Above: Some of the sculptures in the gardens.
Above: Wearing a Hell Bunny dress. By the end of the day I had red marks on my arms from the capped sleeves cutting in. Why do they make arms so restrictive?!
As for the afternoon tea, you really couldn't find a more vintage - or charming - setting. The tea room is located in what was formerly the ballroom of the house, it's all moulded ceilings, and wood-panelled walls. You can also choose to have your tea on the terrace. We opted to sit indoors, and were pleased to see the tables laid out with vintage china and proper tablecloths.
The three of us had opted for the 'vintage afternoon tea' and were pleased to see that included unlimited tea, coffee or hot chocolate. I opted for some Earl Grey, my sister had ordinary tea, and my Mum sampled a large and frothy hot chocolate. The sandwiches and scones arrived on cake stands, and the portions were generous. The sandwiches were on both brown and white bread, and included fillings such as salmon and cream cheese, brie and cranberry, cheese and pickle, and egg mayonnaise. All were sufficiently moist and tasty.
The scones didn't look that impressive, and so our expectations were exceeded when we tasted them - some of the best scones we've had! As for the patisserie, the meringues were good, and I particularly enjoyed the orange and chocolate cake. None of us managed to eat the fairy cakes, so we had these boxed up to take home. Staff were pleasant and attentive, and we all had our drinks topped up.
It was really very pleasant sat in that oak panelled room, looking out onto the gardens and listening to the '30s music they had playing in the background. Very civilised indeed, and it certainly is an afternoon tea with a difference with the lovely gardens and sculptures. If you're in the South Wales area, it's a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
The 'vintage afternoon tea' is £16 per person and includes unlimited tea, coffee or hot chocolate, along with finger sandwiches, fresh scones, and a selection of cakes. Pre-booking is required for the tea, and you'll also need to pay £6 entry to the gardens per person.