Mother’s Day is fast approaching and if you’re looking for the perfect present then time is one of the best gifts you can give. And what better way to spend quality time together than over a delicious afternoon tea. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting the newly refurbished Courthouse in Knutsford, where I enjoyed two (yes TWO) afternoon teas in the Barristers Restaurant.
The building is stunning, full of history and so spacious with beautiful high ceilings, yet it feels so cosy and welcoming once inside and seated. The walls are adorned with hundreds or mirrors and intriguing artwork including mug shot portraits of some famous faces, think Steve McQueen and even the fictional Sirius Black (which satisfied my inner Harry Potter geek). The relevance of this is that the restaurant is in fact sat within an old courtroom, which lends the dining space some fantastic quirks and architectural delights.
Now, the important part, the food. Firstly, we were presented with a beautiful box of nine tea varieties, ranging from the classic Earl Grey, to calming camomile and the exotic passion fruit and mango – I settled on the peppermint which was just divine and ever so delicate. Our first afternoon tea was the traditional one, with finger sandwiches and sweet pastries. The bottom tier featured, egg mayonnaise, smoked salmon and cream cheese, cheese and pickle and salt beef, although we were informed these change seasonally to ensure the freshest ingredients are used. The bread was incredibly fresh and it was clear they were made fresh and not sat out all morning. Tier two and three contained all sorts of sweet treats, warm fruit scones with clotted cream and fresh raspberry jam, pistachio and chocolate opera cake, sour apple macarons, vanilla profiteroles and raspberry bombs. The raspberry bombs were definitely a highlight and consisted of a shortbread base and a fluffy fruity dome, I think the general consensus of the table considered this an all round favourite.
Next came the savoury afternoon tea (I’m glad I didn’t eat breakfast that day) which was not officially on the menu at the time as it launches exclusively for Mother’s Day 2018. This really was the pièce de résistance and something I had never tried before. Instead of finger sandwiches, we were presented with warm croque monsieurs and instead of fruit scones we enjoyed savoury walnut scones complete with red onion ‘jam’ and a blue cheese ‘cream’. I think out of everything we ate that day the blue cheese dip was a real talking point and it’s fair to say if we weren’t in a civilised setting, would have licked the bowl. Tier two consisted of chilli scotch eggs, a savoury beef and Guinness doughnut, black pudding sausage roll, lamb and mint parcel and potted shrimps on toast. I don’t eat meat just fish, but the rest of the lovely ladies at the table confirmed the savoury bites were utterly delicious and I thought the beef and Guiness doughnut was a fabulous invention. The potted shrimp with capers and fresh lemon was stunning though and created a flavour explosion in my pescatarian mouth. I was assured that The Courthouse cater for many dietary requirements, so if you’re curious just ask prior to your visit.
Tea was topped up throughout and we were able to choose different flavours during our sitting, something I have not experienced at other afternoon tea locations. We were even offered a refill of sandwiches, which we all politely declined, knowing we were yet to try the second afternoon tea.
If you’re looking for a fabulous and intriguing location, along with exceptional service and most importantly delicious food, then The Courthouse in Knutsford is the place to go. Make sure you book here now to avoid disappointment this Mother’s Day.
Let me know if you’ve been or heading there soon! Which would you choose, sweet or savoury?
Still looking or a Mother’s Day present? Check out my Mother’s Day Gift Guide here.