Sunday tea in Surrey
Is there anything better than a cup of tea and cake? Particularly on a cold day after a walk through the countryside. Ok, I have to be honest, on this occasion S and I skipped the walk in favour of taking the motor out. In our defence it wasn't so much a damp July day as one pockmarked by torrential rain and storms. The prospect of being out in the driving rain was just not appealing. Anyway, we had already chosen our destination. I know the journey is supposed to be half the fun, but this might be an exception. During six years working at a local paper in Surrey, the Surrey Mirror, I became pretty well acquainted with the village of Bletchingley. So I was surprised to find S had uncovered an absolute treasure I had no idea about, nestled in there - Lamingtons.
The little tea room only has space for about five tables, but luckily there was one free as we arrived. A large table piled high with homemade cakes takes pride of place in the centre of the room. The proprietor, Paul, greets guests as they arrive as well as making many of the sweet treats himself. We settled in and furnished ourselves with a pot of Earl Grey and a slice of banana loaf and a pot of green tea and lemon drizzle cake. The cake was incredible and the slices big enough to suffice as a meal on their own.
Sat there talking about everything and nothing I was reminded of one of the fixtures of my days working in the leafy county - Time for Tea. This was a weekly column written by our community editor Mark Davison. For every edition he would "pootle", to borrow a word from him, off to a coffee shop somewhere in the county and just pass the afternoon quietly. He would chat to locals and observe those going about their lives, often remarking on snatches of conversation he overheard. I have no doubt he has been to Lamingtons, but I'll drop him a line to make sure. Either way, as the rain dripped outside and summer made no attempt to show its face S and I were very happy curled up surrounded by rustic decor and incredible cake.
The real charm was just sitting in a Surrey village with pots of tea and china cups, whiling away an afternoon. I really cannot recommend it enough. And give Lamingtons a visit if you're down that way.