I’d looked quite thoroughly and closely at the pictures of The Pheasant Hotel on their website. Arriving for afternoon tea I realised that they didn’t, and probably couldn’t, do it justice. It’s tastefully decorated like an old hunting lodge with a cosy bar area and drawing room, both with low couches and large coffee tables to relax over your afternoon tea. Big fires sit ready to light and roar to warm away a frosty winter. There are games – giant naughts and crosses and dominoes – to make it feel like an extension of your own home, only one where charming staff bring you to tea and cake and clean away the plates.
There is also a more formal dining room that opens onto the terrace and a huge conservatory. It’s the largest of the public spaces and bright and welcoming for breakfast and lunch.
Afternoon tea is just £16 per person and includes a round of sandwiches, a giant fruit scone with clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam, three little sweet treats and endless tea. Rather than a selection of sandwiches you choose your preference from five options. This makes a lot of sense, the sandwiches are made fresh and you get your favourite rather than dividing up the selection based on preferences. This freshness made a big difference, being some of the best sandwiches I’d tried in my afternoon cake adventures. Simple sliced bread, but the combination of cheese and shallot chutney was perfectly balanced and the green leaves and lemon addition to the hopingly fresh smoked salmon with cream cheese was excellent.
The scone was perfectly light and eggwashed to a crisp perfection on top. The sweet treats, in our case a lemon and raspberry tart, a carrot cake with macadameias and salted caramel icing and a chocolate torte were faultless. The pastry on the tart was incredibly thin and crisp and the salted caramel topping to the carrot cake was so light and smooth it almost seemed not to exist at all.
We peeked at the hotel rooms and pool before we left. With just 16 rooms it looks like another one of those gorgeous country hotels that make you feel like you’ve been away weeks after just a weekend. The perfect base for walking in the Yorkshire Moors.