Tucked away, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but actually only a five minute drive from Chesham, is Chartridge Lodge.
We only heard about this hotel and conference centre a couple of months ago, and when they invited us to afternoon tea well ….. how could we say no? You know us – tea, cake and a walk around the grounds, it’s right up our street.
Now, ignore the fact there is a purpose built modern(ish) conference centre on the side, focus on the old building and the beautiful grounds. We had a good 30 minute walk around the gardens, down the leafy path and through the woods, and we could have walked for longer had our stomachs not deafened the silence with their rumblings!
And silence there was indeed in the 25 acre grounds. You could hear a pin drop. So, so, peaceful, except for the occasional birdsong, or squirrel rustling in the undergrowth. We stopped to listen, to nothing, it was very relaxing and incredibly calming.
Arriving back at the century old hotel we were seated in a cosy little room overlooking the fountain. We laughed at how the table was sloping due to the gradient of the floor; a sign of its old age perhaps, but it made for a quirky afternoon tea.
With traditional sandwiches of ham, egg, salmon and cheese, we knew we were on to a winner. Then followed the dilemma, is it jam then cream on our scones, or cream then jam? Ben, the Duty Manager, was quick to explain that it’s a regional thing although he did talk about scons when we like to call them scones!
Anyway, we thoroughly enjoyed the scones and then finished off with macarons (not macaroons) and various slices of cake. The tea was free flowing and very much enjoyed in the Wedgwood fine bone china teacups.
Natalie, being gluten-free of course, was served a delicious selection of sandwiches, scones and cake to rival mine. How refreshing of somewhere to be able to offer so many gf options.
All in all, we had a fabulous time. Why not spend the afternoon making the most of the hotel facilities when you visit, including the comfy lounges and the cosy bar with wood burning stove; you can even play one of the many family board games they have available.
Honestly, Chartridge Lodge is a gem in our beautiful Buckinghamshire. It may appear to be stuck in the last century but that only gives it more charm. With plenty of free parking what’s not to like?
Traditional Afternoon Tea, £15 pp, 2 pm – 5 pm 7 days a week. Booking essential.
Tel: 01494 837484
Buckinghamshire HP5 2TU*
*Google maps struggles with their location. When it says you have arrived continue along the road for a further 1 ½ miles (when coming from Chesham) and the lodge will be on the righthand side.