Cream tea in Chilham Village, Kent 

Our annual trip down to Kent to visit family left us with a few days to spare before the Christmas festivities began, but after a 5 hour drive yesterday we decided to have a quiet easy one today. Chilham is only 10 minutes from where we are staying and seemed the perfect spot for a late morning stroll. It has been referred to as a “quintessentially English village” even making it onto Top Gear and Agatha Cristie’s Poirot! 

The village is beautiful and the main square retains much of the original medieval/Tudor feeling. There’s a little gift shop in one of these, selling cute trinkets and homemade Christmas decorations. The history geek in me was very happy wandering around Chilham and soaking up the atmosphere. We dropped into St Mary’s Church to have a look around, which was surprisingly also full of history and monuments to the important people of the village.

Having had a walk and exploration of the village, we decided to fuel up on a cream tea at Shelley’s tea room. Again in one of the quaint old houses this was a perfect spot for people watching through the old warped windows facing onto the square. We went for the Cream Tea for two which supplied us with several cups of tea each plus two enormous scones accompanied by unhealthy amounts of jam and clotted cream. The service was really fast and friendly and just what we needed on a windy December day.

We then had a short ‘what can only be described as a waddle’ one last time around the village to try and burn off some of the calories! We passed the Woolpack Inn which has been there since the 15th century and past Chilham Castle. Unfortunately it only opens its gates once a month between May and September so we couldn’t actually see the Norman keep, but got a glimpse of the Stuart era manor house which looked huge and impressive through the gates.

We maybe spent an hour and a half here enjoying a stroll and our cream tea- there’s not a lot to do but it is a lovely village to pop into and have a mooch around.

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Cream Tea at Patisserie Valerie

A trip to York is really not complete without some form of afternoon tea, and a long awaited reunion with university friends provided the perfect excuse. After doing all of the typical touristy things as one friend had never been to York, we passed the window of Patisserie Valerie…. and as you can see from the picture, it was impossible to resist the lure of the cakes and pastries!

ImageWe were seated immediately by a very friendly Italian waiter who was the most hilarious and admittedly effective salesman, persuading us into offers we hadn’t even considered. Myself and another friend opted for tea and cream scones which turned out at a very reasonable £4 each, while our other two friends succumbed to the cake- one chocolate gateau and one lemon cheesecake, washed down with a bucket of coffee. I just about managed to finish my scone which was still slightly warm, full of fruit and just the right amount of crumble and ended up being topped with unhealthy amounts of clotted cream and strawberry jam. The cheesecake however defeated Helen, but the nice waiter was more than happy to put it in a little box for her to take home, as well as another chocolate gateau for Nicole’s boyfriend, so thumbs up for service and generous portion sizes!

Despite being a chain, Patisserie Valerie doesn’t really feel like one, and their scones certainly tasted homemade. I would definitely recommend visiting as it provides very good cake and service, and has the bonus of not having to wait in line for and being cheaper than Bettys.