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Palmers Tea Rooms

alf-palmers-2-apr-13It’s early spring and whether it’s dashing in out of the cold and wet or (hopefully) sauntering along in the early sunshine, there is nothing quite like an afternoon tea to create a relaxed and warm feeling after a long, hard winter. This is such a civilised way to pass an hour or so whether meeting up with friend, a celebration treat or a family occasion, afternoon tea is definitely back on the menu. Anna Maria Russell, the Duchess of Bedford is widely credited for introducing afternoon tea to England while visiting Belvoir Castle in the 1840s. By the end of the nineteenth century it had evolved into the format we pretty much see today, enjoyed by ladies of leisure in the afternoon, with much discussion as to the types of tea and social etiquette of the day. Today it is a much more relaxed affair yet gaining in popularity and now it has arrived in Alfreton. In the grand setting of Palmers Tearooms at Alfreton Hall ‘everything stopped for tea’ as a friend and I visited one rather cold afternoon. Rounding the corner to the arcaded front of Alfreton Hall, we entered the grand hallway with its high ceilings, wood paneling and large sash windows looking out over the park. palmer-1-apr-13Tables covered with linen and laid with a selection of English fine china adorned with roses set the scene as we sank into deep leather armchairs with a glass of bubbly which helped get us in the mood. A china cake stand arrived laden with a selection of sandwiches, pastries, cakes and scones along with jam and whipped cream. A piping hot pot of loose leaf tea completed the table. The lower layer of the stand held a selection of sandwiches on white and brown bread with a variety of fillings; cream cheese and cucumber, chicken with tarragon mayonnaise and rocket, ham, cheddar cheese and egg mayonnaise. The top tier was dedicated to fruit and cream filled pastry cases, scones and cakes. As we chatted we didn’t notice the passing of time until we were offered a fresh pot of hot tea and clean cups, just the right moment. Looking around us, all were engrossed in conversation and generally letting the day slip by. The staff were attentive, friendly and always on hand. This type of establishment is quite unique locally and I’m sure that as time goes by they will make a tweak here and there, expand into more rooms and become the place to ‘stop for tea’. alf-palmer-3-apr-13It was quite easy to think of just calling it a day and not going back to work, but duty called and it was time to go. On our way back we reflected on how refreshing it had been to enjoy such a quintessentially English activity, in such fitting surroundings and yet just on our doorstep. Alfreton Hall is only a couple of minutes’ walk along Church Street as you are lured into delightful parkland. Open Tuesday to Thursday 11.30am to 4.30pm www.alfretonhall.com 01773 838200


  1. Visited Alfreton Hall Palmers Tea Rooms today 9th April as part of my sisters 90th birthday celebrations along with 2 friends. Very disappointed in the sandwiches and cakes particularly when you consider the price being charged. Also considering the comments in your article stating customers being offered fresh tea and clean cups, this did not happen in our case we had to ask for a fresh pot of tea and did not receive clean cups, but this was the least of our disappointment. Dead flowers in the vase on our table didn’t help. Just to conclude I am not complaining about the waitresses but when we arrived we were given a given a glass if wine, but in my case after emptying the remains of 2 bottles my glass was still only half full the waitress said she would come back and fill up my glass but that never happened, I realise I could have asked but I didn’t.

    We will certainly not be recommending your Tea Rooms to any of are family and friends.

    Cyril Yates

  2. I went for afternoon tea on April 18 it was a gift for mothers day. I went with a friend and we had an absolutely lovely time All the sandwiches were freshly prepared the cakes were very moreish and the scones were light and delicious. The waitress was very friendly but professional and topped our cups up free of charge (something that didn’t happen when we took afternoon tea elsewhere).We were offered a glass of bubbly on arrival but declined it as one of us was driving and the other one didn’t wish to drink without them.
    The tea rooms was comfortable in nice surroundings and both my friend and I enjoyed a walk in the park afterwards as it helped the generous tea go down! Our whole experience took about 2 hours and was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon I am very grateful I receieved this as a gift as I now know about Palmers and will recommend it and I will definitely be going back


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