Destinations Magazine

Middle Holly Cottage Tea Room and Cake Parlour - Afternoon Tea

By Lancashirefood
Middle Holly Cottage Tea Room and Cake Parlour - Afternoon tea
In Lancashire we pride ourselves on a warm and friendly welcome and there is no finer way to spend an afternoon then enjoying the delights of afternoon tea. On a cold blustery spring day we ventured forth to Middle Holly Cottage in Forton for such an afternoon.
Middle Holly Cottage Tea Room and Cake Parlour - Afternoon tea
On our journey up to Forton where Middle Holly is situated, we saw the cars temperature gauge plumet by 3 degrees and experienced hail, rain and thunder. Fortunately for us Middle Holly is really easy to find being situated just of the A6 and on arrival we were warmly welcomed into the cosy tea room and cake parlour by Gill who runs Middle Holly with her husband Andy. 
Originally from Cheshire but now firmly settled in Lancashire, Gill and I enjoyed a lovely chat about all things food, the WI (she's a member just like me), the Clandestine Cake club, catering for free from diets and Lancashire in general.
Middle Holly Cottage Tea Room and Cake Parlour - Afternoon tea
Gill is really passionate about her beautiful B and B and tea room being the best they possibly can and she carefully features the best  quality local and seasonal produce on her menu's. She wants all her customers to experience a warm, genuine and memorable experience when staying or eating at Middle Holly.
Gill makes all her own bread, cakes, jams, chutneys and her eggs come from her own  garden hens and sources all her other ingredients as locally as she can. For example she proudly serves Dewlay's Lancashire Cheese, which is little a few minutes walk down the road.
Middle Holly Cottage Tea Room and Cake Parlour - Afternoon tea
We were invited to experience the Deluxe Afternoon tea which was served in the pretty Garden Room area, thoughtfully decorated in country pastels and the tea, cakes and sandwiches all served on eclectic vintage china, complete with home knitted and crocheted tea cosies by Gill's Mum !
We started our tea with a shot glass of homemade seasonal vegetable soup, very tasty and flavourful which was very welcome given the weather outside, Gill makes sure that when she blends her soup you still have little chunks of vegetables so you can really taste the fresh vegetables in the soup.
Middle Holly Cottage Tea Room and Cake Parlour - Afternoon tea
Next came our tottering tower (cake stand), strewned with viola flowers, salad and herb leaves, and bedecked with finger sandwiches of home cooked ham, egg mayonnaise and Lancashire cheese and homemade chutney, all served on homemade organic bread. Gill likes to ring the changes and try different flours in the bread baking (most of the bread is made by Andy), so our selection was farmhouse white and  a seeded bread. The sandwiches were delicious, generously filled  and the homemade bread makes such a difference to the taste experience. Alongside our sandwiches we also had a little bowl of Lancashire Crisps, we love those too and again show careful thoughtful sourcing.
Our next  cake stand layer was a fruity raspberry fool served in a pretty vintage teacup and homemade crisp and light chocolate eclairs. The fool was perfectly balanced in terms of sweetness and tartness so as not to be cloying, the eclairs light and airy and filled with fluffy whipped cream.
Middle Holly Cottage Tea Room and Cake Parlour - Afternoon tea
The top layer of the stand has two huge pieces of cake, which we split in half so both myself and Mr LF could experience the floral rose and almond cake and slated caramel layer cake. Again all homemade, We particularly loved the salted caramel layer cake with its salty yet sweet topping. By this stage we were getting very full so we agreed with Gill to take away our scones (choice of fruit or plain), if you can squeeze them in they come accompanied with cream and  a choice of Gills Homemade jams. The scones are huge, and unlike a lot of other scones I have tried, not in the least bit disappointingly dry and tasteless, these were light and tasty, they were our treat later in the day when we returned home with the last of our homemade rhubarb and strawberry jam.
Middle Holly Cottage Tea Room and Cake Parlour - Afternoon tea
Last but not least a handmade homemade truffle each, just to round things off !! 
Outside Middle Holly has views over to the Bowland Hills, a little misty and obscured whilst we were there due to the inclement downpour but stunning non the less. 
We loved our visit to Middle Holly and meeting and chatting with Gill, despite it being an awful day the tea room was still fairly busy, so if you are planning a visit I would book just to be on the safe side as given the high standard of afternoon tea and cake on offer, Middle Holly is sure to be very popular. The tea room is currently open Thursday, Friday and Saturday and in the summer on Sundays too.
Check out the website for further details of the tea room and B and B. 
Our meal was provided free of charge for review purposes, we were not compelled to write a positive review and all thoughts and opinions are our own.


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