Bluebells Cafe Tearoom is ideally situated within an arrow’s throw from Battle Abbey, and is fast gaining a reputation as the number one spot in the town for coffee and a cake, a Sussex cream tea, a light lunch or an afternoon tea. They are also licensed to offer a little tipple if you have something to celebrate!
This tardis-like family-run eatery offers a warm welcome and a cosy, clean environment to relax and enjoy the delicious food and drink on offer. Testament to the quality of Blubells, is their number one ranking on Trip Advisor, of all the restaurants in Battle, which is a fantastic achievement for the team running the restaurant, which only opened in September 2014. There is great attention to detail – from the food, decor, crockery and furnishings – to the way the team are always refreshing what they have to offer by creating new and exciting flavours to sample.
I have been lucky enough to enjoy a cream tea at Bluebells, and was spoilt for choice regarding which flavours of warm scone that I fancied, and I could choose to have coffee or tea with them too. They were served with raspberry conserve and clotted cream, and there are always a range of flavour scones to choose from e.g. raspberry, or banana and fig.
My brother and his wife went one better and sampled even more of Blubell’s impressive sweet and savoury repertoire with an Afternoon Tea. His only complaint was that they couldn’t finish all of the sumptuous spread – but this ‘problem’ was satisfactorily solved by taking a ‘doggy bag’ (actually a robust box) home with them, so they could eat the rest at their leisure. Afternoon tea is in fact available all day, and includes a selection of finger sandwiches, two freshly baked scones of your choice with raspberry conserve and clotted cream, a selection of delicious homemade cakes, a pot of tea for one or a coffee of your choice.
Afternoon tea is a well-established English tradition, and it was introduced to England in 1840 by Anna (7th Duchess of Bedford) who became peckish between lunch and late dinners. She requested a tray of bread and butter, tea and cake be brought to her room during the late afternoon. This habit became more of a social thing, and spread throughout upper-class society, where women would change into formal gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea, which was usually served in the drawing room between 4 and 5 o’clock. Nowadays, this kind of formal attire is not compulsory (!) but it is still a popular treat, with high-class hotels like The Ritz and the Savoy being synonymous with crust-free cucumber sandwiches etc.
If you’ve had a fantastic Afternoon Tea experience locally, please let us know, and we can share the best spots to enjoy this quintessentially English treat.