Flowers and cakes for afternoon tea at Gravetye Manor

Hydrangeas and Gravetye Manor Hotel in the rainTo mark the start of the summer holidays, as a special treat I took Luce and Theo, my twins, for afternoon tea at Gravetye Manor. We were hoping for cakes and finger sandwiches in the garden, but it rained. Instead our reserved table was waiting for us in a beautiful wood panelled drawing room inside the 16th century country house, now a luxury hotel. I still remember being taken as a child for afternoon tea at the Ritz in London with my mother. It was time to give a similar experience to my children.

Flower bed below Gravetye window in summerJust behind these windows we relaxed in a sofa and two chairs while we indulged in our afternoon tea at Gravetye Manor Hotel in West Sussex.  I often wander around its gardens to take photos of the seasonal flowers so you can take a peek at my introduction here or see the blooms in June here.

Luce with finger in airIt was also a practice run as their grandmother (my Mum…actually Mom) plans to spoil them with some return visits when she stays with us later this summer. Children seven and up are welcomed in the dining rooms, but I warned them they still needed to be on their best behaviour. Despite drinking apple juice instead of a cup of tea, Luce decided she had to hold her pinky up in the air. Since it was a special outing I chose the Bluebell tea because it included a glass of Bluebell Seyval Blanc local sparkling wine! How could I not?

Luce and Theo even tried some of the petals of edible flowers served with the first plate of sandwiches so it really was cakes and flowers for afternoon tea! Extra cakes and sandwiches were brought out especially for us since we skipped the pots of tea and scones with jam and finished the first ones so quickly. Theo waited patiently for about ten seconds while I took a photo before gleefully helping himself again.Cake and sandwiches at Gravetye Manor Hotel

A light drizzle wasn’t going to stop us from enjoying the flower garden after devouring every sweet but one – a macaroon which they saved for their father.

Now that I’ve shown you our delicious afternoon tea, I’ll take you on our walk around the garden. There we enjoyed a visual feast as per the summer nature menu. Grey skies and a light rain didn’t diminish the natural beauty of the plants and flowers. Exotic flowers grew exuberantly alongside native English plants.  Gravetye Manor wall with climbing flowersWild garden flowerbed infront  Gravetye ManorPink flowers Gravetye ManorPink star shaped flowersAeonium arboreum SchwarzkopfSucculents and sedum Gravetye ManorYellow flowersWater lillies  Gravetye ManorTheo and Luce watched the fish in the ornamental pond while the flowers drank in the light summer rain. Luce and Theo looking at fish pondGravetye Manor flower garden in rainLuce with umbrella in Gravety GardenOrange red flowers  Gravetye ManorRed flowers and bamboo sticks Gravetye Manor

Before we left the grounds of Gravetye Manor Hotel, Luce and Theo whizzed off through a path lush with plants, trees and raindrops. There might have been no sun in the sky but we had flowers to remind us of it.  Yellow flower path Gravetye ManorYellow flowers Gravetye Manor

My two more often than not are running free, wild and unplugged in our garden as well as the fields and woods around our house but loved their afternoon out with cakes, sandwiches and flowers. Whether it is collecting memories of building a den or afternoon tea with their mum, childhood needs these special moments.

15 thoughts on “Flowers and cakes for afternoon tea at Gravetye Manor”

  1. what a beautiful place! for sure a great way to start the summer holidays. which by the way, i am so confused about your holidays over there. Lily has been on summer break since the beginning of june and will start school again end of august

  2. That afternoon tea looks scrummy! The difference in Theo’s facial expression before and after the food made me laugh – I would have gone straight for the battenberg 🙂 Such a nice way to start the school holidays. Glad to see you made the most of the gardens despite the drizzle. Hope the holidays are full of adventure for you all!

  3. A great way to start the summer. I’ve been thinking about taking the kids out for a posh afternoon tea but have never quite got around to looking into the best place to go with kids.

  4. Ah what a lovely thing to do with them, I am totally taking a leaf out of your book and going to try something similar with Kitty and Oz. It looks like a great time together from the yummy food, grand surrounding and beautiful garden to the best bit, the company.
    It really is all about making those special memories isn’t it Kriss?
    Beautiful photos and a post that leaves me with the warm and fuzzies, thank you for sharing x

  5. What a great start to the school holidays for Luce and Theo. Such a shame about the weather but I guess we’re used to this in the UK. The garden is incredible in spite of the rain and the afternoon tea looks very scrummy indeed. Here’s hoping you get to make lots more memories during the summer x

  6. I’m glad the rain didn’t spoil your day. i love how your daughter held her pinky finger when drinking and your son’s face looks delightful when you allowed him to finally eat….lol

  7. Looks like a beautiful start to the holidays, such a special treat for you all. The gardens look beautiful too, even in the drizzle.

  8. This is my ideal day out, afternoon tea in beautiful surroundings and then a look at the gardens. The flowers look beautiful, a magical place to explore. Those cakes!!!

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