Sunday, 24 February 2019

Afternoon Tea at Dyffryn Gardens

This year I celebrated Valentine's Day with afternoon tea with my mum, and sister Louise at a beautiful country house run by the National Trust.  I previously shared some photographs from Dyffryn back in January 2017, on a particularly murky and misty day.  There couldn't have been more contrast!  Our visit was in glorious sunshine, with a riot of Spring flowers.

Dyffryn Gardens surround a beautiful late Victorian (1892) mansion.  Throughout the year, visitors are able to wander around the grounds, and also tour part of the house.  There are ongoing renovations to the building itself, as the house was acquired after a failed attempt to turn it into a luxury hotel (in which many original features were destroyed, leaving the house an empty shell).

There is a magnificent large glass house in the gardens, that was filled with pots and pots of cheery Spring flowers, from crocus to cyclamen.  Outside, crocus carpeted the slopes of the garden.  If you've seen the new Mary Poppins film, it was like the end scene where everyone is singing and frollocking in the flowers.

For a limited number of special events throughout the year such as Valentine's Day, you can book an afternoon tea in the morning room of the house.  As a setting for afternoon tea, it couldn't be a more perfect setting.  It was served in the 'morning room', the centre room in the ground floor overlooking the gardens.  A sunny room with a gorgeous bird print wallpaper, and the tables laid out with vintage tablecloths and china.  It was an exceptional setting.  Our table was set back a little from the blinding sun in the window, so I think I had the best seat in the house.


The tea itself was very good.  The scones were delicious, and the cake and sandwich selection was excellent.  Being really picky, we docked half a point for the tea already being laid out on the table when we went in (some people arrived later and their tea had probably been sat out too long by then), and another half a point for not having a selection of tea to drink.  At £21 a head, we felt it was good value for the beautiful setting.

Afterwards, we had time for a further stroll around the grounds, taking in the wonderful flower displays and all of the quirky corners.

Whether it's a 'false' spring and we still have more snow to come in March or not, I'm glad that we were able to make the most of it for our visit!  I didn't leave Chris out by the way for Valentine's, we had a nice dinner à deux that evening.

Overall afternoon tea rating: 4/5


  1. Hi, a lovely post. I remember spending a pleasant week on a residential revision course for my A level Welsh in the 80s. Then as now the gardens were marvellous and a special ambience to the whole place. Thank you for reminding me!

  2. Oh my goodness! This place is gorgeous!!! And such a shame it was gutted! I am happy though to hear they restoring it!


  3. I see you've been enjoying the same weather like we had/are having here in Belgium. I don't mind these gorgeous false Spring days at all! Wonderful setting for afternoon tea, and it looks quite delicious as well. Love the wallpaper, and the carpet of crocuses is just gorgeous! You and your Mum are looking fabulous too! xxx

  4. Isn't this weather gorgeous? I can't get enough of it!
    Dyffryn Gardens looks lovely, the elegant proportions of the house and those pretty Spring blooms.Tea on the table before you'd arrived? Very poor show. Glad everything else lived up to expectations.
    You and your Mum look fab. xxx

  5. What a shame so much of the interior of the house was spoiled. The gardens look beautiful!

  6. What a lovely Valentine's day! It looks like a beautiful place, and those crocuses are making me jealous- we are still buried in snow!


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