Afternoon tea at Merrymeade Tea Room, Brentwood

Vintage china teapot, tea cups and saucers on a glass table
I can’t believe it’s over five years since I last visited Merrymeade Tea Room with mum and Alfie – it was when he had his eight-week check-up and immunisations, and mum treated me to a lovely afternoon. This time, she had won one of their Instagram competitions and so, tea for two was on the cards! Ash and Alfie joined us, ordering from the lunch menu – although they were more than welcome to have tea, too.

I failed to mention in my last post that Merrymeade is family-run – Alex and Karen make a fantastic team. Not only that, but all the produce is either homemade or locally-sourced – something that certainly makes the venue stand out amongst the competition. Of course, you do have to pay for quality, and the team room is in a desirable location – but it’s well worth visiting if you’re local, or in the area.

This time, we sat in the library room, which is often used for functions and other special events. We had a table looking out onto the gardens, which are also beautiful. When we arrived, we were the only booking, so it was fairly quiet to begin with – but tables started filling up and there were even some show-arounds of the various rooms and spaces.

The luxury afternoon tea is priced at £22.95 per person, with the options to add a glass of prosecco or upgrade to one of the speciality teas or coffees from the menu. Served on a three-tier cake stand with vintage crockery, you can expect to find four varieties of sandwich, fruit scones, homemade cakes and cupcakes, and seasonal fruit on the menu – all washed down with tea (breakfast, decaf or earl grey) or americano coffee, included in the price. Mum and I went for breakfast tea.

Selection of four different finger sandwiches for afternoon tea

The finger sandwiches were a classic selection, and all were well-filled. These consisted of:

  • Ham & mustard on white bread
  • Cream cheese & smoked salmon on brown bread
  • Cheese & cucumber on white bread
  • Egg mayonnaise on brown bread

Next up were the scones, which I often find to be hit-and-miss at afternoon teas. They can either be really delicious, light and warm inside, or not the desirable temperature and overly dense. These were tasty and thankfully, we received one scone each (I always find two is too much and you end up hitting a wall, missing out or not enjoying the sweets as much). The scones were served with pots of Rodda’s clotted cream and Tiptree strawberry jam (only the best!) – and hit the spot nicely. At this point, we ordered another pot of tea (it’s unlimited!) and enjoyed the fresh strawberries and grapes… before Alfie ate them all!

Three-tier china cake stand with a variety of scones, cakes and fresh fruit

The sweet selection consisted of:

  • Carrot cake
  • Cherry cake
  • Lemon drizzle cake
  • Vanilla cupcake
  • Chocolate cupcake

And it was more than enough to share – Alfie had to help us out, after he’d finished his kids’ lunch box. Carrot cake is one of my favourites, and this didn’t disappoint. The squares were light and dare I say it, moist. The frosting was delicious too. I have to say, I absolutely loved the cherry cake, which was sweet and gave off all the Bakewell vibes. I think it was my favourite on the day. None of the cakes were dry and I was definitely in cake heaven.

The lunch menu is also decent – with a range of dishes: sandwiches, soups, jacket potatoes and daily specials. Ash ordered a jacket potato which was huge, and again, very well-filled. There’s a choice for the kids’ lunches – a meal deal (sandwich, crisps and drinks), or half a jacket potato on offer. I was actually surprised Alfie didn’t choose the jacket potato, as he often has it for his school lunch – but he chose a jam sandwich and packet of Wotsits with a fruit shoot (also ordering a chocolate milkshake!). I definitely think I need to try some of the lunch menu options – as much as I love afternoon tea.

Another thing I loved is that Merrymeade have a pay it forward board. Basically, you can purchase items from the menu for other people to order when they visit – if they’re in a difficult situation. The item is written on a sticker and stuck on a blackboard at the entrance. I think it’s a really nice idea and something more places should offer – especially given the current crisis and with (yet another) school holiday looming. Mum and Alfie did their good deed for the day, buying a children’s meal… which might have already made someone’s day!

And as I mentioned at the start, Merrymeade aren’t just a tea room – they can host functions and private parties, as well as other events too. Some of the ones recently have included a children’s slime party and a calligraphy class. Keep up to date with upcoming events and other news and offers by following on Instagram.

Thank you, mum (and Merrymeade team), for another lovely afternoon. I hope to return soon.

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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