so being the excellent sister I am, I got her e vouchers from Groupon for the award winning Dearden Tearooms, in Haslingden, and we took a family trip on Friday afternoon.

The tearooms themselves are in a cobbled street, and the interior is old fashioned, like stepping back in time for tea with your granny. The room we were seated in was freezing, dark, and just looked dingy rather than vintage. However, this wasn't the case with other rooms we walked through which looked lighter and cosier, we just happened to pull the short straw on this occasion. 

A picture of Lyd (me) sat at a table with a lace cloth on it, holding a jar of pink lemonade with oranges slices in it. My hair is down, I am smiling, and I am wearing a jumper with blue, pink, yellow, mint, orange, lilac, and white stripes.

The waitresses were friendly and polite when they came over to explain the beverages we could enjoy with our afternoon tea. There were around 30 teas on offer, as well as coffee, or homemade pink lemonade. As soon as I heard those three words, my eyes lit up! Pink lemonade is my favourite drink, and this one didn't disappoint. Served in a mason jar with fruit and mint, it was the perfect mix of syrupy sweet and tangy kick- I wish I'd upgraded to the refillable option because I could have drunk gallons.

The tea itself was a traditional afternoon tea, although I did spot that they do themed ones, such as Harry Potter. The savoury layer consisted of cheese savoury, ham and mustard, and egg mayo finger sandwiches, and parsnip and ginger soup. I hate both of those flavours, so steered clear, but my parents assured me it was well balanced and delicious. I did hoover up the sandwiches, and they were absolutely delicious, but I wish we had been given more. Perhaps it's just me being greedy, but they only made up 3/4 of a normal sandwich.

Happily the tearooms were more generous with their scones, giving us one plain and one fruit each, all of them still warm. They had a lovely crisp edge and moist centre, and plenty of clotted cream and strawberry jam to go with them.

two afternoon tea stands with white floral plates sitting on a table with a lace cloth. The middle tiers have small sandwiches and cups of soup, and the top tiers have peach macarons, squares of chocolate cake, and miniature glasses filled with lemon cream and topped with raspberries.

The cake tier is always my favourite, and I was definitely not disappointed! Sometimes eateries will give you only one of each item, forcing you to choose or cut them in half, but luckily we each had the same: a slice of spiced chocolate cake, a lemon posset, and a large macaron.

The chocolate cake was lightly spiced, which would normally put me off, but it was rich, sweet, and had the fudgy texture of a brownie. It was actually my favourite bit of the meal. Posset isn't really my thing, but the citrus did stop the rich cream from becoming. The macaron was pretty large and had been made really well. The discs were crisp, there was plenty of buttercream, and there was a light peachy flavour that was both unusual and a good partner for the almond in the biscuit and the sharp raspberries decorating it. 

I'm not sure Dearden Tearooms' afternoon tea can top my all time favourite from the Garden Kitchen, but it was a lovely experience. I paid £38 and felt that I got great value for my money. All the food was fresh and good quality, and I appreciated that they had included more modern, unexpected items in a traditional afternoon tea menu, such as the pink lemonade and macaron. 

What's your favourite part of afternoon tea?

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