The award-winning Hog Hotel in Pakefield is adding afternoon tea to its repertoire – although not without considerable debate on what to include on the menu.
“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”
― Henry James
It has been a long time in the planning, and a considerable amount of time in the tasting by the highly experienced Tasting Team™, but afternoon tea at The Hog Hotel is now finally happening. Well actually, this highly experienced Tasting Team™ is just greedy old me and my husband Nathan who have pretty much chomped our way around various good and bad establishments across the globe, with waistlines to prove it. Happily, our fabulous General Managers John and Agata have a bit of pedigree in this specific genre, having previously worked at five-star hotels as well as running their own highly successful afternoon tea business in Dorset. So, with Christmas and turkey dinners pushed firmly to the back of our minds, plus a busy Valentine’s evening and record-breaking February, the team at The Hog Hotel are now ready to offer what we hope will be ‘the best afternoon tea in Suffolk’.
But these things can’t just be knocked out of the kitchen. You need the staff and the skill to make an afternoon tea with love. Sandwiches must be exacting and filled right to the ends on the freshest of breads. Scones need to be light and fluffy, cakes dainty and gorgeous looking, and of course, these days everything needs to be Instagrammable. Luckily for us our Executive Head Chef Terry Balme is a bit of a dab hand when it comes to all things sugary and has been working with the team to create, among other things, his homemade Battenberg, mini pavlovas with marinated berry compote and Suffolk cream, and a bitesize chocolate brownie with salted caramel.
While the sweet selections didn’t cause too much of a disagreement, when it comes to what constitutes an afternoon tea sandwich there has been stiff debate – read, massive arguments! Well, maybe that’s a bit much, but certainly there has been some huffing and puffing from all parties. Like the Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford who allegedly invented the afternoon tea ritual, I too experienced, to quote, a ‘sinking feeling’ when a peanut butter and jam sandwich made it to the tasting table. I am afraid, for me that is a filling that belongs firmly on the other side of the Atlantic. Or in my children’s packed lunch box. Pre nut allergy days – now we can just about send them in with a butter sandwich on unseeded brown, but I digress.
Finally sandwich selections have been agreed. We have plumped for a mix of classic and contemporary and are excited to hear what our guests think and work accordingly to perfect our offering. A range of savoury options will follow in time, including a version of Terry’s famous Scotch egg.
Our afternoon tea is perfect for baby showers, 21st birthdays, a light wedding reception, gender reveals, Granny’s 80th, sweet 16s. An afternoon tea truly covers a real range of celebrations and generations. We think there really is a space in the area for a great afternoon tea, and judging by the pre-bookings already in the diary, it seems people agree.
- If you have any strong thoughts on what constitutes an afternoon tea sandwich, or you fancy being part of our Tasting Team™ for future menu tastings, do drop me an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To book a table or a room, or to discuss an event, call 01502 569805, or visit www.thehoghotel.co.uk 41 London Road Pakefield, Lowestoft, NR33 7AA
- Awarded Best Small Hotel of the Year in the East of England tourism awards 2021-2022