My experience at The Daffodil started on a high note when I reversed my car into the parking space perfectly on the first try. Not a huge achievement in the grand scheme of things, but for me it rarely happens. Read into that what you will. It improved massively when the server led us to a table by a floor-to-ceiling window, letting the natural light stream in and giving us a smashing view of Grasmere. The hotel itself is a classic Lake District building from the outside. Even a one-time visitor to the area knows the look I mean – it’s all in the slate. It would be hard to believe that the hotel was built as recently as 2012 if not for the interior.
We had arrived for our ‘Luxury Afternoon Tea’ in the hotel’s Dining Room which is kitted out with a refreshing selection of posters from the National Portrait Gallery’s collection. Within minutes, we had a carafe of water on the table and menus in our hands. Having made our decision regarding a location for afternoon tea in advance, we already knew the menu almost by heart and what we should expect. What we weren’t ready for was the staggering array of teas on offer. The Daffodil serves the Teapigs range, which I do enjoy, but they now encourage you to pick a tea depending on your mood. No. Just get me a pot of Earl Grey and we’re flying.
Our food arrived with a bit of a procession. First came a server whose only job was to place our napkins on our laps, followed by a server with our savoury plates, and finally the all too familiar three-tier tray that’s come to define the humble afternoon tea. I say ‘humble’ but this meal was anything but. There was a lot of food! I would have prefered more of a balance between the quantity of savoury to sweet, but on the most part it was tasty. I did, however, very quickly tire of the insane amounts of sugar I was consuming.
There were a few standout items on offer though. Despite its tiny size, the Cheese & Caramelised Onion Tart was perfect. I wanted another twenty of them to appear on my plate. But sadly they did not. The tartlet reminded me of those sweets with a sugar shell that release their gooey, liquid contents with one bite. Except the case was more butter, less sugar, and the cheese and onion filling was less liquid, more delicious softness. We most definitely can’t move on without mentioning the scones. The afternoon tea is served with two miniature scones per person, one fruit and one plain buttermilk, alongside clotted cream and raspberry jam. Oh my word. Whoever made these deserves a medal. They were supremely fluffy, not at all dense, and quite frankly, they could be served entirely plain and would still be beautiful.
I, for one, could not finish this whole afternoon tea, and I challenge you to find me anyone who could. As I’ve mentioned already, there was a bit of an imbalance between the sweet and savoury elements, and I fatigued of the amount of buttercream on the tray. Please please please give me more savoury, and by that I do not mean more pasty egg mayonnaise sandwiches. One final point I want to make is a thank you to the servers. As someone with a nut allergy, I often have to be careful of what I eat. When I asked about the ingredients in one of the cakes, they knew exactly what was in it thus giving me confidence in them, taking my worries away. A* for that team.
Food: 6/10 :: Service: 9/10 :: Atmosphere: 7/10
Overall rating: 7/10
Cost: £25.00 per person (Luxury Afternoon Tea)
Where: By The Lake, Keswick Road, Grasmere, LA22 9PR
Notes: Good availability of parking in hotel’s own car park, reservations for afternoon tea are strongly advised
This review was not sponsored in any way, shape, or form. I paid for this myself, and this is my honest opinion.