There is apparently, a certain way you are supposed to approach afternoon tea.

Savories first, then scone and then cakes all washed down with a pot of your favorite brew sipped delicately as you go. But faced with a three tier stand of the most delicious looking treats, our bet is that most would leave the sandwiches to one side for a bit and go straight in for the kill with the cakes.

And that is exactly what one of us did when we paid a visit to Glady’s Vintage Tearoom on The Front at Seaton Carew near Hartlepool to sample the afternoon tea.

Read more: The Mother’s Day hampers selling like hot cakes from a famous Whitby bakery

The venue is exactly what is says it is, a quirky, 1940s themed tea room and cafe serving up fresh, home cooked food from breakfast to light bites. It is also Hartlepool’s number one rated cafe and restaurant on review site TripAdvisor where reviewers regularly rave about the food.

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, we decided we’d book in for afternoon tea.

We were asked if we had any allergies or food intolerances at booking and when we arrived, were shown to our table. As the name suggests, the tea room is done out in vintage style and has a 40s feel to it with plenty of quirky decor and a music soundtrack from the era tinkling away in the background.

We were offered tea or coffee and opted for tea which was loose leaf and came in a pot with china cups and saucers. Our waitress asked what kind of scones we wanted, the choice being cheese or fruit. I opted for the former, my daughter the latter.

The tiered stand was then brought swiftly to our table – and it was precisely then that any notion of eating in order went out of the window. My cheese scone was served warm with butter on the side so, for me, it was a no brainer to eat it first. It was delicious.

So, what else was on the stand? The bottom layer had four sandwiches, with crusts cut off and flavors including egg mayo, ham and tomato, cheese savory and cucumber – two on white bread, two on brown. We weren’t given a choice of filling.

The sandwiches

The middle layer held the scone. My dining partner daughter, ever the sweet tooth, opted for fruit scone which came with a pot of cream and jam by the side and which she saved until after she’d eaten a sandwich.

The top tier of the tea stand was given over to the stars of any afternoon tea – the cakes. There were four on each stand and ours included a piece of lemon drizzle cake, a macaron, a delicate little strawberry tart in a pastry case and an individual round Victoria cream sponge aptly decorated with a little union flag in the top. They all tasted home made, fresh, and they were all lovely.

Afternoon tea at Glady's Vintage Tea Room, Seaton Carew
Afternoon tea at Glady’s Vintage Tea Room, Seaton Carew

Our tea pot held enough for three cups each and we were provided with tea strainers, the type all nans used to have as part of their brewing arsenal before tea bags were a thing.

We left a £ 10 deposit when booking and the total price for afternoon tea for two was £ 16.95 per person. On Mother’s Day, Sunday March 27, the cafe is taking bookings for afternoon tea between 1pm to 6pm and mams also get a flower.

All in all, we enjoyed our treat. The ambience in the cafe was nice, the food was pleasant and it was filling, we couldn’t finish all of our treats. I love a spot of baking and appreciate the time and effort that goes in to creating fresh, home made cakes.

Glady's Vintage Tea Room, The Front, Seaton Carew
Glady’s Vintage Tea Room, The Front, Seaton Carew

If I had to make changes, I’d maybe offer a little box to take home any treats you are too full to finish but that’s about it.

Seaton Carew, of course, is one of Teesside’s seaside gems so if you are treating your mam this Mothering Sunday you can always finish off your afternoon with a bracing walk taking in the sea air and the views.

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