First impressions were very good, a handsome driveway with their trademark topiary sheep and super easy parking.
We entered through the grand heavy-looking door straight into the hall where we were welcomed by the receptionist. We arrived a bit early so had a drink in the bar and chatted to a very pleasant barman who told us all about the chef Larry Jayasekara who is aiming for a Michelin star, and how the tea was prepared by their two pastry chefs.
The restaurant manager showed us to our table in the Morning Room that was beautifully decorated in soft golds with a stunning chandelier and was a comfortable warm room with a view of the croquet lawn through large sash windows. The tables were laid with quality white clothes and napkins, striking blue and white Arden crockery from Staffordshire, a single floating Gerbera, a sugar bowl with silver tongs and silver milk jug.
We were poured a glass of Nyetimber blanc de blanc – a splendid sparkling wine produced in West Sussex. There was a good selection of teas served in Newby glass teapots which have a strainer in the spout and so no drips. I had a green tea, Silver Needle, and my friend chose the Manor’s own Afternoon blend. Both were very pleasant.
The cake stand arrived looking splendid with the same matching plates, and supported four little scones – two fruit, two plain – swaddled in a napkin to keep warm. They were served with a scoop of clotted cream and little pots of jam.
The sandwiches were all good. But the Montgomery cheddar was amazing thanks to the homemade pickle, made with tomato, onion, red wine and cumin. The Scottish smoked salmon was also delicious; the Creme Fraiche was soft and light.
There were three cakes each. The first was incredible. A ball, pretty as a picture, decorated with a disc of chocolate with the sheep logo all over it and a bright orange glaze with a dusting of coconut. But what was it? It was a choux pastry ball filled with the most delicious passion fruit and mango custard which oozed out and was hard to keep under control. It was utterly delicious, a taste explosion. The salted caramel macaron, topped off with gold leaf was also a delight.
We were exceedingly well looked after by a friendly and efficient team.
The Manor pays great attention to detail and I would say it is a great place to visit.
Afternoon Tea £23; With Nyetimber £32; Children’s tea £9
Call 01869 350621
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